“Unlock the Door to a Higher Performing Web Presence”

Find your keys @ www.tourismkeys.ca

Tourism Keys A Handbook for Tourism Operators

Strategic Tourism Development and Marketing Partnership for Northern Ontario

This manual, its supporting website ( www.tourismkeys.ca) and workshops for the tourism industry have been developed under the guidance and support of the Partnership CRM Steering Committee by: Todd Lucier, Northern Edge Algonquin todd@corporatequest.ca Jill Vandal, the Tourism Company njvandal@tourismco.com D’Arcy McKittrick, the Tourism Company darcy@tourismco.com

T able of Contents
1 Introduction........................................................ 1
1.1 1.2 1.3 Begin the Journey! ....................................... 1 These Icons Will Guide You ....................... 2 How to Use this Manual.............................. 3 4.4 Brand Association ......................................45 4.4.1 Making the Most of Regional Brands .......45 4.4.2 Building your Reputation with Activity Brands............................................................46 4.5 Narrowcasting and Microsites...................48 4.6 Newsletters.................................................50 4.6.1 Plain Text or HTML Formatting? .............51 4.7 E-Zines....................................................... 51 4.8 Web Logs (Blogging).................................52


Setting the Foundation ................................... 4
2.1 A Marketing Framework ............................. 4 2.2 Customer Relationship Management ......... 9 2.2.1 CRM Defined .................................................9 2.2.2 The CRM Cycle............................................12 2.3 How Travellers Use the Internet ............... 13 2.3.1 By Origin Market .........................................15 2.3.2 By Type of Experience................................15


The Web as Your Operations Partner ...........55
5.1 Privacy Issues.............................................55 5.2 Responding to E-mail Inquiries ................57 5.3 Getting Information From Guests .............57 5.4 Data Management......................................59 5.4.1 On-line Data Management .........................59 5.5 On-line Payment ........................................60 5.6 Internal Communications .......................... 61 5.6.1 Instant Messenger ........................................61 5.6.2 IP Telephony ................................................62 5.6.3 Collaborative Meeting Rooms:...................62 5.7 Measuring Success.....................................63 5.7.1 Collect Incoming Data ................................63 5.7.2 Basic Web Analytics.....................................64 5.7.3 Deep Web Traffic Analytics .......................64 5.7.4 E-mail / Newsletter Statistics ....................65


The Essentials of a Good Website ................ 17
3.1 A Great Landing Page ............................... 18 3.2 Meeting Travellers’ Needs ........................ 20 3.3 Visually Appealing..................................... 22 3.4 Easy to Navigate........................................ 23 3.5 Great Web Copy......................................... 24 3.6 Generates Repeat Web Visits .................... 25 3.7 Builds Credibility....................................... 27 3.8 Calls-to-Action ........................................... 28 3.9 Strategic Use of Keywords......................... 29 3.9.1 Defining Your Keyword Universe .............30


Getting Travellers to Your Website .............. 31
4.1 Search Engine Optimization ..................... 32 4.1.1 Search Engine Submission..........................34 4.2 Keyword Advertising ................................. 35 4.2.1 Types of Keyword Advertising..................36 4.2.2 Writing Ads to Maximize Keywords.........38 4.2.3 Ensuring Your Listing Stays Put................38 4.2.4 Keyword Advertising Reports....................39 4.3 E-Mail Marketing ...................................... 40 4.3.1 Getting your mail read.................................40 4.3.2 SPAM Labelling — Be sure it's not you!..42 4.3.3 When to Send E-mail ..................................42 4.3.4 Choosing the Best Tool to Send E-Mail ..42 4.3.5 Bounce Management...................................43


Getting it Done ..............................................67
6.1 Fundamentals for Implementation............67 6.2 Outsource or Manage Your Own? .............67 6.2.1 Hiring the Right Firm..................................68 6.2.2 What to Look for in a Search Engine Marketing Firm.............................................68 6.2.3 What to Look for in a Search Engine Optimization Firm .......................................69 6.3 How Does Internet Fit Your Business?..... 71

7.1 7.2

Appendices ....................................................72
Glossary and Definitions............................72 Sources of Information and Tools .............74


Thanks to the Rainbow Country Travel Association for their administrative support and guidance throughout this project. Thanks to the tourism operators who provided quotes about their experiences with the Internet as a business tool.Acknowledgements Thanks to the members of the Partnership CRM Working Group of the Strategic Tourism Development and Marketing Partnership for Northern Ontario for their guidance and review of materials throughout this process: Erin Downey Virginia Doucett Kim Fewchuk Julia Holliday Jane Karhi Chris Milner Guy Paquette Sherri Smith Nancy Rosset Thanks to the more than 150 Northern Ontario tourism operators who attended the workshops from January to March 2005 and who helped us test and refine this material. .

ca/tutorials.htm.tourismkeys. faces both opportunities and challenges with the continuing growth and evolution of the Internet and technology. including highlights of the latest research on who uses the Internet and for what. a goal for all tourism businesses.1 1 Introduction Join us as we explain who this manual is for. It is supported by a dedicated website with selfguided tutorial at www. As with all strategies. The material presented in this manual has been tested and refined with input from a broad range of tourism business owners and managers who attended workshops conducted in Northern Ontario in early 2005. The content continues to evolve as the technology and the Internet evolve. you alone must determine the fit of your Internet strategy with your overall business goals. concepts and tactics to improve the effectiveness of your Webbased marketing covered in this manual will not necessarily suit all tourism businesses.1 Begin the journey! The topics of the remaining chapters are outlined below and include: 2 Setting the Foundation… includes the broader marketing context for your Internet strategy. This chapter also introduces Customer Relationship Management. as in many industries. Begin your journey to unlocking the door to a higher performing website for your tourism business! Chapter M arketing in tourism. 1 . This handbook provides a written resource guide for tourism businesses that are already actively using the Internet as a sales and marketing tool through the use of a website for their business. now and in the future. how to use it and what you will find in the following chapters. 1. Each of the principles.

concepts and how it might be used by your business. 6 Getting it Done … looks at how the Internet fits your business and discusses strategies to deal with challenges.3 The Essentials of a Good Website … highlights the key elements of an attractive and useful website for current. The following is a brief description of what they mean. responding to e-mail inquiries. 2 . 1. 4 Getting Travellers to Your Website… outlines strategies and tactics to drive visitors to your website and ultimately to buy your tourism experience. Think about it… gives you planning and decision-making tools that you can apply to your own business needs. A Focus on CRM …. Look at it… provides examples and lessons of ‘best practices’ of other tourism businesses and organizations.highlights the features of a great customer relationship strategy every step along the way. 5 The Web as Your Operations Partner … covers such topics as privacy issues. potential and future customers. A glossary and relevant Web addresses for future reference are included in the Appendices.2 These icons will guide you ICON KEY Learn about it Look at it Think about it Now you do it! A focus on CRM You will see the icons at the left throughout this manual and on the website. data management. Now you do it! … gives you the space to outline your personal action plan and additional resources to consider as you implement that plan. Learn about it… provides such information as definitions. on-line payments and measuring success.

influence the design. but are presented to illustrate the range and effectiveness of free and paid options for your consideration. It is designed to give you information and tools so that when you speak to your Web support person.1. consider your needs and implement at your own pace. content and features of your website to support your overall marketing efforts. as the owner and operator of the tourism business. you are clear on what you need done. There is a full range of information for your consideration and use in this manual. For many.3 How to Use this Manual The design and presentation of this material assumes that the user is not necessarily the person who administers and edits content on a website. This approach ensures that you. Please note that products and services highlighted in the manual and in the tutorials are not endorsed by any members of the Partnership. For others. Do not think that everything must be implemented and/or changed right away. improving your website and making sure it is found by visitors seeking the experience you offer is the only information that will be used. 3 . Take a step back. there is more in-depth information.

packaging with other trade area businesses. while influencing expectations. prebooking/ reservations. Product Development & Delivery Consistently delivering the right visit experience to the right visitor at the right time. Marketing Communications Development & delivery of messages to clients that inform and influence — such as: advertising and promotion. and far-reaching tool. Chapter T he Internet is one element of a well rounded marketing strategy for tourism operators.1 A Marketing Framework Far too often tourism marketing is viewed as a very narrow activity. Sales Convert a potential visitor’s “desire to visit” into an actual visit — first time and repeat — such as: pricing. You will use these as you build and enhance your Internet marketing strategy. corporate partners. 2. Research & Plan Undertaking and collecting relevant. etc. but it is not a replacement for a marketing strategy. It also provides information on how the Internet is used by travellers. competitive analysis. equated only with “advertising”. stakeholders. In practice marketing is much broader. Marketing Building and maintaining long term relationships with clients: visitors. timely research . It is a very powerful. 4 .2 2 Setting the Foundation Chapter 2 sets the foundation for enhancing your website by providing a marketing framework and introduction to Customer Relationship Management. and general public. immediate. opportunity identification.such as: visitor tracking. visitor needs/wants. Only when operators have a clear idea of the marketing goals and objectives they want to achieve should they look to the Internet. encompassing all of the activities undertaken to build and maintain long-term relationships with clients.

org 5 . with use of the Internet providing access to a broad range of market data and information more quickly than low-tech activities. competitive analysis. In fact.canadiantourism.on. Research and Planning The Internet provides tools for better research and planning in at least three areas: market demand assessment.To do that well takes a lot more than advertising.gov. marketing communications (or advertising). low tech activities may be the core activities.ca • Discussions with other operators Canadian Tourism Commission — • Hire consultants www. and. Understanding the size and characteristics of potential markets. For example. as well as market trends that may affect a tourism business are important “big picture” issues. it is important to have a thorough understanding of a particular client group. For some components of the marketing function. The key to a good marketing strategy is to develop tactics in each of the four areas that are integrated or complimentary. These can be addressed through market demand assessment. their needs. Market Research Low Tech/non-Internet High Tech/Internet • Studies. almost any marketing activity can be enhanced by using an appropriate Internet application.world-tourism.tourism. publications & reports at • On-line sources seminars/workshops and by mail Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation — www. Low-Tech and High-Tech Working Together Typically each component of the marketing function can be implemented through a combination of “low-tech” or non-Internet activities and “high-tech” or Internet activities. “listening” to customers. product development and delivery. and sales — as illustrated in the previous page. leading to a desired outcome.com World Tourism Organization — www. supplemented or enhanced with specific Internet applications. For others. the Internet may be the most effective medium for implementing some marketing functions with low-tech tactics taking a support role. it may be useful to think of marketing as a business function with four components — research and planning. desires and characteristics (planning and research) so that the best combination of facilities and services can be offered (product development and delivery). and be prepared to ask for and accept the reservation (sales promotion). But in general. You then have to let them know when the experience is available and under what terms (external communications).

the Internet allows you expand the scope and scale of this type of research. visitor • “Surfing”/searching the Web using guides keywords that describe your business Discussions with other operators • Visiting competitor websites “Mystery Shopping” by telephone • Subscribe to travel e-newsletters/sites such as: Canadian Tourism News — Travel and visit www. Competitive Analysis Low Tech/non-Internet High Tech/Internet Collect and review brochures. Partnering with other tourism operators to offer packages for your customers can be a time consuming process at the development (finding partners.com National Geographic Traveller — www.com Look around at trade and consumer Outside On-line — shows www.nationalgeographic. booking information) in a timely fashion once the package concept has been agreed 6 . This is followed closely by sharing information (pricing.Keeping tabs on what your competitors are doing and understanding how your offer compares — in other words. But given that it is often difficult to set aside enough time for talking to each and every one of your customers. long heart-to-heart talk with your customers when it comes to monitoring how well you are meeting their needs and desires. availability. developing packages) and delivery (offering seamless experience to customers) stages. and experience enhancement — can benefit from use of Internet applications. competitive analysis — is an important part of planning and research. letters • Tracking website traffic — hits and click-throughs Discussions/contests at consumer and • Past guest e-mail survey trade shows Customer comment cards • Website registration/user survey/contest Debriefing staff • • • • Product Development At least two product development activities — partnering/packaging. One of the most daunting challenges is physically “getting together” to create packaging/partnering concepts and ideas.outsideaway. or to make yourself available at times that are convenient to both you and the customers. Listening to Customers Low Tech/non-Internet High Tech/Internet Telephone.canadatourism. mail inquiries.com • • • • • There may be no substitute for a good. This can be undertaken much easier and more frequently using the Internet than relying only on low-tech activities.

