Dream Cottages - A Sykes Cottages Brand

Assertive worked with Dream Cottages to deliver a new, high performance website & SEO strategy combined with user experience optimisation & conversion rate optimisation.

Organic Increase
Bounce Rate Reduction

The Client

Dream Cottages are Dorset’s largest holiday cottage agency with over 300 properties. Dream Cottages were independent up until their recent acquisition by Sykes Cottages. Established over 30 years ago, Dream Cottages have an extensive array of properties across Dorset from Weymouth to Lyme Regis.

Dream Cottages approached Assertive in 2014 looking for a new SEO agency to deliver an SEO strategy. After subsequent website auditing, it was clear that Dream Cottages needed a new website. Assertive worked with Dream Cottages to deliver a new website + SEO strategy.

The Challenge

The challenge for Assertive was to deliver a new website & SEO strategy for Dream Cottages. Upon the initial website audit it was clear that there were significant issues with the website relating to poor mobile user experience, poor page level engagement, clunky menu + more.

It was essential for the website to rank and for end users on the website to find it easy to find properties + find it easy to book and pay online.

The challenge was to deliver a completely new website on a budget that was manageable for the client.

  • Research holiday cottage competitors
  • Increase rankings for all relevant top level dorset cottage searches as well as location + property searches
  • Increase total online bookings & online revenue
  • Produce wireframe / schematic for new website layout
  • Plan out new website content profile & new, dynamic navigation
  • Re-build API for Booking Platform
  • Produce new landing page content
  • Trial new page layouts
  • Improve user experience cross-browser / cross-device
  • Improve site speed
  • Improve organic keyword coverage
  • Improve local SEO performance

The Goals

  • Improve Organic Rankings for Relative Keywords (Local and Non-Local Commercial Terms)
  • Increase Website Engagement
  • Increase Website Conversion Rate
  • Reduce POGOing (returning to Google)
  • Increase Volume of 1st to Last Interaction
  • Increase Client Ability to Self-Manage Website
  • Move Client away from Bespoke CMS to Industry Standard CMS
  • Integrate New Booking Functionality
  • Increase Brand Awareness

The Organic Results

110%

Increase in Organic Traffic in 6 Months

221%

Increase in Organic Traffic in 18 Months

41%

Reduction in Bounce Rate

The New Website

Below is a snapshot of the old Dream Cottages website and on the right a snapshot of the new website.

The Strategy

The strategy for Dream Cottages was to use existing user performance / user behaviour data along with click & heatmapping to produce a new, user friendly, mobile first design that kept simplicity at heart.  Collecting user behaviour data, we were able to ascertain what site visitors were doing, from first to last session interaction.

Our strategy was to deploy a new website that was faster, lighter, easier to use with far better mobile accessibility. We also incorporated easy access to content with site layering & enhanced internal linking coupled with an intuitive navigation for both desktop and mobile devices.

Assertive combined comprehensive user behaviour data, heatmapping & click data to formulate wireframes & design concepts that took into consideration what people liked and what made the website easier to navigate / properties easier to book.

Once the new website had been designed, built, tested and deployed, we worked on a link building and ongoing user experience strategy. Over time, leveraging Google optimise, we were able to improve landing page performance, increase CTR and reduce bounce rate.

What We Did

Designed & Built A New Intuitive, Mobile First Website

Assertive used big data & collated data in the production of the new website wireframes & design. This data factored in what people liked and how people used the website historically. Capitalising on this, the new design was able to streamline user journey & improve overall engagement & conversion.

Integrated New Functionality

Assertive not only improved the websites layout/design/architecture, we also made using the site more intuitive by integrating new functionality including in-search result image browsing, dynamic review feeds and enhanced short-listing.

Produced All New Site Content

Assertive produced new website content for all top level category pages as well as content for the inspiration / blog sections of the website. The content was written and structured correctly, incorporated LSI keywords / variants and met good readability standards.

Delivered a Comprehensive SEO Strategy

Assertive delivered a comprehensive SEO strategy for Dream Cottages, helping to grow traffic significantly year on year. Assertive helped Dream Cottages to reach number 1 for “Dorset Cottages” and a large volume of other highly relevant keywords including Weymouth Cottages, Dorset Holiday Cottages & more.

What the Client Says

zacstubrown
We have worked with Assertive for over 5 years now and can’t fault their attitude and commitment to what they do. They know what they are doing and are able to communicate on a level commensurate with their clients knowledge; which for me was key. They are results driven and always contactable.
Zachary Stuart-Brown – Dream Cottages Owner
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