Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 41

Thread: Marketing my website...

  1. #1
    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW
    Posts
    538
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts

    Marketing my website...

    I realised one thing. I have to improve my business online image. The market is changing at a very fast pace and gone is the days of outdoor advertising doing the job for me. I am not saying that outdoor advertising is dead, but in my industry the Internet has taken over and I will have to adapt or die.

    In the early days of Internet it was easy, as very little was coming my way because of it. I wrote my own web page with a copy of Dreamweaver and got good rankings on the search engines. Then I disappeared from the top page and I went the Adwords route. All of a sudden my business picked up and I realized this is the way. Just to see business dwindling again. So I up my budget and it pics up again, but for a short period. Now if I Google my keywords, the opposition has taken over again. So what is happening?

    Seems like everyone is just pumping more and more money into their budgets to keep the top spot. Well, I am sorry, I will have to find another way. It is getting just too expensive.

    I am in the hospitality industry. When you Google for a Guest house in a particular area, none of the actual, or very little, guest house website comes up like in the past. The big guns, like booking.com, safarinow.com, roomsforafrica.com and the likes is just flooding the top rankings. It is obvious why. They spend the bucks and know all the SEO tricks. That is their game. They also jump around so much, that there is not one standing out above the rest. It is like the flavor of the hour. So joining them is also not really the answer to me, apart from the fact that they charge an arm and a leg. My cost per click in the beginning was like R2. Now sometimes I am paying up to R8. Very nice business Google has got here. But I see there is still individual guest houses in there. So I will have to make a plan to get free clicks.

    Reading thru this Marketing Forum, it is clear that SEO, linking to social sites etc is some of the ways to go. Re-writing my website is also overdue. I still use frames and none of the new technology! So bots and stuff is probably ignoring me or even blocking me.

    So I have to decide. Call in professional help, who is just out to milk me for everything I might save on Google is one option. Another is to buy a legal copy of Dreamweaver with all the latest technology build in, at about R4000. (I see the complete suite is like R23 grand! They must be joking...) With that I can re-write my own site and just have this once off expenditure. This way I will be able to do maintenance on my own and be able to turn on a ticky. But will I be able to do a decent job? Or will it just be another wishy washy site, like at the moment. Somehow I doubt that, as it can not be worse than at the moment.

    I would love to give my web address here for evaluation, but just can not do so on an open forum. I can not afford every Tom, Dick and Harry to go Google for keywords and click on my ad when it comes up. It is just too expensive. By the way, I suspect industry sabotage like that in any case. What is easier than sitting there, clicking on your oppositions ads a few times every day, blowing his budget? So if possible, I would love to get away from Addwords. If someone really want to look at my site, honestly, PM me and I will give it to you.

    So that is where I am. Stubborn as hell and want to do my own thing! But R4 or R23 grand is also out of my reach...
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

  2. #2
    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    4,400
    Thanks
    513
    Thanked 854 Times in 687 Posts
    Are you looking to redesign your web site from the ground up? Im trying to figure out why you'd even consider buying Dreamweaver if you're just trying to maintain a single site, it's akin to buying a Vito van, scaffolding and renting a workshop because you need to do some DIY work at home There's loads of free tools available for website design and developement, Amaya, Kompozer etc etc. If you could give more info about how your website was coded it would help. Also rankings is about content, updating and adding info regularly etc.
    _______________________________________________
    I am special and so is Vanash.
    _______________________________________________

  3. #3
    Bronze Member dfsa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    166
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 31 Times in 24 Posts
    http://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/s...2431-Web-sites

    You can have a look at the above thread.

    AMHO You have run into the ripp off zone. At least you seem to have done your PPC yourself. Your opposition have the budget for it and now your ROI is basically gone. The SERP's up untill a couple Years ago was like chicken feed. The competition is growing as more people try to establish a stronger online presense.

    As AndyD say, do not go waste money on dream weaver and programs like that. You have built your own site before, you can again update it onto a new platform with little or no cost. There are free platforms ( scripts) out there and millions of free templates.

