Building the Perfect Web Beast Part 2

Last month I shared we’re re-building the Bureau website here in Norman, OK. As we look to improve our efficiencies, these are the tools to help. Part 1 highlited Content Management System, Customer Relationship Management, Analytics Software, Mobile Websites and Booking Engines.

Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Monitoring, Itineraries, Advertising and Merchandising are highlighted in Part 2 of ‘Building the Perfect Web Beast’ – this month’s Five @ 5.

1. Search Engine Optimization. When someone searches for ‘things to do in Your-ville’, is Your-ville CVB’s site one of the first ones on the list? If not, they need to improve their Seach Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. Your webmaster should be assisting with this.

2. Social Media Monitoring. They’re talking about you on Twitter, Facebook, restaurant reviews, hotel reviews, whether they liked the museum or not… you best be listening. Numerous tools allow you to monitor what they’re saying. This is a great article summarizing the many free monitoring tools available.

3. Social Media Monitoring II. No longer are travelers simply taking the word of a destination or attraction’s website. They’re seeking the comments of other travelers. They’re finding them at Trip Advisor and other similar sites. Instead of trying to hide it, provide the information to your visitors. It’s as simple as placing a Trip Advisor widget on your site.

4. Advertising. Ads are everywhere on the internet. They’re all over websites. Heck, YOU are probably placing ads on the internet. Why shouldn’t you be placing ads on your website? Why is it we DMOs have the mentality that ‘we can’t charge for ads on our site’. “We’re a non-profit.” Only in tax status. We still must look to maximize revenues! “We must market all properties the same.” We do in the universal list! Right next to it is an ad for Your-ville Inn & Suites!

5. Merchandising. Why should everyone else be able to market Your-ville shirts, mugs and commemoriative trinkets and you not be able to? If over 80% of the visitors are searching websites before they leave town, perhaps you’ll be able to catch a sell before they visit your town. Partner with that local merchant to provide an additional outlet for them! The additional revenue realized will be beneficial!

I hope this month’s and last month’s articles have helped shed new light on potential for your website. It’s far more than just an online brochure!

(Originally posted February 2010)

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