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Press release, courtesy of Moore & Smalley and Freshfield PR:
When Mark and Lucy Fuller became frustrated with the lack of a suitable system for managing bookings at their South Lakes Hotel, the entrepreneurial couple decided to create their own.
The booking system they designed, in partnership with a web development agency BF Internet, has been so successful at maximising sales and improving efficiency, they have decided to launch a new venture offering the software to other hotels and accommodation providers.
Direct Room Sales has been designed specifically to help smaller independent hotels offer online sales, manage room allocation, and take electronic payments, all within their existing website.
Mark, who owns The Sun Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale with wife Lucy, said: “For smaller hotels, such as those with fewer than 20 bedrooms, there was nothing out there in terms of software that enabled them to manage online reservations in the efficient way that larger hotels do.
“We wanted a system that allowed us not just to sell our rooms online, but to sequence those room sales in a logical order, offer packages and extras, and do things like automatically change room pricing structures for weekends or certain times of the year. A key feature for us was the link into our EPOS to automatically charge the guest room account.”
2013 sees an overhaul of our hosting packages, which we’ve recently updated onto our website. After listening to feedback from our customers the new range includes a wider choice of upgraded and premium shared hosting packages, offering increased server resource, uptime and support for businesses who rely on their website as a key source of income.
When putting together a hosting package, it is the physical rack space that makes up the bulk of the cost, rather than the hardware itself. By upgrading our hardware specifications to allow servers to be shared between 5-10 websites, we’re able to offer this new range of competitive commercial packages. Sharing the rack space means enterprise features are available at the fraction of the cost of a dedicated machine, whilst offering comparable performance & uptime levels.
Google Shopping was a service that was originally started back in 2004 and has evolved over the years. Google recently announced that they were planning to begin changing their Google Shopping channel from a free service to a paid one. This is something that has already taken place in the US last year and will be rolled out in the UK throughout 2013.
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Content Experiments are a great way to analyse the design, layout and content of your site with the aim of improving each individual aspect of it. The purpose of these experiments is to enhance your site to give the best performance in respect of Conversions (the number of successfully completed goals for a given number of visitors).
Google’s Content Experiment tools are free, and seamlessly link to Google Analytics to make it easy to analyse the statistics produced. Each experiment is designed to help your site meet its goals – whether that it for customer to make a purchase, signup for a newsletter or to view a particular page.
Content Experiments let you target one page at a time, so that you can focus on the most important pages involved in reaching your website’s goals. By concentrating on the individual elements of these pages, you can trial different variations and measure how each one performs compared to the original.
For example, the screen shots above show the Direct Room Sales homepage and variants to be tested. This page is the first area a visitor will see, so the content displayed here is extremely important. Google Content experiments could be used on this site to display different content to different segments of its visitors, while measuring each variants’ success.
Having read our article about selecting a mobile presence for your business, the next step is to consider your overall mobile strategy. The strategy and presence you choose for mobile go hand-in-hand, they are decisions made on a case by case basis and determined by considering your users, the type of content you present online and your business sector.
The primary consideration for any web project should be the users, since they are usually your customers. When considering users and your mobile strategy you should seek to answer the following questions:
Some of these questions can be answered by looking at your website statistics (Google Analytics for example), some from placing yourself in your users shoes. Further insight may be gained by gathering information from users via a simple questionnaire.
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