Website Critique – Girlfriends Golf Getaway

Websites are powerful tools to help you build your business and promote your brand. If done well, your site can even make sales for you.

It used to be that websites were meant to be an online brochure. No more. A good website will not only drive sales, but be a destination that keeps visitors coming back for more information.

That’s what what Ty DeLavallade wants to accomplish with his site, Girlfriends Golf Getaway. So, we took a journey through Ty’s site and have offered up some suggestions to take his site from good to great!

Let’s tee off, shall we?

First Impressions

When arriving at the site, I was immediately impressed. The site is clean, professional and attractive. The color palette is very pleasing to the eye. It definitely says the site is for women without getting to overly cutesy or pink.

The site feels high-end with gorgeous photos rotating on the homepage. It immediately makes the site feel credible and something I won’t to know more about. You clearly did the work to get the design right from the outset. Good work!

Homepage

I love the photos you chose for the rotating images, but I expected to be able to click on them or to click on the item in the right-hand bar to get more information. I would encourage you to consider featuring destinations or events in the homepage images and make them be clickable so visitors can get more information. Right now, those images look nice, but aren’t driving people further into the site.

Also, I noticed one of the homepage images describes an event that took place in March. It makes the site seem dated. Make sure to remove that item or update the copy that goes along with it.

I would also consider making one of your rotating images be of a group of women who went on one of your trips. It would be great to show a picture of them with a testimonial. Pictures of the golf courses are nice, but if you’re trying to appeal to women who want to do something fun with their girlfriends, then you need to show women who are having a good time together. Feature testimonials and good pictures of real women who had an awesome experience on their trip.

You’ve got the right idea with the copy underneath the photos. However, I think you can tighten that up a bit and make it more focused. In the left-hand box, I would change the header to “What is Girlfriends Golf Getaway?” and then really drive home the fact that you create a custom trip without all of the hassle. It needs to be simple.

Also, instead of linking directly to “request a quote”, take the visitor to a page that explains how the process works or shows the destination options. People won’t want to request a quote off the bat. Lead them through the site with a natural progression to answer their questions BEFORE taking them to a page where they buy.

The “Sign Me Up” button is a little misleading and a little too cutesy with the lipstick lips. I wasn’t sure what I was signing up for and it took me to the request a quote page. I would change that button to say “Build My Trip”. That’s a lot more inviting and more accurately describes where the link takes you.

The Special Events and Packages feature a couple of trips from March. Be sure to keep your information up-to-date. I would remove those so people aren’t confused by that.

Also, each of those packages has a link that says “Read more” and then also “View full details.” Those links compete with each other. Since they both take you to the same place,

I would remove one of them. I would also consider making the packages (or a least a featured one) be part of the rotating images at the top of the homepage. They get lost right now because they are “below the fold” on the homepage.

The Email signup on the homepage gets a little lost. I would consider making that box a different color if you want to really drive sign-ups there.

You’ve got a LOT of boxes and links to information in the right sidebar of the homepage. Do you need to have all of that there? I think they get lost because there is already so much information on the homepage. I would consider eliminating some of them. Here are my thoughts on each:

  • In the News – This takes you to an empty page. I would delete that box until you have something to link to.
  • Request a Trip – This takes you to that same “Request a Quote” page. You already have several ways to get to that information from the homepage. Ditch that box.
  • Recent Posts – This box makes me think you have a blog, but it seems to take you to individual destination pages. I would consider deleting this box. Or, if these are newly added destinations, I would re-label it as such.
  • Stylish Links – This page is quite nice. I would rename it to something like “Get Your Gear”.
  • Clubhouse Chatter – This section is great! However, it gets lost as it’s much farther down the page. Move that up and make your testimonials more prominent. Also, the page that each link takes you to appears to be a blog page. I would put all of the testimonials on ONE page and remove the ability to comment. Right now, you have some spam comments on those testimonials pages, which really takes away from the content.
  • News from the LGPA – I think this is something that could be included elsewhere and shouldn’t be on the homepage.
  • Survey – I think this is a good idea, but it might be a better fit for the destinations page.