Business listing (with a live link) on Web directories and portals such as www. don’t forget that putting a couple of Internet connected computers at the disposal of guests — instant Internet Café — can provide another form of entertainment for those who just have to surf. From building pre-trip excitement and anticipation through virtual visits. As illustrated. even).net (Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership). couriered packages and faxes. globally. Web conferences (with video. The range of Internet applications available to tourism operators for marketing communications is constantly expanding and evolving. your website can become an integral part of the visit experience. Internet applications such as instant messaging. e-mail. with a current list including: Website. at other times influencing takes precedence.upon. Even if that is true for you. what is important is that information needs are likely to be different at each stage — sometimes informing is the key objective. 7 . it is possible to look at the communication life cycle as having four stages or progressions. Starting with “choosing experience/destination” for first time customers. And. it may in fact start with the glow. it is important to realize that existing and potential customers’ needs and interest in the information that you provide via the Internet differ depending on where they are in the communication life cycle. Often overlooked is how Internet applications can enhance the actual visitor experience. to instant “memories and bragging” that visitors can post during their visit for friends and relatives to see. Web logs (or “blogs”) and shared websites can facilitate both more efficiently than endless face-to-face meetings. Regardless of where a customer enters the cycle. the cycle progresses through “planning and buying” to “traveling and visiting” and then the “after the visit” glow and recollections. For repeat customers. Choosing Experience/ Destination Planning & Buying Marketing Communications Marketing communications is the application that introduced many tourism operators to the Internet for the first time as it is a relatively inexpensive means of pushing advertising messages to potential clients. Many operators may Traveling After still consider this the primary role for & Visiting The Visit the Internet.ontario.

e-newsletters. So.) • • • • • 8 . and. and E-Zines (or on-line magazines). These are all discussed in more detail throughout this handbook. this is the area of Internet use by potential travellers that has seen the most dramatic increase in acceptance.. Instant messaging. more and more Web users are prepared to complete transactions on the Web. In general.e.). Yahoo. Although not complete. including providing some form of electronic payment.. real time booking Travel trade (travel agents. etc. E-mails. tour and confirmation operators. Sales Making it easy and convenient for customers to purchase your offer is the goal of the sales promotion component of marketing. etc.Search engines (i. Over the past few years.e. when is there space available?) Mail/fax coupons and special offers • Reservations/e-commerce — e-mail Customer loyalty programs request and response. Google. It is unlikely that low-tech sales promotion activities will soon be completely replaced by Internet applications — because some operators and some potential customers will never be ready to engage in commercial transactions on the Web — rather some combination of the two is likely necessary. • Web log (or Blog). Sales Promotion Low Tech/non-Internet High Tech/Internet “working the phones” • Website/e-mail inquiries On-site “upselling” • Checking availability (i. the opportunity (and the challenge) for tourism operators is to encourage and facilitate commercial transactions. illustrated below is a list of low-tech and high-tech options.

The buyer was farther away from the manufacturer and mass sales became the norm. What is all the buzz about and how can you use it to the advantage of your tourism business? One-on-one relationships are not new to business or to travel. In the past. CRM is the means to begin and manage a long term relationship with your ideal target markets. traders. The industrialization of the world changed that and as urban centres grew. a relationship of trust was established directly between the buyer and seller as there was no middle man.2. 2. It is therefore critical that all staff that interacts directly with your customers have access to the same information on current and 9 . In tourism. In travel. This detailed knowledge then provides your business with the tools to interact with your customer in a meaningful way at each stage of the decision-making cycle. It establishes a one-on-one relationship between your tourism business and your visitors. The relationship is based primarily on the data you collect. A CRM strategy builds a database of in-depth information about current. Farmers. More than data collection. past and potential customers or contacts over time.1 CRM Defined CRM is the building of the relationship with customers to increase their loyalty to your business and to increase their purchases from you. so did a long distance economy. merchants and artisans sold and bartered directly with their customers. CRM is. is getting a lot of attention these days.2. according to the World Tourism Organization. CRM is a process rather than a means and must be done in the context of your broader business strategy and tourism operations. in a rather sterile manner. The cycle has shifted from one marketer selling to the masses to one-on-one relationships. The Internet has changed that. “a way of doing business that is based on the principle that knowledge of and a relationship with customers is a key component to building new sales and to generating repeat sales from existing customers”. In the early 18th and 19th centuries.2 Customer Relationship Management C ustomer relationship management. as in other sectors. the offer was typically more standardized. otherwise known as CRM. this customer focus is reinforced by the increased demands and interest for customization of trips that the visitor is now seeking. The process of CRM builds on the generally accepted rule that 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your customers. This access has given travellers the balance of power and the economy is now more customer-focused. the individual now has unlimited access to research and to buy from anywhere in the world. The Internet allows travellers to compare prices and tourism experiences from the comfort of their home. monitor and interpret.

After the Visit You have information and preferences to establish the foundation for a long term relationship with your customers and maintain that contact even when sales may not be occurring. 10 . mode of travel and who they are traveling with. Travelling and Visiting Data you have allows you to customize on-site services/facilities and personalize greetings. message content and timing of messages can be customized based on the knowledge you have gathered and considered as part of your CRM approach to business.potential customers. You can be proactive in presenting your best potential customers with customized experiences and products. This knowledge may lead you in one of two directions — ‘firing’ these clients or working with this knowledge to provide them with more services that they will indeed purchase. Add hyper links on the invitation to an article in a respected journal or magazine that discusses the phenomenon. Stage of Decision-making cycle Choosing an Experience/Destination Planning and Buying The power of CRM You are knowledgeable and efficient in responding to inquiries because you will be in a position to provide information about the broader destination and complementary activities of interest to the visitor. You can shorten the sales cycle due to increased loyalty from your customer. Design and post a Web page that highlights families using your facilities at various times of the year. you may determine that very loyal repeat visitors are in fact. Circulate e-mails through a database of your customers that identifies keen night watchers and/or appropriate clubs and organizations. Data gathered as part of an ongoing CRM strategy can be used at two levels — strategic and tactical. Some specific examples follow: Customize invitations to families that are repeat visitors in the summer to join you at school break times. You can provide maps. marketing promotions. For example. at the strategic level. directions and other information based on where they are traveling from. The following chart illustrates the power of CRM at the four stages of the decision-making cycle. as they know you and have confidence in you and your tourism business. At the tactical level. Design and promote a program for avid night sky watchers that is themed around an unusual and infrequent natural phenomenon. not your ideal customer as they spend little on site or do not opt for many of the extras that you provide.

S. 11 .-only holiday periods. The specific tools to support these Internet-based tactics are presented in the following chapters. Send messages to U.Plan food and beverage that reinforces the theme and evening timing of the event. guests and inquiries that highlight packages around U.S.

4.2. are always going to our website to get a good sense of who we are. 2001 “Each year it becomes increasingly more important to reach our customers through the internet. Many people just aren't at the spring shows any more. Lynn Cox.2.2. according to Nykamp illustrated below. Deliver increased value to customers. E-Business for Tourism. Interact with customers and prospective customers in the delivery of customized experiences and products. The CRM Cylcle The CRM CycleThe CRM cycle has four main stages. Develop & Customize Develop products. characteristics and behaviours. 2. retain valuable customers. 1. Understand & Differentiate Understand customers’ needs in order to differentiate based on their needs. Interact & Deliver Source: Nykamp CRM Cycle. Acquire & Retain Acquire customers and prospective customers. services. channels to meet customer needs and customize by market segment. Canoe Frontier 12 . and those that are. 3. World Tourism Organization. Our Web practices are absolutely crucial to enhanced customer relationships”.

planning and buying. Additional information on how travellers use the Internet follows. 4.2.tourismpartners. provides a clear four stage process for you to follow: 1. Review the most current Travel Activities and Motivation Study (TAMS) research available through the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMCP) tourism industry page www. Research and plan to understand and differentiate various target markets that you serve or want to attract. Each stage requires a different message. but now they look on the Internet two weeks ahead and search for bargains. Your understanding of how your visitors use the Internet will contribute to the development of an appropriate CRM cycle. first time or repeat. Develop and deliver customized products and experiences for your target markets that show each market that you understand their specific needs. Close the sale to acquire/retain customers by converting a visitor’s desire to visit into an actual visit.to identify what secondary types of activities your target sector likes to combine with the primary trip motivator. you need a website that is good enough to ‘close the sale’. 13 .com — research/new research/TAMS .1 with the CRM Framework outlined in Section 2. Other trends on the Internet and word of mouth include: Word of mouth remains the primary means of selecting a travel destination.3 How Travellers Use the Internet As discussed above. A research report completed by Research Resolutions in 2004 and commissioned by FedNor to provide in-depth analysis of the nature-based tourism industry in Northern Ontario. 3. entitled “Northern Landscapes: Opportunities for Nature-Based Tourism in Northern Ontario” provides some relevant trends for Northern Ontario tourism suppliers: Roger Brooks on trends impacting adventure travel in the United States: People used to plan their vacations a year in advance. To attract Americans. 2. traveling and visiting and after the visit. 2.The combination of the Marketing Framework outlined in Section 2. Develop and deliver messages to each target market at all stages of the decision-making cycle about the customized products and experiences you can deliver to them. Stages of decision making cycle include choosing which destination or experience they are seeking. the Internet is a useful tool in a complete marketing and CRM cycle.

either in the destination site or accessible through links. The growing need for secure on-line reservations has to be stressed in relation to more experienced and self-assured tourists. 51% women. use the Internet higher than those who travel less-frequently.3 million travellers or ‘on-line travellers’. Frequent travellers. Traveller’s Use of the Internet. The Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) has been tracking the use of the Internet by U.000 on-line on travel products and services.S.6 million of on-line travellers book or make reservations on-line. and 50% use destination websites. adults who use the Internet are travellers. Travelocity or Priceline.S. The share of on-line bookers making all of their reservations on-line has increased from 29% in 2003 to 40% in 2004. 47% are Baby Boomers between 35 and 54 years of age. 83% of on-line bookers use the Internet to do at least half of their travel booking. Sites used for travel planning include: 70% use on-line travel agency sites such as Microsoft. 60% use company-owned websites such as those for hotels and airlines. Expedia. 59% use search engines. 2004 Edition Highlights Use of Internet by Travellers 82% of U. That translates into a market of 98. will become more important as a basic precondition for the success of websites. 70% of on-line planners and 45% or 44. The availability of in-depth information on suppliers’ products. travellers since 1993. Average spending for on-line travel is estimated at $2 700 per year. Travel Planning Travel Reservations Spending on-line Profile of Users Source: Travellers’ Use of the Internet 2004 Edition. Highlights of the report “Traveller’s Use of the Internet. 62% spend more than $1. Tourism Industry Association of America 14 . 65% of on-line travellers consult the Internet to get travel and destination information. The possibility of ‘shopping’ via the Internet will stimulate later bookings. those who take more than 5 trips a year. 49% men. 2004 Edition” provides useful insight to the role and importance of the Internet.Experienced tourists will increasingly put together their own holidays on a modular basis with direct bookings. 38% are College graduates. Tourism business owners should keep these uses in mind as they plan their Internet strategy.

Travel Industry Association of America 2003. is highest in on-line booking European Travel in Europe.2 By Type of Experience Various research reports review the use of the Internet for planning and booking by the type of experience.5 million users in the On-line bookings increasing. followed by ATV clubs (26%) and the Internet (13%).K. rest of Europe second in Europe behind UK. 47%). When planning their trip. 39%) travel magazines (37%. Some specific examples are presented below.7 million users in agents and tour operators due to Western Europe consumer protection laws. 36%) and travel agencies (34%. travel supplier brochures (35%. Northern Landscapes: Opportunities for Nature-Based Tourism in Northern Ontario Research Resolutions 2004 2. there were 208. 29%) Source: Geotourism: The New Trend in Travel. 39%). Department of Urban and Regional Planning.1 By Origin Market Visitors from overseas countries have varying access to the Internet and may have different usage patterns than what you are used to. A review of usage of the Internet by major origin markets for Canada is presented below as a starting point. March 2004. of Wisconsin Madison/Extension).3.3. 36%) travel suppliers websites (30%. majority buy through Commission1 estimates that retail travel agents. in-room guides (42%. Best sources of information to find out what travel companies are doing to protect and preserve the environment (noted first) and culture of destination (noted second) are travel guidebooks (43%. Origin Country United Kingdom Comment on Use of Internet Statistics Germany France U. (Source: Economic & Demographic Profile of Wisconsin’s ATV Users. U. • 43.2 million Internet users in Europe at Increasing use of researching for the end of 2003 including: travel but strong dependence upon booking through travel • 164. 29%) and destination websites (29%. 15 .2. 52 percent of Wisconsin’s ATV tourists relied upon word of mouth. Sources: 1. You must know and understand those differences as you develop and implement your Internet strategy. Wisconsin ATV Association.

Internet is an efficient channel to reach Outdoor Activists.A. Activity Sector % Using the Internet for Research – any topic 58% % Booking at least one trip on the Internet 23% Researcher’s comments Aboriginal Tourism “…slightly more likely to use the Internet as a research tool and were more likely to have booked a trip over the Internet in the past two years. Given the age of those interested in Aboriginal tourism experiences. “Campers were average users of the Internet as a source of information and as a channel to book travel activities. the Internet represents only a secondary channel to promote Aboriginal related tourism products.S. Lang Research 2002 16 .” Campers 58% Hunters and Fishers Naturalists 45% 15% 17% 45% 11% Outdoor Activists 64% 31% Source: T.” “…are above-average users of the Internet as a source of general information and as channel to book travel activities.” “Hunters and fishers were below average users of the Internet as a source of general information and as a channel to book travel activities.The Travel Activities and Motivation Study (T. This reflects the fact that many within this segment are mature and less likely to be Internet or computer users.S.M. does provide useful comparative information by sector.M.” “…less likely than average to use the Internet as source of general information or as a channel for booking a trip. completed by Lang Research in 2002 with data collected in 1999 and 2000 while somewhat dated given the fast growth of the Internet in the last few years.)..A.

