Marketing - A Lesson From Curacao!
April 13th 2006
I just spent a relaxing week in Curacao, an island off the coast of Venezuela. We stayed at some quaint apartments overlooking a bay called the Spanish Waters. This place is really off the beaten path. Our day started with Costa Rican coffee on the patio only a few feet from the water. Big Sigh!
The inn is owned by a charming couple, Raul and Sylvia. He gives scuba diving instructions and she teaches Salsa dance lessons. The name of the place is called the Limestone Holiday in case you're looking for an ideal location to rejuvenate.
I was talking to the owners and they asked what I did for a living. That is not always an easy answer, but to simplify the response I said Internet marketing. That answer always stimulates interest, especially from local business owners.
Now I originally found this quaint inn through the Internet. In fact, it kept popping up on a number of different keyword searches. They proceeded to tell me how they use to spend considerable money advertising offline, and the results were not all that impressive.
Several years ago they built a web site and now they get 90% of their business off the Internet. Except for a listing on the official Curacao site, most of their traffic is free and generated through the search engines.
What is amazing is that they made little effort to optimize their site for the search engines. They just built pages that focus on their rooms, their location, scuba diving and local attractions. But important terms like Curacao, scuba diving, restaurant, etc. are peppered throughout the site.
The same terms people would use if they were researching Curacao for a vacation. There was no conscious effort to strategically position the terms throughout the copy for the sake of the search engines.
In fact, they do not even know what search engine optimization means.
This is a perfect example how a local business can generate new customers with a minimal effort. I can tell you that the owners of the inn were not working on their site on a daily basis. In fact, they may not have updated it in the last six month.
And yet they are generating new business that would cost thousands on a monthly basis if they were advertising offline.
Depending on the competitiveness of your market, with a just minor effort you could dominate the search results for your local area. And those results can generate targeted prospects who are actively looking for your products or services. By following the basics of search engine optimization, and by creating content that is search engine friendly, you could significantly increase your profits and have the time and money to visit the Limestone Holiday in Curacao.
By Fred Waters
Fred Waters is President of the Local Online Marketing Association, where you can get the Free Ebook, The Indispensable Guide to Local Online Marketing.
http://www.lompro.com Learn how you can profit online and reach new customers.
Search Engine Optimization
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