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Is something exciting or new happening in your destination? We would love to spread the news. Please share your stories by emailing the news link to events@simpleviewinc.com.

Simpleview Announces Acquisition of Software Management, Inc. (SMI) 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tucson, AZ, March 25, 2014 - Simpleview announced today the acquisition of Pittsburgh-based Software Management, Inc. (SMI), the industry's second largest provider of sales, marketing and CRM technology tools for destination marketing organizations (DMOs), which include regional convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), state tourism offices, and national convention and tourism offices.

With the acquisition, Simpleview further strengthens its comprehensive suite of CRM, CMS, mobile, and eMarketing products and solutions. The move also adds approximately 95 new clients to the number of DMOs working with Simpleview, expanding the company's customer base to more than 350 destinations, including nearly all the top-tier meetings and leisure destinations in North America and a number of top destinations around the world.

"We've always had the utmost competitive respect for SMI and believe that this acquisition creates an even stronger partner for the customers of both companies," stated Ryan George, CEO of Simpleview. "SMI's people and products are world-class and we're honored to blend their legacy into the continuing story and vision of Simpleview. Our combined technologies, creativity and thought-leadership makes us better positioned than ever to help bring shared standards and more powerful solutions to the industry. We look forward to working with our new staff in Pittsburgh and the great customers that SMI has served over the past 30 years."

This acquisition further cements Simpleview's role as both vanguard and standard-setter for destination marketing technologies and services and, while market expansion will remain a focus at Simpleview, the company looks forward to accelerating their R&D pipeline to deliver even more value to the residents, local businesses, visitors and meeting planners that their DMO customers serve.

Former SMI leadership will maintain operations of the new Simpleview offices in Pittsburgh, with Ms. Jennifer Reichenbach to serve as Vice President of Operations and Mr. Paul Franke, Jr. to serve as Senior Director of New Business Development.

About Simpleview
Simpleview is the industry's leading provider of CRM, CMS, website design, search marketing, revenue generation, and mobile technologies to destination marketing organizations (DMOs). Simpleview employs 130+ people in Tucson, San Diego and Pittsburgh and represents 350+ DMOs in North America and beyond.

Contact:
Cara Frank, Director of Marketing
520.575.1151
cfrank@simpleviewinc.com

 

 

posted on: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 1:34 PM

Yep - This is Cleveland!

Website Launches

Cleveland LogoCleveland is the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, offers a variety sporting events, and has a list of things to do that goes on and on. The Positively Cleveland Convention & Visitors Bureau decided it was time to revamp their website and we were there to help make it happen!

Cleveland Before & After
The new responsive website includes customized highlight modules allowing images to automatically resize and fit any area while maintaining the clean, Instagram inspired layout.
Responsive Cleveland
They also added a cool, customized newsletter signup - so that depending on the page (Sports, Meetings, etc) visitors are viewing, they can sign up for that specific newsletter topic.

Other additions include working with aRes Travel and adding an Open Table integration for online bookings, as well as adding an extensive meeting facilities search so that meeting planners use the new site as a tool for booking their next event.

Cleveland and More
You'll have to explore the new website for yourself and discover why the city is known as one of the best!

 

 

posted on: Friday, Mar 21, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 9:05 AM

Optimize All the Images Image for Blog Post - 250w

Long gone are the days where we are connecting to the Internet through a modem and a phone line. While the sound of dialing in makes me nostalgic, I'm happy that I can watch video and download images quicker than ever before.

Yet, the power of fast connections comes with great responsibility when maintaining your website. If you are placing large images on your site and are not optimizing them for the Web, your site will take a while to load. This statement is especially true when it comes to accessing your site's content on a mobile device.

Search engines like Google rate and index websites based on their weight and performance, among other criteria. Therefore, those slowed down by large images will have negative consequences on their rankings.

Image optimization is more than adjusting file sizes. You also want to provide relevant information about your images to search engines to correctly index them. As images can bring a considerable amount of traffic for your site, this is one way to enhance visitation metrics.

Faster load times also equate to a reduced bandwidth, which can cause a significant saving in any Web hosting costs. Who doesn't like a little extra cash for being efficient?

Hopefully, you can see why image optimization is key to a well-performing site for your DMO. As sites today are typically image-heavy, your team should make every effort to optimize each image to maintain optimum performance. There are plenty of ways to get started, but some are more time-intensive than others. It's important that we focus on the low-hanging fruit to get your team started on easy improvements.

1. Descriptive File Names

Ever noticed that your mobile phone or digital camera has named your photos "DSC02851" or "img2013"? Thanks to this, you cannot tell what the photo's subject is on the file name alone. If you leave file names this way and upload them to your website, search engines will not understand the details of your content.

See, search engines cannot "see" your content. All they are able to see is the code associated with your site. So, a shot of your downtown named "img19" will not be indexed by Google in a way to help people searching for pictures of your city. The image will list as "img19."