Chapter 3 The Essentials of a Good Website A good website can be made into a great website by following nine basic principles as listed below and detailed in this chapter. Establishing and building credibility about your tourism facility. 6. and build a desire to become your guest. 3. Visually appealing. it is an important one. Easy to navigate. Great Web copy that encourages your website visitors to stay on your site. consider these as the basics. 1.3 Now we’re getting to the fun part! Chapter 3 presents the essential elements in the design of a great website that is an important step in developing a strong relationship with your customer and to generating inquiries and sales. 2. When you design and update your Web pages. 8. Meeting travellers’ information needs. 5. Generating repeat visits to your website. 17 . 7. A landing page that captures the interest of the viewer. Calls-to-action. While your Web page is one of many ways that you use to interact with your customers. service or experience. 9. ask for more information. Strategic use of keywords. Ultimately the essential element of a good website is anticipating what the traveller is seeking and providing that information to them. 4.

but often is not. 18 . a page that highlights specific seasonal experiences or be one that targets a specific market segment. Each of the pages below can be a landing page. This page brings the visitor to information on a range of canoe and kayak adventures This page brings the visitor to information on weekend getaways.1 A Great Landing Page A landing page is the first Web page that a visitor sees without scrolling. A landing page may take the Web visitor to a particular experience that you are highlighting. It can be your home or welcome page.3. a sub page of the site above.

This page brings the visitor to information on family reunions and special events. A headline that conveys benefits 3. your headline should convey the benefits to your audience. Critical information is ‘above the fold’ Treat your landing page like a newspaper on your doorstep – what do you see ‘above the fold’? The items below should be in this space. visually stimulating. A headline must be included in the visible part of the first page that people see. visiting other pages or considering a course of action. Logo ‘in context’ Load your website in a browser and assess the ‘viewable space’ when the page loads. Important Features of A Landing Page 1. Ensure it is in context. and inspires reading. your bold promise. Without using a scroll bar. 19 . Does it show pictures of what they expect to see? Are they appropriate to the season? To the market? To the experience? Your logo does not have to be large and it may be taking up important space. Simply put. 2. Images suitable to the audience 4. check to see if your viewable space is engaging.

events. keep in mind the different needs of each of your target markets when determining what content is most important to your guests. history.e. how to dress) Weather report/forecast (so they can plan how to pack) Current local time and date Location.3. promotions (42%) Rental cars (41%) Dining/entertainment (40%) Local events calendar (35%) Travel packages (35%) Places to go (34%) Regional Travel Information Basics about Your Tourism Business Forms and Policies Answers to Frequently Asked Questions — ( FAQs) 20 . Vegetarian. By making it easy for your guest to find the appropriate and necessary information quickly and easily you reduce your administration costs while reducing the frustration level of the person visiting your website. etc. trails. They may also bookmark your site to come back to these references.2 Meeting Travellers’ Needs All travellers require basic information to make their journey to Northern Ontario easy to plan. non-smoking/smoking. One approach is to provide external hyperlinks to Web resources which will provide your guests with information that will enhance their travel planning experience. Features to Include on Your Website General Traveller Information Map and travel directions Public transportation info Rental car contact info Directions and transportation options from the airport or train station. Travel essentials — what travellers need to know when visiting your destination (bug season. Links to national / provincial travel associations What to bring International Travel information What sorts of things are there to do in the area? Provide links to area attractions. consider including the following features on your website. ownership. Map of facility Contact information and office hours Registration forms and policies Cancellation policies Privacy policy Do you have any special rates (youth/seniors)? Do you have any last minute specials? How do I make a reservation? Do you provide for special needs? (i. As always. As noted in the summary of research into what visitors are looking for. etc. pets?. Currency converter for the markets that you are in. festivals. presented in the side bar.) TIA’s 2004 report on use of the Internet for travel provides the ‘top 10’ list of information that travellers search for: Maps/driving directions (70%) Airfares/schedules (69%) Places to stay (67%) Things to do (49%) Discounts.

gc. etc.gov. border crossing. Some sources of useful information for guests include: A full range of information visitors www. Web Design Tip In addition to providing information yourself.ca Currency Conversion www.on.mnr.Look at it Wilderness North (www.theweathernetwork. Make sure these new pages open up in a window inside your website so that once they close that page the visitor is still on your website.com) provides their guests with “The Most Complete Outdoors Packing List” both on-line and in a printerfriendly Adobe Acrobat format. They also encourage guests to let them know if there is anything missing so that they can update the list.xe.weatheroffice.ontariotravel. Fishing and Hunting Regulations www.com or www.com 21 . typically seek such as GST rebates.ca Weather – with a link to local weather www. provide links to other credible partners that provide the most current information. Travel Tips travel distances.wildernessnorth.net — Travel Tools.ec.

4. Text should be broken up by headlines. Consistent with overall branding and identity. Selling to families will have different images than selling romantic getaways.3. you must ensure that you capture their interest and make it easy for them to read by presenting a visually appealing page. Copy can be easily scanned. Use a plain background rather than background stationary which interferes with the font. Images for a corporate retreat will differ from those for school groups. Features of Visually Appealing Website 1. It will also clutter a hand copy. Your website must reflect images that reflect the audience you are selling to. Features to consider are outlined below. Images suitable to audience. clear and dark font to ensure copy is easily readable. Additional considerations for copy are presented in Section 3.3 Visually Appealing The Web is quickly scanned by readers. Ensure the theme is consistent on-line and off-line with your organizational identity(ies) and branding. consistent and easy to read by all ages. 3. Keep in mind different browsers. 2. screen resolutions. text boxes and pictures. Use large. therefore. Design for 800 x 600 which will also be easily viewed by those higher resolutions as illustrated below. Font is clear.5 ‘Great Web Copy’. 1280 x 800 pixels 800 x 600 pixels 22 . colour profiles.

Left hand navigation bars has become the norm although navigation links across the top are also widely used. 2. Add an option to search your site as shown below. Hover bars are an attractive approach. Links open within the same window 4. Simple. external links in a new window. Internal links within your website should open in the same window. Navigation bars on every page 3. This reduces the frustration of those seeking specific information. The navigation bars should be visible from any section of the page.3. consistent navigation Getting around your website should be easy and straightforward. Search capacity within your and/or site map 23 . Features to make your site easy to navigate 1.4 Easy to Navigate Your website must be easy for visitors to find the information they are seeking and to get answers to their questions. Include the features below to make your site easy to navigate. Keep it consistent on every page and as simple as possible.

you'll find. bold italic and colour for emphasis (be careful with underlining as it is standard hyperlink form). use inverted pyramid form of writing — like newspapers. highlight. don't make your website look like an ad. “In my travels over the past two years there are not many places in Canada and particularly Ontario that have not heard of the South River Black Fly Hunt. It is truly amazing that our website and e-mail communication could be picked up and transmitted by the media so that so many people could hear about our event. Provide a FAQ page to meet potential guest needs for information in a cost effective manner. ON 24 . ask for more information. they want to get a sense of whether or not you can meet their needs. In as short a time as possible. Your goal is to encourage website visitors to stay on your site.” vs. First. Use words which show you fully expect them to visit — “When you visit. Be clear and confident. use meaningful subheadings so that the reader can get to the information they are seeking quickly. It is important that your copy can be easily scanned. To make your copy easily scanned: use bulleted lists. using bold.” Chris Hundley. Include a ‘Call-to-Action’. Write text that appeals to your Web visitor’s imagination..” Strive for a conversational style.3. and set text and photos in boxes to break up copy. South River. include one idea per paragraph. Develop compelling content that is concise and objective. People scan the Web and generally do not read every word. and build a desire to become your guest.. Tips on writing great Web copy follow: People on the Web do not want to be sold to. Your website must communicate the value of establishing a relationship with your tourism business as quickly as possible. Mayor. it is important to understand how people read the Web.8. “If you choose to come ..5 Great Web Copy Writing for a Web page is different than writing for a brochure or print advertisement. discussed in more detail in Section 3.

25 . Guest Pictures and Stories: Make it easy for guests to share pictures and/or stories. make them available on your site so they click through to your site. By encouraging visitors to share their pictures with others who they shared their experience with. think of what motivates you to return to some of your favorite websites. Change your offer often and get permission from your mailing list to inform them when you have something new! 2. Make sure your on-line offers or "Web Only" specials do not conflict with other channels for selling your tourism experience.com) provides an opportunity for guests to post comments in a guest book. 1.3. Contests and Giveaways: Offer contest entries that require potential guests to sign up for your newsletter. 3. Ten tactics and tools that are successful at getting visitors to return to a website again and again are outlined below. you will also generate new website visits from your guest's family and friends.gammondalefarm. Gammondale Farms (www. Give them a reason to return to your site! As you consider the design and content of your Web page.6 Generates Repeat Web Visits People return to well-designed websites. prize or specials regularly and ask permission to let them know when you have a new contest or prize. If you send notification of specials by e-mail. Specials: Let people know you change your contest.

Provide Resources of Interest: Provide resources of interest to the target market. If you continually refresh your content your guests will have a good reason to stop in and say hello. attractions. consider having a Web cam trained on some particularly scenic aspect of your viewscape. 8.ca pages. Web Gallery: Post high quality images (desktop pictures. snowmobiling trail conditions. magazine and latest book ‘reviews’.com) has created “Tales from the Trails” for this purpose. 6. 5. Not only do they come back to your site. Provide screen savers and/or postcards from your site that visitors can download or forward to others.4. This content can provide a great reason for people to visit your site often and recommend it to others as a great resource. The enhanced position these pages are often afforded by search engines is a bonus. 9. Provide Broad-based Tourism Resources: Consider providing an entire page dedicated to detailed background information on your most important regional tourism brands: parks. Web Cam: If you have an inspiring location. trails. 10. 26 . What's Happening: Provide a ‘what's happening’ page or on-line newsletter page. but each time they use their computer they connect with you in your images. guests will come back to your site to continue and enrich new relationships they established when they visited you. printable images) on your website and encourage guests to come back regularly and download new photos. hiking. recipes from the wilderness or used on shore lunches. or use your Web log to give current news. For example. 7.queticooutfitters. Killarney Mountain Lodge provides a direct link to the Killarney Provincial Park website. Quetico Outfitters (www. Software which automatically uploads the images at regular intervals gives guests something new (and in real time!) that they can see each time they visit your website. By hosting the on-line reunion space. Tell a Friend: Provide a simple hyperlink that asks your Web visitor to send an e-mail to a friend as on the tourismkeys. most recent bird sightings. ATV. Message Boards: Provide opportunities for your guests to leave messages for one another.

When you establish partnerships with other credible organizations. Testimonials Quotations from previous guests can be very effective. take the time to highlight your relationships with these organizations. Awards and Recognition 5. non-traditional relationships. and website content. publication. chambers of commerce and economic development agencies recognize excellence in tourism. but in order to build up a collection of them. or scanned the text from printed media. Record the date. But to win most awards. author. Tourism organizations.3. Quality Assurance Standards 4. Guests may write unsolicited supporting testimonials. Post links to these organizations once you have received permission. Media Stories Web design tip If you serve multiple niche markets. Post awards on your website with links to the sponsoring organization where appropriate. and update your earned media by having a tracking system in place. or they may be clustered on a dedicated credibility page. identify your partners by showing their logos and providing hyperlinks between your sites. Features to Build Credibility 1. Whether an activity oriented alliance. consider organizing your credibility elements so they appear on or are linked from your designated landing pages for each niche. or specific partnerships to deliver an experience. then provide typed copy. A good practice is to copy the article from the Web in case it is eventually archived or removed. Partnerships 27 . providing the reference on a page within your website. Ensure that the content of the credibility builders speaks to how you serve each market. Five specific ways to build credibility are outlined below.7 Builds Credibility It is important to provide visitors to your website with unbiased third party information that demonstrates how well you can meet your target markets’ needs. Send press releases and document the earned media that is generated. Do you or your staff have certifications or accreditation? Are you affiliated with an organization that recognizes your high standards? Do you follow principles of operation or adhere to a standard of care that might be inspiring to your target market? Take time to document what your standards of care are. Credibility elements can be organized so that they appear on each page. you need to apply for them. and identify the organizations and/or certification that recognizes your level of excellence. If you write stories that get published on the Web in E-Zines be sure to include them on your website. Be sure to inform your partners of the steps you are taking to recognize the importance of your partnership and ask them to provide a hyperlink to your site. Lead with your most impressive story for each market. Provide hyperlinks to the articles where they appear on the Web. 3. 2. take time to ask guests for them. Write press releases for international and niche specific publications.

both on-line and through more traditional channels such as telephone. A Big Yes Make it easy for your website visitor to book. Some examples include: Sign up now to receive information on Web-only specials! Sign up now to receive our quarterly newsletter. This small yes. catch those who show interest by collecting their e-mail address with a small yes or a secondary call-to-action. last minute or time limited specials. etc. attached to an action. Sign up now to be the first to get dates and rates for program XYZ. small and large. For example: offer a bonus or gift. which provides the visitor with a chance to start the relationship with your business in a non-threatening way.3. A Small Yes Since most visitors to your website will never buy. Invite people to join your e-mail list for special offers. An e-mail address is far less threatening to ask for than the numbers on their credit card. gives you permission to send information to your potential guest. Additional detail on forms of permission-based marketing is presented in Chapter 5. e-newsletter. updates. You want to make it as easy for the customer as possible to make their commitment to your tourism business. fax or mail. 28 . There are two levels of calls-to-action or commitment that you are seeking from potential and current guests when they visit your website. discounts. A big yes is a call-to-action such as ‘call now to book your vacation’.e. Make sure that you deliver what you promise. provide options. register or pay. etc. When asking for this level of commitment.. such as signing up for a newsletter. commonly referred to as an ‘opt-in’. the big yes. is a secondary call-to-action. A small yes.).8 Calls-to-Action A good Web page always includes calls-to-action. or give website visitors a reason to take immediate action (i.

