Originally founded in 1997, BDL Hotels merged with Redefine Hotels in 2013 to become the UK's largest independent hotel management company. When the company first came to us back in 2009, it managed 26 hotel websites (plus numerous stand-alone sites) for brands such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Ramada Encore, and required a fresh new approach to its online presence. Since then the company has grown significantly and our partnership has grown with it.
INCREASE in online revenue
MORE visits to the website in year one
INCREASE in site traffic year-on-year
With regular new additions to the company’s hotel management portfolio, our capacity to respond to change and deliver services across the online spectrum, from web design and development to digital marketing, was considered pivotal to the agency’s successful proposition.
The challenge was to design and develop a group portal website to be supported by a scalable, content managed, multi-website platform for over 50 individual hotel and specialist service websites. All needed to be centrally managed and fully optimised for driving online sales.
The size and scope of the project demanded a comprehensive approach to the digital strategy. After Digital and Redefine BDL worked together to develop a strategy, which would utilise the strengths of both the agency and client to build a structured and manageable project. This approach allowed for Redefine BDL to scale up its digital activity as the company grew, taking more of the marketing activity in-house and retaining our team as its trusted strategic digital partner.
The original corporate BDL Hotels website acted as BDL’s own comparison site, covering all of the hotels in its portfolio. This has now been developed following a strategic merge with Redefine, to become Europe's largest hotel management company.
With advanced search technology the site allowed users to search by brand, region, packages, and facilities to better refine their results. This site is the very offer-focused, customer-facing platform of the BDL group. It is the central hub for BDL Hotels, linking off to all the individual hotel websites and giving them the opportunity to up-sell.
Outstanding performance is based on a continued commitment to refining, redeveloping and marketing the websites, meaning that project launch was far from the end of the story, only the beginning. We consistently refined and tracked performance of customer acquisition channels, from search keywords to web referrals, and monitoring user journeys across the site and booking engine to optimise conversions.
“After Digital was selected on the basis of their ability to meet our fast-developing needs. As we continue on our target to grow our hotel portfolio, we need a scalable hotel website management solution which was produced by After Digital to fit our requirements. The After Digital team are responsive and helpful and understand our daily pressures. The team is energetic, happy to help and we feel After Digital is a great match for Redefine BDL as we strive to build sites which allow our guests to get to the information they need quickly and, ultimately, make bookings.”
Redefine BDL Hotels
Increased revenues. Enhanced customer engagement.
Ongoing digital marketing is targeted to the requirements of each individual hotel, drawing out recommendations to make the sites better through developments which will make the sites more social, interactive, mobile and customer focused.
We developed over 56 websites on the dynamic Redefine BDL Hotels platform, all of which are now responsive and fully device accessible. In year one the company witnessed a 45% uplift in revenue, in line with an additional 1 million visitors to the website. Goal completions grew by 33% and the number of engaged visitors (those visiting five pages or more) increased by 170%.