TexasCampgrounds.com has made the task of finding a campground faster and easier for
thousands of camping enthusiasts in Texas and across the country with
the help of a 23-year-old website designer from Texas Wesleyan
Matt Taylor of Texas Advertising spent the past eight months working on a major redesign of TexasCampgrounds.com, which was already drawing 13,000 to 15,000 unique visitors each month before the upgrades were completed last week.
“Matt supervised the entire project and did an outstanding job,” said Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners. “Working with an outside programmer, he made TexasCampgrounds.com very sleek and easy to navigate.”
The most obvious change is a noticeable increase in the use of
photos and tabs, which make the website more visually appealing while
minimizing the need for scrolling. “These changes and enhancements make
the information easier to digest,” Schaeffer said.
The redesign, which coincides with the introduction of a new
TexasCampgrounds logo, includes a new search function that shows
listings of parks based on their distance from specific cities or points
of interest. Photos are also included with each listing, if available,
which can help consumers decide which parks they want to click on to
learn more about their amenities, activities and surroundings.
“More information is given to the consumer faster with this
redesign,” Schaeffer said, adding that parks that do a good job of
providing photos to the website have an immediate marketing advantage
over those that do not.
“You can’t ever lose sight of the fact that it’s a competitive
world,” Schaeffer said. “I think the traveler is becoming more
sophisticated. We compete for tourism money. People have choices. If
they go to hotel websites or other travel venue websites, we want to be
able to stack up against those sites.”
Taylor said photos and YouTube clips are increasingly sought after
by young and more mature campers alike. “I don’t want to go somewhere
where I don’t know what I’m going to get,” Taylor said, adding that if a
park says it has a swimming pool, it’s nice for the consumer to be able
to see what that pool looks like before making a reservation.
“If you’re looking at a list and see parks with photos of a swimming pool or a nice clubhouse, versus those that don’t, you’ll be drawn to those that have photos first.”
TexasCampgrounds.com has been gaining traction with consumers, drawing 28.5 percent more online reservations from 2008 to 2009. That number should grow even more in 2010 since it had been about six years since TexasCampgrounds.com was significantly renovated and a redesign was urgently needed. “Five or six years is a lifetime in Internet time,”
The Texas Association of Campground Operators publishes and
distributes the Texas RV Travel & Camping Guide each year, the
content of which is also available online. For more information about
the 2010 directory or for statistics and commentary involving the latest
camping trends in Texas and New Mexico parks, contact Brian Schaeffer
at (817) 307-0129 or visit www.texascampgrounds.com and www.texascabinrentals.net.
From Texas Assn. of Campground Owners