Search Engines. 2.com www. keywords act as the connector between the consumer and the search engine as illustrated below. 29 . text.9 Strategic Use of Keywords Keywords are search terms or groups of words that someone puts into a search engine as they look for information.com You want your website to be listed in the first three pages of search results and ideally in the top ten. Therefore.def. such as Google. 1. pictures etc. Visitor types words or phrases into search engine such as “women’s ski getaways. Relevant websites are listed for visitor to review. Ontario” or “RV campgrounds in Northern Ontario”. 3.com www. A sample screen shot of the results of a search is presented below. Keywords are also the words a search engine uses in its search for relevant Web pages.abc. listed on the first page. www.3. a well-designed Web page will use keywords throughout headlines. pictures and in the behind-the-scenes code relevant to target markets to ensure that it gets listed by search engines. Web copy. MSN.xyz. Essentially. Dogpile and Yahoo scan headlines. on web pages for keywords that match and are relevant to those put in by the visitor.

air service.3. restaurant etc. This is step one of the CRM cycle outlined in Chapter 2. These words should be included in your keyword list and used throughout your website. walleye fishing. including separate facilities contained within the business such as a marina. To build your keyword universe. women’s getaway corporate Your business name.1 Defining Your Keyword Universe In order to define the keywords that you should use throughout your Web-based initiatives. Type or level of service Type and nature of activities Style of accommodation Reason for visit Name of specific business guided kayak trips. lakes. rivers. which might be part of a full service resort. wedding. full service outfitting learn to snowshoe. How people search For example… Well known brands and place names national and provincial parks. retreat. urban centres. you must understand and differentiate each of your target markets.9. 30 . major built specific to your geographic region attractions.. think about what words each target market might enter into a search engine as listed below. etc. self catering cottages family reunion. ATVing luxury resort.

This section introduces the following Web-based tactics to maximize the effectiveness of keywords and other tactics for your consideration: Search Engine Optimization Keyword advertising E-mail marketing Branding Narrowcasting and Microsites Newsletters E-Zines and more Web logs (blogging) Shared Web content Read on to gain more insights to these tools that get travellers to your Website! . It takes work and monitoring on an ongoing basis. great! But is it getting seen by all the right people? Chapter 4 discusses a range of tactics and strategies to get travellers to your website. Chapter 4 Getting Travellers to Your Website G etting your website seen doesn’t just happen.4 If you have a website.

SEO is an essential part of an Internet marketing strategy. Very few people utilize bookmarks to remember and visit their favourite sites. and analysis of keywords that are directly relevant to the words that a visitor puts into the search engine can result in optimum search engine ranking. To do this you (or your Web support person) must continually refresh HTML code. so it stands to reason that the easiest way for people to find your website is to use a search engine. Features that all search engines seek that you must consider and address as you work to get visitors to your website are outlined on the following page. such as Google.4. Reality: Your tricks may get you blacklisted. regional tourism magnets. Reality: Take steps to appear in the top 30 listings for Myth #3: I know a guy who can trick the search engines. not only can you ensure you are found when someone searches for you directly. With Search Engine Optimization. Myth #2: Once registered. Myth #1: All websites are listed automatically. The relationship of search engines to each other changes often. Refer to www. Over 85 percent of the 391 million people on-line use search engines. Careful placement.bruceclay. wording. AOL and Yahoo on a daily basis when surfing the Internet. Rely on relevant content to rise to the top. (the hidden code behind the text) and use targeted keyword phrases throughout your site. AOL and Yahoo will find it easily and place your site as high on the list as possible. Lycos. MSN. your site will likely not be listed. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of updating the language and content of your website so that search engines such as Google. and specific tourism experiences that you offer. your keywords or your inclusion in the search results is meaningless. Getting banned for trickery is expensive and time-consuming to remedy.1 Search Engine Optimization A search engine is a website that allows the visitor to complete a search for Web pages containing words that are of relevant interest. you'll surely see Web traffic increase. but also when they are seeking travel related services when searching for your region.com for current sharing of databases. Reality: If you don't register. Lycos. 32 .

<H1> through <H6> are hierarchical tags. for www.A four step process to improve link popularity: Step 1: Identify high ranking sites by running a search for keywords that are important to you and/or identify regional businesses that you can link with — consider a Web ring.: <title>Home</title>. Refer to the bar on the left for tips to improve link popularity. On the Web. Provide an image and linking code ready to cut and paste.e. Have linking information. Meta Tags There are three main meta tags on each Web page. Step 3: If you can. Headings When pages are being coded by you or your Web technician. Keywords: Add meta tags to your pages. Link Popularity Link popularity is the number of other websites. including graphic and HTML code if available. as this: www. Step 4: Use relevant landing pages. These are not visible to the person visiting the page. If your site displays keywords Hypertext links Hypertext links provide a direct link to a Web page from the highlighted text.. Be sure the tags are accurate for the content of each page on your site.tourismkeys. ensure that keywords are used in headings as well as in body copy. include a description of your site including keywords. Put keywords near the front of description and robots meta tags. Step 2: Request an inbound (reciprocal) link of the top 30 sites by e-mailing the Webmaster and requesting a link. Robots: Use the meta tag <meta name="robots" content="all"> to ensure all your pages get indexed. Inbound links are on-line testimonials to search engine spiders telling them that your site is important. the <alt> text that appears before an image loads is an important place to include your keywords. Title something like. and search engines look at these tags for ranking your site. Provide hyperlinks within your site that include your keywords. such Alternative Text Images or alternative text are important components on websites and can 33 . “I'm interested in marketing opportunities on <site name>”.ca the title of the page is Tourism Keys – Web enhancement for Tourism in Northern Ontario as illustrated below. To search engines. The <title> meta tag (the title of your page) produces the name that appears at the top of your browser and is the title in your ‘favourites’ listing if you bookmark the page. For example. that people are using to search for travel on the Internet you will be found. Some points are also awarded by search engines for links to external websites that are relevant for your keywords. called keyword density is also important. Be sure to adjust your Web pages to include your keywords in title tags on your page. or ‘inbound links’ that point to your website. often associated with different font sizes or styles.tourismkeys. repeating keywords throughout a page enhances a site’s relevance. Be up front and include reasons why you would like to have a reciprocal link. This extends the reach of your site even further. <title> Eagle Lake Bed and Breakfast — a unique B&B</title> vs. Three <meta> tags that are important are: Description meta tags: On your menu bar click on [Edit or View — Page Source] to see the meta tags for a Web page. This is different from publishing a brochure on your tourism business. Plan to include keywords in the page title with your business name. convey a lot about your site. i. Is there something you can offer to encourage the link? You can also set up a dedicated page requesting people to link to you.ca. The relationship of keyword phrases to the total number of words on a page. Page Copy Rankings by search engine are based on relevancy.

ask members about the value of linking there.yahoo.search. use the following resources and tips. As you work to optimize your search engine placement.aspx?FORM=WSDD2/ http://submit.msn. if you are serious about ensuring your website is found. Learn about the hidden criteria of search engines. spend time and/or money registering your site and important subdirectories with search engines.com www.1.com www. register with top search engines.1 Search Engine Submission There are free search engine submission services and paid submission services.com/docs/submit. Only submit your site once you have worked on the content to support your strategy. Search the meta tags of sites which rank high for your keywords to see how they do it. Once you have optimized your site with content and tools.com www.linkpopularity.searchenginewatch. Although some spiders will find your site by chance.jimworld.com/free/request/ www.bruceclay. Use a checklist to determine when your site is ready to be spidered.keywordcount.com 34 .google. Most charge a fee. www.com www. Try out a keyword density analyzer to compare top ranking sites for your keywords.4.com/addurl/ http://search. Join meta indexes and/ or regional association listings. Some search engines use computers to spider or crawl your site to determine appropriate indexing of your site.

The paid listing which uses keywords selected by the tourism business advertising. Keywords used by the consumer in their search engine. paused and restarted. 35 . Ontario sites’ Keyword ads listed as ‘sponsored including the landing page.2 Keyword Advertising Keyword advertising is when a business pays a particular search engine for the right to display its advertisement or listing when chosen keywords are used by a searcher. The landing page that the visitor is directed to once they click on the ad. Process is relatively easy. Inexpensive. Keywords used in search: romantic getaways. An advertiser with a compelling offer can greatly increase website visits and sales with an appropriate keyword advertising strategy. Both the search engine and the individual user have a genuine interest in seeing relevant results for their search.4. Ads can be seasonally adjusted. There are three parts to keyword advertising: 1. 2. Benefits of keyword advertising include: Ads are immediately active. and 3.

Be hot or be dropped. 4. Other PPC services include www.search. www.com. Since these paid listings appear as 36 . listings that fail to meet search engine user needs are dropped from the listings regardless of the pay-per-click bid. costing as little as US$ 0.com.com www.metacrawler.com.1 Types of Keyword Advertising There are three basic types of keyword advertising: Pay-per-click (also known as Pay to Play or Pay for Performance).com and www. Each search engine provides clear instructions on how to design and buy a keyword ad for their service. and www. www. sometimes a few pages deep in the search engine results.overture. With proper planning you can ensure that your ad is shown for your most valuable keywords.com. Submit URL and Featured Sites discussed below.Search engines provide reports and tools to evaluate and facilitate adjustments to your campaign.webcrawler. PPC operates as an auction where the highest bidder for a keyword combination receives priority listing by the search engine.com.dogpile. and Position can change quickly if new bidders come along. Submit URL and Trusted Feed Submit URL or Trusted Feed provides preferred listing of your advertisement among the organic listings generated by the search engine. Pay-Per-Click Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or paid placement advertising is fee-based on a per click basis. Considerations include: Requires a great deal of attention. Major PPC services in order of current ranking are: www.c-net. www. The lowest bidders are displayed at the bottom of the list.2.kanoodle.google. With high competition for keywords. Search engines do not guarantee that your listing will be shown even if you are the highest bidder for a keyword combination. This means that you pay only when someone clicks on the ad that you have purchased.10.05 to US$ 0.com.

This is because other ‘pay for placement’ advertising takes precedence over Submit URL listings.com to $299 per year for inclusion on Yahoo. there are no guarantees of good placement. The benefit of fixed placement is that the rate will not change.organic search results they are preferred by some people on the Web as being "untainted by the economics” of Web advertising. Most sites provide inclusion in directories for an annual fee ranging from $30–$40 per year on sites like AskJeeves. The fees charged for these search terms are for unlimited traffic.com. Inktomi includes the new listings in 48 hours. Featured Sites — Fixed Placement Featured site or fixed placement keyword listings are purchased for a contracted period of time. With Submit URL. Nevertheless. Content is considered critical to achieve listing in the proper category and some sites such as Yahoo! do not guarantee listing. but only that your site will be reviewed. any serious Web marketing strategy should include attention to this service. All content on Yahoo! is evaluated by a person. and are paid for on a cost per impression (CPI) basis. the addition of 37 .com and Inktomi. while in Pay-per-click. Even submitting multiple times and multiple pages may not get you the ranking you desire. the total cost of Fixed Placement ads is generally much higher when calculated on a click through basis. Although the cost per impression is lower than the cost-per-click rates.

Create a sense of urgency.one new advertiser willing to pay large amounts could cause a spike in rates to maintain placement. Be sure the keywords are given high priority and that any offers made are clearly available on the landing page. Develop your keyword ad writing strategy to appeal to niche markets. Different keyword buys should have different ad content. The more narrowly you define your intended audience.2. Survey customers: “What would they hope to see in an ad?”' or when you receive a call. Keyword advertising requires a great deal of diligence to monitor campaign performance. Include your keywords. the more specific you can be about your offer and the more likely that your offer will be appealing to the searcher. Your aim is to attract tourism buyers to your website. 4. not browsers. Make your ad different from other advertisers. 4.2. The ad must link to a site/page that is consistent with content of the ad or it will be disabled. ask them why they clicked on your ad. The following will help maintain your ad. 38 . Ad copy tips for keyword advertising include: State a benefit or solution.2 Writing Ads to Maximize Keywords Successful keyword advertising requires compelling text to generate interest and placement to ensure visibility. Use a call-to-action. Since the fees you pay are based on the number of clicks you receive.3 Ensuring Your Listing Stays Put Search engine value is determined by page relevance to the search terms and bid price of listing. The keywords advertised for must be on destination or landing page as well. Offer an incentive. and assess the click thru rate to determine an advertiser’s relevance. advertisers need to quickly establish ‘clickability’ with their keyword advertising content. The major pay-per-click services review ad content and landing pages. make adjustments and test a variety of calls to click. Guaranteed placement and associated costs are guaranteed for the length of the contract. Promote your competitive advantage. Through trial and error. it is important that you are paying for interested potential customers.

the best overall picture of the success of your Web enhancement strategies will be seen by considering all data together. but there is a problem with your Web page. Consider refining your keyword advertisement to better match your Web page content or alternatively. A click through rate of 1. This scenario may be more rewarding. 39 . Continue to make adjustments to content and monitor your click through rate. available free to advertisers. keyword click through rates and cost-per-click through.com gotoast. In the early hours of your first listing. tracked through Web analytics).com. Some examples follow. Plan now for tracking off-line data.com. Perhaps the most beneficial data on the impact of keyword advertising is bookings and telephone inquiries based on your landing page content. Each pay-per-click service provides an overview of acceptable practices. provide useful details including. you might correctly assume that your services do not meet the needs of those clicking through.Your ad must perform well. and 150 people click through to your website. e-mail/newsletter. Web analytics.2. a click through determination of success may mean you are good at writing keyword advertisements.4 Keyword Advertising Reports Keyword advertising reports. Once your keyword advertisements are successfully being shown regularly by search engines. Your data for: "Great Northern Ontario Ice Fishing Vacations" might reveal that in the month of January. the data your campaign reveals will be most useful in determining where you are wasting money.15 per click this campaign may have cost you $22. In fact. 10 000 people saw your keyword ad. but it won't contribute to the economic sustainability of your business. In another scenario you might find that your click through rate is lower (0. Nevertheless.com epicsky. and keyword advertising. but it results in two phone calls which result in a booking and two sign ups to your newsletter.com. The first thing to do is make adjustments to your Web page.5 percent is very good.com ppcbidtracker. sendtraffic. consider dropping the keyword advertising.50. Tools to help pay-perclick advertisers manage their budgets include: bidrank. you will receive notice if an ad fails to meet the search engine guidelines. generating a minimum click-through rate. If you make adjustments to your Web page and still fail to see a measurable response to your offer.9%). A high click through rate at the lowest possible cost is not the necessarily the most important information. did-it. or called about a special offer (tracked off-line) your offer is ineffective. In using statistics from off-line data (phone inquiries). Your keyword ad is inspiring a click through. expect that some of your ads will be disabled. perhaps the most relevant Web enhancement statistics will be determined by the frequency of your phone ringing. you realize that there were no people who followed through with a call-to-action (signed up for newsletter. At $0. 4. However if upon deeper analysis. As seen by the review of keyword advertising data above.