    For branding and SEO purpose, you will have to fork out some money, but don't run into the 23k people. they eat you for breakfast. True some do actually give you results, but why give them all your profits, if you can have cheaper avenues with the same results.

    Traffic: Do not sign annual contracts, do not believe them when they gaurentee top spot. Unless they are willing to sign a double money back Gaurentee.

    Just look at the link above, you might find it interesting.

  4. #4
    Full Member Rod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg
    Posts
    49
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
    I think your first task is evaluate your strategy. You need to try and broaden your keyword range. You are not going to compete with sites like booking.com. Use the adwords keyword research tool to see how many local monthly searches your keywords get and then compare the difficulty, although it is not accurate it will give you an idea. Remember to set the location to South Africa. I would recommend a location based keyword ("Guest House Sandton" or where ever you are located).

    As for your website, I am busy doing a website for KevinB right now but when I am done, I will be more than happy to build you a simple wordpress site. That way you can edit the content whenever. You just need to send me the kind of design you would like.

  5. #5
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    796
    Thanks
    212
    Thanked 150 Times in 117 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    IMHO, you're about to be flooded with a lot of information from lots of different folks. 50% of that information is probably going to be nonsense.

    I suspect that a lot of the reason why your CPC is on the increase is because of the quality and relevance of your landing pages. In fact, if you're using a table-based site, this is almost certainly the reason. You'd be way better off just setting up a Wordpress/Joomla site than buying Dreamweaver to build a static site.

    By the way, R8 per click is not a horrible price to pay - try the web design industry, you'll quickly find reasons why you don't need Adwords.

    I'm happy to take a look at your website for you and advise you as to the right direction you should take. I'll drop you a PM now. There are a number of folks on the forum who can vouch for me.

    By the way, are you not making use of sites such as safarinow.com? It's a surefire way to increase your bookings. I believe they're commission-based, so you aren't paying anything unless they are helping you.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
    Mark My Words - Arbitrary thoughts on ordinary things

    LinkedIn | Twitter

    Bafokke Shirts - South Africa's No. 1 Fan Shirt!

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,296
    Thanks
    73
    Thanked 283 Times in 216 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Atkinson View Post
    By the way, are you not making use of sites such as safarinow.com? It's a surefire way to increase your bookings. I believe they're commission-based, so you aren't paying anything unless they are helping you.
    We have used all the accommodation pirate type sites and can tell you that there are just too many establishments using them, for it to be effective anymore. There are no surefire ways to increase bookings through these sites. In addition your rates still have to be competitive - so when they charge 15% plus vat off your already discounted rate, you start to drift into an area where you may end up paying for your guests to stay with you.

    Right now, the poor economy is taking toll and the accommodation industry is being hard hit. It is a period where it will be difficult to gauge whether your low occupancy is a result of general economic problems, poor marketing effort or that Guests just dont like your spot. A rough place to be if you are just starting out. Even those that have been around for a while have not seen it this bad for quite a number of years now. If you have a good occupancy, make sure you do everything to keep your clientele happy....cause we are doing everything we know to get them to come our way.

    Getting a website going with good SEO content takes a while and is not an instant thing, which is why you can use adwords initially to get you going. But at some stage, I believe the site itself must take over and be in the rankings to pull in the business. The current way to go and the designers and purveyors of good SEO know this and will charge for it. Unfortunately the con artists also know this and there are many who will sell you SEO and adword related services with no interest in getting you up the rankings.
    Be careful out there!
    The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
    Sponsored By: http://www.honeycombhouse.com

  7. #7
    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW
    Posts
    538
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts
    Let me first address why I would be interested to buy Dreamweaver if I can get a good deal.

    1. I love programming and working with professional software.
    2. I have the time.
    3. I wrote my own booking program in Delphi, self taught. It employs an Interbase database with clients on all my LAN PC's.
    4. I wrote my own e-mail responder to inquiries in Visual Studio, self taught.
    5. I like to work with a legal tool.
    6. I like to know that I work with the leading software in its category and that time spend on the learning curve is well spend.
    7. If I use leading, legal software I can always recoup some of the costs from doing things for friends and family. R100 here and there over time goes a long way to pay for the software.
    8. I get enormous satisfaction from doing it myself. Even more than a night out at the casino, which I do not do anymore. So I see it as money spend on entertainment!

