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Changing website 'look'

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Morticia

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This is a semi-poll...
Has anyone done a site update where you made some significant changes to the site that did NOT increase your visibility on the web? (ie- no SEO changes, just cosmetic stuff) What I'm looking for is a benchmark. My site shows pretty well in my area, but it needed an update. I keep seeing the notices on the side blog where Acorn customers are going nuts answering the phone after having their site 'tweaked'. So, I guess the question is...was it the look of the site that was causing guests to not call or was it that the site was not being found and now suddenly has great SEO? Did they add an availability calendar that wasn't there before? Better photos? Or were they just 'invisible' due to poor SEO?
I guess I'm trying to figure out if it is worth it for me to keep making changes to my website if I've kind of maxed out on visibility for the types of guests who are looking to stay here. Or, should I focus now on going after a different market?
BTW, in spite of that huge, red 'Make a reservation' button, no one is booking online. Everyone is calling now. It could be because there is only one place now where the email is listed, so they're calling instead of emailing. But they're still not booking online.
 

swirt

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Could be any and all above. Keep in mind they are only featuring the dramatic changes. Most are not likely that dramatic. But the reasons for the large changes could be any combination of the options you mention.
 

Sunshine

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Has all this dialog re my website got you thinking?????? You sure have given me a lot of food for thought!
(we need one of these smily face guys eating here....)
 

EmptyNest

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OH YEAH...right..that is A C O R N News blog...I just bet the phones are ringing off the hook :-( Of course they are going to say they are..they just charged them a fortune to do their website. All you have to do is look at their blog and get the same info they are doing and do it yourself..>REALLY...you know how...:)
 

Morticia

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Has all this dialog re my website got you thinking?????? You sure have given me a lot of food for thought!
(we need one of these smily face guys eating here....).
Sunshine said:
Has all this dialog re my website got you thinking?????? You sure have given me a lot of food for thought!
(we need one of these smily face guys eating here....)
I redid my website last week. So, I'm wondering if what I do cosmetically is making a difference or if I need to start focusing my efforts elsewhere.
But, yes, was also thinking about you and what you might need...better SEO, a more stream-lined site, bigger pix, whatever. Wanting others who made changes to chime in so we all can see what makes a difference! (And what doesn't.)
 

Morticia

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OH YEAH...right..that is A C O R N News blog...I just bet the phones are ringing off the hook :-( Of course they are going to say they are..they just charged them a fortune to do their website. All you have to do is look at their blog and get the same info they are doing and do it yourself..>REALLY...you know how...:).
I was hoping they weren't 'fibbing' about how the innkeepers are very happy and they are seeing a big difference. I realize it is partly hype and a way for them to do double duty getting their client some publicity at the same time as themselves.
So, perhaps the innkeepers who aren't seeing a big change don't get the same publicity...
 

JBloggs

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We all have different scenarios. Being destination or not, being in town or in the wilds. Whenever I wish we were in a location where people WENT I realize it is a different B&B than what we have and offer here. We all have to market and make decisions on what WE have. So this is when we can't compare apples and oranges, but perhaps make a small fruit salad using both.
So the more ideas the merrier, we glean what we can, sometimes beat us over the head and we will get it. You know I was one who was against online reservations, "I need to talk to them" and now look at me! That was one major change instituted from the forum feedback. The other was an intro page, which I thought was cool and was messing us up in google, or I will say search engines, google was not even the big dog it is today when we created the website.
It's all fun!
Guests checked in and hugged me. They made it through the funeral procession and highways being blocked, they sat on our highway for 35 minutes. (We never have traffic here fyi).
 

Proud Texan

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I don't know if you guys remember reviewing my updated site a few weeks ago, but whatever I did it really worked!
My changes were cosmetic, navigational and in under-the-hood code management.
My bounce rate now stays between 15-20% compared to 65%+ from the old site. The chart on Google analytics that shows my conversion rate almost mirrors the visitors chart. Basically, everyone that lands on my page checks for room availability. Time on the site has gone from less than a minute to almost 4 minutes per visit.
The result is that our business has doubled. This stuff really works!
 

