Destination Marketing

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Debi & Juliet

By Honeypot Marketing, Mar 11 2015 01:06PM

You’ve spent lots of time, energy and probably money to get that new website up and running. Job done. Well not quite. People need to find it. You’ve invested in some PPC and some SEO, now it’s time to look at marketing the site elsewhere and build your visitor numbers.

One of the most effective and cheapest ways to build traffic, Google profile and credibility of your website is linking. Links in seem obvious – making sure your url appears on all your online advertising and listings on third party websites – but what about linking out?

We’ve often mentioned this to clients to a mixed response. One view seems to be a reluctance to take visitors off one site to another’s – possible that of a rival business. You’ve worked hard to get them on your site, why send them away? Well, links out can be a very effective, lucrative way of attracting visitors to your site and building relationships across the industry - and it can save you time and effort. It’s a well-known fact that the search engines such as Google like links, and links out all go towards building your website’s “score” and therefore improving rankings on the search engines. Links in and out add to your website’s credibility and usability as far as the search engines are concerned – all good for you and your website.

Why not consider reciprocal links? Link with the visitor attraction down the road or the B&B in the next village, even if you are also running a visitor attraction or B&B, and get them to link to you. You’re not only helping each other, you are also helping the visitor to your site, giving them a richer experience on your website. Chances are they are going to need somewhere to stay, or they will want to visit more than one visitor attraction during their stay. They may as a result stay even longer – and spend more!

Equally, if you are trying to provide a visitor guide to the local area on your website, seriously consider linking to the local destination website instead of having to research, write – and more importantly update, this information yourself. Why re-invent the wheel? These websites are set up for the sole purpose of promoting all there is to see and do in the area, and are generally maintained regularly with the most up to date opening and pricing information too, ideas for itinerary building, the latest on what’s new and also include up to date lists of local events. For Kent and Sussex, link to www.DiscovertheGardenofEngland.com which includes a comprehensive list of places to visit, things to do, events and lots more in the area.

And, if you are really worried about sending visitors away from your site make sure your links out open in a new tab or window within your browser. Any web developer will know how to do this, but it’s easy to do yourself too if you have access to your own CMS. Ensure that links are described as ‘_blank’ (underscore ‘blank’) within the CMS and the links will open in a new tab - that way the visitor can easily pop back to the page on your website and continue browsing. And remember to check your monthly web statistics. Although your can’t track links out, you will be able to keep an eye on where your website visitors are being referred from and whether they are coming from those reciprocal links – you’ll be surprised how well it works!

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