Your homepage is the welcome mat for the site. It should help people want to open the door and take a look closer inside. If you don’t have a clear action you want people to take, it’s hard for people to know where to go next. Make it easy for them.
 From the homepage, you really want visitors to take a look at the destinations and package. You want them to get to know more. That’s the goal of the homepage.

Destinations Page

This page is nice, but I noticed a number of items on the map were not yet available. For instance, I would show Europe as “coming soon” instead of you seeing that after you click on it.

When you click on a destination location, such as Jamaica, I got another page that says “Blog.” I would change that header to say “Jamaica” so I know I’m in the right place. Also, the text is very small on the destination list page. I would bump that up a little bit to make it easier to read.

It also appears you have an ad next to your map. I would seriously consider removing that from this page or placing it lower in the sidebar. Right now, it fights with the map and is actually more appealing to look at than the map. I think visitors would be awfully tempted to click on that. I would place that in the sidebar along side the resort list. That is much more fitting placement and won’t fight as much with your own content.

With each location, it appears you have the “book now” button. However, it all takes you to the Request a Quote page. Can you make the page a bit more customized, so if I click “Book Now” for a Jamaican resort, that I get a page with that resort selected and the other options I can select? I think that would convert a lot more visitors.

Also, I would change “Request a Quote” to “Build my Trip.” Essentially, you’ve set your business up a bit like a travel agency. Why would I do this instead of creating my own trip? Walk people through the process and how easy it is. How quickly will I get my quote? Will you give me multiple options that meet my criteria? If so, then say that.

I would also want to see budget parameters as something that’s on your “Build my Trip” page. Maybe I want to go to the Carribbean, but have a budget. That may limit where I can go. I would include that option. Remove the “Like” button from the “Request a Quote” page.

Special Events & Packages Page

I like what you did with the packages pages. However, on the individual page itself, I would remove the ability to leave a reply. There is ONE action you want a visitor to take on this page – Click the “book now” button. Eliminate the other distractions and options on the package pages to increase your conversion rate here.

Also, is there a way to actually buy the package on the site? When you click “Book Now”, it simply takes you to the “request a quote” page. What if someone liked that package and just wanted to buy it? I would look at considering a way to allow visitors to buy pre-built packages on the site.

Golf Basics

I would consider changing this section to “Golf Tips” and pulling in the information from the “In the Sandtrap” page. That page is really buried in the sidebar and I think a lot of visitors will miss it.

I think the Golf Basics information is also good, but I would combine it with the other tips so you’re not alienating more advanced golfers.

What to Do Page

This page needs a bit more focus. I would consider changing it to “How it Works” or “What you Get” because this page really offers more information about who the trip is for and what it includes. I would also move it in the navigation bar to be right next to the “Home” button.

I think the first few paragraphs of the page need to go. I don’t think that information will draw the visitor in. The copy needs to focus on satisfying the woman’s need – the desire to have a fun getaway with her girlfriends. Speak to the stress of work and family and the need for a relaxing trip with her friends.

When you ask who it’s for, I would answer the question with something like this…

“Girlfriends Golf Getaway is for women who want to escape from it all – work, kids, family – and enjoy a relaxing trip with her girlfriends. Play a round of golf, pamper yourself with spa treatments and top it off with an amazing dinner and glass of wine. If that sounds like your kind of trip, then Girlfriends Golf Getaway is for you.”

See the difference?

