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Web site comments please - Cocketts
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Sheffield89



Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 21
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Web site comments please - Cocketts Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

We advertise with HolidayLettings/TA, AirBnB, CountryCottages.net/com and Independent Cottages - they get us most of our bookings.

The site is there to enable people to book direct having being enticed by the write ups on the other sites. overall bookings are good but Alison (my wife) thinks the enquiries to page-impressions ratio is too low.

http://www.cockettsholidaycottage.co.uk

The site was created with templates from PromoteMyPlace and the calendar etc are sync'd to PIMS the holiday rental management system. Both are probably familiar to LMH readers. Looking at other sites the single page scrolling page webs sites seem to be 'in' at the moment and make me suspect this may be regarded as bit old fashioned...

Our target market is families with dogs.
We think our key selling points are the character of the cottage and the large garden/rural setting with easy access to many Suffolk attractions

As another poster said - I can handle the criticism but I will be crying on the inside.

My wife knows it need improving, but I have become relatively word blind and uncritical.

Thanks for any help.

Doug and Alison
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kevsboredagain



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3209
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a load of PMP fans on here so I would have expected them to help you out.

Still no sign of these new PMP templates I once heard a rumor about.
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13118
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They released new templates at the end of February, and made all the existing ones mobile responsive.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2763
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strangely, you posted this several days ago but it is the first time it has appeared in my 'new posts' page so I think it might have been the same for others ( in relation to Kev's comment about nobody replying). Kev doesn't like PMP!

I think you must be using one of the new templates as I did not recognise the photo page and I really like that! Makes me think I should be changing templates.

I can't find anything 'wrong' with your website or anything to criticise. I think it is lovely. So not a lot of help to you there, I'm afraid. Possibly why others have not replied.

The problem is probably not the website itself, it is the lack of 'lead' ( or whatever the technical term is) to it. Have you got a Facebook page? Are there links to it on other sites? Do you blog? I am afraid that without a huge amount of effort it is difficult to get found in the vast world of Google. You have to constantly market.
I am no expert on SEO. That is a whole other world to me and I regard the big listing sites as my SEO to bring people directly to my site. Are you using your google analytics to see where your visitors are coming from and how long they stay and on what pages?

How about a page devoted to what you can see and do in the area? Not just a list but a proper guide with original content. Google likes original useful content. Anything that brings people there. Just a few quick thoughts but I am sure the experts will have more to add. Good luck with it anyway. Edited to add, having read your post again, you are not really having a problem getting people to land,are you? I am afraid that if you are not getting direct enquiries ( with lots of visitors to the pages) then it is something to do with this new world of press button instant gratification? They think the process will be quicker, easier ( whip out the credit card) with a listing site? I don't really have an answer to that one.....

Perhaps publish t and c's? I don't see any notice of how you take payments. Perhaps I missed that? I think people want to have a ton of information before they enquire.
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 754
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi! I would definitely agree with Felicitys comments about information on the local area (I had actually expected to find this in the "links" page - may be that's just me?. Although I can see why you would want to mention other sites you advertise on, to show you are a genuine holiday accommodation.)

A page about any local attractions, particularly rainy day activities both for children and for those without is very useful for prospective guests, and you can list main attractions as Felicity says but then have others added as not much more than a list with a few extra details, explanations or distances from your property if you include website links. Include the obvious that you might overlook as you accept children, such as swimming pools and play grounds or child friendly places to eat during the day and the evening.

I would also agree with regard to a TCs page.
This is essential but even more so to have something specific as you accept dogs. Do you have any limitations about what the dogs can do, ie whether or not they have to be kept downstairs etc etc? A stand alone page for the dogs may be a great idea.

I think the site looks really lovely, and the cottage is very attractive. Personally, the one thing that would worry me about booking is the obviously wide angled lens photos. I know you are trying to display the property to its maximum, but it is clearly full of character and room sizes will reflect this. Could a compromise be made with the photos so that they are a little more true to life? Otherwise I think it is great.
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tavi



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 2578
Location: Algarve

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

late to the party but a quick comment,

Such a lovely house..


My feedback:
I personally don't like the dark green background. Is it a bit dreary or is it just me?

When I'm looking for holiday accom I like to see instantly - how many you sleep and a brief overview of the highlights - in a bulleted list or use the highlights widget pmp offer.

Then, if it sounds like it suits me/my party, I'll settle down to devour the lovely pics and all the other stuff that makes me want to book.

I think you should alter the text where you say "we live next door and are happy....." to make it clear that you're on-hand if required but give complete privacy to your guests if they prefer. Someone else will have better wording.



