Welcome to the latest instalment of our weekly DW Roundup blog, where we catch up on all of the latest and greatest news from around the tech world! It's been a busy week this week in terms of news and announcements, so let's get straight into it...

Google adds bulk review management to GMB listings 

In an attempt to help businesses save time, Google has added a new feature to Google My Business, which allows a business that has multiple listings to see their reviews on one single page. This can be seen by visiting the reviews section at https://business.google.com/reviews. The announcement given by Google is as follows; "Businesses can view reviews for multiple listings at once. With bulk reviews, you’ll be able to view, reply to, and flag reviews for multiple listings from one place.”

This is a very useful update for businesses that manage more than one location or listing. This allows you to quickly view all of the reviews under your GMB account, without the need of clicking into each individual listing to see its reviews. 

 

Twitter testing feature that allows users to follow topics of interest

Shortly, Twitter will allow its users to follow interests, the same way they would follow accounts. When the new feature goes live, users will be able to follow specific topics such as television shows, sports teams and celebrities, with a selection of tweets about the topic inserted alongside tweets in the timeline. 

Topics will be curated by Twitter, with tweets being identified through machine learning rather than editorial curation. For now, only sports-related interests can be followed by users. This feature represents Twitter's attempt to help users find the best content on the platform even if they don't know which accounts to follow. Users will also be able to mute topics that they do not wish to follow (perfect for avoiding spoilers for your favourite tv show). Other features that Twitter plans to incorporate include searchable DM's, the ability to re-order photos in a tweet after they've been attached and support for Apple's Live Photos.

 

Instagram face filters now available for everyone

The tool used by Facebook to create augmented reality effects, Spark AR, is now open for anyone who wishes to make custom face filters and other effects for Instagram Stories. The tool was previously limited to just approved creators, but the latest update allows anyone to create and upload their AR filters to Instagram. This has led to Instagram adding an Effect Gallery tab on artists' profiles, allowing them to display their creations to other users.

(Image: www.theverge.com)

 

Google shares more details on its recent indexing issues 

Over the past few months, Google has experienced several issues with indexing. Whether it's new context not getting indexed, or old content being dropped as a result of part of the index being lost. All of this has led to Google releasing a blog post, discussing their indexing problems, how it fixed them and the lessons it has learnt.

Going forward, Google has stated three key decisions it has made for communicating about indexing issues:

  1. Explore more ways to quickly share information within Search Console about widespread bugs and have that information serve as the main point of reference for webmasters to check.
  2. Post more promptly to Search Console data anomalies page. 
  3. Continue to tweet as quickly as possible about issues to quickly reassure webmasters Google are aware and that the issue in on their end.

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow us on Twitter!

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Ski website design

Us Brits love our skiing trips. According to market research from LHM, 1.5 million UK residents go on at least one skiing holiday each winter, and more than a quarter of those people hit the slopes twice a year or more.

So as you can imagine, there's a lot of money to be made in the ski holiday niche...if you're able to give snowsports enthusiasts what they're looking for.

Is your ski holiday website up to snuff?

With more than 80% of holidaymakers now booking their trips online, travel agents (and other suppliers) are under more pressure than ever to polish up their websites and deliver a smooth, stress-free browsing experience.

In order to compete with all the other skiing agencies on the Internet, you'll need to make sure that your website ticks all of the following boxes:

  • Secure
  • Quick to load
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile friendly
  • Up to date
  • Clear and informative

If any of the above adjectives don't apply to your skiing site, you're likely failing to meet the expectations of users and search engines - in which case it may well be time for a new website!

Designer Websites can help!

Once you've identified the problems with your existing ski website, the next step is finding a web design specialist with the skills and expertise to help you turn things around.

At Designer Websites, we've developed a number of high-quality websites for ski agents and other travel companies. Here are just a couple of examples...

 

Slide Candy ski rental website

Slide Candy

Slide Candy is a ski equipment rental service that caters to Méribel and La Tania, two popular resorts in France.

The Designer Websites team gave Slide Candy's website a complete makeover. Not only does the new site boast a sleek mobile-friendly design, it also has an improved user journey that makes it far easier for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts to book their equipment online.

We also developed a bespoke content management system (CMS) to assist the Slide Candy team with back-end website management. They now have a far greater degree of control over the website's content.

"We are so pleased we chose Designer Websites to overhaul our site." - Andrew Buckingham, Slide Candy

View Case Study >>

 

Travel Booker Ski Website

Travel Booker

Travel Booker own a number of websites that sell lift passes, skiing lessons, and other extras to people who are planning to go skiing in Andorra.

We were asked to deliver a complex solution that would allow the Travel Booker team to manage all of their sites from a single administration portal.

Our expert web developers created a secure booking system that is easy for customers to navigate (regardless of what device they're using), as well as a user-friendly admin console that meets all of the requirements Travel Booker outlined in their project brief.

"Designer Websites delivered our complex project on budget and on time. We would happily choose to work with them again." - Steve Hull, Travel Booker

View Case Study >>

 

Ski Website for Travel Agents

Ski for Agents

The folks at Travel Booker were so impressed with our work on their booking system (see above) that they recently asked us to assist with another project.

Ski for Agents is a website that allows travel agents to log in and book ski holiday extras on behalf of their customers. Agents can register multi-level accounts with different levels of access for the head office, branches, etc. Meanwhile, Travel Booker themselves have complete control over virtually aspect of the site thanks to a complex CMS that we built specifically for them.

