Boutique Hotel Website Design & Branding for The Barlow

November 5th, 2013 by

After the purchase and renovation of their historic Hudson, NY building, The Barlow needed a distinctive boutique hotel website design. Owners Duncan Calhoun and Russ Gibson also knew every detail of the branding and marketing would require attention—from pens and mugs, to guest information books and printed brochures. And the marketing for this new venture (in addition to their Croff House and Enchanted Villa properties) had to begin before the renovation was complete.

A hotel logo design for every occasion

The Barlow: a boutique hotel website design by InsideOut Solutions

The Barlow’s boutique hotel website design.

InsideOut started by establishing the basic branding: the logo design, colors, typefaces and overall “look and feel.” The design decisions were influenced by the Art Deco era of the original building and the taste and feedback of the owners. Designer Jim McCauley created a logo that not only had the right look, but was created as a vector graphic for easy use no matter what the application. The logo art was crafted with the flexibility to make its way on pens, key cards, window clings, mugs, wine openers and more…even the front awning. InsideOut’s graphic designers were there along the way to create designs for each item or assist with any technical questions about adapting the logo as needed.

A clean, modern & responsive boutique hotel website design

Once the hotel branding was set, the next order of business was using the established logo, colors and fonts to set up a temporary site. In this way, barlowhotel.com would gain traction in the search engines and also keep interested parties informed on the hotel’s progress.

After months of hard work (plus the inevitable delays of a remodel), Duncan and Russ called in Christian Giannelli to take gorgeous photos showcasing the decor and amenities. With the photos completed, Beth Edwards and her web design team created a boutique hotel website design that matches the feeling of The Barlow. Modern and elegant, the website uses the beautiful photos for greatest effect.

barlow-hotel-brochure

In addition to this brochure, InsideOut’s graphic design work included The Barlow Hotel’s logo design, business cards, key cards, print ads, note pads and guest information book.

Behind the scenes, the site is also up-to-date…it’s HTML 5-compliant, has been optimized for search and features a responsive web design that immediately resizes whether the viewer is on mobile, an iPad or a laptop. The social media bar appearing on the bottom of every page makes it easy for visitors to promote the hotel via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. This custom-coded site uses three new plugins which make it easy to add or update the rooms, homepage slideshow and photo galleries. Duncan and Russ can make updates on their own or they can contact the team at InsideOut to make changes.

The Barlow Hotel graphic design of print collateral

A brand new hotel needs a host of printed materials. InsideOut’s graphic design team took care of the layout and printing of branded business cards, note pads and brochures. The interior pages of the guest information book were designed to allow Russ and Duncan to update the information and to print new pages as needed. Their 12″ x 9″ trifold brochures are distributed via a display box just outside the hotel and through local visitor information centers. The brochure’s clean design matches the website and provides rates, a QR code, map, and large photos to entice a stay at this beautiful Hudson hotel.

Looking for a Boutique Hotel Website Design & Graphics Provider?

InsideOut Solutions has been designing effective websites and print marketing for the specialty lodging and destinations since 1997.  We invite you to review our portfolio of lodging website designs, branded sets, graphic design, and more.  You are welcome to contact us to learn more about how InsideOut can help you improve your web and print marketing efforts.

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Google Hummingbird: What It Means for Lodging Providers & Destinations

October 29th, 2013 by

The Google Hummingbird algorithm has remained at the forefront of internet search news since it was officially announced at the end of September as part of Google’s 15th anniversary celebration.

Google logo

Hummingbird Google Hummingbird, the creators say, represents a major improvement in the quality of search results.

With two months of “live search results,” what do we know about Google Hummingbird?  The answer is, quite frankly, just a little.  The official announcement also revealed that Hummingbird had been launched by Google on August 30 of this year.  There was virtually no speculation of changes at Google by search marketers during its initial, “secret” month of use and there’s been little reported effects in the lodging and destination market since its announcement.

What we do know is what Google is claiming about its new algorithm.  From that, we can at least speculate on how it will affect search marketing efforts.  Let’s look at what Google has stated:

1. Google Hummingbird Is a New Algorithm

Unlike Panda and Penguin, which were updates to an existing algorithm, Google Hummingbird is an all-new algorithm that, according to Google, represents a major shift in how Google evaluates web content.  Google search chief Amit Singhal told Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land that Hummingbird is the largest algorithm rewrite since 2001.