3 E-Mail Marketing E-mail marketing moves into the permission-based marketing stage of the consumers’ decision-making cycle. You work hard to create content that scores well with search engines.. opt them out. Double Opt-in: As with opt-in the person’s name and address are added to your database. Always include an option to opt out with any e-mail correspondence. Make it easy for the opt-out person by not making them complete a form or respond to another e-mail from you to opt-out. Most people receive more e-mail than they want. Most Internet experts agree that a double opt-in is most responsible. Tips that will help get your e-mails read are outlined below. If they hit the link in the e-mail.” “Become a member . send out a one time mass e-mail telling everyone that you would like to provide regular valuable information (specials. The last thing you want to do is pester someone who has opted in. simple. but you do want to confirm that their e-mail address is correct. There are three types of permission as described below. 4. Then send them your regular e-mail updates. Now that you have their permission to send your potential customers e-mails. The recipient must click on a hyperlink in the e-mail to opt-out. news.net have opted to receive emarketing material from OTMPC. Create opportunities for visitors to your website to stay in touch with you. Opt-in: Provide a short form for the person to give you their e-mail address and their name.. they should opt out..3. updates and fast track booking. and you may even pay to have people click through to your site. get permission to send them communications that match their interests from time to time. etc. Make it easy for them to stay in touch: “Subscribe to receive.) and that if they would not like to receive this information.. In other words.” “Click here.” Give good reasons for joining including special offers.. Once they are there. 40 . The difference is that the opt-in person receives an automated message written by you to confirm that they want to be included in your list. you want to ensure that your message gets read. If you have a database that has not opted in.ontariotravel.1 Getting your mail read Over 60 percent of registered consumers on the Ontario consumer website www. updates. Each element of your e-mail must be designed to grab the attention of the reader.4. Opt-out: You create the list and e-mail anyone you would like to.. they have moved from scanning to becoming more engaged. so your communications don’t end up in ‘bounce-land’.

“Please respond by…” Placing a deadline in the call-to-action has been shown to increase click throughs and response rates. and make your offer targeted to your audience. fax. Avoid fancy formatting. It is a viable tool because it reaches far and wide at low cost.yoursite. http://www. Many people print e-mail and go to another computer with the information. Include website address formatted http://www. Greater Sudbury. don't be too creative or formal. spaced well and easy to read. 41 . which is critical for our small business”. In the first sentence remind the recipient who you are and establish rapport.com Include a tag line which directs readers to your website. Keep your subject to one topic. Keep in mind your recipient may have a dial-up account and/or a limited size mailbox. Sender Address "The internet and the marketing tools associated with it including web pages and e-mail are vital for us. Provide value.Tips to get your e-mails read Subject line Make your subject line brief. Use inverted pyramid format and make your point in the first paragraph. grab reader attention. Also attachments make people anxious for fear of viruses. include benefits. Signature Line Customize your signature line for each target market in order to refer to the specific landing page or microsite. Keep your paragraphs short. Content Include a sender address that means something to the reader. Each hyperlink in your e-mail should spell out the direct address to the content whenever possible: i. include keywords early. Focus on the frame of mind of your audience and write in a way that appeals to that frame of mind. Sundog Outfitters.com/thispage. Jim Little.e. Write the way you speak.html.. Include all contact information — telephone #. Give readers a call-to-action. Track the hyperlinks in your e-mail to learn what kind of content generates clicks. Stick to a single message. e-mail.mysite. Before you send Proofread your e-mail by sending a test copy to yourself. Give the details further in the e-mail. A huge component of our business comes directly from the internet. Look for typographical and spelling/grammatical errors. Never send unsolicited attachments.

personalize and track e-mails. 4.lyris. You can also pretest messages for potential spam-oriented content to help minimize rejections by ISP and corporate spam filters by using a free spam checker such as www. Since many spammers use bcc to send their e-mail. 42 . and that the owners of these e-mail addresses must consent to any secondary use. They take care to protect their mailing list by placing everyone in the blind carbon copy (bcc) section of their e-mail. Internet service providers (ISPs) use software to identify spam e-mail and prevent it from reaching your inbox. use of on-line mail list software is recommended over the use of your conventional e-mail client — i. Avoid sending e-mails after two pm on a Friday and not after 12 noon on a Friday in the summer. and When managed externally.2 SPAM Labelling — Be sure it's not you! SPAM and the Law PIPEDA. not your e-mail.3 When to Send E-mail Most Web-based e-mail solutions allow you to choose the time to send e-mail. Many people use Outlook to send mail to their list because they don’t have to pay extra to send their e-mail.3. 4. As well. Administration easily handled by software.3. Outlook. Consumers: Consider sending consumer e-mail in the early evening.4.. E-mail filtering for spam is being conducted on many levels.com/contentchecker.4 Choosing the Best Tool to Send E-mail For bulk e-mailing.e. Operated from their server. as of January 2004. Review junk mail filters for your e-mail service to avoid keywords and phrases that may prevent your e-mail from getting to the recipient. Consider the best times to send your communication based on the circumstances: Business to Business (B2B) The ideal times to send a business to business mail are first thing in the morning and after lunch as people returning to their desks often begin by checking their e-mail. when the consumer will be relaxed and more likely to entertain a non-business e-mail. Each user can define settings to exclude certain e-mail from their inbox for containing spam-like content. others let it through and pre-label the subject as spam. database elements that you collect can be dropped into various parts of the e-mail to establish a deeper customer relationship.(Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) Under this Act. Some ISPs delete the e-mail for you without your knowledge or permission. The benefits of outsourcing to a Web-based e-mail solution include: Access to the most current software for a monthly fee. Ability to segment. commercial bulk e-mailers who establish or acquire lists of e-mail addresses must ensure that recipients have given some form of consent to commercial solicitation. Use an e-mail tool to assess the possible identification of your e-mail as SPAM. between six and seven pm.3. some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) consider heavy bcc as spam and your recipients will never see your communication. This law also specifies that e-mail addresses can only be used for the purpose for which they are collected.

Secondly. if you don't process bounces correctly. Here are some tips from ClickZ to help effectively deal with or minimize e-mail bounces: ISPs recommend retrying hard bounces no more than three times.4. Perhaps an e-mail domain that represents a significant portion of your list has stopped responding.3. The domain doesn't exist. you can quickly correct any problems. Monitoring bounces can also help show a potential delivery problem. Using these codes. ISPs look at bounce information when determining whether they're being targeted by a spammer. Use a double or confirmed opt-in subscription process to minimize incorrect and false addresses from the start. you don't want to pay for e-mail messages sent to nonfunctioning addresses. there are two types of bounces: hard and soft. these bounces take the form of SMTP codes. Remove hard-bounced addresses from the list either immediately or after the retry attempt fails. The message was rejected. Retrying a hard bounce only once after a period of two to four days is usually sufficient. Most importantly. 43 . Examples of hard bounces are: The user doesn't exist at the domain. Spammers' e-mail lists are of very poor quality. Regardless of the bounce message's exact wording. a mailing list's natural churn will result in large portion of dead addresses on the list. By monitoring bounces after every campaign. possibly by spam filtering. If an ISP detects a large percentage of invalid e-mail coming from one IP. An always full mailbox may be abandoned. Remove soft-bounced addresses from the list if the address repeatedly generates bounces over a period of four to five e-mail campaigns. It is important to properly process bounces.5 Bounce Management A bounce is a notification that your message. Perhaps your messages are being rejected. A soft bounce usually indicates a temporary error with delivery. ISPs can communicate the reason for the bounce. Usually the e-mail server isn't responding or the user's mailbox is full. the mail stream may be identified as spam and be blocked. for whatever reason. Firstly. didn't make it to the recipient. Ideally. A hard bounce means either the receiving server purposely rejected the message or the receiving server doesn't exist.

click to confirm your interest in receiving future e-newsletters from us. Consider contacting bounced subscribers via postal mail or phone (if you have contact information and permission) to obtain their new e-mail addresses. Our e-mailing list is compiled from our customer database. To ensure subscribers enter their e-mail addresses correctly. To no longer receive our e-mails. The style and tone of the language as well as the placement of the message at the top of the e-mail indicates respect for their recipients. and if you haven’t done so already.Use an e-mail change of address service to help combat e-mail address churn in your mailing list. click to unsubscribe. Monitor bounce rates continually. if your rate continually rises above five percent. When Haldimand Hills Spas delivers their e-mailed newsletter. and establish a benchmark. Though average bounce rates can vary dramatically. To ensure that you continue to receive our e-newsletter. enabling subscribers to update their address and preferences.com to your address book. Analyze the cause. we recommend that you add info@steannes. consider requiring subscribers to re-enter their addresses in a second box. visitors to our website who have asked to receive our e-newsletters and respondents who supply e-mail addresses to various contests and promotions that we have run. Additionally. It is not our intention to inundate you with information that you may not wish to receive. and take appropriate action when a message lies outside of the norm. include a script that checks for proper formatting upon submission. you may have list input or hygiene issues. the first thing you see at the top of the message is as follows: We value your time and your privacy. 44 . Add an e-mail address update link to your e-mail and a profile update form to your Website.

Northern Ontario.4. Check to ensure you are listed with Canadian Tourism Commission. and Canada. brand association provides you with an opportunity to expand your reach through Web-based links that you establish with the other brand to reach their member or client base. themes. Chambers of Commerce sites. Each of these serve tourismrelated businesses by promoting and marketing what they believe to be the most important themes that visitors seek. regional tourism websites. etc. Northern Ontario Meta Indexes. Many activities. By associating your tourism product with established brands that share philosophies. quality and a loyal client base you can establish or reinforce credibility for your own business. region or city level. outdoor travel experiences are specific to Northern Ontario. a renowned expert or speaker (David Suzuki.1 Making the Most of Regional Brands It is important to keep up to date with the marketing strategy for your region. a landscape or well-known National or Provincial park (Quetico. 4. Temagami. In addition. Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. They also provide opportunities to showcase your listings.4. Regional Brands and Activity Brands may be an important key to your Internet presence and marketing tactics. Kakabeka Falls). the province of Ontario. Mountain Equipment Coop) . Algonquin). a supplier of equipment (Bushnell Binoculars. The following questions will help you understand your brand and its relationship to the best brands of your region: How do your services support and add value to the brand identity of your region? How does the regional brand identity lend value to your business? How does your region negatively affect your brand identity? Do you have signature images on your website that reinforce the relationship between your business and the regional brands? Are there logos associated with your region that you might consider getting permission to use on your website? Do you provide keyword targeted Web pages which match the valuable regional brands? 45 .4 Brand Association A ‘brand’ in tourism can be many things — an established destination at country. the Izumi Brothers) or a built or natural attraction in your area (Science North. Both types of brands provide opportunities to get potential guests to your website.

nationally. most activity focused keywords do not produce a meaningful return for individual websites unless associated with a regional brand. Newsletters. or databases of like sites. When evaluating Meta indexes consider the following factors. Does it provide you with access to a market that you cannot get on your own? Some Meta indexes are free. keyword-focused pages which raise the profile of your website for specific activities can also be set up to give you an extremely high profile when coupled with regional brand search terms. E-Zines which can highlight your business. higher level presence. For example www. In fact. determine what your hoped for Rate of Return or break-even number of click-throughs/sales is. Determine how targeted the list is and if it fits your tourism business. 46 . spiritual retreats and nature/activity retreats. get your services listed with Meta Indexes for key activities. Determine traffic volume and estimated cost-per-click over cost per view as a way of comparing the value for listing. Inquire about associated E-mail blasts. typically sorted by a number of subheadings. Think internationally.2 Building your Reputation with Activity Brands Website users search the Internet a variety of ways. others are fee based and include opportunities for enhanced listings.retreatsonline. fishing for a specific species or camping. Ask for reciprocal links from others on the list.com lists retreats by such categories as Healing/health retreats. Meta-indexes.4. Consider having your link stand out with banner ads or buttons. are also a source of information that you should consider as part of your Web strategy for getting visitors to your website. Based on the cost structure. Request statistics from the Meta Index if available. provincially. Meta indexes provide very targeted readership. or set up a tracking mechanism by using designated landing URLs on your website. Another one is through activities such as hiking. In addition. Track return on investment for listing with Meta Indexes. To maximize the reach of your website. and regionally to find Meta activity indexes that can provide the Web traffic you want. Meta Index A collection or database of ‘like’ sites. Inquire about the keyword marketing strategy of the Meta Index. Ask others if it is worthwhile and make a business case decision for listing.4. and/or join marketing alliance websites that focus on your key activities. One way is by searching by regional features or brands.

environment. 47 .Look at it! Algoma’s Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste. links to branded partners and affiliates are organized into six categories. including consumer travel. advocacy and interest associations. organizations. Marie (www. Under its ‘Affiliation’ tab.watertowerinn. bicycle and winter recreation.com) pays particular attention to brand association.

