Makeover: Don't rely on Google for Web sales
The problems: Unfriendly to search engines, puzzling navigation path, limited search options
The fix: Scenic Rentals enlarged the world map on its home page to get visitors choosing destinations for their potential vacation rentals right away. It also jazzed up its logo and removed some of the text that was tripping up search engines.
Bryan Eisenberg, executive vice president of Web marketing firm Future Now, says one of the site's best improvements is the new set form on each rental page that allows prospective renters to contact property owners.
However, Eisenberg notices key areas that still need tweaking. First is the search functionality, a problem unaddressed since the site's makeover. It's not easy for users to search based on factors like house size and availability dates.
"Not dealing with how people search may cause a lot of visitors to leave early. The site is organized in a way that Scenic Rentals understands, but may not suit the visitor," he says. "When people think of searching for vacations they think of locations, date, and price. Scenic Rentals only allows you to search by location. So you may find your location but get frustrated because it isn't available on your dates. That is a bad experience."
The site also still lacks information on how the rental process works. "It could be as simple as just stating on the contact form that once they contact the owner they will receive details about reserving the property, paying, getting the keys and checking out," Eisenberg says. "This is important because it is currently not explained on the Web site. At least, I couldn't find it easily."
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