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It’s officially summer! For many of us in the tourism industry, that means our busiest season is in full swing. Although you’re likely juggling a packed schedule of work demands and other obligations, there’s one more thing you should put on your summer to-do list: planning your business’s fall marketing strategy.

It may seem crazy to start thinking about marketing for fall when summer has just started, but if you want to have the best chance at attracting customers in September, it pays off to put in some extra work in June and July.

Below are five simple things you can start thinking about this summer to set your business up for a successful fall.

1. Make Sure Your Business Has Seasonally Relevant Imagery

When potential customers are researching your business, they’ll want to see photos that represent what it will look like when they’re visiting. This applies to all four seasons. Go through your photos this summer and categorize them by season. If you’re realizing that your fall photos are lacking, now is the time to schedule a professional photo shoot so you’ll have a stock of great images to draw from later this fall and in years to come.

PRO TIP: People LOVE images of fall foliage, so if you can capture the exterior of your business surrounded by brightly colored leaves, you’ll have a great chance at grabbing peoples’ attention, gaining traction on social media, and increasing your brand’s reach.

2. Create Specials To Attract Customers

The competition for customers can be more intense in the fall as businesses are vying for attention from a smaller pool of consumers than there is in the summer. One way to outshine your competitors is to create and promote specials designed to convince people to visit you after Labor Day. These types of deals lend themselves well to lodging properties that can offer discounted rates to attract customers who might otherwise shy away from taking an autumn getaway.

Specials don’t have to be limited to lodging properties, though. Landscaping companies could offer discounts on raking and leaf removal; restaurants could create prix fixe menus with fall-centric dishes; and shops could offer steep discounts on their remaining summer inventories.

3. Target Your Advertising Strategy & Get Found For Fall

If your business isn’t directly related to fall – think pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple orchards, etc. – you’ll want to strategically place your business next to those that are. If you own a restaurant, for example, putting a display ad on a page about corn mazes makes sense – people will need to eat after they’re done at the maze, right?

Our Fall Guides on regional websites like Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, and Adirondack.net attract families looking for fall activities, leaf peepers who want to book their lodging, and foodies seeking in-season treats. If your business is looking to attract these types of customers, you may want to consider advertising within those guides.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to lock in your fall advertising zones this summer to make sure you don’t run into spaces being sold out come fall. People typically start searching for fall activities and attractions in August, so it doesn’t hurt to get your fall ads going in mid-late summer.

4. Run A Giveaway To Keep Your Brand Top-Of-Mind

As people adjust into fall after the excitement of summer, it can be easy for them to get caught up in the routine of everyday life. One way to keep your brand top-of-mind, even as other priorities start to come to the forefront, is to run a giveaway.

The prize doesn’t have to be big, but it should be enticing enough so that people want to enter as many times as they can. Plan social media and email marketing promotions surrounding the giveaway, and make sure you run it long enough to drum up as much buzz as possible. When the giveaway is over, you’ll have an expanded email list from all the new opt-in subscribers you’ve received, and you’ll be able to target these new customers through the channels of your choice.

Not sure how to go about hosting a giveaway? We have giveaways running constantly on our regional websites, like LakeGeorge.com and Saratoga.com, and would be happy to host yours too.

5. Develop & Maintain A Strong Email & Social Media Marketing Plan

If your business is having a particularly strong summer, you can’t rely on that fact to allow you to coast into the fall. It’s important that you plan out your email and social media marketing plans and stay on top of them through the summer and fall. If your effort in these areas drops as summer continues, you can expect your fall business to drop too.

Calendars are a great way to plan campaigns in advance and also to keep yourself accountable. You’ll be able to see what’s coming down the line, schedule content in advance so you can enjoy your summer vacation, and move things around if priority promotions or immediate marketing needs pop up.

We’ll leave you with one more reminder about the importance of good photography – if you have a stock of fantastic photos to pull from, it makes it much easier to plot out your marketing calendar and also improves your campaigns’ potential for success.

Interested in learning how we can help your business have an outstanding fall season? Contact Mannix Marketing today to talk to one of our digital marketing strategists. If you book your fall advertising before August 15, 2019, you can get 25% off display ads and giveaways!

The post Five Easy Marketing Tips To Help Your Business Flourish This Fall appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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In my last blog post on digital marketing for hotels, I discussed how online travel agencies (OTAs) are brandjacking your direct bookings by bidding on your brand terms in branded search results.

If you’ve followed those tips, hopefully you’ve beaten the OTAs at their own game and are now getting more paid search traffic to your hotel website.