4. it could be a fully functional mini-site with a privacy policy. It could be as brief as a single page or a new page with new navigation. you must create nichespecific Web pages and/or sites that are part of a broader customized marketing plan. identify their niche(s) to build distinct e-mail lists and then narrowcast your customized message. you can still be successful at narrowcasting by building a keyword advertising campaign that directs a niche segment to a landing page that speaks to their needs. pictures and messages are quite different for each of the sectors noted. Conversely. A microsite is completely distinct Web content. These are often called ‘microsites’. the opposite of ‘broadcasting’. The words. If you think you might benefit from a microsite and have budget allocated for development. How much navigation choice will your microsite visitor have and will it link to the main site? Will the microsite design be consistent with existing corporate communications or a departure from that look? How prominent is your brand/logo on the site? Will your microsite be developed for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes or is it exclusively for PPC (Pay-per-click) traffic with no thought to search engine-friendly layout. design. Alternately. consider the following in addition to tips on writing good Web content found elsewhere: Will the microsite sit on your current domain or a new one? Considering a secondary domain may make more sense if the microsite showcases a product or service not normally associated with your brand or if the target market will not feel completely at home with the rest of your content. consider creating a distinct URL or website for each niche. tone. An important tool in narrowcasting is the use of microsites. In these and other cases where target markets are typically not compatible with each other. Where the experience is similar and compatible. Another example is a facility that serves both corporate and school groups. an offer with a link back to your site. You can also collect e-mail addresses from website visitors. In order to be successful at narrowcasting. branded URLs are often an asset in creating click-through. Examples of strategies where narrowcasting by niche market will play an important role include a remote lodge that offers fish/hunt experiences as well as wildlife viewing. A microsite can be used for keyword segments of a Search Engine Optimization campaign. an entire PPC campaign. HTML. Once you have identified the niche markets that you are interested in serving. even for a market segment you can't reach with your current domain. outlined in Chapter 3. Narrowcasting can be used to generate new traffic to your website and ultimately increase sales. or content? 48 . and unique brand identity. follow the guidelines for a great Web page for each niche.5 Narrowcasting and Microsites Narrowcasting is another name for niche marketing. contact page. served by the same tourism business.

Hunting Sea Kayaking Women’s Wilderness Retreat 49 .Best Practices: Narrowcasting Wilderness North (www.wildernessnorth. who ultimately book. resources. pictures.com) has been successful in attracting visitors to its website. style and language that suits the respective market. Note that each website header includes appropriate keywords and notice the headlines in the text appropriate to each target market. because they have taken the time to provide information.

Includes a Table of Contents or overview of contents if more than one screen. Be personable and conversational.6 Newsletters A newsletter is one opportunity to put your brand in front of people who have shown an interest in being your guest. It could be as short as one topic. For some. The decision to communicate with your guests in a regularly produced colourful. Characteristics of a good newsletter include: It is valuable. The discussion of newsletters and similar communication methods presumes that you will be using appropriate opt-in and opt-out options for those on your list. Includes a call-to-action and a deadline. As with e-mail marketing. Allows you to focus on other things as the service provider has expertise to help you meet your goals. Easily segment or track e-mail. or include a variety of content of interest to your potential and returning guests. Thoughtful use of good design can help you establish your unique identity and add that special sizzle that will get you the emotional commitment you need. Make sure your reader values your e-mail by offering something worthwhile. Your newsletter must pass through their spam filter. You will need to determine how often you want to communicate with your customers and then send what you promise. informative publication will keep your tourism business top of mind. then their filter of importance. Can be run from your e-mail server. A monthly communication is reasonable. Each paragraph is brief. there are benefits to outsourcing your newsletter: Empathize with recipients. timing of correspondence. You will also need to address customer ownership. by recognizing that the average person receives up to 50 e-mail messages a day and that newsletter subscribers need to make a special effort to read your newsletter. Personalized throughout! Use your subscriber data inside your newsletter. 50 . use of names. you can lose some control over content and timing. final approval of content and responsibility for replies to subscribers.4. no more than six lines. Conversely. Your communication can be as frequent and as detailed as you have the time and inclination to produce. Recipients of your communications should never feel that your communication is difficult to unsubscribe to. fresh and relevant. special offers may be of interest to your newsletter recipients every two to four weeks. although you may only be able to commit to a longer publication each season (four times per year).

4. just leave your e-mail and we'll send it right away. You may find that articles find their way onto the Internet quite easily. By writing for an E-Zine.Encourages sharing with friends and signing up. Make it equally easy for the recipient to subscribe to your newsletter or e-mail by providing a ‘subscribe to’ link. Send your press releases to on-line magazines as well as traditional print media. and different images. Learn each time you send e-mail. and e-mail filters. different formatting. refine and refine again your e-mail campaigns to get the most opens and click throughs you can. many more HTML newsletters will not reach recipients due to the set-up of their e-mail client.7 E-Zines Most traditional print magazines have developed an on-line electronic magazine. Providing content for on-line services will also boost search engine rankings. or E-Zine. Compare how often your e-mail is shared with a friend and how many people unsubscribe. Always includes an option to opt out. refine. Consider testing out both types of communication by testing different formats and measuring the response rate. then segment your list and send out both.1 Plain Text or HTML Formatting? It is generally accepted that a well designed HTML newsletter with colourful graphics. Test. text and embedded hyperlinks will outperform a non-HTML e-mail in terms of the number of readers who will respond to one or more calls-to-action.. Guidelines for getting published on-line are outlined below. However. 4. New Web based E-Zines are being developed regularly to fill narrowing niche market needs. Some people just completely disregard HTML e-mail as it has been associated so closely to Spam. Valid for . Or ask your list to indicate the type of e-mail they prefer to receive.6.” Includes a hyperlink in your outgoing e-mail to make it easy to pass on your e-mail. 51 .. their ISP... You can also create your HTML newsletter as a Web page and send a plain text e-mail with a hyperlink to the Web page where the newsletter can be read at the reader’s discretion. “We're sending along gift certificates. Test different offers. Provides an opt-in offer to encourage forwarding. E-Zines have higher response rates than other bulk e-mail with higher click through rates and have broad geographic reach. you can create credibility with your target market by establishing yourself as an expert. E-Zine readers are loyal and generally stay subscribed.

4. but generally blogs are used to share news about your establishment. as well as introduce ourselves to new potential visitors who read the blog to learn more about the owners or staff that they may meet during their visit. Recruit a writer to write stories about your business and submit them to on-line publications. 52 . Blogging is an valuable marketing device as well as a customer relationship building technique. blogging helps seed the dream of previous guest’s next visit.If you have a keen understanding of a market niche. Most blogs feature "here's what's on my mind" type of entries written by only one person. Blogs rely on Web visitors coming to YOU instead of you going to them as is the case with E-Zines or newsletters which are mailed. It's similar to an on-line journal.8 Web Logs (Blogging) Short for "Web log. Content can vary greatly. produce your own E-Zine. Ask your staff to contribute to the blog to add different styles and points of view. Do you know anyone who has recently studied journalism? Consider advertising in E-Zines with niche appealing content. Coupled with a digital camera. frequently updated postings that are listed chronologically. projects." a blog is a Web page made up of short. people. words and images. It is a non-invasive. or ideas. There is no shortage of writers who can provide supplementary content to support your publication. soft sell that makes a personal connection. You might be surprised at how reasonably you can get your stories told by a neutral third party. Blogging is also a great tool for motivating repeat visits to your website.

taking the keyword strategies you develop and transposing them to blogging will result in your Web content getting very favourable treatment by search engines. The biggest player in the self-publishing service is www. Share pictures and images.com It’s easy to use and it is free! 53 . Treat your blog like an on-line journal. Allow people to sign up for updates of your blog. not an advertising medium. Check your text to ensure there is NO call-to-action. Don’t sell. When you begin blogging. Register your blog with the search engines. The spiders will visit very frequently and update your blog’s ranking on the search engines almost right away.In terms of marketing value. as a sort of chronology of life in the north. tell stories. Create hyperlinks to other content on your website that supports what you are talking about. take the following tips into consideration: Keep each blog short. Create multiple blogs if you want to address the needs of a variety of niche target markets.blogger. Blog about one topic at a time and use your keywords! Give each blog its own page as well as include a page that shows all or recent blogs in a list.

A sample of how keywords were used strategically in the blog.com) uses search terms effectively to drive traffic to their website. Algonquin Park shows Northern Edge’s website three times — the first two listings of the search directed at their blog and once with a pay-perclick ad on the right. 54 .Best Practices : Strategic use of keywords Northern Edge Algonquin (www. A search for fall colours.algonquincanada.

he Internet can play an active role in your day to day tourism operations. 2. 5. gathering and managing customer data.5 5 The Web as Your Operations Partner The Internet can play a role in organizing and simplifying your day to day tourism business and also save you time! Chapter 5 identifies where and how the Internet can be your operations partner in such areas as responding to e-mail inquiries. Chapter T 1. except when inappropriate. Who is your privacy officer? Identifying Purposes: The purposes for which personal information is collected shall be identified by the organization at or before the time the information is collected. Accountability: An organization is responsible for personal information under its control and shall designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization's compliance with the following principles. Similar to Internet marketing initiatives.1 Privacy Issues Recent changes to Canadian Criminal Code require businesses handling personal data to operate under 10 basic principles. 3. How do you inform guests about the use of their information? Consent: The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection. influenced by the size. on-line payment option and measuring success. type and location of tourism business that you manage. the suitability of the application of the Internet to your operations will be an individual decision. use or disclosure of personal information. 55 . The code’s 10 principles required to be in compliance with PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) as described by the Justice Department are outlined below with implications and questions noted in italics.

take some time to see how others have done it. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate. Limiting Collection: The collection of personal information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by the organization. Posting a Privacy Policy is not required by the law. Will you be proud to share this policy with your guests if they ask for it? Do you have the capacity to follow through with what you say you will do? A sample privacy policy is presented below for your consideration. complete. an individual shall be informed of the existence. Limiting Use. Who responds to requests from individuals for access to their personal information? 10. What kind of sensitive data do you to minimize the errors in your data? 7. What sensitive data do you have in your possession? What data would you not want held by a third party after your travel experience? 6. Accuracy: Personal information shall be as accurate. and Retention: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected. Safeguard your business by only handling essential information about your guests. except with the consent of the individual or as required by the law. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for fulfillment of those purposes. take from guests? What risk is there of inappropriate distribution? 8. use and disclosure of his or her personal information and shall be given access to that information. What steps do you take Safeguards: Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. is it easily accessible for those who request it? 9. Information shall be collected by fair and lawful means. but it makes good business sense as a credibility builder with potential guests. Disclosure.If guests refuse to share data. Individual Access: Upon request. What happens to guest data after guests leave? How is access to data controlled? In some cases remote wilderness activity providers require health and allergy information about their guests. Openness: An organization shall make readily available to individuals specific information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information. do you make them aware of the consequences of not doing so? 4. Are you prepared to address challenges If you do not have a privacy policy. and draft one for yourself. Do you have a privacy policy? Where is it posted. Do you time the collection of your data so that you are handling only the minimum amount of information you need to service your guests? 5. 56 . and up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used. Challenging Compliance: An individual shall be able to address a challenge to your responsible use of guest data? concerning compliance with the above principles to the designated individual or individuals for the organization's compliance.

. If you have a number of standardized types of e-mails that you respond to. We may ask for your opinion or interests in certain services from time to time. Reassure them you can meet their needs. as they might be treated as spam or may be too large for some services. Ensure that your tourism business has a standardized procedure to follow. 2. 3. Include the original message.3 Getting Information From Guests A key strategy of CRM is the ability to optimize all contacts with your customers by having the most relevant data at your fingertips. Always find a solution or present options to them. Answer all questions. Include a ‘call-to-action’. There are five primary channels for collecting information from current and potential guests: Web based forms. manage and access customer information well. Use a great signature line which highlights upcoming specials. so they have a reference point. This will save time for you. you may be able to file these form letters in the ‘Drafts’ box of your e-mail program that you can them customize before sending. It is therefore important to gather. Take the time to write a great headline and to customize your response. 6. avoid attachments. 5. Invite them to go to your Website for additional information. mail. 57 ..Sample Privacy Policy “Your trust and privacy is of the greatest importance to the . 8. share or rent this information. We will not sell. and to maintain your trust. 4.2 Responding to E-mail Inquiries Responding to e-mail inquiries can be a time-consuming activity. A suggested procedure is outlined below for your consideration: 1. seasonal events. What is it you want them to do? Book in the next 10 days? Answer e-mail inquiries in a timely manner. but is a necessary one. Inn.” 5. etc. telephone. 9. and fax. Our success depends on our ability to deliver useful and accurate information. This information is used to customize our e-mails to your tastes and preferences. 5. e-mail response. no matter who is responding to the e-mail inquiries. Ask them to phone you with any additional questions or concerns. 7. Thank them for their interest. Their e-mail inquiry may have been sent to a number of similar tourism businesses.

