Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Revisit to "Google Places"

Every commercial website contains contact information. For Bed and Breakfasts, our Contact Us pages inevitably have our physical address, and it is very helpful to include a map right on that page so potential customers don't need to leave our site in order to get a feel for where the B&B is located.

With that being said, we can spice up the map and make it even more useful to our customers by registering our business with Google Places. But more importantly, being registered with Google Places means that customers can look up directions to our Bed and Breakfast by simply searching by name, rather that having to type in the entire address. This convenience to customers makes it even easier for them to find favor with our B&B.

Here are some images that will demonstrate the difference in Google Maps when Google Places is and is not in use.

Fig. 1 Not registered with Google Places.

Fig. 2 Registered with Google Places.

You can see how being registered with Google Places can make the map more stimulating visually, and don't forget about the huge increase we gain in customer ease-of-use.

Our past article explains a little more about Google Places, and how you can register your B&B:

Google Places

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Revisit to "To Flash or not to Flash"

Accessibility, effective visual appeal, and efficiency are a few of the principles we implement into every website that we produce for our clients. With Flash elements, you can create eye-catching web pages that have a “wow” effect, complete with moving pictures and changing words that can draw a visitor deeper into your website. A good looking website does matter, and Flash can help trigger an emotional response in your potential customer that can result in higher online bookings.

BUT, there are several risks we take when incorporating Flash elements into a website. One of these is that users must have a plug-in with their internet browser in order to view the Flash element. If a visitor viewing your site doesn’t have this plug-in installed, they will not see your spectacular display, just a rather dull link to install Adobe Flash player. They may not have the patience to install the plug-in, and may choose to leave your website. It’s a bit ironic, but the same thing that draws some visitors deeper into your website may turn others away.

Another thing to remember is that search engines can't see 'into' Flash objects, therefore none of the content inside a Flash element contributes to your SEO efforts.

Take a look at this BnBwebsites article that explains more about what Flash is, how it can help and/or hurt your website traffic, and how to decide whether or not it's right for your site: To Flash or not to Flash

Friday, March 8, 2013

Recently went live: The East Wind Inn

We love the clean, simple, uncluttered design that compliments the charm of this Maine bed and breakfast.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Revisit to "Benefits of Blogging"

After having helped several of our clients set up blogs recently, we thought it would be helpful to remind everyone who hasn't been actively blogging about their B&B, that this is a habit worth picking up.

We have a great article about the benefits of blogging that can explain more about what a blog is, how to blog effectively, and how blogs can benefit all of our businesses:

Here are just a couple of the interesting points discussed in the article:

Search engines crawl and index blogs remarkably faster than websites.
Search engine “crawler bots” have a schedule for how often they crawl pages to index your site. Using webmaster tools for some of the bigger search engines, you can alert the crawlers how often to scour your page. Many blogging sites quickly and automatically “ping” search engines to let them know “Hey, you should crawl my blog constantly because it is updated frequently.” Blog posts can be indexed as quickly as 30 seconds from when you hit the publish button. Most stagnant websites don’t get crawled very often (it can be months between crawls). While you can tell search engines to crawl your website more frequently, if you’re not walking the talk by updating your website often like you should, search engines may deem your site unworthy of more frequent crawls.

Rich content gets around.
Good information tends to be passed on and on and on. When someone sees your blog and posts it on their website, blog, or social media page, this creates an inbound link to your blog. If your blog links to your website, this can drive traffic to your site (it is wise to create an outbound link from your blog to your website). This process can repeat over and over again. This helps in two ways: 1) Exposure leads to more exposure and 2) Having more page views on your blog as well as inbound links tells search engines you might be an authority in your particular industry. When you’re considered an authority, more people will link to you, generating you even more exposure. 

If you need help getting your blog started, we have step-by-step instructions that will have you blogging in no time: