The Only Way is Vale

Vale Holiday Parks is a family-run business dedicated to family holidays along coastal Wales and Cornwall. With an emphasis on all things family friendly since 1983, Vale have developed a fantastic reputation for providing affordable, enjoyable holidays for all ages. Vale came to us looking to dramatically increase their online sales as well as perfect their online identity. Luckily, we were able to help with both.

Since working with BLISS, I have noticed an exceptional level of customer service. I feel like I am their number one client.

Thomas Scarrott
Financial Director, Vale

The Brief

Our design approach for Vale was led by both their target and current customers, with the desire of attracting more families looking to holiday in the UK. Being a fun and friendly business, we placed an emphasis on creating a website that was visually playful without being inaccessible and hard to navigate.

To communicate Vale clearly to potential customers, it was important that we identified the direction the business was looking to go as a whole, and how we could contribute to making this happen; meaning our vision went further than just the digital aspects and aimed to reach out to a much wider community, including those making bookings over the phone and in person.

As well as strengthening their brand overall, we successfully increased their online income by almost 1000% in the first year, with online sales now accounting for 70% of their business.

Factors in the recession have had a positive impact on Vale’s turnover in the last few years, with local holidays on the rise and people choosing to make the most of local resources; it is clearly an important time for UK holiday parks.

Strategy

Close communication with clients is immensely important to us. We have worked with Vale since the start and successfully developed a fantastic relationship with them, evident in the trust the team have placed in us and the consistent quality of output we’ve achieved.

We’ve spent time getting to know Vale’s parks and customers in person in order to identify much more about them then we’d achieve with predictable personas and the like. We see this as an important step in any partnership. Using results from previous builds and analytical data, we looked closely at people’s past usage—the routes they take, buttons clicked, where they bounce and where they hang around, in order to reach a collective and informed agreement on how we’ve continued to develop the website.

Landing pages are a driving sales tool on the Vale site. Keeping these clear of excessive content, and focused on the key information people are looking for, presented in visually appealing forms like interactive maps and sliding galleries have proved very effective in converting visitors into customers. This, alongside some fantastic new photography and regularly updated illustrative visuals, has transported Vale to the top of their game.

Execution

Our design for Vale has evolved over the years whilst steering clear of bloat and remaining playful and user friendly. The colour palette is determined by the feel of the parks and their surrounding landscape, with the main aim to attract and engage potential customers.

We have painstakingly crafted a scalable online booking system that integrates with their park management and payment systems using Drupal. A meticulous task—we are immensely proud of its simplified, efficient service. This feature has had a huge impact on reducing bounce rates and error reports previously noted in online sales.

The changes we've made have not only revamped their entire online booking process but also opened up the possibilities of their website to the Vale team, allowing them easy access and control.

Results

As a result of their online success, Vale have recently acquired Parc Farm in North Wales, expanding their portfolio across the whole country and transporting them to an entirely new customer base. This development is an exciting step for us as well, with the possibilities of new digital work and the challenge of hitting bigger targets.

Through our successful marketing strategy, we have been able to target relevant traffic, bringing visitors to the site who are more likely to increase revenue. Working alongside our content strategy, we have produced better and larger quantities of engaging content, contributing to this traffic increase. Although there was a small drop in visits in 2012, there has been a significant decrease in bounce rates, confirming that visitors spend more time on the site as a whole, are viewing significantly more content and engaging further with the Vale brand.

SEO activities such as link building, content creation and social activity have resulted in an increase in organic traffic by 25%. Through social media marketing and regular blog article creating, we have vastly improved Vale’s interaction with their customers, benefiting all those involved. Search terms such as ‘holiday parks in Wales’ are performing better than ever, showcasing the rewards of such efforts. Revenue from paid traffic has increased by over 300% in the last year, and looks set to continue!

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