Important things to consider

  • Improve load time. As I navigated through the site, I noticed the pages were very slow to load. If your pages don’t load within 2-3 seconds, you will lose visitors – FAST. Look at what you can do to optimize the speed of your site.
  • Add pictures of women. I didn’t see ONE photo of women who have booked one of your trips. Contact some of the women who have gone on your trips to see if they can provide photos and testimonials. I would also strongly encourage you to make that part of your follow-up process. Send the women a survey to ask about the process and ask if they would be interested in providing a testimonial and photos for the website. Perhaps you could offer an incentive to encourage women to help out with this.
  • Add a blog. You mentioned that you wanted your site to be a resource for women golfers and not just a site for women to visit when booking a trip. If that’s the case, I would strongly encourage you to add a blog to the site. The blog could offer all sorts of information to encourage women to keep coming back to the site. Here are some suggestions:
    • Golf tips and tricks (include videos!
    • Reviews of golf clubs and gear
    • Golf fashion trends
    • Travel tips
    • Destination reviews
  • Add a “Planning Your Trip” page. This page could include a link to the Golf Gear page (now called “Stylish Links”) and to the Golf Tips page. Use this page to put together a list of resources and tips to help people plan for their trip. I think this would really add to the site and help women through the process of buying and building their trip.

The Bottom Line

The site is really off to a good start. It attractive and appealing, it just needs to go one step further to get women more excited about the experience and pull the trigger to buy. Making some of these tweaks will really help increase conversions and make the site more of a destination for would-be travelers.

It’s Your Turn

What do you think? What can Ty do to make his site a better destination for women who want to go on a trip with their girlfriends? Share your thoughts in the comments. Ty is listening!

P.S. If you would like use to take a look at your website, click here to check out our website critique service. We’d love to help you!

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Laura Click

Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

11 replies on “Website Critique – Girlfriends Golf Getaway”

Laura — Another great start on a site review. You touched on many of the areas I noticed as well.

First, let’s talk about what I like. Like Laura mentioned, the site has a very professional look. I know that sounds obvious, but when a site doesn’t have it, it becomes extremely noticeable. It looks like a site I would trust. That alone is worth the investment in the design and development team.

Now, the problems (at least as I see them) …

Home — the home button is becoming useless these days, for multiple reasons. Most know that you can click on the logo to get back to the home page. Plus, the home page should be treated as just another landing page. Through linking and search engine optimization, many people enter your sites at different points.

Decisions – Removing the “home” link takes one less decision away from the visitor. One of the problems I found is too many choices are available. Laura hinted at this as well. The tendency is giving the visitor more options allow them to stay longer. That’s actually the opposite result. More options lead to decision paralysis. “I don’t know where to click first, so I will just leave.”

Slow — One thing to be aware of as well. I am not sure if it was my end or not, but the site moved really slowly.

Search – I searched for Myrtle Beach using the top right search box. I received a blank page. Myrtle Beach, being one of the top golf destinations in the country, should have resulted in something. That being said, even if you have no Myrtle Beach packages, I should have still received some sort of result. At this point, I don’t know if the search is broken or it just returned zero results.

That’s a start. I hope that helps.

Overall, you are off to a great start!

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in, John! I appreciate it. Your comments are an excellent addition to the critique.

I noticed the “home” button as well, but forgot to mention it. I’m so glad you covered that! Good catch on the search

I think your point about the decisions is a good one. I think that’s why eliminating some of the buttons on the homepage would really help. You want to give visitors a clear pathway so they know exactly where you want them to go when they get to the site. You articulated that nicely. Fewer choices makes that easier for the visitor.

Good points on the search capabilities. That’s definitely something check out.

Ty,

Overall when I first saw the site, I was impressed. It looks clean. It’s not overly girly. It looks like you’ve got tons of great content.

Then I kept finding links and buttons that go no where. Like Laura mentioned about the pictures and sub-bar that just load an error. But what is even more confusing is if the Rancho Las Palmas Golf picture comes up first, it does take you to a page. So I expected to be able to click back and see what the other pictures are. This is probably very confusing to someone who isn’t very website savvy.

As John mentioned, the site is slow. Especially if you click back to the home page.