HTH
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13118
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is actually one of the older templates, it was the one I used originally when I set it up in 2011, although I had a different colour scheme.
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2763
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelenB wrote:
That is actually one of the older templates, it was the one I used originally when I set it up in 2011, although I had a different colour scheme.


Ah. Mine was 2012 and I don't think the photo page is good. I must really set aside some time to look at the new ones.
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Sheffield89



Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 21
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very many thanks for these helpful comments. The to do page is something I've been aware ought to be there for a while - just need to get organised! It's great to have other things pointed out - some seem quite obvious once mentioned! I'm interested to know what people think about the photos. We were very pleased when we had them done last autumn (in comparison to what we had before), but I can see some look very obviously wide-angle. Knowing the cottage, I don't think they are misleading, but might people think they are?
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a quick look. Lovely house! Beam central!

I couldn't see any bathroom pictures. Was I being unobservant or are there none?
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www . scotland-cottage.com www . scottish-cottage.com
www . learntotype.com/hrd Holiday Rentals Desk software

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Jimbo



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3581
Location: Charente Maritime

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheffield89 wrote:
I'm interested to know what people think about the photos. We were very pleased when we had them done last autumn (in comparison to what we had before), but I can see some look very obviously wide-angle. Knowing the cottage, I don't think they are misleading, but might people think they are?

In my years on LMH, there's been a lot of hot air but never a consensus on this topic.

Members fall into two camps: owners who think wide-angle lenses are an important part of a photographer's kit, showing a room to best advantage. These owners know that guests are visually sophisticated people and a wide-angle shot doesn't mean they will think your bedrooms are the size of Gibraltar. And owners who think that wide lenses are the spawn of the devil and using a more modest lens to publicise a small room by displaying part of a bed/wardrobe is somehow 'the truth'.

Your photos are great. Your wide angle bedrooms are fine. Tell Alison to stop fussing and prepare to be trampled underfoot by guests seeking them out!
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Kirigiwi



Joined: 02 Jun 2015
Posts: 45
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it looks fine, photos are great, especially the home page. I would also make the info on the home page easier to absorb at a glance, so yes to a few bullet lists of salient features, and to sub headings for the paragraphs.
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SOKI



Joined: 13 Apr 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Week St Mary, Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I chanced upon this post as we are considering using PMP for a website as ours is a bit (well a lot!) "homespun".
I really liked the website, it was friendly and informative, gave the sense that you would be welcoming hosts to guests. We also are "on site" as our holiday let in Cornwall is an annex next to our main house. We have thought long and hard how to describe this without putting people off who might worry that we would be constantly overseeing their holiday! Not come up with anything else so far as we like to be honest so there are no "surprises" for guests when they turn up.
Your accommodation looks amazing, I might well book it myself as my children and grandchildren all live in Suffolk and we have searched for a place to "host" a weekend with them all as it hard to split yourself in two as they live an hour apart!
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Sheffield89



Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 21
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all.
Ben, not unobservant, will put bathroom photo on.
SOKI, you would be very welcome - it is often used for multi-generational gatherings.
Jimbo, I'll try to stop fussing, and do something else instead!

A
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Sheffield89



Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 21
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add my thanks, to those from my lesser evil, for your comments. We have considered all your comments. This is what we have done.

We have:
- added a photo of the bathroom.
- used the Highlights widget (thanks I didn't even know that existed)
- considered briefly whether I should changing the colour scheme, but have decided not to. I think the green says "countryside"
- put some core details front and centre of the first page "Sleeps 6 to 8 in 3/4 bedrooms, family friendly, dogs welcome, non-smoking." (As well as the highlight widget)
- recognised that for some wide angle photos are a deception. In my mind they are an asset so they are staying. The site includes floor plans so i think visitors have enough info to go on.
- added a 'local area' page
- added a T's and C's page which includes a section on dogs. I took the precaution of not looking for any guidance here and have come up with this:

Dogs

Dogs are very welcome and I hope your find these expectations reasonable:

we accept two dogs as a maximum
we expect you to clear up after your dogs in the garden
we expect dogs to live downstairs
we expect dogs to stay off the furniture
we expect dogs to not be left to roam the house if you go out
we expect dogs to be under sufficient control to never pose a risk to our animals

I know the page will never be found directly. It can be accessed via some of the listings site on which we are, well listed - and by those clever enough to use HL etc as a hint to book direct with us and save yourself some money.

I will try and work out whether I can make FB work for us without having to do so at the expense of my friends' FB feeds. I don't really understand how that works - work to do.

Thanks again for your comments and if you'd like to cast further eye over the new improved, but differently wrong, web site please visit here:
www.cockettsholidaycorttage.co.uk

Doug
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