In this blog post, I want to follow up with some action items you can easily incorporate as part of your digital marketing strategy to increase direct bookings on your hotel website. After all, if you’re going to make the effort to get paid traffic to your site, it’s critical you seal the deal and make sure your customers book directly with you instead of the OTAs.

How To Increase Direct Bookings on Your Hotel Website

Sick of paying commission to Booking.com and Expedia? Use this checklist of the top 20 things you can do to increase direct bookings:

1. Optimize Your “Book Now” Button

Don’t just have a “Book Now” button, make sure your booking module is embedded on your home page with check-in/check-out date, number of guests, special accomodations, etc.

2. Switch Your Website to HTTPS

Your website must be secure – https:// to establish trust and for SEO. Learn more about why HTTPS is so important in this blog post.

3. Segment Your Email Lists

Email lists should be segmented and personalized via your PMS – this creates a massive improvement in booking conversions from email marketing.

4. Email, Email, Email!

No one is emailing their email lists enough. Email your prospects and past guests frequently. Check out our tips for stepping up your email marketing campaigns.

5. Create a Strategy for Competing Against OTAs

Strategize with your team on in-house tactics you can do to convert OTA buyers to book direct.

6. Act Like A Guest Try booking a room yourself using your smart phone.

Carefully review your guests booking experience on mobile and desktop. Use heat-mapping and visitor recordings to learn what your customers are experiencing on your website and improve your site’s user experience.

7. Do These 2 Things to Rank Better in Google Search

Optimize your website for search results with Google My Business listings and invest in technical SEO for your site.

8. Invest in PPC Marketing

Take advantage of paid search advertising (if you have a great website and reservation platform–otherwise your money is wasted).

9. Focus on Gaining More Google Reviews Google Reviews of popular NYC Hotel

TripAdvisor is not the biggest review site, Google is… make sure you focus on Google Reviews as well. Read this blog post to find out how to get more hotel guest reviews.

10. Drive Traffic to Your Rooms & Rates Page

5% of your visitors will book if they visit your rooms and rates page, so drive them early to that page and optimize that page to showcase your accommodations.

11. Have Professional Photos on Your Website

Invest in the highest quality photography you can afford – consider an architectural photographer. Learn why professional photos are so important.

Professional Photography can highlight the best features of your rooms 12. Send a Confirmation Email

Confirmation emails are a huge hidden opportunity as they have 60% open rates, this is your chance to remind guest why they booked your hotel (USP), offer upsells and upgrades and tease on property amenities and destination activities.

13. Send a Welcome Email

Be proactive with your online reputation by doing a personal welcome to our hotel email.

14. Follow Up with a Post-Stay Email

Don’t forget the post-stay email and give them incentives them to book direct.

15. Offer Packages & Specials When Booking Direct

Be a master at packages and specials which add value for booking direct–they’re something OTAs can’t compete with.

16. Don’t Sleep on Google Hotel Ads

OTA’s won’t win the booking game, Google Hotel Ads will… pay attention.

17. Choose the Right Booking Platform

Invest in a great ADA compliant booking engine that is user friendly and allows specials (we like ThinkReservations.com).

18. Start a Hotel Blog

Actively write about your destination on your blog and highlight your unique selling points and work with local businesses to promote each other.

19. Test Your Page Load Speed

Make sure your site loads quickly (you can test it on www.GTMetrix.com). If it doesn’t, work with your webmaster to decrease your page load speed (a major ranking factor in search results, particularly on mobile).

GT Metrix results of a hotel website with slow page speed 20. Make Sure You’re on Regional Websites

Google your destination and make sure you are listed on any independent websites for your region (like Albany.com or LakeGeorge.com) and optimize all your listings on all distribution channels (update photos, specials, details, make your descriptions sing your unique selling points).

Need Help Marketing Your Hotel Website?

This checklist is just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re considering a new digital marketing strategy for your hotel and want to convert more lookers to bookers, then it’s time to request your free marketing review with the team that specializes in website design and digital marketing for hotels!

Let Mannix Help Take Your Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy to the Next Level

Call 518-743-9424 to ask for a 15-minute digital marketing review or contact us online and we’ll show you what we can do to increase your bookings, increase your ADR, and increase your occupancy rates!

Want the best hotel website? Check out our blog on the 13 Most Important Features of a Hotel Website.

Did you know the IRS will pay $5,000 for Website Accessibility? Learn more about this tax credit and making your hotel website accessible for the disabled.

The post 20 Tips To Increase Direct Bookings on Your Hotel Website appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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We all know Google rules the internet. Now it’s your turn to rule Google.

Google My Business (GMB) is quickly becoming one of Google’s main products, allowing businesses with physical locations manage their online presence across Google Maps and Google Search Results.