What You See - What Google Sees 
It's recommended to rename your photo something that describes it. For example, I would name the photo file for the woman above ‘indonesian-tourist-in-red-shirt.jpg'. As you can see, I used hyphens to split the words in the file, as this will help search engines recognize the individual words.
 
2. Adding ALT and Title Attributes 

In many content management systems, the Image Title and Alternate Text fields supply details about the picture. These act as the alternate text if an image cannot be displayed because of an error, a slow connection or several other reasons.

The title and ALT attributes are not only useful for visitors, but also for search engines, as they gives them a clue on what the image is about. That's why it is a good idea to use important keywords in your title and ALT attributes. For example, a picture of a New York City's skyline should not have the alt-description of Slide Image 1.

Additionally, ALT text can assist visually impaired readers. Those using a screen reader will hear the image description in place of the image.

To tell if your image has a title attribute, try taking your mouse cursor and hover over the image. A box should appear to display the title of the image, as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has done.

Las Vegas Alt-Attribute Example for Blog 

You can also review the code on the website to check for ALT text in the image tag.

  
Code Example of Alt Attribute

3. Editing the File Size

It's good to keep file sizes on your site to a minimum, as long as it does not compromise the overall appearance of the image to your visitors. There are many reasons for this, but one of the major reasons deals with site speed. There are statistics that indicate 47 percent of Internet users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. That same study states that 40 percent would abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. If you have large images that delay your page from fully loading, you are missing lots of marketing opportunities.

You can reduce file size with photo-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop. The tool can handle basic optimization steps like saving the image to an appropriate format, cropping unnecessary space and several other tasks. The video below shows how to use Photoshop's Save for Web and Devices option.

 

You can also make sure your file is in the best shape possible by doing some advanced optimization after saving it in Photoshop. These tools remove needless data that your software did not initially find. This creates a lossless image that is small and looks great. I recommend Yahoo's Smush.it for these tasks, as I have found it will remove several percentage points from my files' size.

So Fresh and So Clean

Trust me. If you follow these practices, your website will run faster. Additionally, search engines will have an easier time indexing its content. You may need to make some additions to your content management workflow to get everybody on-board. Once you do, these tasks will become second nature and will only take a few minutes to perform.

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Sam Headshot for Blog PostsSam Brace is a CMS Training Manager for Simpleview. For more information about strategy and development for your Web projects, e-mail us at info@simpleviewinc.com or call our offices at (520) 575-1151.

 

posted on: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 by: SBRAC
last updated on: Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 4:43 PM

ILoveNY & You Will Too!

Website Launches
ILoveNY LogoThere are 11 different regions and 62 counties in the state of New York, which adds up to a wide variety of information and tourist interests. The New York State Department of Economic Development wanted a website that provided visitors with a wealth of knowledge, plethora of listings, and really cool maps ... and that's exactly what they got!

Introducing - the new ILOVENY website.

ILoveNY - Before & After

One of the coolest elements of their new responsive website is the interactive Places To Go maps located at the top and bottom of each page. Select an area on the map, or use the drop down menu, to discover more information - explore regions, specific cities, interests for listings, and more.

ILoveNY - Maps

Along with links to the regional tourism offices, the ILOVENY site offers 5 day weather reports, along with seasonal specific content for each region. So, if you're planning a trip to Lake Placid for the summer, then you'd select the spring/summer icon to receive the most relevant content for your trip -cool, right?!

ILoveNY - Weather

And keeping with the spirit for being the one-stop-shop for visitor information, the ILOVENY site also offers a Social Hub so visitors can check out each social media website, read the latest post, and even ‘like' the different profiles all while staying on the main site.

ILoveNY - Social hub
The new ILOVENY website has a page that satisfies every traveler's desire for information, planning tools, and overall interest in New York. A truly unique DMO website, be sure to check it out for yourself!
 

posted on: Monday, Mar 17, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 9:07 AM

Niagara USA LogoNiagara Falls is a destination for world explorers, honeymooners and daredevils alike. Visitors flock to the region to be awe-inspired by the beauty and power of Niagara, indulge in shopping, and delight themselves with delicious food.

The Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation has a new website and we think you'll fall over it!

Niagara Falls

The large, rotating images are sure to catch the attention of ever visitor! The images represent the world class attraction and highlight related activates for to explore while on vacation.

Niagara Falls - 2

The new website also provides easy to filter, read and review accommodations and upcoming events; while the video/photo library helps meeting planners and visitors see Niagara from a variety of viewpoints.

Niagara Falls - 3

And what is a new website without its companion mobile site?! The mobile site provides immediate access while travelers are searching from their homes, on trains, or even while in Niagara.