Mail: Although mail takes the longest of any of the data-gathering tools. the form can place data directly into an on-line data file creating a new guest record or updating an existing record which can be added to printed reports when necessary. Also. This information can be e-mailed from the Web to a customer relation specialist for printing or input into a file. E-mail Response: A registration template can be e-mailed to guests for them to complete when convenient and be returned by e-mail. While it is possible to record this information by hand. it is easy to read and data can be transferred into a guest file with only one handling. It is likely to be the least clear of the data exchange options and is best used for waiver forms where signature is required. Fax: As a last resort. Mailed forms must also be handled more often as the data gets input to your database. In best practice. 58 . Use every point of contact as an opportunity to update and confirm basic contact information. the extra handling of the information will increase the likelihood of data error. Telephone: A guest relations specialist can input data directly into a data file while speaking with a guest on the phone. Data can then be placed in an on-line database for multiple location access. Each translation of the data into a new format involves time and labour. CRM When you take the time to implement E-CRM processes be sure the data you collect is accurate! When entering data over the phone always ask for name spellings and always repeat back information recorded for verification. Since the data is keyed in. The cost and accuracy of each type of data gathering is affected by the number of times the data is handled on its way to its final location. Web-based Forms: Some organizations provide on-line forms to gather detailed information about their guests. it is more accurate than data forms that are faxed. With data privacy of growing concern it is best to request the minimal amount of information required to establish and enjoy a safe. data errors will occur the more times it is handled. successful relationship. faxed data can be used to gather guests’ information. Here are some suggested approaches to gathering data from customers. It is also a good practice to manually scan master data lists to consolidate knowledge that you might have that is not reflected in forms. and then input into a database.The type and amount of data collected will depend upon your organization’s needs. costing you money.

Information stored on-line or accessible through an internal network makes it easy to print guest reports on a daily.4 Data Management Now that you have gathered data from your customers.com receives. while others are using or testing on-line storage of guest data in order to share information across different locations. weekly or as-need basis. An on-line data and e-mail management system such as www. a key element of a successful CRM strategy. Regardless of the data solution for your business. you should be able to identify who gave them the information. custom e-mail messages 59 . sorts and manages your data on a Web-based service. This approach enhances your ability to understand and customize interaction with your current and potential customers. 5. Old or ‘bad’ records are purged from the database. Some businesses provide access to this data on other computers through a network.subscribermail. and give guests information in the form they prefer.constantcontact.com or www.1 On-line Data Management Some businesses with multiple locations and only a single data source may require guests to complete forms or answer questions more than one time. Always make telephone communication available. Slowly build complete profiles of everyone in your database. this provides you with an opportunity to contact them by phone and re-establish the connection. access reports and facilitate the gathering of data one time only. Web based forms or e-mail. For less than $50 per month your customer data can be sorted into types of clients by interest. corrections. you must address the storing and management of it.com. For many small Northern Ontario businesses. take steps to protect your guest data by backing it up regularly and ensure the privacy of your guests and potential guests. This is frustrating for the customer.campaigner. using returned mail and e-mail. Do not ask for data until you need it. When you come across a returned e-mail or mail address. www.4. a single computer is the location of guest data. An on-line data management service permits simultaneous users at different locations to add/change data. Some other data-management strategies follow: Keep notes of whom the main staff contact is for each person in your database. If a guest or potential guest is inquiring about your services.5. Some options for on-line data management follow. Many people are hesitant to give information via the Internet. Successful tourism businesses are continually building their database and making adjustments. deletions and additions regularly.

however. The service lets the buyer of tourism services log-in and send money to any e-mail address. Ideally.S. E-mail Money Transfers: Canadian Banks permit their account holders who utilize on-line services to send money anywhere in Canada by e-mail. A review of current on-line payment options and their strengths and weaknesses follows.5 On-line Payment There are a number of on-line payment options for your tourism business. ECheques require an account with a registered third party who can process the payments in Canada. Registration for the Tourism Keys workshops was done using a three-staged process. in addition to the financial transaction. Read conditions carefully to make an informed decision. The most beneficial aspect of ECheques is that it permits U.can be forwarded or automatic responses to an opt-in ‘call-to-action’ can be put in place. that deposits or payment has been received. Web-based forms are another form of on-line data management. The recipient of the e-mail logs into their bank 60 . The payments are linked to a credit card and/or bank account and each exchange charges a fee of 2. Banking institutions have developed ECheques. Paypal is owned by eBay. visitors to pay for Canadian tourism experiences in U. ECheques: U. Options for Internet payment are making it easier for tourism businesses to process payments on-line from all over the world. In many cases. 5. while retaining much of the fees credit card companies charge. Visitors to the Website filled in and submitted forms on the Web. Paypal (www.9 percent + $0. Paypal provides a variety of services for on-line merchants who do not require a merchant account of their own. At present. These services also keep your database current by managing the soft and hard e-mail bounces discussed earlier.50. the customer is looking for confirmation from your business. funds at a very low cost. The goal of implementing an Internet-based payment system is to reduce the cost of managing payments and increasing the ease of use for both client and tourism business. The data can then be imported into a spreadsheet and further sorted and manipulated. with a security question and answer to ensure that the money finds its way to the intended recipient. and deposits are not protected. It emerged as a payment option to facilitate the exchange of goods on the on-line market.com): The granddaddy of on-line payment.S.paypal. Data from Web-based forms can be e-mailed to the business directly or sent to a Web-based data file with comma separated values (csv). Most operate on a monthly fee basis. Paypal is not a bank.S. data is kept on-line and managed with an on-line database.

talking with others voice to voice when a phone is not available and communicating information in an immediate manner to potential guests is all possible using one or more of these Internet tools. however additional data security ensures that the data is safely exchanged. The advanced services provide opportunities to set up commission sales accounts.6 Internal Communications There are a variety of Web-based tools that can help organizations make the most of the communications potential via the Internet.6. 5. make room assignments and process payments in a wide variety of European currencies. sharing video feeds. The customer sending an e-mail money transfer assumes the cost of the transaction. Internet Protocol (IP) Telephony and Collaborative Meeting Rooms to enhance tourism business operations. Messenger can also be used to exchange information between two sites of the same business. such as Instant Messenger. exchanging files and documents as attachments. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger permit parties connected by Internet to communicate by typing messages. and communicating messages between staff is extremely easy using IM. Information about last-minute guest needs.1 Instant Messenger There are two large distribution Instant Messenger (IM) technologies. Travel 2004” one of four consumers state they are more likely to purchase travel on line if websites offered clearer wording regarding penalties and fees.account on-line and the money is deposited once they answer the security question. guest services or front office personnel can use instant messenger to communicate in real time with potential guests around the globe. Communicating between locations about incoming guest data. 5. In addition. getting equipment ready for a rental request.com is an example of a company which provides on-line payment processing and ticketing of tourism experiences. Electronic Ticketing: TicketingSolutions. In all cases. collaborating with partners in tourism. The sender must log into their bank account to see notification that the e-mail payment has failed. The services are available on a monthly basis with a variety of service levels. when to expect arriving guests. Credit Card Payment via Secure Server: Some Websites offer payment by credit on their own secure server. According to research completed by JupiterResearch titled “Consumer Survey Report. Although some people send credit card account information on unsecured forms or by e-mail these transactions are potentially unsafe. Most Web hosting companies can provide secure server access for an annual fee. The guest opens a secure form on the tourism website and enters data like on a regular form. stay informed about the conditions and obligations of the payment options. without incurring 61 . In the event the security question is incorrectly answered the payment is not completed.

The benefits of collaborative meeting rooms include: the ability to work collaboratively with your guest services team over great distances — a great training opportunity prior to your season when staff may be at many distant locations. and communicate with Web Cams. The technology compresses your voice and sends it over the Internet and phone lines in packets of information. Many organizations can provide IP Telephony allowing international and national phone calls at a fraction of the cost of land lines. It works best with outgoing calls. communicate with IP Telephony. Be sure to post your IM availability and provide a clock on your Web page to alert potential guests to your availability to send and receive Instant Messenges. Drawbacks to IP Telephony include a time lag for satellite Internet and inconsistent call quality. A regular headphone with a microphone also works well.phone charges. although phone numbers can be purchased which enable others to contact you by phone.6. developing new tourism experiences or marketing strategies with a diverse range of partners. Computers can be outfitted with telephone handsets specifically designed for the purpose. examine websites by sharing what is currently in each others' browser windows.3 Collaborative Meeting Rooms: A number of new services are evolving on the Internet to address the needs currently served by teleconferencing. 62 . This is an extremely valuable asset to add to your Web-based services if you wish to capitalize on impulses of your Web visitor. or impossible if you are beyond cell phone reach. Communication is in real time.2 IP Telephony New telephone services that make use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). sharing information (data) in real time.6. sometimes with a slight time lag. Meetings at designated Websites enable users to simultaneously: edit documents collaboratively. 5. have created the potential to communicate by phone either where it is more expensive to do so by land line. 5. much like sending a file. type and communicate via instant messenging.

cost per Web marketing campaign and return on investment. 5. what inspired them to call? If you get the generic. as that is the only time that e-mail address will be used. The steps outlined below can be used immediately and will assist you as you continually adapt and refine your CRM/Web enhancement strategies. If you know when they found you it is possible to use Web analytics to determine what they were searching for.7. and the opportunity to meet with potential clients on-line and to share multi. Telephone: Tracking by telephone is done best when a consistent strategy for gathering inquiry information is followed by everyone who answers the phone. You can use a separate e-mail address for each location of show that you attend. cost per new potential guest. and ask if this is the first time they've contacted you. telephone and through your Web pages follows: E-mail: Use a specific e-mail address for each marketing campaign. such as artsinfo@killarney.7 Measuring Success Evaluating the success of your Web development strategies will help you make adjustments to your website design and marketing tactics by making more efficient use of your time and money in getting the guests you want. by particular geographic market or by print ad.media presentations. "I found you on the Web using a search engine" answer. Tips on how to gather data for e-mail. Post a check-list of questions to ask by the phone or provide forms to complete. Your ISP typically provides you with a number of e-mail addresses that you can then customize as required. Inquiries to this address can be easily tallied to give you the number of responses for that campaign.1 Collect Incoming Data Measuring the impact of your strategy requires the collection of data to support tracking. but they will remember why they sat down and started searching. and what they were initially looking for. People generally do not remember the key words. Ideally you will be able to determine cost per visitor. 63 . New and emerging technologies and reasonable pricing is enabling businesses of all sizes to make the Internet their primary medium of communication. what Web page they are on (if calling with their Web browser open). Inquire about where they saw your promotional information. 5. you can ask what search engine they prefer to use.com.providing an enriched teleconferencing meeting experience. This requires a commitment within your organization to collect data and analyze it on a regular basis.

and how long they visited each page. on-line ads (i.log file.7.7.ca/cmits). At the basic level. Most data analysis software is available for you to download and try for a number of days before buying. but yield strategic Web design information that is worth many times the investment if the information gathered is used to continually adjust your Web content and marketing campaigns. and Web visitation statistics for each marketing campaign you run.Web design for tracking: Prepare to capture Web data by creating a unique URL (Web address page) for each offer made through media. Many ISPs that host websites provide basic tracking software allowing you to perform basic analytics at no additional cost. which contains detailed data on your website use. how long each visitor stayed on your site. www. print ads. but Web visitors to your designated page will leave information about their visit to your specific page in your LOG FILE. what the most frequently used entry pages are. as each Web domain has a unique . Generally the more you pay.e. As you try out Web enhancement tactics and website marketing strategies you will be able to track improvement to your website traffic in each of these areas.log file which stores visitor information to each page of your website. You may be required to purchase software to analyze the data. 64 . By simply counting the number of entries to this unique URL.2 Basic Web Analytics Basic Web Analytics is the tracking of website visitors on your website. At the basic level. Some discount Web hosting services may only permit you to access the . where the bulk of your visitors are coming from. brochures. where they went on your website. you should know: number of website visitors (not hits) per day. The offer can be identical to one made elsewhere. 5. you will know how many people clicked to that page as a result of your marketing strategy. Ask your ISP what Web traffic tools are available to you as part of your current agreement.3 Deep Web Traffic Analytics Web traffic tools cost hundreds of dollars.bestwestern. you learn where your website visitors came from (other websites.. which search terms and search engines). the better the data analysis is. Log files are generated automatically and generally updated each month. 5.

images and text to encourage traffic flow which then results in greater response to your offers and a more engaging visitor experience. As the Internet evolves expect Web analytics to provide more and more advanced reporting to assist Web-savvy operators with ever more targeted Web marketing strategies. send only e-mail you know is arriving in someone's inbox. As mentioned earlier. how many subscribers are opting out as well as how many e-mails are arriving in inboxes and being put in the trash without ever being opened.4 E-mail / Newsletter Statistics The most cost effective way to manage outgoing e-mail (bulk newsletters.) is with Web based database services.com). sometimes with accuracy down to the postal code. 5. Very targeted. Remote Tracking Services: Some on-line Web tracking services provide you with a small java script which you cut and paste into each page on your website. You can also determine how many people are passing your e-mail on to their friends and family. Specific Web page content can be refined by adjusting calls-to-action. making adjustments as required. Every effort should be made to control the expense of your on-line e-mail campaigns by removing or correcting bounced e-mail from your outgoing lists. etc. By embedding hyperlinks into your outgoing e-mail. you can evaluate the impact and wording of your ‘calls-to-action’ and the attractiveness of your special offers. notices. Deep analytics can provide the following tools: Geomatics: This service allows you to see precisely where your Web visits are coming from. off-line marketing strategies can then be tailored to very precise geographic areas. The tool puts your Web page in a browser window and allows you to see what page elements users clicked to and from on your site. as defined by postal codes. headlines. Try different 65 . Graphic Web Page Traffic Analysis: ClikZ's award for outstanding analytics last year went to ClickTracks Analyzer (www.clicktracks. The java script sends information to the data service which updates your tracking statistics and provides detailed statistical information without the use of the . On-line services also provide click-through reports which allow you to see immediate results of user responses to your calls-to-action.log file.Deep Web Traffic analysis is not offered as part of a traditional Web hosting service. Since most on-line services are on a per e-mail rate.7. the statistics are made available for each e-mail and newsletter campaign you run.

