InterCoastal Net Designs

InterCoastal Net Designs Blog


VRMA 2014 Annual Conference

vrma2014-icnd-booth

The InterCoastal Net Designs team is excited to be traveling to San Diego, CA for the Vacation Rental Managers Association Conference (VRMA) October 26th – 29th.

For the 4th conference in a row, the ICND team was selected to speak on marketing and web design for this industry.  We are proud to have this opportunity once again and to present two great sessions at VRMA 2014:

“Elements Of A Perfect Vacation Rental Website”
Monday, Oct. 27  |  11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

“Your Complete 2015 Online Marketing Strategy Guide”
Wednesday, Oct. 29th  |  10:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

If you’ll miss the conference, we will have the presentations and handouts available for download after each presentation here.

 

We’ve also put together a few creative campaigns for this years show!  Take a look how and where you’ll be seeing ICND around the VRMA conference this year.

#1) We’ve sponsored the Tuesday night party.  You’ll see our logo in lights and we’ll be there having a great time!  Will we see you there?

#2) Drinks are on us for our “Beers & Idears”.  We want to learn about struggles in your business and provide free – no committment ideas and action plans to help.  Let us by you a beer or two and chat about different ideas.  See details here.
beers&idearsTshirt

#3) We came up with the idea of creating a “Twitter Wall” in the main lobby area.  We’re providing all of the equipment and setting up this “Twitter & Instagram Wall” that will filter in different tweets and photos using #VRMA2014.

twitterwallpostcard#4) We have a little surprise that you will most certainly see at some point during the conference.  You’ll have to come share with us what you think but we’re making a statement that ICND’s service is #1 – NOT …#2.

#5) We have an even BIGGER surprise to announce at #VRMA2014!  But you’ll have to wait until the event…

#6) A brand new innovative booking engine will be revealed – let us show you how to increase your online conversion rate – you will DEFINITELY want to see this!

Don’t forget to visit us at Booth 224!

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How a New Website Can Help Your Traffic

Industry standards tell businesses that they should redesign their website every 2-3 years, and this is something InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) highly recommends to our customer base. Modern design and programming tactics change so quickly, a website can easily become dated with in a few years. Not only may you be missing out on new technology by keeping the same site for 4 or more years, you might be missing out on traffic as well!

We have done a case study of a vacation rental client of ours. Sample client launched their first website with ICND in early 2010. The website was clean, modern for the time, and we even developed a mobile site where their guests could book online (which was relatively new technology in 2010). In 2013, we decided it was time for an upgrade. While a mobile site is great, a responsive website is even better. Instead of having 2 sites, you now have one which responds to the viewer’s device. It’s easier for updates, and Google also prefers it.  Computer screens are now wider than they were in 2010, so we designed the new site to be wider as well. We also assured that there was a prominent quick search box above the top fold. After all, the main goal of a vacation rental website is to get your viewers to search for a vacation rental, and ultimately book.

In the beginning of 2014, we started to see a hit in online traffic. This client had been on a steady marketing plan for years and there had been no major change in marketing strategy. We pushed to get the new website live, hoping that we would see a turn around in traffic and revenue upon launch. The new website went live in May of 2014. After 3 short months, we have seen some great increases! Now they are well above their numbers for 2013!

The image below shows their organic traffic for March 1 2014- August 13 2014 and March 1 2013- August 13 2013. The orange line shows 2013 traffic, the blue one shows 2014 traffic. You will notice that prior to the website launching, they were gaining less traffic this year than they had last. As soon as the website launched, 2014 traffic began to show as more than 2013.
Case_Study

 

 

 

 

Your website is the face of your company, so it is important to keep it up to date. Not only will it impress your viewers and potential customers, it will also impress the search engines, leading them to view you as the leader in your industry!

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Barefoot Technologies Logo Redesign

InterCoastal Net Designs and Barefoot Technologies have been partnering together to help mutual vacation rental clients for many years.  We are both members are the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA) and enjoy working together on projects. Barefoot provides a user friendly Property Management system for vacation rental companies, and ICND uses the API to integrate with a custom designed website for seamless user experience.

Recently Barefoot approached ICND with a project; redesigning their logo and creating a newsletter template for them to utilize in their email marketing campaign. We’re excited to announce their new logo choice below!

Barefoot_logo
ICND’s design team worked with the Barefoot team to capture a more modern look and feel, while sticking to the base of Barefoot Brand.  Now that the logo has been completed, we hope to have a newsletter design soon! We’re excited to work with a member of the VRMA community not only on mutual client projects, but on their internal efforts as well.

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Local SEO Tips: Updates & Changes Afoot

Recently, Google has taken to updating the local search algorithm to include new changes to their search results. A recent speaking engagement with the Brunswick County Chamber left us scratching our heads! After only a few weeks, a presentation that I’d prepared about local SEO had to be regenerated with brand new screenshots, updated changes and more. It goes to show you that search engine updates are always around the corner and you never know which elements are going to change.

Recently, I gave the local SEO presentation again at the Myrtle Beach Chamber on local search engine optimization. In a competitive market like Myrtle Beach, local SEO is really important. Hotels and resorts like Sandy Beach Resort and other in the Myrtle Beach area rely on local search. I’m happy to report that I’ve updated the slides to include certain elements of the Pigeon update and how it may affect your local search.

