Laik is a unique company that operates in the holiday home rental market in the Lake District. They offer a dual service – not only do they rent out holiday homes, but they also provide renovation services to landlords looking to rent their properties.
Their initial problem was twofold: their existing website was very slow, but it also lacked the functionality to list properties directly. Instead, potential renters were redirected to their channel manager, Hostaway, which offered a less-than-ideal user experience.
After a comprehensive consultation with the client, the project’s goals were expanded. The client wanted a complete rebuild of their website with a focus on speed and efficiency.They also wanted to improve the user experience, particularly in the booking process.
The new site needed to list properties directly on the site, allow users to see available dates for each property, showcase renovation projects, and improve the blog section. Additionally, they wanted to add a newsletter subscription feature.
The project’s centerpiece was the integration of a new property listing system to add and list properties directly on the site. This feature allows users to easily filter the search results based on the location, number of guests, propety types, if a propety accepts pets, or has a hot tub or fireplace.
The main challenge was integrating the client’s channel manager, Hostaway, which had no existing WordPress integration and only offered a simple Iframe calender for each property.
To overcome this, I used a custom field to hold the calender code for each property. A simple but effective custom shortcode function was created to pull the data from the properties custom field on page load. Using a short code I could then display the correct calendar for each property on the front end. Once the dates were selected, the system generated a link that took the user directly to the booking page with the dates pre-selected.
This solution significantly improved the user experience of the booking process by eliminating the need to reselect the property and dates.
The new website and, more specifically, the improvements to the booking system led to a 57% increase in bookings, making it not just user-friendly but also a revenue booster for the client. The addition of the property listings feature has resulted in a 35% surge in search traffic, amplifying the site’s reach and SEO effectiveness. Additionally, users are now spending 38% more time on the site, indicating a more engaging experience. These tangible results have positioned our client for significant business growth, underlining the value of a well-designed, functional website.
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