I don’t see the lipstick kisses in the signup box that Laura mentioned but I do see it as the preview icon in my browser tabs with the only visible word being “girlfriends”. I would much rather see your round logo up there than the kisses. It makes the site seem much more reputable.

I was also a little put off by the Golf Basics page. I would think most of the women who would want a golf getaway would know the general rules of golf. As a former college golfer, that almost makes me think these packages are for inexperienced golfers and I don’t think that’s what you were going for. Tips or FAQ may sound better than basics.

I think you are moving in the right direction and Laura has given you a lot of tips to make this an awesome site.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Erica! You really hit on some key points. I agree the Golf Basics page should be retooled. That’s why I think it should be changed to Golf Tips and include an array of tips for both beginners and more advanced golfers.

But, the most important takeaway here is the audience. I agree with you – I think the target audience is likely experienced women golfers, but some of the content would lead you to believe otherwise. It’s important that they determine what kind of golfer they are trying to attract so the content can be better tailored to them.

Great feedback, Erica! Thanks!

Ty,

Overall when I first saw the site, I was impressed. It looks clean. It’s not overly girly. It looks like you’ve got tons of great content.

Then I kept finding links and buttons that go no where. Like Laura mentioned about the pictures and sub-bar that just load an error. But what is even more confusing is if the Rancho Las Palmas Golf picture comes up first, it does take you to a page. So I expected to be able to click back and see what the other pictures are. This is probably very confusing to someone who isn’t very website savvy.

As John mentioned, the site is slow. Especially if you click back to the home page.

I don’t see the lipstick kisses in the signup box that Laura mentioned but I do see it as the preview icon in my browser tabs with the only visible word being “girlfriends”. I would much rather see your round logo up there than the kisses. It makes the site seem much more reputable.

I was also a little put off by the Golf Basics page. I would think most of the women who would want a golf getaway would know the general rules of golf. As a former college golfer, that almost makes me think these packages are for inexperienced golfers and I don’t think that’s what you were going for. Tips or FAQ may sound better than basics.

I think you are moving in the right direction and Laura has given you a lot of tips to make this an awesome site.

While I’ve been in the Christian publishing industry fifteen years, I’m now distilling what’s mine to give away as a coach, a freelancer, even as an author’s representative. I’m gathering information for teaching a class on Writing for Life, while processing what I need to apply for my personal brand and web development. Discovering you on Jeff Goin’s site is timely. Thank you for sharing your expertise. I’ll be back.

Thanks for the kind words, Robin! I hope that my posts can help you with your journey as a coach and author. If you ever have any questions, just give me a shout! I’d love to know more about your biggest struggles as you’re getting started. I’m sure you’re not alone!

I would first like to say thank you to Laura for taking the time to critique our website. It was a labor of love to get this launched and because of the importance of the site for the women of golf. Many of the items we were aware of, but wanted until Laura gave us her feedback to tweak them as we sougt her expertise to “tear through it” some. Our staff has taken the time to look at all of the comments and have them on a project plan for tweaks and will send updates as we get them done. I do I want to say thank you again for the positive and constructive feedback we have received so far.

Ty DeLavallade

Ty – Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know what you think. I’m so glad you found this to be useful. I think you’re site is really off to a good start and I give you huge props for “shipping” your site instead of waiting until it’s perfect. Now that you have the first version out there, you can work on tweaks to make it even better.

Be sure to let me know once you’ve worked on the improvements. I’d love to see the new version of the site once you have it ready! I’m sure it’s going to look great!

Ty – Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know what you think. I’m so glad you found this to be useful. I think you’re site is really off to a good start and I give you huge props for “shipping” your site instead of waiting until it’s perfect. Now that you have the first version out there, you can work on tweaks to make it even better.

Be sure to let me know once you’ve worked on the improvements. I’d love to see the new version of the site once you have it ready! I’m sure it’s going to look great!

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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