Everybody’s heard the Internet marketing buzz - SEO this, PPC that, Facebook pokes, social media and all that jazz. It’s all a little overwhelming isn’t it? Where do you start, will you get results, and what how much will you need to invest?
Hopefully this post will answer some of those questions; at least in part.
A Quick Internet Marketing Overview
Online Advertising - You usually pay a set monthly fee to advertise your company to web users, be it through banner advertising, directory listings or “buying” a page on an existing website.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - You will need some copywriting and possibly technical web development skills to benefit from SEO. The SEO process is all about editing various elements on your website. This could include making content changes such as adding keywords into your copy, improving your page headings, writing additional articles about your area of expertise or location, or implementing technical changes. The latter may included making sure that your code is W3C compliant, all content is easily accessible by search engine spiders, etc.
Sound search engine optimisation should enable your website to rank well for key phrases that are related to your business. These rankings (Organic or SEO Rankings) are found on the left hand side of the Search Engines Results Pages.
NOTE: If you are a Guesthouse in Camps Bay, key phrases related to your business will include “Camps Bay Accommodation”, “Camps Bay Holidays”, “Guesthouse in Camps Bay” NOT “Africa Travel”, “South Africa Accommodation”, etc.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) - PPC entails bidding on key phrases and, as the name indicates, paying for each click your advert receives. This is the fastest method of getting targeted traffic to your website. Advertisers can manage their adverts, key phrases, bids, countries they would like to target, languages, etc from a central interface. This, in our opinon, is an excellent way for accommodation establishments to market themselves.
In addition to providing a basic overview of online marketing, this post was also inspired by the the below list of accommodation listing websites I had around. As a venue owner, manager or marketer, try your best to get listed on some or all of these. The best way to determine which of the sites listed below will work for you is by typing your “top” search phrase into Google and then getting your venue listed on those sites.
Commission-based accommodation websites:
- www.Safarinow.co.za (15%)
- www.Roomsforafrica.com (15%)
- www.Venues4Africa.com (10%)
- www.Sleepingout.com (12.5%)
- www.Doorway.co.za (12.5%)
- www.holidayweb.co.za (20%).
Yearly subscription Fee websites:
- www.Wheretostay.co.za (R1000 per year)
- www.SA-Venues.com (R1000 per year)
- www.naasa.co.za (R250.00 per year)
- http://www.sabreakaway.co.za/ (R500.00 once off)
- www.SouthAfricanGateway.com (R350 per year)
- www.Capestay.co.za (R2000 reg and R800 per year)
- www.accommodation.co.za (Various Options)
- www.40winks.co.za (R1000 per annum)
- www.capetownaccommodation.org (R800 per annum)
- www.stayinsa.co.za (R420)
- www.uncoverthecape.co.za (R500).
Other Websites to list on:
- www.Places.co.za (must be signed up to Nightsbridge R1000)
- www.AAtravel.co.za (must be part of print book R4000)
- www.Gumtree.com (free).
* Please not the above prices are estimates and may have changed.
Good luck marketing your venue! I hope this post was useful - drop me a mail if you would like to chat or have a question or two in this regard. I apologise if I have left your venue marketing site off the above list; please just add a link to your site in the comments.