Richard Meacham - infinite42.com
I've owned vacation rentals in Orlando, Florida for about ten years now (sometimes it feels a lot longer!) In that time I've bought some places and sold others but have always owned about 2 properties. I have a background in technical design and programming and so I've built and promoted all the websites myself. These days I still have the strong techie background but spend about 91.7% of my time working with real people on designing and promoting their own websites.
You can learn all about the world of websites for vacation rentals over at infinite42.com. You'll find useful blog posts, free downloads and links, plus you can sign up for free tips and ideas delivered direct to your inbox. I help customers out in a number of ways such as design reviews, SEO consultation and design work.
infinite42 is all about websites for small businesses and vacation rentals are a special type of small business since you're generally the owner, handyman, salesperson and web designer all rolled into one. You're selling something unique and valuable (your property) and hoping that your website visitors will invest a major slice of their time and money with you.
My golden rules for website design are to build amazing content, market it to your readers and then measure and improve your site. It sounds simple but there's a whole pile of things to get right along the way!
I'm passionate about raising standards in web design and this really does apply to websites for vacation rentals. No more nasty color schemes and spinning logos please! It's easy to throw up 5 standard pages and leave it there, but not so easy when you realize you're not getting any customers…
Great website design is really all about creating valuable content that educates your readers and helps you to build trust with your customers. It's also about connecting with those customers though multiple marketing channels such as search, social networks and advertising.
You need to make sure your site works across the huge range of browsers and gizmos that are out there today - iPhones and iPads, IE, Firefox and Safari just to name a few. The best way to do this is to use standards. You'll also want to get your site seen by search engines and displayed at the top of search results (that's SEO by the way)
I'm also very keen on taking the guesswork out of your website and using testing and analytics to make educated choices on what to write about, and where to promote it. You'll find that there's stuff that definitely works, stuff that will never work and some stuff somewhere in between - that's where testing comes in.
I'm excited about working with rentingforprofit.com and look forward to some nice challenging questions! You can ask me questions in the forums here or get in touch through these social media links.