Because of this, I wanted to share some of the main reasons why claiming and optimizing your GMB listing is more critical and valuable than ever before.  Let’s dive right in and start ruling!

8 Reasons to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

If you haven’t claimed and optimized your Google My Business listing, your business could be missing out! There are numerous benefits of incorporating GMB as part of your digital marketing strategy, including:

1. Better Map Results

Claiming and optimizing your GMB helps Google better understand your offering and match your business to relevant searches. The more complete and detailed the information in your GMB account, the more likely you are to show up in Google search results and the local map 3-pack.

2. Easier for Customers to Find You

An old phone number or wrong address can frustrate customers and cost you business. By optimizing and verifying your GMB, you’re able to correct errors in your listing and make updates if you move, change your phone number or get a new website URL.

3. More Real Estate on Google’s Search Results

Building out your Google My Business profile allows you to take up more controlled real estate on Google. The more control you have, the easier it is to brand your business the way you want to be portrayed.

4. Instant Customer Interaction

When a Google search is performed on a mobile device, the user can simply and easily “click to call” your business directly from your GMB listing. Less scrolling and clicking means a better customer experience and fewer barriers between you and potential customers.

5. Another Website Citation

To perform well in local search results, it helps to have multiple citations with consistent NAPs (name, address, phone number) across the web. An accurate GMB provides your business with an additional citation, which could help with your website’s organic search placement. Bonus: Having consistent info about your business on different platforms can help with voice readiness.

Read this post for more details on the importance of citations and NAPS.

6. Accurate Info on Google Maps APIs

Many businesses display Google Maps on their own website using a Google Maps API. By claiming and optimizing your GMB, you’ll ensure your business information is accurate and up-to-date across all sites using the Google Maps API.

7. Did I mention GMB is Free?

It costs nothing to claim and set up your GMB listing, at least for now! You can add your business name, address, phone, website, business category, hours, photos and so much more to Google Maps for free.

8. Consistently New Functionality

Google My Business is rapidly replacing Google’s previous local platforms: Google+ Pages and Google Places for Business. GMB is consistently rolling out new features to its platform. Having a verified, optimized listing will have you primed and ready to use these additional features like “Google Offer Posts” or “Chat” through GMB. Hint: since GMB is rolling out all of these features, this is a pretty darn good clue that they are investing a LOT into this platform.

Claim & Verify Your Google My Business Listing Today!

Make sure you are putting your best foot forward with a well optimized, verified Google My Business. Doing so, you can get ahead of your competition and brand yourself the way YOU want to be portrayed. Let Google know you care about your local presence and you could be rewarded with better visibility in the Google Maps and Google Search results.

Not sure where to start? Overwhelmed by all the new features or how to position your brand for the best result on GMB? Talk to Mannix. We have firsthand experience with the Google My Business platform, and have been helping businesses claim and optimize their listings with great success since the tool was introduced in 2014. Call 518-743-9424 to find out how we can help you rule on Google.

The post 8 Reasons Every Business Needs an Optimized Google My Business Listing appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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Are your email newsletters losing their pizazz?

Email is the most effective digital marketing channel to connect with your customers. With 85% of adult Internet users on email, it outranks Search Engines and Social Media in popularity. A well-crafted email newsletter can drive traffic to your website, boost sales, and grow your social media following.

If you’re finding your open rates (the percentage of your email recipients who opened your email) or conversion rates (the percentage of your email recipients who completed a desired action like visiting your website or purchasing a product) starting to drop, it may be time to switch up your email marketing strategy.

But this doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel! Most of the businesses already have the basics in place: they have a killer business, they have a subscriber list, and they have ideas for what they want to promote. It’s a simple process of fine-tuning your newsletter to improve the success of your email campaigns.

5 Steps for Reinvigorating Your Email Campaigns

Here are five simple email-marketing changes that can make a big difference:

1. Change The Subject Line

Nobody biting? It could be as simple as your subject line. If you can’t get subscribers to click and open your email, take some time to reevaluate your message to better appeal to your target audience.

I just glanced down my inbox for an example of a subject line I would never click on: “You’ll be saying WOW every time with ShamWow.” I don’t even have to open it. I know what’s in it. I’m not interested in reading an ad.

I might, however, have clicked the email if it had said something like, “ShamWow Ranked Best For Clean Kitchen” because it sounds like a news story and could include a new piece of information for me to take away.

Test different subject lines with A/B Testing in your email marketing platform and monitor how the stats to see which types of subjects your audience responds to.

Here’s another quick tip: A recent Forbes Study found that 56% of brands that used an emoji in their email subject line had a higher open rate than those who did not. Try spicing an existing subject line up by incorporating emojis.

