Tropical Spice Garden is a well-known, award-winning eco-tourism garden in Teluk Bahang, Penang. It attracts tourists and horticulture fans who love the naturally landscaped garden with its lush foliage. Besides eco-tourism, it also offers a plethora of activities for families with children such as night walks and cooking classes.
We first worked on their website in 2007. The first website redesign increased the number of tourists and customers to the garden plus created an extra source of revenue from 2 most unexpected quarters.
It shows that sometimes a website redesign can help you make more money! Last year, they approached us again to redesign their website as their offerings had grown and their information needed to be updated too.
This redesign also helped them expand their business into another lucrative division. Here’s the full story.
With a fantastic sea view and tucked amidst a quiet stretch of Teluk Bahang, Tropical Spice Garden had all the ingredients for success. They were an award-winning and eco-friendly landscaped garden with widespread media attention. Their main customers were tourists and visitors to Penang, but their online visibility wasn’t as great as it should be.
When Managing Director Katharine came to us in 2007, she showed us their website. Immediately we knew that their old website wasn’t doing Tropical Spice Garden any favours.
Photos were so tiny – they didn’t showcase what the garden was about. Nowhere was it stated that you could rent Tropical Spice Garden for your wedding or private parties. Besides, no one knew they offered teambuilding events either. Tourists or visitors who might want to visit didn’t know where to get information on the website. This usually happens because web designers aren’t copywriters. Their aim is to get a design completed.
Our perspective is completely the opposite. While web design is important, we know there’s a bigger need to focus on content because that’s where the money is!
Content allows you to persuade and influence and get found on search engines! Getting the content, however, is not easy. We often sit with the client for hours, asking marketing-focused questions so that we can get answers which help us develop the website content.
We instantly knew that Tropical Spice Garden was not marketing itself the way they should be. The main attraction, their tropical garden, did not get enough attention. We carefully sifted through hundreds of photographs of the garden and chose those which highlighted the best of this green paradise.
While tourists/visitors are an important daily revenue earner, we recommended that they focus on bigger revenue earners.
As marketers, we helped uncover two distinct revenue-generating areas.
Tropical Spice Garden is a beautiful location. It could be offered as a venue for hire for couples who wanted to get married in a tropical garden wedding setting and to corporations looking to conduct their corporate teambuilding events in a unique location and unique activities.
Using this strategy, we worked on creating a proper content architecture because the website had to cater to visitors with totally different needs.
A bride looking to plan her garden wedding would be searching differently compared to a tourist in Penang. We re-focused and simplified its content so that any type of visitor would at one glance know where to go for specific information. We wanted website visitors to know that Tropical Spice Garden is more than just a horticultural tour!
Part of this meant restructuring its website content – it had to be easy to find and easy on the eyes, and never confuse the visitor. We advocated the sharing of events and news as part of the content strategy (besides content is much loved by search engines!). This involved setting up a blog so that the Tropical Spice Garden team could share news and exciting events happening in the garden.
Tropical Spice Garden started to see results coming in as soon as they launched their website. They saw an increase of email enquiries from companies interested in their corporate team building packages. Wedding enquiries were also streaming in. On top of that, they received many more walk-in visitors and busloads of school children.
Katharine was ecstatic, saying, “I am averaging 5 wedding enquiries per week and this is not including the other general enquiries we are receiving – I can safely say we have never experienced this amount of web traffic since our web inception in 2005.”
She continued, “Working with Redbox Studio has really been a breath of fresh air. They have been most professional and efficient in all their services rendered.”
She loved it that we were able to explain the intricacies and mechanisms of the world wide web as no other company had done and were never afraid to share our knowledge at all.
“I like that they are a company with expertise and are really committed to developing business websites that show a REAL difference,” says Katharine.
The website continues to be the main marketing tool for this company. Tropical Spice Garden is currently #4 out of the 155 things to do in Penang on TripAdvisor.
See the new Tropical Spice Garden website: www.TropicalSpiceGarden.com
E-commerce Website & Cooking School Website
Since their website redesign in 2007, Tropical Spice Garden experienced such good results that they came back to us in 2014 and asked for another website redesign.
This new website of theirs incorporates a premium e-commerce engine which allows them to sell their spice gifts directly to customers.
Their website redesign this time also included a host of new attractions now available at their garden such as night walks.
We also took their old website content and re-wrote it from a marketing perspective and also an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) perspective. The back-end technology of the website was also completely refreshed so that the website now is leaner and faster in addition to being totally mobile-friendly.
Besides, they took our advice and decided to let the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School have its own website. Initially, the cooking school was nestled within the Tropical Spice Garden website but as its popularity grew, it needed more space for its cooking schedules and bookings.
Hence, Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School is now a stand-alone website. It uses our self-managed website system called Redbox Easyweb which allows their team to easily update and manage this smaller website while growing the cooking school business!
As you can see, our websites grow with our client’s business needs.
When Tropical Spice Garden first started out, they had a website that simply showcased their garden. Through the interviews we had with Katharine, we managed to unearth the fact that their biggest money-maker was the venue for hire and we immediately highlighted this fact on their website. Business earnings grew as a result of this.
A few years later, they came to us again because they wanted to sell their products online. To enable them to do so, we had to re-build their website with an e-commerce engine that helped them automate the e-commerce sales process.
An advanced, automated e-commerce system is a time-saver for small teams because it allows systems to take over manual tasks. (We always believe that whenever possible, you need to use automation.) This made life easier for their team. The team were also taught how to use and manage the system. They immediately got sales on the first day the e-commerce system was launched!
We have the ability to grow with you as your business grows and this is an important aspect that many business owners overlook when they’re looking for web designers. Plus one key reason why our websites work is that ours are designed from the start to be marketing machines (we approach every web design project from a marketer’s point-of-view).
If you’re a business owner looking to grab a slice of the online market, you need a website team that has combined expertise in marketing, website design, web copywriting and online systems. Knowing web design is not enough.
If you own or manage a Small and Medium-sized business but find it hard to get known or get visible online and want to try a smarter way to build your own pipeline of customers, a Redbox Studio premium website is what you need.
Our premium websites are laser-focused, designed beautifully with marketing psychology to help you attract the prospects you need, professionally and ethically online.