Here are a few content necessities for the proper website…
AFTER SURVEYING the tourism industry to get a feel for how properties feel about their respective Web sites (and the answers ranged from happy to outdated to downright embarrassed), an E-distribution marketing company called A Couple of Chicks (www.acoupleofchicks.com) recommends the following line items as must-haves for a club or resort’s online marketing budget. Is your content provider offering the following?
1. Invest in professional search engine optimization (SEO). Also consider an online advertising channel, such as a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign or banner advertising in your target markets. More than 80 percent of Web site visits begin in a directory or search engine. If your site can’t be found, you will lose a huge part of your potential customer base.
2. Add an analytics tool to your site, to start assessing which online channels work for your business. Take time to look at your Web site visitor behavior and identify the campaigns (referral Web sites) and keywords that drive the most traffic. You can’t truly know your customers—or what it will take to convert a looker into a booker—until you have an understanding of how they interact with your site.
3. Consider usability when making changes or redesigning. You can drive all of the traffic in the world to your site, but if customers get there and don’t find what they’re looking for, they’re gone. Be careful about the bells and whistles you add to your site; be sure to cover your bases first with a site architecture that is conducive to online consumer search behavior.
4. Participate in, or at least be aware of, the new online “social media.” Whether it’s a local golf association’s online forum or on your personal Facebook page, go where your customers are talking about your property in blogs and online forums. This is the new “word of mouth.”
5. Add an e-newsletter or RSS feed to further interact with your customer. (See “Having a Blast?”, for more tips on this facet of