2. Do More Than Sell, Sell, Sell… While Still Selling

Once you can get your subscribers to open your email, it’s time to optimize the body and call-to-actions of your email so readers will complete your desired actions, like making a reservation at your restaurant or buying your product.

It’s critical not to overwhelm your reader with sales pitches or else you’ll just come off as spammy. Give readers an option other than “Click Here To Buy Now!”

These can be additional resources that won’t distract the reader but will add value to your business in their eyes and give them a more well-rounded convincing reason to visit your venue. Then provide a strong call to action.

What does this look like?

Let’s imagine you own a restaurant, for example. You could send your email subscribers a list of the top 5 things to do in the area (offering links for more information). Then remind them that they can top the day off with a nice dinner out. Or send them a coupon for a free dessert with purchase of entrée because they’ve been “such a good customer.” Let them know your pizza won the latest award. Have they tried it? Offer a gift certificate as the perfect gift idea for that upcoming occasion. Give them something for free on their birthday. Remind them that you do kids birthday parties or rehearsal dinners.

Even if most of your subscribers don’t have these needs, they may forward it on to someone who does. Dig deep and learn how to spark interest and create value in the eyes of your customer with relevant newsletter content.

 

3. Write With Purpose 

When you have something to say, say it. If you don’t, don’t! Many email marketing campaigns aren’t reaching their full potential because they are forced or too scheduled.

When you have to pull something together to meet a deadline each week, month, whatever, your content can run a little dry. You might not have much to say, so you end up adding fluff or straight selling. On the contrary, if you have many exciting things going on, but you wait to send them all at once, each might not get the recognition it deserves. And think of the crammed subject line!

Keep your newsletters focused and relevant. Don’t send too often, but don’t send too infrequently. When you have something to announce, announce it immediately. If you are running a special, tell your subscribers about it. You get the idea. Send them to your website to learn more, and make sure you have an enticing landing page and that your contact us page is up to par.

In most relationships, you call when you have something to say, right? It follows, therefore, that you should email your subscribers when you have something to say as well… even if it’s, “We haven’t seen you in a while. Here’s a good reason to stop by…”

4. Redesign Your Email Newsletter Template 

If you’ve had the same email template since 2004, it’s probably time you update it. And even if your email template was designed last year, it’s a good idea you give it another check for today’s screens and devices.

49% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. If your images are taking too long to load on an iPhone, your email could end up straight in the trash. If your call-to-action buttons are too small for a thumb to tap, you just lost that click to your website.

These days, you don’t need to know HTML to code an attractive, responsive email newsletter template. Email newsletter platforms like Robly or MailChimp have easy customizable drag and drop templates that create fantastic and modern email newsletter templates optimized for mobile users.

 

5. Test Emails Are Your New Best Friend

Oops, that image didn’t come through, and you just sent your newsletter to thousands of subscribers. Oops, that was the wrong link, and now you are confusing clickers. Oops, that was the wrong date, and now you have to send a correction email.

Mishaps are a fact of life, but many times you can spare yourself some time and embarrassment by simply sending yourself a test message first. Open up email accounts (even if only for testing) on Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc. so you can see how your message will display in each account. And then open the email on a desktop computer and then a mobile device. You would be very surprised at the differences!

Also, double-check dates, times, locations, other information, spelling, links… anything your message contains… to ensure accuracy and trust with your readers. Because if your subscribers are constantly getting correction emails, they probably won’t be opening your emails in the future…

Capture Your Subscribers’ Attention & Increase Conversions

By following these three simple email-marketing strategies, you can turn your organization’s email newsletters around and start seeing results.

Need help spicing up your email marketing?

Do you think you can improve on how your company uses email?  Ultimately, if you’re unhappy with the success of your email newsletters, it’s probably time to invest in .

We here at Mannix Marketing are email-marketing experts. Our team of will not only assist with Email Newsletter account setup through MailChimp, but we’ll will work with you to create fresh, punchy marketing content that informs your subscribers AND improve open rates and conversion rates!

Not sure where to start? Give Mannix Marketing a call at 518-743-9424 or schedule a free consultation with one of our email-marketing experts.

Editor’s note: This content was originally published in 2009 but has been updated as of May 2019.

The post 5 Ways to Step Up Your Email Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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If you have a website for your business, you’ve more than likely heard the term “website accessibility” thrown around lately. Recently, several small local businesses have received demanding letters and have even been sued because their websites do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But what does “Accessibility” actually mean?