2. Google Hummingbird Does Use Some “Parts” of the Previous Algorithm

Panda

Google Panda is still on patrol for low quality content.

adelie penguin

Google Penguin is still on patrol for low quality links.

Although it is a “new” algorithm, Google Hummingbird will make use of components of the previous algorithm that have demonstrated their value, which makes sense since there are things about the old algorithm that remain relavent.

Specifically, both the Panda and Penguin components have been retained, as evidenced by Matt Cutts’ announcement of the release of Google Penguin 2.1 and the confirmation of recent changes to Google Panda to “soften” its affect on search results.

3. Google Hummingbird Is Better at Evaluating Queries and Content by Its “Intent”

Google Hummingbird reportedly does a better job of evaluating each word, separately and in conjunction, in a query in order to ensure that the whole phrase is taken into account when serving up results.  Therefore, the “intent” of the results (website content) should better match the “intent” of the query.

Examples of Google Hummingbird in Action

Google has not provided a way to compare results of the previous algorithm vs. Hummingbird.  Instead, they’ve provided some examples of how results have changed:

  1. Search phrase: “pizza hut calories per slice” – Google used to display this result as #1, but Hummingbird now recognizes Pizza Hut as an authority on its own product and shows its website result at #1 (unless something in your personalization would get in the way, I suppose).
  2. Search phrase: “pay your bills through citizens bank” - Google used to show the Citizens Bank home page as #1 and now shows the payment page as #1.

I’ve seen some changes amongst our clients’ sites as well.  Pages with content specific to queries are now appearing higher than the home page in Google’s raw search results, so that’s a good thing.  It’s not consistent, so there is still a lot to learn and we’ll be here to provide our findings as time goes one.

4. Google Hummingbird Is Not The Death of SEO

SEO

SEO remains an essential building block for effective internet marketing.

Just as with any change at Google, speculation about “this is the end of SEO” runs rampant with the announcement of Google Hummingbird.  That’s hyperbole at best and fear-mongering at worst.  Matt Cutts and others at Google have advised that SEO providers should continue what they’ve always done: find the best way to deliver quality content.

It’s always true to say that SEO is evolving.  In this case, it appears that Google Hummingbird, if it lives up to its promises, is actually great news for those who practice effective content marketing on their website.

How Lodging and Destinations Can Make the Most of Google Hummingbird

I believe that, should Hummingbird live up to the hype, bed & breakfast inns, boutique hotels, dude ranches, chambers of commerce and related industries now have an opportunity to be more competitive in content marketing for their specific market.  Google is giving more weight to:

  1. Authority, as evidenced by the “Pizza Hut” example
  2. Results matching intent of the query, as evidenced by the “Citizens Bank” example.

In short: you have a better chance of having your well-written, authoritative, socially engaging content rank highly for highly specific keyword phrases if you follow this strategy:

  • Strive to become the authority of the Unique Selling Point (USP) of the content you publish – this is becoming more crucial on all search engines.  For Google that also means that establishing Google+ authorship. At the recent Pubcon Las Vegas, Google confirmed authorship is growing in importance in determining authority.
  • Write content worthy of reader response - social media components of your content (comments, reviews, likes, shares, etc.) will become more of a factor to rank.

There will be more to learn as we see long-term results come in, but, for now, Google Hummingbird is nothing to fear if you are already engaged in effective content marketing.  Contact InsideOut Solutions if you want help starting or evaluating your search marketing efforts.

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Bookmark Graphic Design for Hart’s Fine Books

October 23rd, 2013 by

Our bread-and-butter print graphic design here at InsideOut are the “must have” print pieces in the lodging and destination industry: business cards and rack cards. We also design brochures, product labels, menus, visitor maps and even billboards and outdoor banners for bed and breakfasts, dude ranches and other businesses and organizations. Occasionally, we get a chance to do something different: bookmark graphic design, which is a very handy and low-cost print marketing piece. Our newest local client, Hart’s Fine Books, was in need of just such a product. Hart's bookmark graphic design

Our Bookmark Design for a Book Dealer

Hart’s Fine Books sells vintage and rare books. They have a charming store in Sequim, WA and will also have an online bookstore.