Niagara Falls Mobile
Discover more Fun Facts on the new Niagara-USA website and understand why this is a ‘must-see' destination for all!
 

posted on: Friday, Mar 14, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Tuesday, Mar 25, 2014 9:07 AM

Backlink Removal for SEO Benefits

Search Engine Marketing

Backlinks (incoming links to your website) are a primary part of most search engine algorithms - obviously you have some really good content if a lot of people want to link back to it! But Google and the other search engines care about quality links more than the quantity of links and if "toxic" sites are linking to you, your rankings may suffer. A toxic backlink can be from irrelevant paid links, link farms, spammy sites, etc. We recommend at least an annual check of your backlinks with a strategy in place for backlink removal.

Here's a quick step-by-step guide to backlink removal from your Simpleview SEO team:

Step 1: Pull your backlink report via Google Webmaster Tools and start evaluating the sites linking to you. You might want to brew a pot or two of coffee - this is not a small undertaking. Any link that you're not proud to have back to your site you may consider having removed. You may also use other helpful tools like Open Site Explorer for this monumental task.

Step 2: Decide which backlinks will not be useful to your site and find contact information for those sites' webmasters. You'll want to draft an e-mail, send it, and follow up 2-3 times in the next month or so, so make sure to keep track of who you've contacted and when.

Step 3: Via Google Webmaster Tools, follow the steps to disavow links. By doing this, you'll be asking Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

Cleaning up your backlinks is time well spent, but remember that backlink correction is just one of many steps to making sure your site ranks well. Make sure backlink correction is just a piece in your annual SEO strategy.

Contact your SEM analyst if you have any questions about the above process or would like to know more about how or why it's done.

 

posted on: Monday, Mar 3, 2014 by: ELAIR
last updated on: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 11:42 AM

South Padre Island LogoSouth Padre Island is known for Spring Break and they like it that way! The small strip of land is known for its beautiful beaches and attracts both college students and families alike.

We joined forces with the South Padre Island Convention Centre & CVB to create a new website, along with implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system.

SPI Before and After

The South Padre Island CVB team worked with our Creative department to develop the new responsive website, including the fly-out navigation on each page. The website is easy to use on any device and the design makes it simple to navigate... even on the smallest of screens!

SPI Responsive
The new site is optimized to help visitors find exactly what they're looking for while planning their upcoming trip. Other additions include working with Destination Travel Network a content monetization strategy and an audience specific Spring Break microsite.

SPI Other
And what great timing - only a few more weeks until college students from around the world flock to celebrate a break from their studies in South Padre Island and they'll visit the new site to get the latest information on events, restaurant, activities and more!
 

posted on: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 8:53 AM

Simpleview Baby Alert!

Announcements

Carson Leo and Connor Glen were born happy and healthy!

Carson and Connor

All are doing well and are now at home with their big brother and parents.

Congratulations go out to Jessica Johnson, Senior CRM Analyst, and family!

 

posted on: Friday, Feb 21, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 2:48 PM

Pittsburgh LogoPittsburgh is a city filled with many interesting facts! For example, there are more than 300 steel-related business and 446 bridges in the city - most painted yellow! Also, Pittsburgh is known for having the world's first movie theater and 10 of the world's first green buildings, including the downtown convention center.

The unassuming "Steel City" is a wonder with its history, vibrant culture, booming industries, and general awesomeness. We're pleased to share with you Visit Pittsburgh's new website!

Pittsburgh Before and After

There are so many cool features to their new site - it'll be hard to mention all of them! Some of the great additions include a partner widget on the homepage. It rotates with a variety of partner logos, providing visitors with more information about the partner, and the partner potential visitors! 

Pittsburgh 2

Visit Pittsburgh also added highlights modules in the menu dropdowns to showcase upcoming events, local businesses, and more. They also partnered with Destination Travel Network to make the most of their website real estate and generate revenue through online adverting.

DTN

Other immediate upgrades include a controlled footer image to reflect the seasons, marketing themes, events, and so on, a coupon feed calling visitors to action as well as giving them discounted rates throughout the city, as well as a TASURA widget so visitors can buy tickets directly on the Visit Pittsburgh site.

Pittsburgh and More!

And although we could go on and on about Visit Pittsburgh's site, we can't forget their new mobile site! It's multi-device adaptable and includes coupon and event information.

Pittsburgh Mobile
Obviously we're fans of Visit Pittsburgh (and their new site) and you will be too!
 

posted on: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 12:49 PM

Albuquerque - It's a Trip®

Website Launches

Albuquerque LogoWhat do you think of when you hear the name Albuquerque? Balloon festival, green chili dishes, or maybe Breaking Bad?

Whatever came to mind, Albuquerque is a must-see destination in the American Southwest and now they have an updated website platform to more easily highlight what makes the ABQ different from other destinations.

ABQ

No, this is not a Photoshop fail. The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau wanted to fully integrate Simpleview CRM with our content management system (CMS), while keeping their original design and adding a few extras for visitors. We were happy to take the challenge and their ‘new' site offers an events search widget, Google Translate, new Media Gallery widget, Map It! and more.

Make sure to check out Albuquerque - It's a Trip® you'll never forget.

 

posted on: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 by: NPATR
last updated on: Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 10:33 AM