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The Decline of the Travel Website?

Ditch your Website and focus on blogging in 2010
By toddles

Why you should ditch your traditional Website in 2010:

* traditional Web sites are business cards or billboards – depending on how much you want to spend for design.
* the Internet is about conversations and communication, not broadcasting your message.
* content (words, photos, video, audio) matters much more than design.
* your brand is what you are doing now – today! not what you were doing when your Web site was designed.
* tourism businesses should not have to depend on a third party: adding, editing content should be as easy as sending email and creating and sharing multimedia should be fun and simple.
* a blog is a Website – the most popular Websites in the world are blogs.
* instead of investing money in a Website redesign in ‘09, invest time in creating content that matters for your blog.

Five years ago I started spending quite a bit of time traveling and teaching tourism businesses and regional marketing organizations about customer relationship management and what makes a great Website. We spent quite a bit of time learning about the basics:

* headlines
* great images
* calls to action
* credibility
* e-newsletters
* . . . and lots of other important stuff.

The problem with the early Tourism Keys workshops was that most people could not make the changes to their Web sites themselves.

Over the past few years we’ve been focusing more on things beyond your Web site – outposts if you like, Web 2.0 services that make it easy for businesses and their guests to share photos, videos and stories:

* blogs
* photo libraries like flickr and picasaweb.
* social networks
* maps
* podcast
* video sites like Youtube and the like
* . . . and a whole lot more free ways to get your info in front of your ideal guest

With a good blog you can embed all the outpost content you want and give life to your Web presence by focusing on what’s new and exciting about your travel experiences or tourism region.
The centre of your Web presence has shifted

One of the ideas I’ve shared often is that your Web site can sit at the centre of all these free marketing tools and tactics. In 2010 I’m telling folk that the days of traditional Web sites are over!

“A traditional Web site is just a dated online business card for your tourism business.”

In 2009, an active blog Website , at the centre of your Web presence says that you are ready to have an engaging conversation with your ideal guest today. As such, your blog needs to become the centre of your online Web presence, and that means it’s time to prioritize your marketing efforts in the new year.
New Years Blogging Resolutions for 2010

blogformConsider one or more of these New Years Resolutions to make the most of your blog Website as the centre of your Internet Marketing Strategy.

Design Pages on your blog – create a permanent page menu structure that ensures blog readers have one click menu access to the most important content from your existing Web site. What is the most important content on your existing Web site? What does your ideal guest really need to know?

Schedule regular blog posts – Whether it’s daily, weekly, or something in between, make a commitment to sharing news and updating your blog as often as possible on a regular schedule.

Create and Share Multimedia – Add sound, video or both to your blog. At a minimum, create a slide show with photos and a soundtrack that inspires (Animoto makes this easy to cut and paste embed code). Embed video from Youtube. or other video sharing sites or start a monthly podcast for your tourism business or region – you can do it right on your blog!

Promote your Blog – Be sure to link from your existing Web site telling folks that your blog hosts the most current info! Tell folks on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other sites where you post content, that your blog is a happening place.

Encourage subscriptions – A few hundred people get this blog in their email using the free services from Others subscribe in a reader or get updates on new posts in Twitter. A good blog can replace your e-newsletter for some tourism businesses.

About Kaleel


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