August 2015 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate My Own Chef for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Increase TripAdvisor Ranking

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest review site, and boasts over 200 million reviews that have been generated from the 260 million unique monthly visitors to TripAdvisor branded sites. Increasing your company’s visibility on TripAdvisor represents a significant opportunity to encourage a large number of Web surfers to use your service. The highest-ranked offerings on this site are featured much more prominently – they appear higher in search results, location listings, and, for the lucky few at the top, are even included in their destination’s main portal page. This means that in addition to being viewed as “better” than your lower ranked competition, far more people view your offering and are aware of your services. The combination means that companies enjoy significantly higher bookings as they improve their TripAdvisor ranking.

The exact formula that TripAdvisor uses for its Popularity Index ranking algorithm is closely guarded by the company. However, there are three main components that the site has confirmed influence the weekly rankings:

  • The quantity of reviews. The absolute number of reviews affect rank regardless of the quality or recency of these reviews.

  • The quality of reviews. A higher average rating has a positive effect on rank.

  • The recency of reviews. More recent reviews are weighted more strongly in determining a company’s popularity than older reviews.

While TripAdvisor has not stated this publicly, it is also thought that responding to reviews, both positive and negative, can also improve your Popularity Index and increase your ranking.

You can significantly increase your Popularity Index by implementing a few important business practices.

  • First and foremost, the most important thing to remember is that fantastic experiences lead to fantastic reviews. Not only will a strong emphasis on the quality of experience lead to a high average rating, but it will also increase the quantity and frequency of reviews since ecstatic customers are far more likely to take the time to submit their feedback. This doesn’t mean that you need five star offerings as a budget establishment – if you outdo your competition and pleasantly surprise your customers, the effect will be enormous.

  • Encourage your customers to write reviews. Try and remove all unnecessary steps for your customers and make it easy for them to leave a review. Think hard about places in your customer interaction chain where you can engage your customer and prompt them to review you.

  • If you send a thank you e-mail, include a request for a review with a direct link to your TripAdvisor page.

  • The TripAdvisor Owner’s Center also allows you to order customizable reminder cards and flyers to hand to your guests or mail later.

  • Have us embed a TripAdvisor widget on your Web site similar to what's on Der Stall Bed and Breakfast Barn.

Respond to reviews, both positive and negative. This may increase your Popularity Index, and it will also serve to show others reading these reviews that you are actively engaged with your customers, value to their feedback, and place high importance on taking the necessary steps to improve your customers’ experience. Be polite in your responses to negative reviews, and take the necessary actions to ensure your customers’ feedback is addressed by your business. Never say you will make changes and then proceed as you did in the past.

TripAdvisor has an enormous user base and can have a significant positive effect on your revenue. If you use the strategies described above to increase your TripAdvisor ranking, not only will this substantially increase your visibility on the site, but it will help convince potential customers you are an excellent business that highly values quality and customer service.

Why We Don't Use WordPress

We've never used any of the Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla to create our client's sites because those sites seem to do poorly in such engine rankings. Now Google has announced it has started blocking a number of WordPress sites and other sites created with content management systems (CMS). It seems that many WordPress sites, including other popular CMS solutions like Joomla and others, block the include folder, which has CSS and JavaScript within in it. The rational, if Google cannot fully see your Web site, it may result in Google not fully understanding your Web site, leading to 'suboptimal rankings,' as Google put it."

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New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.

  • Interior Reflections - Provides innovative, creative design solutions for every room of your home in the Texas Hill Country.

  • A & L Moving, LLC - Fully insured and licensed Texas Hill Country moving company offering full or partial residential and commercial moves. We're proud to offer fair pricing, no hidden fees and being trustworthy and reliable.

  • Lawrence Trailer Sales - The best little trailer lot in Texas selling trailers to fit your needs from gooseneck trailers, to dump trailers, to horse and livestock trailers.