Where the heck are you!?

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I wonder how many businesses are on the world wide web and don't provide a simple map to view at a glance, so people like me, who see an article online on the WWW and click know where it is? Without having to search...and get frustrated and finally just close the window.

 

Here is the article, I was interested... SHARING THE LOVE FOR SPERRYVILLE

Oh a neat B&B that is not ordinary, he states...Hopkins Ordinary

I continue on...I am interested! I am actually aware of B&B's in our state, more than those who are not in our state, or are not in our industry. So there is the disclaimer. I have, in other words, a leg up on knowing where this B&B is located. I should have, anyway...

I have to search, oh it is there, I CAN FIND IT EVENTUALLY, but why bother, if they make me HUNT to find their location. Above the fold is the important web-space, below the fold is not...

I go to the OWNER page, and see animal photos. I wonder which one is Sherry and which one is Kevin?

       Yes, this is how it is. I wonder how many more guests they COULD HAVE if they followed some basic internet protocol or shall we say etiquette?

But they say "Our guests find us all the time..." unless you are 100% full, then there is always room for improvement. Start by simply Sharing where the heck you are! Otherwise don't market yourselves online, keep the secret a secret.

Off soapbox now. If the owners of this far from ordinary ordinary wish to visit this forum and discuss, let's do it!

 

 

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Madeleine's picture
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Speaking of websites... 5 of our guests here today told dh how much they liked our site and how easy it was to find plenty to do.

Especially liked the small section on the home page devoted to what's happening during the month.

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One B&B I am pursuing for an upcoming trip next year has done this so well.  Heather has been marketing this place like crazy online, and it looks amazing.

Take a look at this page to see how easy it is for me to plan a visit, knowing where they are and what is nearby (scroll down):

http://www.craigendbandb.co.uk/things-to-do/

Arks's picture
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I found a great site where you can

  • Create an interactive Google map to your property to embed in your website.
  • Define the text that will display on the marker for your property.
  • Specify the zoom level of your map.
  • Specify the size of your map.
  • ...and a few other things

Easy and free. 

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You don't need a site to do that...Use Google Maps.

It also is usually  a plug in or a built in WP theme widget. The new Striking Multi-Flex has all of that built in ..as  I must say..most good WP themes

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To have it shared from further out, ie a regional view like I pasted below, vs close up street or in town, ZOOM OUT "-" prior to doing all the steps below. 

Arks's picture
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I have a small embedded, interactive Google Maps "app" in the sidebar of my homepage. It starts zoomed in on the location, but you can click [-] a few times and zoom out to see where in the state/country/world we are.

I just can't remember where I got this embedded map code. Maybe it used to be available through Google Maps, but with the new Maps I can't figure out how to get it again, or anything else! I HATE the new Google Maps!

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/

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I have a directions page and 3 different maps on 2 different pages. Homepage header tells where we are.

If people can't figure out where we are, they have a BIG PROBLEM!

I still laugh when people ask "how do people find you?"  (meaning our rural location, not in a town)  Uhhh, the same way you did!!

gillumhouse's picture
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I just checked mine as I really was not certain. I have a Goo gle map as the header showing the Interstate and my little marker to be zoomed in on. I also have directions to the house from each direction and at the bottom of my Directions page I list time/miles (per Goo gle) from the major cities I hope to draw from.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I always thought people found us because they already decided to come to our town.   hmmmm.   Thinking.

No.  Our map is only how to get to the house from the highway.  No overview.

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Madeleine's picture
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JB's idea is a good one. Someone may find you because of a search you never planned on and not have a clue even what state beach house is in.

I get a fair number of calls from people looking for snowmobile rentals because I blogged about a place hours from here where they do that.

OnTheShore's picture
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We have a zoomable google map on our Directions & Maps page. It is set up with the default zoom to be close in on our region, so people can see where we are located in our town/area, but anyone can easily zoom out to see where we are in our state, and where our state is in our country or on the continent.

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Here is the test.

If I clicked on the B&B's here on this forum, would I easily find a map or overview, in other words of where you are located? Country and state and general vicinity?

What about your blog?

There was an innkeeper blogging in NZ. No location info, I even asked DH who was born in NZ and whose parents live there! He has no idea.

I mentioned this to the innkeeper, I said, "Perhaps something simple as '2 hours drive from Wellington' would do the trick" ?

Madeleine's picture
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If you are willing to go to a page titled 'directions' I think I have a lot covered there. But I need to add a visual.

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Madeleine wrote:

If you are willing to go to a page titled 'directions' I think I have a lot covered there. But I need to add a visual.

Yes willing to go to DIRECTIONS or LOCATION or WHERE ARE WE page!  100%. Easy peasy.

Arks's picture
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First impressions are so important. I leave lots of websites when the first thing I see doesn't appeal to me. The stuff at the top of the homepage is definitely the most important real estate on a website. 

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Arks wrote:

First impressions are so important. I leave lots of websites when the first thing I see doesn't appeal to me. The stuff at the top of the homepage is definitely the most important real estate on a website. 

and if they SHOVE GIANT FOOD IMAGES in your face? I think innkeepers have gone a little too zealous on this. They may need to refine their headers a wee bit.

I agree with the header space being paramount. I am not saying it should be the call to action site, at all. 