This bookmark graphic design was actually simple when you think about the product. Vintage books already feature beautifully designed covers and intricate gold and embossed graphics and type. A book’s spine is narrow and tall—the perfect shape for a bookmark. Once we found the right photo, all we needed was just a little graphic manipulation to achieve the vintage book spine that would become the bookmark’s design.

The back of the bookmark contains the logo and all the contact info and a quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero that any book lover would agree with, “A room without a book is like a body without a soul.”

Considerations for Effective Bookmark Graphic Design

Bookmark standard sizes are 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide by 7 to 9 inches tall. They need to be on a fairly heavy cover stock to do what they do—mark your place in a book.

A simple bookmark costs little to produce, yet it can get your business’ information to customers and prospects in a format that they’ll find useful enough to hold onto. A ruler, measurement conversions, or a favorite recipe are great examples that lend themselves to a bookmark shape. On the reverse side of the bookmark, be sure to include your contact information, services and a QR code for quick access to your website.

If you’ve been considering adding a bookmark to your printed pieces, or if you are looking to update any of your print materials, have a look at our print graphic design services and contact us for more information.

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WordPress Website + Managed Hosting = Effective Internet Marketing Platform

September 30th, 2013 by

A WordPress website, along with design and managed hosting from InsideOut Solutions, creates a strong foundation for your online marketing.

A WordPress website, along with design and managed hosting from InsideOut Solutions, creates a strong foundation for your online marketing.

Occasionally, our current and potential clients will submit their concerns about having a WordPress website.  Often these concerns are raised when a website Content Management System (CMS) provider publishes a blog post, email newsletter or other article denouncing WordPress as a website platform in order to convince readers that they offer a better alternative with their own CMS.

While it’s true that a WordPress website isn’t ideal for every business, InsideOut Solutions has proven that WordPress combined with our quality website design and managed hosting services create an effective and affordable internet marketing platform for its clients in the unique lodging and related industries.  Whether you own a B&B inn, dude ranch, cabin resort, boutique hotel or motel, or vacation rentals, you owe it to yourself to learn more about WordPress and why it is such a powerful foundation for websites.

Keep reading →

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Luxurious and Rustic at Silver Ridge Resort

September 24th, 2013 by

New website for Silver Ridge Resort, using our Horizon theme

New website for Silver Ridge Resort, using our Horizon theme

Silver Ridge Resort – you may recognize the name as being similar to another InsideOut Solutions client, Sugar Ridge Resort. Located in the same town, these Eureka Springs cabins have the same owner but with distinctly different lodging options.

At Silver Ridge, enjoy the intimacy of your own log cabin nestled among over 100 acres of private woodlands. From small cabins catering to 2 people, or large cabins for up to 8, this is the perfect solution for a romantic getaway or even a family get together. Located just minutes away from Eureka Springs, you’re close to restaurants and shopping but also free to enjoy the peace and quiet that their location provides.

The amount of content needed for the Silver Ridge website was small enough to fit into one of our concept templates. With some great timing, we had just finished our new concept theme, Horizon, when it was time to work on Silver Ridge! This theme is very customizable, so we were able to tailor the look to be both clean in its design, but rustic in its accents. The theme allows us to showcase the great photos we were given, and is also responsive so it scales with the size of your browser window. It will look just as great on your phone as it does on your computer!

If you’d like to hear more about our concept themes or even talk about getting a custom site design for your business, contact us for a quote!

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Roam the beaches of North Fork at Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast

August 26th, 2013 by

Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast on North Fork is surrounded by the waters of the Long Island Sound and an inlet of Shelter Bay. They are well known for their beautifully landscaped acre of flower gardens with fish ponds and lounge chairs for their guests to relax. They also manage a series of vacation rentals on the North Fork, each with distinct personality.

Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast

A nautical website for Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast

Having been a client of InsideOut for many years, Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast finally decided to take the leap to a gorgeous new updated website. They are able to display full information about the b&b, gardens, private beaches, and five rooms, as well as individual pages for each vacation rental. The site invokes a modernized nautical theme.

