If you need a web site or have one… Strategies and Guidelines for Good Web Site Management Marilyn J Macallair Vice President Business Development Passport Online, Inc. 9786 SW Nimbus Avenue, Beaverton OR 97008 Phone: 503-626-7766 – FAX: 503-626-8676 www.passportonlineinc.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions??? • How many have a web site? • How many think their web site is working well for them? • Do you have enough content? • Do you update it? • Do you have time to manage your web site? • How important is your web site?
It should be mighty important • Web site strategy should be an integral part of your overall marketing plans: • Direct mail – Engagement • Newspaper advertising/yellow pages • Consumer shows and fairs • Email marketing – AgentNet & Engagement • Overall promotion of your brand
Why do you need a web site? • Because everyone else has one (close to 80% of travel agencies) • To stay competitive • To grow your business with your existing client base • Add new customers
Case Studies • Gary Davis, All About Travel said • “close to 50% of my business ($20m in leisure sales) originates from electronic communications, my web site or emails that have a call to action”. • …”the sale may not be booked online but it is definitely qualified on line”. • www.allabouttravelusa.com
For Greg Burgess… Beach Hut Vacations • Another Vcom member with $1M in sales having a web site is essential to his business • “Email is the key driver. I participate in any and all special supplier emails that are available thru Vcom at no cost • Email doesn’t necessarily generate the sale from that particular offer …”
“Talking to your customers, sending relevant offers creates awareness. • The email makes the phone ring. The agent makes the sale” • www.beachhutvacations.com
What does a web site need most? Content – updated & consistent Customization – prioritize your offers, highlight what you want to sell, customize your message Ease of use for the customer – 4 seconds/3 clicks or they’re gone Clarity – what do you sell? What is your specialty? How does the customer contact you?
What a web site should not do? • Busy, confusing, gimmicky – supplier logos; flash media • Too many colors • Awkward navigation – supplier booking engines • Links titles that don't mean anything • Watch out for links that take people away from your web site …
Word Travels is a Destination Guide Would you Know that?
Maximize the Consumer Experience • Provide clear navigation! • Key objectives – get visitors to stay on the site and to find what they are looking for easily • Important links in prominent places, preferably on top or left because this is where eyes go first • Avoid putting important information on the bottom of the page • Primary links are all visible without scrolling and available on every page • Limit depth of navigation
Maximizing the Consumer Experience Keep It simple! • Emphasize YOUR brand-- Avoid too many supplier logos • Accurate and compelling content (including Vacation.com exclusives) • Avoid multiple, redundant supplier search engines and content • Avoid the ‘endless page’ – too much data
Some examples Bad and Good
Our Products • Preferred partner with Vacation.com for content and web sites • Over 500 agencies have VacationPort or NexCite • All agencies have access to our content thru AgentNet
A total E-Commerce Marketing System • Powerful leisure shopping engine that integrates into your existing web site • Provides a detailed research vehicle for your consumers • Includes Vacation.com preferred supplier content and exclusives including Cruise Center & Vacation Vignettes • Merchandising tool highlight specials, key destinations & more …
Email marketing tools • Integration to cruise online booking engines (Revelex, TravTech, Amadeus Cruise) • Integration with tour wholesaler booking engines – Globus, SuperClubs, Trafalgar, Pleasant, Funjet, TNT & Apple • Tied to AgentNet VacationPort – one user name/password • Emails are linked into Client Base Plus & Client Ease database • Activity reports available online
Did Christopherson Leave Vcom? Where are Vignettes?
A Full Hosted Web Site Solution for Vacation.com agencies • Multiple designs and layouts • Flexible customization • Dynamic travel content with optional online booking integration • Tools to highlight products you want to sell • Online reports on activity • Search engine features • Web hosting, domain hosting, and email hosting
Need a couple more good NexCite examples
Costs Set up Fee -- $150 Waived if you sign up at conference Monthly Fee -- $45 Online booking engine integration -- $55 Set up Fee -- $150 Waived if you sign up at conference Annual Fee -- $449
Some Tips for improving your web site and working with search engines • 1.)Add City, State and Zip code to your footer • 2.) Sign up for your preferred suppliers agency locators and include your website link! (CLIA, ASTA, etc are also good places to sign up for agency locators.) http://www.astanet.com • 3.) Ask companies you like or you work with to link from your website to their site and they add your link to their site • For example, if you are a honeymoon specialist and work with a wedding planner, link to your wedding planners site and ask them to link to yours. • 4.) Include your website on your business cards, email signature, invoices and client documents.
5.) Customize the text on your website. Your clients want to know about your agency. Suggestions: • Specialties/Expertise • Recent trips -- make a reviews page and include a review of every destination you visit • Meet our agents -- include contact information, a brief bio, and specialties for each agent • Favorite destinations • 6.) Look at the text links on your website and change clickable links that say things like "Click here" to be a better description of what will be shown when the client clicks on the link • For example, if you have a honeymoon page that says "Click here to see Jamaica Honeymoons" change the clickable link to "Jamaica Honeymoons".
7.) Avoid using PDF's for things like special groups or cruise information. Instead create a page and copy your text from the PDF onto the page. • 8.) Submit Sitemaps to Google and Yahoo • 9.) Add a META description tag. You should add these to every page, but start with the home page. The META description tag should be a 2 - 3 sentence summary about that page. A Home Page example: • ABC Travel - the premier adventure travel agency in Portland, Oregon - has just celebrated 23 years in business. We are committed to making your next adventure vacation a dream come true. From rock climbing to whitewater rafting, we've done it all and can advise you on the perfect destination for your adventure travel interest. • 10.) Add Google's META verification tag.
Summary • Stand out from the clutter • Use the tools in your arsenal • Create or highlight unique content • Control your message • Prioritize your product offers • Maximize revenues– directionally sell to reach financial targets
For information and training on these tips go to… www.nexcitehelp.com
For more demonstrations and web site analysis Visit Passport Online in the Vacation.com Experience or come and see us at the Trade Show