Monday, July 6, 2015

The importance of keeping your Hours of Operation up to date

We tried to go eat lunch at a local restaurant on the 4th of July - there was no mention online of having special holiday hours, so we assumed they were still open. Unfortunately, we were forced to take our business elsewhere because we showed up and the restaurant was closed. Make sure that you keep your operating hours updated online so that you don't disappoint potential customers! 

This is becoming more and more important now that mobile search quantity has surpassed desktop search - so many more users are looking for your contact info and hours on their smartphones, so you need to make sure that your information is up to date and easily accessible.

Google has released a tool that will allow you to check your Google My Business (Google Places) listing to see whether or not your business information is accurate. Go to and type in your business name and city. You will then be able to see the information that Google has listed for you, and will give you the opportunity to fix any erroneous details.

Google reports that 25% of businesses change their hours for the summer*, which was the basis for them introducing this special tool. Because many businesses in the lodging industry have seasonal hours, this is extremely important! We encourage all business owners to visit and make sure that your potential customers don't have the same disappointing experience that we did.

* Written by Google and conducted using Google Consumer Surveys, June 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New incentives for Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design is now essential for any business, but especially for us in the lodging industry. Users want to see prices, locations, availability, amenities, reviews, and compare multiple options before booking. When users are bouncing from source to source, it’s important to have a specific brand identity and maintain consistency across all platforms so that your business is easily recognizable in all contexts.

During the 2015 AdWords livestream, Google reported that 9 out of 10 smartphone users start their research on one device but ultimately purchase on another. Responsive Web Design allows you to deliver seamless transitions between devices and provide brand familiarity, which will increase your likelihood of gaining conversions.

BnBwebsites builds beautiful and efficient Responsive websites for bed and breakfasts, hotels, cabins, inns, vacation rentals, really any lodging option. Visit to browse our design portfolio and check our pricing options.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Post Mobilegeddon Aftermath

April 21st has come and gone, but really how significant were the changes ?

It has been reported by Moz that over the last 2 weeks, the number of Mobile-friendly tagged websites on page 1 of search results has increased from 66.3% to 70.1%. Although, there are two possible explanations for this trend:

  1. Google's Mobile-friendly update has been slowly rolling out over a couple weeks
  2. Universally, webmasters have been preparing their sites for the April 21st deadline
Google previously stated that the algorithm changes could take days or weeks to fully manifest themselves, so it's not a surprise that we didn't see drastic changes after just one day. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another advantage to being in the Google Local Pack / Map Pack

Tomorrow, April 21st, will be a big day for anyone concerned with their website's Google rankings. The Mobile-friendly update is rolling out, and that will mean significant penalties for websites that are not optimized for use on mobile devices.

If your website is still not Mobile-friendly (you should fix that), you are not beyond hope. Gary Illyes of Google confirmed that the Google Map Pack will not be affected by the new Mobile-friendly algorithm update.

Here's a rough diagram that will show you exactly what the Google Map Pack is:

diagram marking different sections of a typical Google SERP

You'll notice that all listings in the Map Pack have a couple things in common:

  1. They are listed in Google My Business (formerly Google Places)
  2. They have at least one Google review
Aside from gaining a little protection from tomorrow's Mobile-friendly algorithm update, there are some other distinct advantages to being listed in the Google Map Pack, but we will talk about that another time.

Right now you should be focusing on making sure your website is mobile-friendly, and making sure that your business is integrated with Google's different business functions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Can horizontal websites work for the lodging industry ?

The novelty of a horizontal scrolling website can make your brand more memorable and share-able online, but is it practical for all industries ?

Web Design Ledger compiled a list of 25 beautiful and creative horizontal websites here:

There's no doubt that these websites grab your attention and make you want to explore every nook and cranny. This is great from the standpoint of engaging your visitors, but you'll notice that many of these websites are purely informational. Very few of these websites feature traditional e-commerce shopping carts or booking engines. 

But what do you think ? Is it because users are so accustomed to a particular format when making purchases online, that they will be uncomfortable using a new scheme ? Do you see horizontal website compositions becoming popular for the lodging industry ?