“Accessibility” refers to your website being coded to be read by screen readers and to be used by people with various disabilities. The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) most recent web content accessibility guidelines are known as WCAG 2.1.

Making a website’s code accessible to all takes time and money, which has deterred many business owners before from pulling the trigger to making their website accessible. But with a recent incentive from the IRS, now just may be the time.

IRS Will Pay $5,000 for Website Accessibility Via Tax Credit

Under IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit, businesses who make accommodations to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities—including increasing their website accessibility—can now qualify for a $5,000 tax credit.

Eligible businesses can claim the credit using the Disabled Access Credit on IRS Form 8826.

This new tax credit is available to those qualified in the amount of 50 percent of “eligible access expenditures” that exceed $250 but do not exceed $10,250 for a taxable year, for a maximum tax credit of $5,000.

Does Your Business Qualify for the IRS Tax Credit?

If you’re a local small business owner, chances are you do! According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, your business is eligible for the tax credit if: You had $1 million or less in gross receipts for the preceding tax year OR You had 30 or fewer full-time employees during the preceding tax year.

At Mannix Marketing, we’re website professionals–not accountants, so you’ll want to double check your eligibility with your tax advisor before moving forward. For more information on eligibility, visit the EEOC website here.

Let us Help Make Your Website WCAG 2.1 Compatible

In order to protect your small business from a lawsuit, your website should be evaluated for its accessibility to people with disabilities. It’s important to work with a professional company that understands the WCAG 2.1 standards and learn for yourself what makes a website code accessible. Unfortunately, shortcuts to accessible code do not exist–and adding a good-faith tool like Userway to your website does not hold up in court.

If you’re looking for assistance in this review and help making your website WCAG 2.1 compliant, our team of programmers is here to help. We’re passionate about making your website accessible to all to the best of our abilities!

Book a call with Sara Mannix or Book a call with Chris Archibee to get the conversation started!

Looking for more resources on website accessibility?

Check out our website accessibility blog for more information!

The post Newsflash: IRS Will Pay $5,000 for Website Accessibility Modifications appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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*Please note: we are not lawyers and this is not legal advice.

Your website needs to be accessible to people with disabilities or you could face a lawsuit—but what does that mean?

Numerous local businesses are being sued as their websites are not coded to be read by screen readers and to be used by people with various disabilities. In addition, a number of independent lodging properties have received demand letters citing failure to adequately describe their accessibility features on their website.

In order for your website to be considered accessible, it must satisfy these two requirements:

1. Your website must meet WCAG 2.1 AA Standards.

2. Your website also must meet the American’s with Disabilities Act 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1) as it relates to lodging properties. Which means you must DESCRIBE your accessibility features.

Did you know the IRS will pay $5,000 for Website Accessibility?

Thanks to the IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit, businesses who make accommodations to make their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities—including increasing their website accessibility—can qualify for a $5,000 tax credit. Businesses can claim the credit using the Disabled Access Credit on IRS Form 8826.

Who qualifies for the tax credit?

Small businesses like you! Your business is eligible for the tax credit if 1. You had $1 million or less in gross receipts for the preceding tax year OR 2. You had 30 or fewer full-time employees during the preceding tax year. For more information on eligibility, visit the EEOC website.

Shortcuts to accessible code do not exist – adding a tool to read your website does not make it accessible .

Although adding a tool like Userway to your website shows a good faith effort toward compliance, it does not make it accessible to the level that has been established via case law.  It’s important to work with a professional company that understands the WCAG 2.1 standards and learn for yourself what makes a website code accessible.

How do you describe your accessibility features?

Here are some questions that you can answer which will help people with disabilities make a decision on whether they can use your property:

Wheelchair Access

Do you offer wheelchair access?  Which facilities, rooms, bathrooms and entrances are wheelchair accessible?  Do you have power-assisted doors, wheelchairs or portable stools available? Do you permit motorized wheelchairs?  Are the entrances wide enough for wheelchairs? Are restrooms wheelchair accessible? Where are the wheelchair accessible restrooms located?  Do you have elevators, where are they located? Is there a permanent or removable seat in the shower? Is there step-free access to the bathrooms? Do you have ramp access self operating lifts or sloped entryways? If so, where?  Do you have handicap accessible parking spaces? Visit: https://www.ada.gov/ for more information.

Blind or Low Vision Accommodations

Are service dogs welcome? Where can they relieve themselves? Do you have any braille signage? Do you have a staff member who would be willing to assist the visitor in getting to know your property or location? If you have passport type keys do you offer the service of placing tape on the card to show them how to lock or unlock their room? Do you offer auxilliary aids such as readers.  Learn more here at the American Federation of the Blind website: www.afb.org

Individuals  Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Do you offer assistive listening devices or have someone on staff who knows sign language? Do you have closed captioned television? Do you have TDD for telephones? Contact: https://www.nad.org/ for more information and recommendations.