Copperhead

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A C O R N is just the usual hype all businesses do to state what a great job they do. And for those that had a horrible website, no SEO or no website at all, that could make all the difference in the world - and for them the phone could be ringing off the hook - or at least a
of a lot more than before!
What you have done to your site has made it more pleasent to the eye.... eye candy I think it has been called here. Some tweeting to a site is a good thing to just give it life, like buying a new dress for a party, after finding out that all the other girls have new dresses.
Regarding the 'why people are calling?" I just looked at your site again and went to the booking page where it goes back to your old layout. That could be one reason. - Of course repeat guests will know it is the same, but for those new to the site, it may steer them to call. - Well that is my 2 cents!
 

Morticia

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A C O R N is just the usual hype all businesses do to state what a great job they do. And for those that had a horrible website, no SEO or no website at all, that could make all the difference in the world - and for them the phone could be ringing off the hook - or at least a
of a lot more than before!
What you have done to your site has made it more pleasent to the eye.... eye candy I think it has been called here. Some tweeting to a site is a good thing to just give it life, like buying a new dress for a party, after finding out that all the other girls have new dresses.
Regarding the 'why people are calling?" I just looked at your site again and went to the booking page where it goes back to your old layout. That could be one reason. - Of course repeat guests will know it is the same, but for those new to the site, it may steer them to call. - Well that is my 2 cents!.
I have to have that changed but I don't have a single header like I used to so I have to pick something that looks similar.
Most of these people never get to that page, tho, they are calling to ask if anything is open. Again, I have to start asking where they got the phone number from.
 

wendydk

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I don't know if you guys remember reviewing my updated site a few weeks ago, but whatever I did it really worked!
My changes were cosmetic, navigational and in under-the-hood code management.
My bounce rate now stays between 15-20% compared to 65%+ from the old site. The chart on Google analytics that shows my conversion rate almost mirrors the visitors chart. Basically, everyone that lands on my page checks for room availability. Time on the site has gone from less than a minute to almost 4 minutes per visit.
The result is that our business has doubled. This stuff really works!.
Proud Texan said:
I don't know if you guys remember reviewing my updated site a few weeks ago, but whatever I did it really worked!
My changes were cosmetic, navigational and in under-the-hood code management.
My bounce rate now stays between 15-20% compared to 65%+ from the old site. The chart on Google analytics that shows my conversion rate almost mirrors the visitors chart. Basically, everyone that lands on my page checks for room availability. Time on the site has gone from less than a minute to almost 4 minutes per visit.
The result is that our business has doubled. This stuff really works!
PT, I did the same in June, and my bounce rate has gone way down...just a neater, cleaner site I guess. I can't really put my finger on it.
 

Morticia

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I don't know if you guys remember reviewing my updated site a few weeks ago, but whatever I did it really worked!
My changes were cosmetic, navigational and in under-the-hood code management.
My bounce rate now stays between 15-20% compared to 65%+ from the old site. The chart on Google analytics that shows my conversion rate almost mirrors the visitors chart. Basically, everyone that lands on my page checks for room availability. Time on the site has gone from less than a minute to almost 4 minutes per visit.
The result is that our business has doubled. This stuff really works!.
Proud Texan said:
I don't know if you guys remember reviewing my updated site a few weeks ago, but whatever I did it really worked!
My changes were cosmetic, navigational and in under-the-hood code management.
My bounce rate now stays between 15-20% compared to 65%+ from the old site. The chart on Google analytics that shows my conversion rate almost mirrors the visitors chart. Basically, everyone that lands on my page checks for room availability. Time on the site has gone from less than a minute to almost 4 minutes per visit.
The result is that our business has doubled. This stuff really works!
PT, I did the same in June, and my bounce rate has gone way down...just a neater, cleaner site I guess. I can't really put my finger on it.
.
Excellent for both of you! Yes, PT, a 65% bounce rate definitely meant for some reason guests were not finding what they expected once they got to your site from their search. And now they are finding exactly what they want.
 

gillumhouse

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One of the anniversary couples who was here last week said I got the reservation because I showed up everywhere. He said every time he did a google I showed up so he investigated as to WHERE I was and found i was in the area they wanted so made the reservation. HE was the one that had just name and date on the reservation form that made me ask RezKey how to make it no rez unless all info given (it was fixed the next day BTW) so I was quite relieved when the man called me to confirm. He said his wife booked it online..... Felt good to hear someone say I was everywhere.
 
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