Star Car Still Succeeding After 20 Years
Star Car Rental had one of first car rental websites in South Africa designed around 1998 which was directly responsible for the large growth the company experienced during the early days of the internet in the country. Fast forward to 2015 to an extremely old site, Google updates, dwindling traffic and revenue, something needed to change. Enter Inversion Marketing!
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Star Car Rental at a glance
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Star Car Rental was founded in 1997 by husband and wife duo, Martin and Denise. As a result of their early entry online, the company grew from 5 cars to a fleet of over 100 in a little under 2 years.
Of course the early success would be tempered once the big boys of car rentals (Avis, Budget, Tempest etc) realised the importance of having a web presence. Coupled with the addition of the big boys, competition for car rental in South Africa increased dramatically, however because of the domain name Star Car Rental used – www.capetowncarhire.co.za – the company largely remained on the front page of Google for some time.
However as the web changed from the static HTML sites to more dynamic and responsive designs to fit in with the changing nature of web browsing, the Star website began to fall quickly behind. Their lack of user experience, and modern branding, ensured many visitors would have left the site at the first sight of it.
Without doubt the owners were aware of the changes online, but the extremely expensive packages most notable web design agencies charge, prevented Star, as with many other small businesses, from updating their site.
The moment of truth for Star occurred around April 2015 when the major Google Algorithm update, aka "Mobilegeddon", severely punished non-responsive (mobile friendly) websites and as a result demoted Star from the front page of Google to the 4th page. This was obviously a major problem for the company!
Because of the demotion Star suddenly saw its web traffic drop to around 1-3 visitors per day with sales falling even more severely. A decision had to be made!
Martin and Denise made the decision to approach Inversion Marketing with the goal of redesigning their website and helping attract traffic to the site again to help boost their revenue.
Although Star had repeat business coming in, it was nearly enough to stave off a decline in revenue that was hard to stop without a major change in their online marketing efforts.
Inversion in Action
We had very little to work with in the beginning as Star had never tracked their website traffic and had zero presence online apart from their extremely outdated website.
Without any data we had to spent some time with Martin and Denise to understand their business in further detail, who their target market was and why they chose to use Star over the numerous other car rental companies in SA.
Armed with this information, we set about building their new website with a lot of search engine optimisation research and implementation to ensure their site would at least be understood by Google and start to climb the rankings as best they could.
We also set about getting their online presence setup on social media and installing the necessary tracking codes such as Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel so we could collect the right data for future marketing efforts.
We then introduced Facebook Advertising as a start to reintroduce the company to the world as well as their past customers.
The most important aspect we felt for Star to attract traffic and increase sales would be through content creation. This strategy was researched in depth and led to the successful creation of informative blogs on their website.
Star Car Rental has since late 2015 achieved more than they ever hoped they would before they started working with us. Now that their business is thriving online, our focus is on further improvements to their marketing efforts by creating more blogs and we are looking at Live Chat integration plus Facebook Retargeting to help improve conversions.