    I could go on, but I am sure you get the idea.
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

  8. #8
    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW
    Posts
    538
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts
    Marq, glad to see you understand. The other problem is that every second house now try and generate an extra income by renting out rooms on a daily basis. They do not offer much, but the shear number of them kills me. I have 21 Rooms, spread over three houses and 17 years in the business. There is over a 100 establishments in our 'small' town. Just imagine where I am if every one of them takes 1 room out of the market.

    I discovered another one via the Internet last night. Did not even knew the name, but my socks were blown off by their site, looking so good. Actually my wife's. She panics for nothing. I then got in my car and drove past it. What a relieve, as it is not what was betrayed on the web site.

    So that brings me to my next challenge. My website must make me look like 'Sun City'. People decide on what they see on the web. When they get there and it is not looking so brilliant, they do not mind. I am not saying you must lie, but I am saying the presentation must be perfect. Look at the fast food industry. Ever got a burger looking like the one in the picture?
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

  9. #9
    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NW
    Posts
    538
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 52 Times in 47 Posts
    Keywords in this industry is very simple. Accommodation in XYZ is the top performing one. Everyone use it. Then there is lots of variations around it. Thats why the CPC is just going up and up.
    Furthermore you have to be very specific with your keywords. You do not want to pitch to someone that is not looking for a place to stay. If you do, he is probably going to click on your advert, out of curiosity and no intention to stay. So, clicks is vanity, conversions is sanity. For that reason I do only South Africa. Tourists has no business in this part of the world.
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

  10. #10
    Gold Member Mark Atkinson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Durban, South Africa
    Posts
    796
    Thanks
    212
    Thanked 150 Times in 117 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    We have used all the accommodation pirate type sites and can tell you that there are just too many establishments using them, for it to be effective anymore. There are no surefire ways to increase bookings through these sites. In addition your rates still have to be competitive - so when they charge 15% plus vat off your already discounted rate, you start to drift into an area where you may end up paying for your guests to stay with you.

    Right now, the poor economy is taking toll and the accommodation industry is being hard hit. It is a period where it will be difficult to gauge whether your low occupancy is a result of general economic problems, poor marketing effort or that Guests just dont like your spot. A rough place to be if you are just starting out. Even those that have been around for a while have not seen it this bad for quite a number of years now. If you have a good occupancy, make sure you do everything to keep your clientele happy....cause we are doing everything we know to get them to come our way.

    Getting a website going with good SEO content takes a while and is not an instant thing, which is why you can use adwords initially to get you going. But at some stage, I believe the site itself must take over and be in the rankings to pull in the business. The current way to go and the designers and purveyors of good SEO know this and will charge for it. Unfortunately the con artists also know this and there are many who will sell you SEO and adword related services with no interest in getting you up the rankings.
    Be careful out there!
    Well consider that, when I look for holiday accommodation, I visit sa-venues.com or safarinow.com before I do any sort of searching for establishments. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Can you afford not to be listed there? I'm sure not everyone shops on price, either.

    Also consider that, had I not found the particular place I am visiting this weekend on safarinow.com, I would not be staying there at all, based on their website alone. If my destination were such a great place to stay, I would probably pay 15% of my accommodation fee for concluded sales.

    Do the maths, though. If you're running Adwords campaigns, figure out how much, on average, you are paying for each confirmed booking per night. More than or less than 15% of your accommodation per night?

    I maintain that if you portray a good enough image and also ensure a great experience at your establishment, you will get the guests you seek, almost regardless of your prices.
    "The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." - Socrates
    Mark My Words - Arbitrary thoughts on ordinary things

    LinkedIn | Twitter

    Bafokke Shirts - South Africa's No. 1 Fan Shirt!

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Did you like this article? Share it with your favourite social network.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •