The beginning of 2017 seems to have gone frighteningly fast and hard to believe that we are approaching the end of the first quarter.
In line with that our own development and design teams have been working their little butts off too with a host of new functions for Claymore our CMS and three projects going live in march highlight that perfectly.
Next week sees the launch of the first hotel site using our brand new Concierge Desk function which in our opinion is real game changer in how hotels can cross market the events and attractions in their destinations without pushing the visitor out of the site.
Then there's our fully integrated ready to go out of the box Destination marketing digital package and that is exciting for us. Claymore from more tan a decade has been about developing a system that curates partner information seamlessly into a single area without having to duplicate and triplicate page entries. The latest iteration of our location based solutions Claymore Places is due to launch with a new test site One Ayrshire and we are really excited about how it's working and how affordable it can be for associations, destinations and even town centre locations.
First up however is the showcasing of a simple independent hospitality group with the launch of the new group website for Ayrshire based hoteliers and restaurateurs Simpsinns.
We have been working with Malcolm and Karen Simpson and their team since the very day they opened providing firstly web booking engine services through our partnership with Bookassist in Dublin and then building websites for their properties over the past ten years probably.
The company have grown greatly in that time and we are genuinely proud that they have continued to trust their digital growth with us along the way and the latest outcome is a visual first, mobile responsive group website that is acting a router to the individual sites within the group.
The marketing brief was simple and it was about not creating a site that competed for search with the individual businesses; the site has been set up to focus on the functions rather than the units ensuring that the group site has more focus on what the businesses do - weddings, wining and dining, business and meetings, golf in Ayrshire - rather than the individual businesses.
Simpsinns understand the importance of imagery and their is no shortage of quality visuals to whet the appetite and these are in full control of the content management team within the group; they can easily add pages with full page header graphics, enter the text and then compliment the page with a dedicated image gallery on every page if required.
Management of content is critical to Simpsinns; they are very proactive and require the ability to add pages, flex navigation, upload brochures, create deep links to booking offers and publish in a secure staff area.
To this end Claymore delivers. The Content Management Solution provides three layers of content access to the company's users - author, editor and publisher - ensuring that content can be generated by multiple team members but still have a quality assurance through the hierarchy to ensure company style of presentation applies. GM's can publish staff rotas in the staff area and the marketing team can be given access to create pages about winning awards for weddings.
Everything within the site is under the control of the Content Management System and there is very little that Simpsinns cannot manage themselves however that does not mean that we walk away.
Far from it, we know that there are plenty of build your own options out there for web design and it is a route we have looked at but have decided categorically not to go down.
We have built Claymore to work very specifically for the demands of the hospitality and tourism sector and we develop new solutions every month to fit the problems of a sector facing immense challenges for third party sales sites. Our ethos is "Build your site; develop your relationships; maximise your conversion" and at every turn we will work with our clients on an account management basis giving specific hints on how to write content effectively, or how to ensure best rate guarantees work or how to build email marketing lists. And the rest!
The Simpsinns site has been built with the needs of the client front and centre but it has been shaped with two discussions and advice on what can and can't work, what will and won't convert and at every turn we follow the basic question of how can we reduce friction, how can we get the customer from where they are to where they wish to be seamlessly.
The functional list above for Simpsinns is actually quite standard for all of our website designs whether it be a small B&B to an international tour operator; these are not expensive add ons from a catalogue. We are not going to take a sharp intake of breath and tell you can have that but it will be expensive to build!
We would be delighted to talk to any group about how we can improve the content provision of a digital campaign while at the same time quite dramatically reducing the cost of sale.
In the meantime have a look around the new Simpsinns site and the individual business sites by clicking the feature boxes below and maybe drop in for dinner at one of their restaurants - please remember to tell them their website sent you!
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