For hotels:  If you have accessible rooms in your hotel, how can you describe them?

Do the rooms have lowered peepholes, lever door handles or adjustable clothes rods? Do you have closed-captioned TV, tub grab bars, lever tub fixtures or hand held shower heads? How high are your toilet seats, roll-in showers, is the interior spacious enough for easier access to the bed?

Hotels and Lodging Properties need to know the law, here is a section of the law that is very helpful to know:

What is American’s with Disabilities Act 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(e)(1)?

(1) Reservations made by places of lodging.A public accommodation that owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of lodging shall, with respect to reservations made by any means, including by telephone, in-person, or through a third party –

(i) Modify its policies, practices, or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as individuals who do not need accessible rooms;

(ii) Identify and describe accessible features in the hotels and guest rooms offered through its reservations service in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a given hotel or guest room meets his or her accessibility needs;

(iii) Ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented and the accessible room requested is the only remaining room of that type;

(iv) Reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms or specific types of guest rooms and ensure that the guest rooms requested are blocked and removed from all reservations systems; and

(v) Guarantee that the specific accessible guest room reserved through its reservations service is held for the reserving customer, regardless of whether a specific room is held in response to reservations made by others.

Need help making your website WCAG 2.1 compatible?

In order to protect your business from a lawsuit, your hotel website should be evaluated for its accessibility to people with disabilities. If you’re looking for assistance in this review and help making your website WCAG 2.1 compliant, our team of programmers is here to help. We’re passionate about making your website accessible to all to the best of our abilities!

Book a call with Sara Mannix or Book a call with Chris Archibee to get the conversation started!

Looking for more resources on website accessibility?

Check out the accessibility section of our blog for more information!

The post How to Make a Hotel Website Accessible for the Disabled? appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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When we speak with manufacturing companies, they often don’t believe that social media marketing is something that would benefit their business. They tend to believe social media is only something that people do with friends or that it’s something that other industries can use effectively.

Well, we know this not to be the case.

In fact, social media can and should be a strong component of any company’s marketing strategy, especially manufacturers. It is during these conversations with manufacturing teams that we talk about instances where we have helped similar companies succeed using social media, and offer them information from studies like the ones found here and here.

And one of the best social media platforms for manufacturing companies to be on is LinkedIn.

Top 3 LinkedIn Strategies for Manufacturers

With some careful planning and commitment, companies can use their LinkedIn profiles to deliver leads, website traffic, portray the company as experts in the industry and much more. To help guide you down the right path with LinkedIn, here are three strategies in addition to our LinkedIn best practices that we have seen manufacturing companies use to help achieve their overall business goals:

1.Use your Company page to drive prospects into your conversion funnel

Making sure that your LinkedIn company page has all the appropriate fields filled out is a must. If nothing else, it will provide visitors who land there a little bit more information about your company. But don’t go for just populating each field. Think carefully about how you can use each element to help deepen the engagement between your company and the visitor.

What can you use as a banner image to quickly capture someone’s attention? Can you hint that you have prized white papers that they would love to read? Is there a special announcement that someone would be apt to sign up for? Is news about an upcoming product launch important? Free advice?

People will get bored reading your business overview. What can you do to stand out in one or two sentences? How can you state your value in a fun and engaging way? Write something that gets people wanting to read more and open the description or scroll down to the description to see your website link.

By expressing your value proposition through the different areas of your LinkedIn page, you are more likely to get visitors to click on the link to your website to get them deeper into your conversion funnel.

2.Use LinkedIn as a tool to connect to the right people

Whether you are looking for some quality customer leads or the right candidate for an open position, LinkedIn can help.

There are a number of ways that LinkedIn can be used to fill an open position at your company. You can post openings that will appear under the Jobs tab on your business page. They will also be shown to targeted candidates on LinkedIn. In addition to posting, you can utilize your network to look for potential candidates and use your connections to facilitate introductions.

To use LinkedIn to generate leads, you can use your network to find people who are in the right positions at targeted companies (whether they are buyers, decision makers or managers). By pinpointing who you need to reach, you can target your tactics towards those people.

Another way you can leverage LinkedIn to reach your audience is to do paid advertising. You can develop ads to direct people to your LinkedIn profile or your website, and truly segment who sees the ads. Ads allow your to reach people on LinkedIn and develop an audience based on location, company they work at, education, job title and a number of other attributes.