Alert your front line customer service representatives to ask previous guests what they think of your newsletter when they call. always provide offers that are of a time-sensitive nature.subject lines and see what combination of words produces the greatest rate of openings! When tracking an e-mail campaign. A sample signature with a tag line from the tourism keys workshops is provided below. You will then be able to track clickthroughs on your e-mail links to this page with your Web analytics.ca www. Wendy MacCrimmon Guest Relations Get your clicks.ca 66 .tourismkeys. In the tagline of your e-mail provide a hyperlink to dedicated Web content that resides on a specific landing page within your website. Web it up at a Northern Ontario Web Enhancement Workshop Catch up on all the Workshop news by reading our regularly updated Web log! Tourism Keys Phone Toll-Free: 1 800 953-EDGE Local Calls: (705) 386-1595 admin@tourismkeys.

Read and try all that you can to see what the next application is for your tourism business! 6. but you must proceed at your own pace and on a timeframe that you are comfortable with. Domain name registrations can be renewed annually or for a number of years. they are the registered owner. Plan your Internet strategy within the context of your overall branding and marketing strategy. If they have paid for it.2 Outsource or Manage Your Own? Many tourism businesses do not directly design and add content to their Web page themselves or manage the details of their Internet strategy. Chapter T here are many Internet-based tools and tactics that you can apply to your tourism business. If you do not. 6. Finding the right fit between your needs and the professionals you work with is a key consideration. 67 . Apply tactics and tools at your own pace. Not all of the information presented in this manual is suitable to all tourism businesses. how can you get it all done? Chapter 6 provides guidance and considerations as you implement your Web-based strategy. and they may make you pay a substantial amount of money to get ownership back.6 6 Getting it Done Now that you have a range of Internet tools and tactics to consider for your tourism business. Annual cost is typically less than $50. an unscrupulous person could register and pay for your tourism business domain name then refuse to give you access if the relationship changes. as it is the strength of the two that results in a well-designed Internet strategy.1 Fundamentals for Implementation Keep the following points in mind as you implement your Internet and CRM strategy. Implement at your own pace! Opportunities through technology continue to change quickly. passwords for administrative access and renew your domain name in a timely manner. Retain ownership of your domain name.

2. Changes made once work has been started can be more expensive than planning for your needs from the beginning. You will find that tweaking your content is a never-ending process. and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Others. If you outsource the work.2. The tools used by an SEM firm are often only 100 unformatted text characters! SEM writers deal with only a limited set of words. SEM and SEO are completely distinct services. In a basic sense. Some firms offer a Web-based solution where content is edited in a Web browser. Designing for your tourism-based services requires your service provider to have a basic understanding of the customer-relation management strategies you want to employ. there are two main areas of concern that go hand-in-hand with basic Web development — Search Engine Marketing (SEM). including: Words used in search engines. Do not focus on getting everything optimized at once. such as keyword research. Search Engine Marketing or Search Engine Optimization firm requires a clear understanding of your goals. like Contribute. Most firms that specialize in Search Engine Marketing do not specialize in Search Engine Optimization and vice versa.2 What to Look for in a Search Engine Marketing Firm The focus of Search Engine Marketing firms (SEM) is on the development of compelling text for keyword advertising to generate website visits and refining Web content to encourage Web visitors to respond to your calls-to-action. Ask colleagues for referrals to firms they have used and are satisfied with. Today. Benefits that the tourism business offers the customer.6. Much of the cost depends on how much time outsourced firms will spend on your project. determine your budget and interview at least a few firms who might be able to help meet your needs. the first job of a SEM is to understand what people are looking for when they enter search terms in a search engine and to encourage them to click on a hyperlink to your site. so that the Web developer’s work is not undone. recognize that you will likely be going back to ask for changes.1 Hiring the Right Firm Hiring a Web Design. You might also ask for Web design that permits you to edit content without affecting the site’s basic design or linking structure. Set realistic goals and develop a long term strategy to increase your sales on the Web over the next few years. Though these services require some of the same skills. Determine which components of Web enhancement are most important to you. 6. Think this through before Web development work is begun. 68 . Check references. rely on Web development tools which permit end-users to edit content and upload pages with restricted access. Build this into the contract and your budget.

Unique selling propositions; Sense of urgency (e.g., limited offer); and Calls-to-action. The second job of SEM is to help you achieve your goals on your site. This is usually achieved by paying attention to the design and function of entry or landing pages. Once users click to your site, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to click the back button or complete your call-to-action? If visitors are not ready to take that action, do you provide other alternatives or an incentive to return to your site later? Although conversion marketing is often overlooked in SEM the focus is on getting Web visitors to act. 6.2.3 What to Look for in a Search Engine Optimization Firm

Search Engine Optimization firms (SEO) touch three main areas — keyword research/writing, Web design/development and link development. Some of this work is ‘behind the scenes’.
Keyword Research and Copywriting With actual Web pages, including landing pages, prepared by an SEO, writers must deal with titles, meta tags (or search engine relevant parameters), headings, a higher word count, site navigation schemes, calls-to-action (above and below the fold), and cross-linking. Though some of these features should be available on landing pages, many of these landing pages are not an integral part of a site's information architecture. Writing for a Web page is different than writing for a brochure. Skilled SEO copywriters know how to write with keyword phrases and how to incorporate these phrases into sales copy without diluting either brand or copy. Search-friendly copy has a certain level of redundancy that might not be acceptable in a print medium. Web Design, Development, and Usability Placing keyword-rich text on Web pages will not increase search engine visibility unless crawler-based search engines can easily access that text. A website's design, page layout, navigation scheme, and technical components are just as important as search-friendly copy. Finding a SEO firm that specializes in search-friendly design is difficult. Not only must this firm's staff have design skills, staff should have programming, development, marketing, Web analytics, and usability skills. Very few SEO firms have staff with both technical and marketing skills. Many firms that claim to specialize in search-friendly design promising high rankings with search engines consist of programmers having limited design and usability skills. SEO firms can often use a little help in developing a site that has at least some of the emotional attraction you might be looking for in transferring your hard-copy promotional material which builds your brand to the Web. Design focusing on appearance over usability can make a call-to-action less prominent or navigation difficult or worse, frustrating for the user. Be careful not to place the importance of design over usability! Work closely with Web development professionals to get the look and feel you want.


Link Development

Link development for Search Engine Optimization is often an ongoing, and time consuming process. For a new site, link development often begins with directory paid inclusion. Since it is difficult to modify a directory listing, a search-friendly copywriter should know how to research categories and write appropriate descriptions that will enhance a site's overall search engine visibility and be an accurate directory description. Ask if the SEO has skills and experience in directory submission. Link development requires search, publicity, and e-mail skills. For example, an article opportunity might arise in an on-line publication. A qualified link development specialist knows how to: E-mail a publication to pitch the article; Write the article so keywords naturally appear in the copy; and Ensure the article links back to the website in a search-friendly way. Open communications between you and your Web professionals will contribute to effective link development.

Sometimes, SEO is a simple process. Maybe the title tags need a little tweaking. Adding text links and alt tags might do the trick. However, if you need to outsource or hire a SEO, make sure the firm has staff that specializes in search, copywriting, design, development, programming, marketing, and link development. It's a tall order. But these skills are essential for building a user-friendly, search-friendly, and persuasive site that converts potential guests into visitors.


6.3 How Does Internet Fit Your Business? Marketing and selling through the Internet will play a different role for each tourism operation. The use of the Internet will be influenced by stage of business development (new, mature, renovation, etc), its size and capacity, current visitor profile (demographics, origin, repeat versus new, etc), its target visitors, geographic location and other factors. A table is presented below to illustrate the many roles that Internet-based tactics introduced in this manual can play as part of an overall marketing strategy.
Tourism Business Profile Established tourism business, with high repeat visitation such as family-owned resort, fishing/hunting camp. High volume, commodity-type product such as campground, hotel/motel, etc. with high rates of turnover; high competition. Highly customized offer; due to nature of offer, repeat visitation not high. New tourism business; need to create presence in market, build demand and profile; etc. Role of Internet Retain strong relationship and reinforce loyalty by informing current customers of changes, upgrades, etc. Inform potential guests of special offers; what differentiates them from their competitors, availability, etc. Specific Internet Tools Quarterly e-newsletters; photo album or gallery with most current season; blogs. Keyword ads for special package and last minute deals.

Plays a strong role in attracting a range of target market segments in costeffective manner. Opportunity to provide credibility through pictures, testimonials, etc.

Use different landing pages/domain names to build presence and credibility in each segment. Information and material to complement other marketing initiatives, such as consumer shows; build awareness through affiliation with established regional brands; testing of packages and special offers via keyword ads. Customized landing pages, keywords and images to differentiate each site and each experience offered; provide segment-specific newsletter and resources to demonstrate that you understand the needs of this market segment.

Established tourism business with established clientele; expanding offer/facilities/ experience to attract different target markets at same or other multiple sites/locations — i.e., naturalists to fish/hunt camp, etc.

Establishes new positioning in costeffective manner.

Good luck, as you unlock the door to a higher performing Web presence for your tourism business!

There are three basic types of keyword advertising: Pay-Per-Click. the words a search engine uses in its search for relevant Web pages. An approach to marketing based on the assumption that knowledge of and a relationship with customers is the key to maximizing sales opportunities. typically in blue.7 7 Appendices 7. A Web page designed specifically as an entry point into a website. The advertiser bids on and pays for placement of their key words with specific search engines. is a separate page of a website that has a separate URL than its home page and is used to provide information about and/or promote something that is related to the home page. typically provides table of contents to the rest of the site. The ability to link from a word or words within a Web page to another page. 72 . The script language which Web pages are written in. For example a description meta tag holds descriptive text that will be displayed within search engines. Hypertext Markup Language. The main page of a website. Electronic marketing. Similar to the part of a newspaper above the fold. A technique of analyzing data from a sales database to determine trends and buying patterns that can form the basis of a targeted direct marketing campaign. Links are highlighted and underlined. The first page a visitor sees on the screen without scrolling down. particularly through repeat purchase and up-selling. a museum's website may have a link to a microsite with information about a special exhibition the museum is running that will be removed once the exhibit is over. Submit URL and Featured Sites. For example. Chapter Customer relationship management and/or marketing. A microsite or minisite. using the Internet and other forms of electronic communication to communicate in the most cost-effective ways with target markets. Search terms or groups of words used by someone seeking information through a search engine. A landing page is not necessarily your home page. when they enter a website. but rather a page that you have directed the Internet user to. Words serving a special purpose that are part of a Web page but that are not displayed.1 Glossary and Definitions Click-through CRM Data-mining E-marketing Gateway page Home page HTML Hypertext Keywords Keyword advertising Landing page Meta tag Microsite Using a mouse to click a link on a Web page that takes the visitor to another website. Alternatively.

Uniform Resource Locator. but not limited to: “E-Business for Tourism — Practical Guidelines for Destinations and Businesses”.Portal Search engine Search Engine Optimization URL A website used as an entry point onto the Web. Common search engines include Google. Yahoo.yourwebsite. such as www. A website that allows the visitor to complete a search for Web pages containing words that are of relevant interest. Frequent updating of language and content on a website to ensure that search engines will find the site easily and place it on the list as high as possible.Webopedia.com 73 . A URL is the common term that describes a website address. 2001 and “Marketing Tourism Destinations On-line — Strategies for the Information Age” WTO 1999. World Tourism Organization Business Council.com Note: Definitions have been derived from a review. consolidation and refinement of a number of sources including. Lycos and AltaVista. www.

com Pay-Per-Click Analyst http://www. advertising.com Neilson/Net Ratings http://www.com Search Engine Visibility http://www. search engine marketing and other topics. on-line newsletters and e-mail campaigns. How to write effective copy for websites. Ask questions. The place for search engine marketers.searchenginesbook. customer relationships.clikz. Internet statistics. Small business Web solutions. optimizers and advertisers. Get the latest news about top pay-per-click search engine with product and service reviews from paid listing experts.nickusborne.futurenowinc. Forum for advanced Web professionals.netratings. technology.Webmasterworld.emarketer. Internet audience measurement and analysis.7.searchenginewatch.com eMarketer http://www.com Search Engine Watch http://www. Free twice monthly newsletter with sales oriented focus. Free daily newsletter with information specific to search engines.com Articles from industry experts on e-mail.com Microsoft's bCentral http://www. Free weekly E-Zine focusing on Search Engine Optimization.highrankings. 74 . A guide for creating an appealing website. share experiences.2 Sources of Information and Tools Use the blank rows at the bottom to add more tools as you find them! ClikZ http://www.com Webmaster World http://www.com Writing Effective Web Copy http://www.com GrokDotCom http://www.com High Rankings Advisor http://www. Extensive library of articles. getting found by search engines and directories.payperclickanalyst.bcentral.

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