This was a very demanding project that called for a lot of unique, custom-made functionalities, but as ever, Designer Websites were more than equal to the challenge. Once again, the Travel Booker team were over the moon with the bespoke solution we were able to deliver.

Find Out More >>

 

If you'd like to speak to the Designer Websites team about your ski holiday website and how it could be improved, please contact us online or give us a call on 01446 339050.

View More Examples of Our Work  Request a Website Design Quote  

Ski for Agents Website

Skiing season will be upon us in just a few months' time, which no doubt means that countless snowsports enthusiasts are already starting to think about booking their visit to the slopes.

Our latest project, Ski for Agents, is designed to help travel agents purchase ski holiday extras for the globetrotting skiers and snowboarders who come to them for assistance. Agencies can register multi-level accounts with separate logins for the head office, other branches, different members of staff, etc. Once signed in, the streamlined design and user-friendly interface makes it easy for agents to get the very best prices on lift passes, airport transfers, and other useful extras, which they can then book online quickly and easily.

We relish a challenge here at Designer Websites, and this project called for a lot of bespoke functionalities, integrations, and unusual features - it was the sort of brief that would make lesser developers turn pale!

The Ski for Agents website has a custom-built and rather complex content management system (CMS), which allows our client to completely control virtually every facet of the website, including...

  • A truly flexible ancillary page manager
  • Language control
  • Resort and service provider control
  • Equipment management
  • Bookings management
  • Agents management
  • Ski extras control
  • Customised client invoicing

...and much more.

We specialise in tackling complex, demanding projects like this one! If you have an idea that can only be realised with a custom-made online solution, give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements with a member of the Designer Websites team.

Examples of Our Work   Request a FREE Quotation

Universal Partners FX Website

Universal Partners FX (UPFX), based in London, are world-leading specialists in foreign exchange services. They work across borders for both organisations and private clients, safeguarding their money through currency transfers. Their team of experts work to guide their clients from market volatility, providing bespoke consultation at every stage of the FX process. Boasting over 100 years of experience in the FX industry, UPFX provides its clients with the unmatched expertise needed to develop a financial strategy that sails over market volatility. They provide a safe, secure and efficient online FX platform that allows personal and business international money transfers to take place. So, why did UPFX approach us? Let’s take a look!

Why UPFX came to Designer Websites

UPFX approached us here at Designer Websites as they believed that their website was in desperate need of a makeover, a redesign that brought them up-to-date with competitors and one that would be more visually appealing to their existing and potential clients. They were also having several issues with how the website loaded, functioned and acted when users were visiting. As a result, we advised that instead of optimising their current site, we create a brand-new website that was fully responsive, optimised and loaded quickly.

To kick things off, our design team created new visuals for each page on the existing website, including new icons and page layouts. Once the new look of the website was created, our SEO team completely rewrote the copy for each page to be fully optimised for industry-specific keywords, as their previous site lacked the much-needed optimisation to capture the organic traffic from search engines. Once the design and copywriting were complete, our development team made sure that the site functioned well, loaded quickly, and linked to their external sign-up forms, something which was paramount for the client. In addition to all of this, we included a landing page functionality, which enables UPFX to create specific pages that they can point online advertisements to!

We are proud to announce that the new UPFX website is now live and can be viewed here!

If you are interested in having an existing site re-designed or having a new, bespoke site developed for your business, then please feel free to get in touch with the Designer Websites team below.

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Welcome to the second instalment of our weekly DW Roundup! For those of you that didn't see our previous Roundup, this is a weekly blog post that you can follow every Friday to find out the latest and greatest news in the digital marketing, PPC, SEO and tech worlds. So, what's been happening this week? Let's find out. 

Hotel Reservations and AR Navigation Coming to Google Maps

If you're someone who loves to travel then this announcement is sure to excite you! Google Maps is starting to roll out new features that allow you to book your flights & hotel reservations directly through the Google Maps app. Store all of your information in one,  easy-to-access platform so that you're not fiddling between apps as you check-in at the airport or head to your hotel.

The reservations tab will show you all the information about your upcoming reservations and can even be accessed while you're offline! Incredibly handy if, for example,  you want to check your hotel reservation details while you're on your flight.

(Image from searchengineland.com)

As if this wasn't cool enough, Google is also bringing the beta version of their augmented reality walking navigation feature "Live View" to Android and IOS devices. If your phone supports ARCore or ARkit software then keep your eyes peeled for this! The arrows and directions are laid directly over your view of the real world, making it even easier than ever to find your way. 

Search Marketing is Becoming More 'Human'

According to PPC expert, Mark Irvine,  digital marketers should be working towards a more real-time marketing strategy. What does this mean? Irvine explained by demonstrating the effects of trending on Twitter: 

(A slide from Irvine's SMX presentation, found on searchengineland.com)

As you can see, within one hour of trending on Twitter, Google searches had doubled and after 6 hours they'd increased fivefold. Irvine makes a strong argument suggesting that users 'discover on socials and search on Google'. Based on Irvine's findings, he suggests that after years of perfecting page copy and posting perfect images across social media, perhaps a more human-to-human approach is better. This means we should be keeping up to date with social trends and customer insights more than ever!

Google Had Indexing Issues

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Google was having indexing problems that meant new content wasn't being shown in search results. This was most noticeable in news results, where no amount of refreshing was pulling recent stories through. Articles were stunted at around 3 am Thursday morning. Luckily, Google confirmed that they'd resolved this problem, so all of your new content should be indexed as normal! Hooray!

To keep up with further news and updates from around the tech and digital marketing world, be sure to follow us on Twitter and check back next week!

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