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Getting online with an Online Marketing Strategy: A case study

30 Nov Posted by in Blog, SEO, Tools | 2 comments
Getting online with an Online Marketing Strategy: A case study

This week we decided we would take you back to basics and provide you with a 3 step high level plan for maximising your business online via an online marketing strategy. To keep it simple we have provided only one or two samples per point, these are the points that we find most people get wrong due to being distracted by other fancy items. To get you into the spirit of things we have provided details in a case study style, imagine you are this business and if it doesn’t match entirely to your business take a moment to think how each point does apply.

Imagine this…

You have just launched your B&B in the Gold Coast hinterland and are about to embark on an online marketing journey which will include getting a website developed, getting to grips with Facebook and other social media for business, and marketing your business online.

It’s a big task to do while running the business and delivering outstanding service to your guests however you understand that 95% of domestic and international travelers research their trip online so you really do need to get onto it. You have spoken to a number of people about what they have done to attract customers online but you aren’t really sure where to start or what you need to do. Your business is struggling offline and your current web presence is dismal apart from the website you already have (it was made 3-5 years ago by a friend).

So what are the very basics you should have in an online marketing strategy to at least have a semi decent online presence?

Step 1: Attract your visitors to your online presence

Think about a website as a newly-opened shop. Unless there is signage and advertising your shop will remain the best kept secret around. The same happens online; you need to attract visitors to your website, it’s as simple as that. One of the most cost-effective way to do so is to research the keywords your target market is likely to use and optimse your website for those keywords so that it shows up on the top of Google. This discipline is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and can consist of:

  1. On Page Optimisation – Page titles and meta descriptions, in content keyword inclusions, heading styles (H1, H2, H3 etc), bolding, underlining, hyper linking, image optimisation, site speed, site maps… the list goes on
  2. Off Page Optimisation – inbound link building, directory submissions, blog posting, social media linking, social bookmarking etc.

You can either do this yourself (ATDW’s tourism ekit is a great place to start) or engage the services of SEO professionals (starting at approximately $300 per month). For detailed information on SEO practices and how you can use them for your business take a look at our series of SEO blog posts:

Only 4 out of 10 accommodation businesses in Australia use SEO in their business so if you get this right you will start to rank above many of your competitors on the page one of Google.

Step 2: Entice your visitors to convert into buyers

Once visitors land on your website you want to make sure you have all the elements in place to entice them to book online or at least enquire, traditionally this would be the role of the sales assistant (and you would want to make sure he/she is well trained to close those sales!).

Your website content needs to be able to handle questions from the most difficult of clients. This discipline is called Conversion Rate Optimisation. Have a look at to understand how a small change in the colour of your book now button could improve your bookings, you can also look at our Bounce Rate Optimisation – How to stop people from rejecting you blog post for further information.

In terms of our case study, as a B&B you need to think about how travelers are likely to navigate your website in order to write content that is likely to convert. For instance, your “rooms and rates” page should include photos, prices, booking buttons and testimonials such as ones from TripAdvisor (e.g. Rooms and Rates and here Room Details)

You also need to be bookable online. The most effective, fastest and cheapest way to achieve this is to install an online booking system on your website. The Tourism Ekit provides with a comparison chart of online booking systems suitable to Australian accommodation providers.

Finally, a little tip: check out the free live chat tool called Zopim ( It will allow you to start a conversation with every single visitor to your website. With the average Australian B&B getting approximately 50 unique visitors per day, that is one fast way to get bookings! See a live chat example on our demo B&B site here:

Step 3: Relate to your past guests using social media

Social media is a real asset to accommodation businesses as it gives past customers the opportunity to brag about their stay and show the world about the wonderful experience they had. TripAdvisor in particular is often compared to the online version of a guest book. The key difference being that those wonderful comments that guests left are now viewable by potential guests and read by search engines instead of remaining locked in the cottages!

One simple way to leverage TripAdvisor is to send a personalised email to your past guests after they have left and ask them to leave you a review on your TripAdvisor page (ensure you provide them with the direct link!). Just like Witches Falls Cottages on the Gold Coast, your B&B could soon be ranked amongst the top accommodation providers of your region.


For those of you that are interested in upgrading your website or getting a new one be sure to check out our blog post on Planning a Killer website and download our free resources below!

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