Reaching More Families with the New Hoop Website
At the start of April, we lifted the curtain on a new look Hoop website with new features for families looking to find activities for their children, and new opportunities for organisers to promote themselves to families across the U.K.
When we first imagined Hoop we knew that the first thing we wanted to build was an app. Smartphones are now the most popular way to access the Internet, and for a regular problem like finding things to do with the kids an app is a great solution.
However, we also knew that the U.K’s 9 million families are regularly searching for kids activities online, and we wanted to make sure that the families using Google (and other search engines) would be able to find it. And what’s good for families is also good for the organisers who use Hoop for Organisers. All the time you invest to add timetables, make your activities look great, and respond to reviews should have even more benefit for you.
Improving the Hoop website has been high on our to-do list, and we’re so pleased to announce that just last week we re-launched hoop.co.uk, complete with features that will make it easier for families searching in Google, or just visiting the Hoop website, to find your activities. If you’re keen to take a look, head over this way, or if you’d like to learn more about how we made it, what’s coming next and why it’s good for the family activity organisers who use Hoop, read on.
Optimising for Google
The Hoop app and the new website share many similarities - they’re all about showcasing amazing family activities - but there are some important differences that are worth understanding.
Key to all of them is that how families discover activities on the website can be different to the app. In both cases they might decide to visit Hoop directly, either by opening the app or visiting the homepage; they might read one of our emails and open either the app or website from there; but, in the case of the website they might also search in Google, or another search engine, and visit Hoop that way.
Ensuring that your website ranks highly in search engine results is a complex and never-ending process. A search engine like Google considers hundreds of factors when deciding what to “rank” in its search results pages and it’s not a list they publicise, but there are some common sense approaches to take:
Technical: things to think about when building a website
Speed: make sure your website is fast, especially for people on mobile phones with slow connections.
Accessibility: ensure it’s easy to use, and remember to consider those with disabilities.
Technical: how marketing can support search engine optimisation
Links: get lots of links into your site from other relevant websites.
Social: create a buzz on social media around your website.
Product: how what your site does helps with SE
Content: have the most relevant content for the things people are searching for.
Features: make advanced features that make your website more useful for the people using it.
These are the principles we have applied when building the new website and we’re confident it will help Hoop rank highly for important search terms like “ballet classes in Islington” or “baby groups in Bristol” and, more importantly, this will give the organisers using Hoop the chance to rank too.
Feel free to contact a member of our team via live chat or at email@example.com to learn more about the new opportunities our website presents for your business.
We’re always working to improve Hoop – the process of building the best platform for families and organisers is a never-ending one! With that in mind, there are more features coming to the website in the not too distant future that we’d like to share with you.
Updating the “Hoop page”. This is your business’s main page, and we’ve learned loads about what makes a great homepage for your business on Hoop and we’re excited to make this even better.
A new version of the “activity page”. That’s the page for an individual activity listing. These are what families send to each other when sharing the activities they find on Hoop.
Bringing the families account over to the web. This means all their booking information will sync between the app and website, and will make the checkout process much faster, as all their payment details will be accessible on the web too.
Hopefully, this has answered some of your questions about the new hoop.co.uk. As always, it's great to hear your feedback - it really does make a difference to the products we build so please do get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to say. We’ll be sure to keep you up-to-date about the improvements we’re making to the website, and how they will benefit your business, as the journey continues.