But overall, back to the topic and why I started this thread, give me a map! Not everyone plans their vacations or getaways the same way. I am one who will see an inn or person online who is sharing amazing things to see in their area and will consider going there. I am NOT one who picks a location then searches for a place to stay, all the time, maybe 50% of the time.

white pine's picture
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We say where we are right up front, and also have a map...but you have given me the idea....City, State hot link to map...Cool! 

Thanks

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Joey Camb's picture
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I want to re-do my home page but am waiting till my new canopy for the front comes because I will have to re-do then anyway. Currently I am old canopy down - new canopy in 2 weeks so I can't really take any pictures without them looking super odd!

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I think they have had that since they started .Many of the new sites have in your face graphics which take up the entire screen. Above the fold really doesn't account for much these days. I will agree with dumitru on this onewink

dumitru's picture
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Yay, victory is mine!

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OnTheShore's picture
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I think most of our businesses are very location specific  -- it matters where we are, that's why people are coming to stay with us: because of where we are. As they say in real estate: location, location, location!  Location provides context for everything else.

Thus I think indicating where you are is critically important and should be right there with your name and logo.

That said, many people probably found us with a location-based search, e.g. "B&B in Jonesville," or some-such, so presumably they might already be aware of our location -- but it can only help to give them some re-assurance as to just where we are, so that they know we are where they want to go!

(Also, giving prominence to your location should help with seo for location based searches, shouldn't it?).

 

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Harborfields wrote:

I think most of our businesses are very location specific  -- it matters where we are, that's why people are coming to stay with us: because of where we are. As they say in real estate: location, location, location!  Location provides context for everything else.

Thus I think indicating where you are is critically important and should be right there with your name and logo.

That said, many people probably found us with a location-based search, e.g. "B&B in Jonesville," or some-such, so presumably they might already be aware of our location -- but it can only help to give them some re-assurance as to just where we are, so that they know we are where they want to go!

(Also, giving prominence to your location should help with seo for location based searches, shouldn't it?).

I agree.

But most of us being online these days, we browse, without actually searching, a photo of a sunset you took Harborfields grabs me and I put you on my list. Just like tearing out the travel section in a magazine, to perhaps one day visit. 

Or our Scottish cohorts, keep sharing that giant horse!  (The Kelpies)  Look at this map that I found immediately on this B&B website:

on the homepage of this B&B that I admire.

This inn is on my list, I will visit, I tell people about it, they do an amazing job at marketing their area, and what is near them for day trips.

 

Madeleine's picture
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You have one of those maps, too. How do you do that with the concentric circles?

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 i agree with JB

i am, for one, one of the few i suppose, who DOES NOT have a smart phone. in my small circle there are many of us who do not have smart phones. i have an old fashioned cell phone.  i also use the old fashioned internet.  and a tablet, lots of sites do not appear well on my tablet. surely those with websites can accommodate us by following JB's guidelines?

 

gillumhouse's picture
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On FB, I have started putting the location of the B & Bs I share if they just have their name. I want MY peeps to trust me and let them know WHERE it is if it interests them.

dumitru's picture
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Above the fold is the important web-space, below the fold is not...

I don't think I can agree with you. This is an outdated concept, and became quite irrelevant with the rising numbers of smartphone users.
Somehow Internet users found out about scrolling, something that is used everywhere: websites, apps, phones, anything.

As long as the map or contact information is CLEARLY VISIBLE on the page, it doesn't matter much if it is above or below a certain height. 

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/why-the-fold-is-a-myth/

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dumitru wrote:

Above the fold is the important web-space, below the fold is not...

I don't think I can agree with you. This is an outdated concept, and became quite irrelevant with the rising numbers of smartphone users.
Somehow Internet users found out about scrolling, something that is used everywhere: websites, apps, phones, anything.

As long as the map or contact information is CLEARLY VISIBLE on the page, it doesn't matter much if it is above or below a certain height. 

https://blog.kissmetrics.com/why-the-fold-is-a-myth/

Let me clarify my comment. 

On a page of driving directions, a clickable map at the bottom is not good use of real estate vs a map of WHERE WE ARE at the top.

Above the fold is MOST important web-space.  Just like the home page is most important. Sure we go to the other pages and yes they are important, but not AS important. (I am not saying as in a CALL TO ACTION button, but as in view-able)

People do scroll, of course they do, they have to.

OnTheShore's picture
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Above the fold is important for the hook -- in order for them to scroll, to want to scroll, what they see above the fold has to pique their interest.

I found the article dumitru linked to be compelling though, the fold is a myth, particularly when it comes to the call to action, so long as the reader has been hooked.

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Harborfields wrote:

Above the fold is important for the hook -- in order for them to scroll, to want to scroll, what they see above the fold has to pique their interest.

I found the article dumitru linked to be compelling though, the fold is a myth, particularly when it comes to the call to action, so long as the reader has been hooked.

hook and pique sounds like a good mystery movie. Smiling An innkeeper would be killed in it though.

Madeleine's picture
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I just realized my little clip art of the state with my pin in my town didn't make it onto the new site. A year later...

I like to know where the town is located in a state so I can see how it fits in my plans.

Many, many guests want to argue with me about how we are located much farther north or south than we really are. And how we are too far of a drive from the city (20 minutes) or how they are going to do a day trip from here to the national park (3 hours).

And you've heard my story of the woman who brought her 2 kids here who had no idea where the STATE was in relation to anything else much less where in the state she was. 

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