ICND & Ascent Processing have long been partners in the Vacation Rental industry and we’re excited to announce their newest product, ASCENTpay. ASCENTpay powered by Uplift is an essential tool for vacation rental companies that is both beneficial to guests and property managers. It is not required to be a current Ascent Processing client to utilize this product. ICND is fully equipped to implement ASCENTpay on your website today.
#BookDirect Day is Feb 6th and the ICND team has compiled tips to educate your guests. The #BookDirect movement is primarily focused on guest education. OTAs have the brand recognition and marketing bandwidth to get in front of YOUR guests, but what makes booking directly with your company better? Here are a few highlights to market for #BookDirect.
We finally did it, we’ve finally started our very own podcast! If you’re not very familiar with podcasts, it’s basically like talk radio, only a little funnier. On our podcast, Vacation Rental Ninjas, we talk about everything related to the vacation rental industry including marketing strategy, SEO, social media, website development, and so much more. Our topics are relevant and relatable, and we’re pretty funny to listen to as well.
We at InterCoastal Net Designs have been helping our clients in making their websites ADA compliant. We have been asked recently why a website must be ADA compliant, so we thought we would share some of the information with you and how it helps your company out.
What Does ADA Stand For?
The ADA is the American with Disabilities Act and it requires that businesses and nonprofit service providers make accessibility accommodations to the disabled public. This means that they have to provide the same service to the disabled as they would for the non-disabled which includes their websites.
What Could Happen If We Don’t Make our Site ADA Compliant?
If your site is not ADA Compliant there are a few things that could happen. The first thing that could happen to your business is you could lose a client or a booking. We don’t want this to happen because the disabled person may go to another site that is ADA compliant. Another thing that we could see in the future is where Google and other search engines would only rank websites that are compliant. We know that they have recently moved in the direction to “force” businesses to make their sites mobile friendly or they will lose the rankings altogether. This could be the future with having your website ADA compliant and if it’s not then you lose your rankings. We don’t want this to happen to your business which is why we can help make your website ADA compliant.
How Do We Make Your Website ADA Compliant?
There are many suggestions on the ADA Website, but we know that there are many other considerations as well. We will take the precautions in checking your site to see if it’s compliant and if it is not, then we will make it compliant. There are several things that have to be addressed in making it compliant, but we will cover a few of the items for you.
Your website will have information and user interface components that must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This ensures that the content on your site is available to view in multiple forms that will be easy to see or hear regardless of the disability. We will make sure to place an alt text tag on an image.
Now let’s learn a bit more about our new clients, Uptown Apartments. Uptown Apartments’ site harnesses the power of CiiRUS software and our booking engine while utilizing WordPress to manage all content and contacts. The homepage features a seamlessly integrated quick search component linking to all available properties. Custom features include:
With so many different issues highlighted by just one of the many site audit tools out there, getting your website optimized can seem like a daunting task. To help you better understand how to optimize your site and not waste time blindly following a third-party audit tool, we created a list of Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing.
Digital Marketing Don’ts:
Your Google My Business posts will now be featured in local search results- if you have any.
As more and more users are choosing to use their phones for basic browsing instead of a traditional computer, mobile SERPs (search engine result pages) are more important than ever. That’s why so many successful businesses hire a digital marketing company that understands Google’s ever-changing ranking algorithm.
Google My Business allows business owners to determine how, or if, their business is displayed in Google Maps, Knowledge Graphs and Organic Search. There’s also an option for business owners to create posts and share information about their business.
The four main types of posts are:
- What’s new posts A post regarding general information about your company that can include a photo/video link and a CTA button.
- Event posts – These posts require a title as well as a start/end date and time. These posts can also include a photo/video, CTA button, and other information.
- Offer posts – Allow business owners to share deals or promotions offered by their business. These posts automatically have a “view offer” CTA button added to them, but may also include a photo/video, terms and conditions, coupon codes, links and more.
- Product posts – Share details about a specific product offered by your business. These posts must include a title and photo/video, but can also include a CTA button and other information.
=&1=& Posts can be up to 1,500 characters, but Google says that the ideal length is 150-300 characters. So keep it simple!
For more information about Google My Business Posts, check out the official Google guide.
It’s important to note that the Post tab only displays on mobile searches at the time of writing this post. Here is the desktop result for the same search as above:
Will creating Posts help me rank better?
It’s tough to know for sure. According to a Search Engine Land case study from 2017, Google My Business Posts are “low-impact, low-effort tasks” that are best utilized when combined “with other tasks to help improve Local SEO for a small business.”
The same study showed that Google My Business Posts had a “mild” impact on rankings. Now that Google is putting more attention on Posts, they could play a larger role in the future.
On Conference Travel:
Q: What’s your favorite part about gearing up for conference travel?
AB: It is an exciting time of the year when conference season approaches. The energy in the office goes up as we work on new campaigns, swag and new products to showcase.
AB: During a conference it is great to explore a new town and get to see the local sites, but in the end it is the opportunity to see current clients and meet new friends. There is a core group of vendors that travel to these events and become your second family while you are on the road. They are there to help in times of need and for a good laugh. We also have our usual attendees that come to each event. Some of them may be your client, but some become friends that you get to see and catch up with each year.
Q: Tell us a bit about ICND’s conference theme for Fall travel.
AB: Each season we love to come up with new theme and play off them for our swag and booth. We have many VRM’s looking forward to our t-shirts every year and this year will not disappoint. I think that might be all I can really say…but have you ever seen Better Call Saul(s)??
What Can You Expect from Utilizing Key Data?
Key Data Dashboard’s software provides three integral ways to plug into your metrics – performance, benchmark & pacing.
The algorithm studies the satisfaction of users who land on your website, and promotes sites with higher favorable outcomes for an end user. The actual design and functionality of your website has always mattered, but this information proves that it also boosts your search engine rankings.
So, all in all, an easy-to-use website that is rewarding to the user carry’s ranking weight more than ever!
How Can Your Website Satisfy Users?
First thing’s first, organic click-through-rates are crucial. The first step to analyzing whether traffic is pleased with a website can be based on whether or not the website is clicked often for key search terms. Simply put – high volume of clicks = strong website. A low volume of organic clicks signifies that your website didn’t satisfy the search term entered.
The second portion of RankBrain is the more revelatory piece – the RankBrain algorithm places a high focus on overall user experience. A user leaves your site in less than 3 seconds? Google RankBrain signifies this as an unsatisfactory experience. The content on your website didn’t keep users engaged. Not a good sign. Bounce rate, dwell time and pogo-sticking are key factors that RankBrain analyzes. Bounce rate & dwell time are commonly used terms. However, pogo-sticking is used to describe the process where a user clicks the #1 ranked site and backs out, clicks the #2 ranked site and backs out, finally lands on site #3 and spends time browsing. RankBrain would detect that site #3 provided the visitor with information they liked or needed (and subsequently, may move it up in the rankings.)
On the flip side – if bounce rate, dwell time and pogo-sticking is low (or less prevalent) on your website, Google recognizes that the user had a pleasant experience and ranks your website higher. These measurements are known as user experience (UX) factors.
What Does This Mean for My Website?
Every portion of your website’s development matters. Ranking doesn’t begin and end with blogging, linking and keywords. Your website needs to include the following (to name a few!):