We strive to ensure that our custom website designs reflect the true personality of your business, and highlight what makes you unique. If you are interested in a free website quote, contact us today!

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Sleek New Site Design for Classic Country Vacation Homes

August 21st, 2013 by

Classic Country Vacation Homes

Classic Country Vacation Homes

Classic Country Vacation Homes is made up of currently three vacation homes within minutes of Ithaca, New York.

The first rental, Clark’s Cottage, is a large, five bedroom farmhouse located on a spacious seven acres of lawn and gardens. Completely modernized on the inside, the space is luxurious and accommodating for up to 10 people comfortably in beds.

The second, Willow Creek, is a private home resting on three acres, neighbors to Taughannock State Park and Cayuga Lake. This rental is large and spacious, offering up six bedrooms and five bathrooms, sleeping up to 12 comfortably in King and Queen sized beds.

The third and final vacation rental, Good Vibrations, was originally built in the 1970′s, and offers that ‘retro’ feel while being packed with all the essentials for modern life. Offering five bedrooms with king beds, this quiet home sleeps up to 10.

All of the three vacation rentals come with all of the expected modern amenities, and above and beyond. Satellite television, DVD players, outdoor grills, fully equipped kitchens, and high quality linens ensure that your stay is as stress-free as possible. There is no shortage of things to do while visiting, either! Wineries, restaurants and pubs, shopping, outdoor activities, and the Cayuga Wine Trail await your visit.

This is Classic Country Vacation Home’s debut website, built entirely from the ground up to offer the sweet balance of bold elegance and modern design that truly captures the essence of these three stunning vacation homes. These rentals now have a place to truly call home on the web.

Has it been a couple years since your last upgrade, or just want a redesign of your current site? We have several different pricing plans for site design, as well as many upgrades and services to tailor your order to your specific needs. Contact us for a quote!

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R Lazy S Ranch New Website Design

August 21st, 2013 by

R Lazy S New Ranch Website

R Lazy S New Ranch Website

Located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, R Lazy S guest ranch sits in the heart of ‘the West’s most scenic area.’ Surrounded by the Teton Mountains, your weeklong stay at the ranch is truly a vacation from everything. A variety of outdoor activities await you, including (but not limited to) horseback riding, fishing, water-sports, rodeos, and hiking.

Close by is the shopping center of Jackson Hole, filled with unique, locally owned and operated art galleries and shops. R Lazy S is also situated so visitors often take day trips to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

During the week of your stay, everything is provided for you; every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are hand-prepared, gourmet meals. Whether it be a cookout, a sit-down dinner in the lodge, or a buffet, it’s always delicious and it’s always all-you-can-eat. If you go fishing, you can even bring back your daily catch and they’ll cook it for you!

R Lazy S decided to go with a custom design for their new ranch website, so we crafted it just how they wanted it. Take a look by clicking on the screenshot above – it features large images on every page, lots of photo galleries, and beautiful background textures. It will even look great on your smart mobile device!

Contact us today to find out more information about how you too can upgrade your ranch site. We have several different design options available, as well as a plethora of additional services and customizations to ensure that your every need is taken care of.

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Find Worldwide Lodging with TheInnkeeper.com

August 5th, 2013 by

theinnkeeperHere at InsideOut Solutions, we love doing websites for lodging associations and travel destinations. We also enjoy taking on new challenges, so when Mariah Walters came to us for a redesign of her website, we gladly took on this new project.

But this wasn’t any simple redesign. TheInnkeeper has over 9,000 business listings, making it the largest association site we’ve done to date! Using WordPress means that the back end is more than able to handle this load, and every listing is easily updated by all of her members. New members can also sign up and pay dues online, with very little work on Mariah’s part.

The website itself is simple for visitors to use as well, thanks to the flexibility of WordPress. Choose your destination state or country and quickly see all of the member inns, hotels, or bed & breakfasts in that area. Each listing includes pictures, the address of the chosen lodging, contact phone number, website address, and if provided, an availability calendar.

Mariah’s team is also able to easily blog using their travel expertise. Travel tips, bargains, and worldwide news are accessible for visitors to browse.

If you’re interested in seeing what InsideOut can do for your association or business, contact us today!

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