3. Become an Expert

Designate someone within your company to become the expert in a topic related to your industry. The employee will then become responsible for posting, connecting and engaging on LinkedIn. That person should write articles that reinforce their knowledge and expertise. Articles should be posted to both their personal profile and the company page. These articles can help increase the visibility of the company, and people will continue to view the company as a leader in the industry.

In addition, the selected employee should find one or two LinkedIn Groups to participate in. It’s best to find ones that have more engagement than to join dormant ones. Once a few Groups are selected, the employee should become active posting in the Group as well as responding to other Group member questions and comments. By continuing to engage, provide expert advice and share knowledge, others in the industry (thought leaders, potential customers, ) will take note of what a leader your company is.

Grow Your Manufacturing Business’s Presence on LinkedIn & Increase Your Leads

By following these three simple LinkedIn marketing strategies, you can turn your manufacturing business’s presence on LinkedIn around and incorporate it as an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

Do you think you can improve on how your company uses LinkedIn?  Ultimately, if you’re unhappy with the success of your LinkedIn business page, it’s probably time to invest in LinkedIn Marketing.

Not sure where to start? Please give Mannix Marketing a call at 518-743-9424 or schedule a free consultation with one of our social media experts.

The post 3 High Impact LinkedIn Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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Whether you own a restaurant, a local shop, or any other type of brick-and-mortar business, Facebook Events are a great way to drive foot traffic to your retail location. With over a billion users worldwide, the Facebook platform can help you reach a vast number of engaged consumers. It is one of the most efficient ways to promote events since it offers free event listings and low advertising costs. An effective Facebook Event page can help you raise awareness, captivate users, and increase attendance at your event. Here are some ways to get more foot traffic from your Facebook Event page.

4 Ways to Increase Foot Traffic with Facebook Events

Follow these simple tips to help increase the number of visitors to your location after seeing your Facebook Event:

1. Optimize Your Event Details

It is crucial to have the full event details on your Facebook Event page to make it easy for users to find all of the information they need. Start by creating a simple, concise event name. If your event name is too long or includes a lot of symbols, it may look fake or unprofessional.

Next, add the correct event location. This is particularly important if your event is taking place at a new venue. Even if your event is taking place at your usual business location, it is still important to note the address. You may have first-time customers attending your event! Those users need to know how to get to your business.

Once the basic information has been added, you should include a captivating event description to interest users. This text should highlight any major aspects of your event. Are there any special guests or local talent attending the event? Will there be any prizes, discounts, giveaways, or other incentives? Feature all of those details right in your event description! The event description is also a great place to add any relevant or custom hashtags. Encourage people to use the hashtags and join the conversation!

It is also important to select a relevant event category. This will allow Facebook to share your event with users who have shown an interest in similar topics. Those users will be more likely to come out for your event.

All of these well-optimized event details will help you engage with relevant users. This is the first step in driving more foot traffic to your event

2. Choose Engaging Photos

The event cover photo is one of the first things users will see when they are looking for local events in the area. An engaging cover photo can encourage users to read more about your event.

It is important to make sure your cover photo has been made to Facebook’s latest size recommendations (current recommendations as of 2019 are 1920×1080). The main elements of your photo should be placed away from the edges to avoid any major issues if the image is cropped on a particular device. It is best to check how your cover photo looks on different devices so that any necessary adjustments can be made.

A strong, engaging cover photo will capture the attention of users, get more event views, and ultimately, help increase event attendance.

3. Collaborate with Other Businesses

Your Facebook Event will be more effective if you reach more users. One way to do this is by collaborating with other businesses.

Are there any other businesses hosting the event? Add those businesses as co-hosts of your Facebook Event to reach additional users. Your co-hosts will able to join in on the conversation and increase engagement with potential attendees! Tag your co-hosts when you share posts about the event to help extend the reach even further.

Are there any businesses that will be contributing to the event in other ways? This could include businesses who are supplying food or other goods or services that will be used the day of the event. Share posts about the products or services that will be available and tag the businesses. This will allow you to demonstrate your gratitude for their contribution while extending your reach to their followers!

Collaborating with other businesses is a great way to show your involvement in the community, raise awareness of your event and drive additional foot traffic to your business.

4. Promote Your Event with Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertising is a cost effective way to extend the reach of your Facebook Event. By boosting your event, you can reach users who you were unable to reach organically.

There are many different targeting options on Facebook. Your Facebook Event can be boosted to users who like your Facebook Business Page or Facebook friends of those users. It can also be boosted to users you choose through targeting.