Check out the full presentation below and let me know if you have any questions about the local search algorithm and how the updates may have changed your organic traffic.

 

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ICND to Redesign Mount Pleasant Sewer and Waterworks Website

mtpww

InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) has been partnering with Mount Pleasant Sewer and Waterworks for their website development and hosting needs for many years. We first began working with them in late 2008 and have a great partnership with them to this day. We are excited to announce that we will be working on redesigning a website for them this fall. The new website will be responsive, clean, and easy to navigate. Some of the features of the new website will include;

  • Online employment panel where job openings will be listed and applicants can apply via the website, as well as receive updates on the status of the opening.
  • Integration with their internal system which will show current projects information and status.
  • The ability to sign up for push notifications so viewers can receive email alerts when a new article is posted to the blog

ICND headquarters is currently located about 2.5 hours north of Charleston, but our roots are in Charleston. Company president Brandon Sauls first opened doors in 1999 while living in Mount Pleasant. Company headquarters was moved to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina in the early 2000’s, but we still have a local Charleston rep and are active members of the Chamber of Commerce. ICND has clients all across the nation, but a large percentage of them are right in the Charleston area. We are excited to continue to grow our portfolio with great clients like Mount Pleasant Sewer and Waterworks. Stay tuned for the completed project!

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Myrtle Beach Chamber Academy Sessions August 2014

*Just Updated: Our first session for August 6th is sold out! Hurry, register today for the others in the series!*

Mark your calendars. ICND is proud to announce that we have been chosen to present at the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce – Chamber Academy for many sessions this August. We’ll be teaching attendees about Social Media, Online Marketing Strategy, Facebook Advertising, PPC Advertising, and Elements that make up the perfect website. If you are looking to improve your website or online marketing, join us for this free session. They are all 11:30-1:30. Lunch will be provided by, the nearly famous, Dagwood Deli for only $8. Register now here!

chamber

 

ICND is excited to give back to the community by providing marketing workshops that will help educate managers and marketers about web development and all facets of online marketing. If you are looking for some exciting workshops to get you up to speed on the latest and greatest trends, please make sure you don’t miss our series.

Leverage Social Media Like a Pro & Local Search Engine Optimization

Aug. 6 ~ 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
MBACC Boardroom
Free. Lunch $8. SESSION FULL

Your Complete 2015 Online Marketing Strategy

Aug. 13 ~ 12-1 p.m.
MBACC Boardroom
Free. Lunch $8. Register Now

$1 Facebook Advertising Trick &
Pay Per Click Profitability

 

Aug. 20 ~ 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
MBACC Boardroom
Free. Lunch $8. Register Now

Elements of a Perfect Website

Aug. 27 ~ 12-1 p.m.
MBACC Boardroom
Free. Lunch $8. Register Now

Register for free on the chamber website. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Welcome April Burns to the ICND Crew

It’s my great pleasure to welcome a new team member and account executive to the ICND Crew and her name is April Burns. April came to ICND with over 20 years of experience in the tourism/hospitality industry as the Vice President of Operations at the American Hospitality Academy. She worked with hotels and resorts across the nation.

april-1

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Brunswick County Commercial Real Estate Company Launches New Website

InterCoastal Net Designs has been partnering with Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty for many years for website development, MLS Integration and Internet Marketing. We also work with their vacation rental branch, Sloane Vacations, for their Booking Engine Integration and internet marketing. We have recently launched a third site for their commercial real estate division.
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Find A Proven Solution When Choosing Your Next Property Management Software

computer-research-booking-engine

Things To Consider When Choosing A PMS

Choosing a property management software is an important choice for any vacation rental company. The property management software is the “engine” for your booking process. Choosing the right engine is critical to the success of your rental company, and like car engines, they are expensive and difficult to swap and move around. If you are reading this and planning a switch, you’ll want to choose the right property management software. “Right” is a relative term; you’ll want to consider the number of properties, your website needs, features and cost as part of this choice. The best choice for you may not be perfect for another vacation rental company.

Up first, you’ll want to consider the cost of your booking engine.

Cost (pay per unit, pay per user)

When deciding to pick between the choices of booking engines, you’ll obviously have to look at the cost of your options. Many booking engines charge per user or also it’s very common to charge per unit that you’re renting out. Another pricing structure may take a percentage of every booking plus a setup fee. These will all vary depending on the options you’re looking at. It’s easy to do simple math for each option and find how much cost you’ll incur with each booking engine; so as you’re researching the various options, you’ll want to carefully note these costs and save them for review. What is cost effective for someone with 100 rental units may not be for you if you have 25. The fees can be a major choice when choosing a booking engine but don’t make your decision based on cost alone.
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ICND Partners with FLY ILM for a New Website

InterCoastal Net Designs (ICND) is excited to announce that we are in the development stage of a new custom designed, responsive website for the Wilmington International Airport. We had our kick off meeting at the airport in May of this year, and are hoping to have this project completed by early fall. Features of this new website include;

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