Facebook targeting allows you to reach new users based on unique identifiers. For example, you could reach users based on their location, interests, and demographics. Location targeting helps you select the geographic area you would like to target. If you know people typically travel up to thirty miles for your events, you can target a thirty-mile radius of your business. Interest targeting includes a wide variety of options to help you select relevant users who may want to attend your event while demographic targeting allows you to select users based on their age range and other details.

Get More People To Attend Your Event With Facebook Events

These Facebook strategies can help raise awareness of your event, increase engagement with potential attendees, and ultimately, lead to more sales by driving additional foot traffic to your business. Facebook Events are just one way to promote an event on Facebook. Need help getting started? Set up a social media consultation with our Facebook experts to take your marketing to the next level!

Interested in learning more about Facebook marketing? Visit the Facebook section of our blog for social media marketing tips!

The post How to Get More Foot Traffic from Your Facebook Event Page appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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As digital marketers, we hear it all too often from new clients, “We are so much better at doing ‘X’ than that guy! So why is this ‘less than’ competitor ranking higher than us on Google?” The fact is, while your competitor may fall short in the real world, Google’s opinion is based on online appearances, and the two may not always coincide.

There are a lot of reasons why a business that you deem unworthy is ranking well in Google, some of which are known to Google and Google alone. However, as SEO experts, we’ve uncovered several explanations as to why this happens, and we’ve used this knowledge to help many clients overtake their competition.

4 Reasons Why an Unworthy Competitor is Ranking Higher than You in Search Results

Unfortunately, not-so-hot businesses can still have really great websites. Here are some of the reasons why Google may be giving your competitor’s site more weight than yours.

1. Relevance

Google may think that your competitor’s site is more relevant to a particular search term than your site is. We know, impossible, right? Here’s the thing, you may think your website is relevant to a specific topic or search term, but is it clear to the Google bots crawling your site? One particular client came to us wondering why they weren’t getting found for “eye doctors in Southlake TX”, but upon further examination, we discovered that they didn’t actually have the words, “eye doctors in Southlake TX” anywhere on their site. They mentioned eye care, eye exams, eye glasses, but not specifically eye doctors.

While the Google bots are becoming infinitely more intuitive and intelligent, there’s nothing like spelling it out for them in black and white. Be sure to include important keywords in your title tags, H1s and on-page content whenever it makes sense.

2. Reputation

As a rule, Google prefers pages that are both relevant and reputable. Reputation is determined by several factors, including things like online reviews, your Google My Business page, and backlinks. Using the latter in an example, let’s assume that your webpage and your competitor’s webpage have the same relevance to a user’s search. Google will give the top position to the site that has more trusted websites linking to it. In fact, many sites that are ranking well have a few quality backlinks from .edu or .gov extensions, and the anchor text on these trusted sites also matches the keyword that is being searched.

While you can certainly try to solicit backlinks from authoritative websites yourself, interlinking to pages within your own site will also help with ranking, as will positive online reviews and an optimized Google My Business page.

3. Content

Both the quantity and the quality of a website’s content affects ranking. Back in 2011, a Google algorithm update made it possible for Google to determine if a website has duplicate content, or content that is too thin. Google also compares the content on each website against others within the same space. So, even if you aren’t impressed by the text on your competitor’s site, if they are the only one writing about a particular topic, Google is likely to consider it high-quality.

The key is to infuse your own site with lots of useful, original, well-written content and keep it fresh by adding to it regularly, perhaps through a blog. Look at your competitor’s site to see how they describe their products or services, and see what topics they are covering on their blog, and then, set out to make yours better.

4. Age

Like the old adage, “age before beauty”, it’s a cold, hard fact that the longer a website has been around, the better it tends to rank. Whether we like it or not, age matters in the digital world and Google rewards longevity. You can build a beautiful new site with all the bells and whistles, add high quality content and relevant, reputable links, and you still won’t get as much traffic is an older site in the same space.

You’re only option here is to be patient and give it time. Assuming you are continually working on improving your site, the older it gets the more search traffic you will typically receive.

How to Overtake Your Competition in the SERP Battle

Rather than getting hung up on your competition, focus on improving your own website. Fresh, rich keyword-fused content, relevant interlinks and backlinks, positive online reviews and an overall user-friendly experience on site, as well as a strong presence offsite, i.e., on Google My Business and social media, will help you gain traction in the SERPs over time.

Ultimately, if you’re unhappy with where your site is ranking in the search engine results, it’s probably time to invest in search engine optimization.

Not sure where to start? Give Mannix Marketing a call at 518-743-9424 or schedule a free 15-minute SEO Consultation and we’ll chat about your needs and budget.

The post Why is a Bad Competitor’s Website Ranking Higher than Mine? appeared first on Mannix Marketing, Inc..

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