Cheap Tourism Websites – What Could Go Wrong?

Lately I have seen many ‘specials’ come past my desk. Cheap business websites (or “free” websites), $10 business cards, and search engine optimisation emails from India, ‘guaranteed to put you business (sic) at the top of Google’.

Yes, times are tough and there is no shortage of businesses out there doing the unforgivable … ‘competing on price’ and offering cheap but ultimately ineffective products and services.

It reminds me of the $10 haircut story…

image dog getting a haircut, websites and cheap haircut analogy
A hair salon, let’s call it Salon A, was doing great business, offering haircuts for $25 with no shortage of happy customers. Then, one day, across the road, a competitor, Salon B, opened up and … wheeled out his sandwich board.

“Cheap $10 haircuts”.

Salon A watched in dismay as his customers flocked to the new, cheaper salon. After mulling this over for a few weeks, he came up with a plan. On Monday, he wheeled out his sandwich board.

“We fix $10 haircuts”. 

Compete on Price Alone and You Lose The Race

Therein lies the moral of the haircut story. If your plan is to compete on price alone, then there is no end to how low you can go. You’ll be competing against the discount superstores of this world and eventually you’ll dig your own grave in a race to the bottom and your tombstone will be knocked over to make way for the next megastore.

People who are serious about value for money want to invest in the service you offer because it will do the job they require. Maybe they just don’t know it yet.

Your Tourism Business Doesn’t Need a Website

What?! In 2013? Are you serious?!

Ok. I admit it. That heading was a deliberate ploy to keep you reading – it worked didn’t it? 😉

Your business does not need an ill-thought-out, cheap business website. Your business needs to thoughtfully invest in an online marketing solution that works for your bottom line. That may well involve a website and an email marketing strategy with a side serving of content marketing and social media. In the initial stages it may also require a traditional media strategy using TV, radio and print to kickstart the promotion.

So how do you know what you need? Let me explain.

Let’s say you get a website built for $1,000. Or, maybe you sign up for those free websites (you know, the ones that are above every second Facebook post).

Then, you sit back and smirk at your competitor who just spent $5,000 or $10,000 on what you think appears to be the same thing, right?

Wrong.

which costs more?

 

Your free or $1,000 website might look nice. It might even run the latest and greatest content management system and have all the latest social media widgets.

Except, your $1,000 of hard earned cash really only paid for the curtains on the front windows of an online house that has no walls, roof or foundation.

Fast forward a few months, or years, and it’s a good bet you’ll end up paying someone to make your website work, or you’ll spend hours of your own time* trying to educate yourself on how to make your website make money for your business.

How do I know this? Clients come to Woof Media to fix cheap tourism websites that haven’t worked for their business.

*Hot tip: your time is worth money and is always better spent on the areas in your business that you are good at. It rarely makes good sense to waste your own valuable time trying to master something that is not your core business! 

Does Your Website Increase Sales for Your Business?

Chances are for $1,000 your web firm didn’t allow time to do anything more with your investment than whip up a templated site with very little consideration or discussion for its purpose. Of course, all of your Facebook friends agree the new website looks wonderful and that’s what counts, isn’t it?

Actually, no. What counts is to know that your new website will build your brand and increase sales. And that it will do so effectively into the future.

  • Did your web company talk to you about marketing strategy for your business, not just your website?
  • Did they ask to work with you to clearly define what you want the website to achieve?
  • Did they design the website with a clear ‘call to action’ for website visitors?
  • Are visitors to your site following your ‘call to action’? How do you know?
  • What ongoing strategy do you have in place to make absolutely sure that your investment in a website is bringing a solid return for your business?

Oh, and remember your competitor who invested $5,000 in his online marketing solution? Fool…or was he?

His web firm didn’t even start discussing the colour scheme of his website until they had dived deep into his marketing strategy and brainstormed all of the questions above. And, because his web firm had done it before and had experience with a range of tourism businesses, they brought lots of additional ideas to the table. A few of those ideas have transformed the way his business does marketing in general, not just online.

So yes, he might have spent more dollars and more time upfront, but he now has a website that is increasing his bottom line and a clear plan on how to repeat that.

Over, and over again.

So, What About Your Tourism Business?

Are you the person who spends $1,000 on what is essentially a pretty online brochure that does little to increase sales and long term success of your business? Or are you the person who sees long term value by investing time and money in an online marketing solution that pays for itself and goes on to add cream to the bottom line, over and over again?

Put another way, would you:

a) invest $1,000 and lose $100 (a 10% loss) or,

b) invest $5,000 and make $500 (a 10% gain)?

Chalkboard with writing, Return on Investment (ROI)

 

What Makes Woof Media Different?

Woof Media are so much more than just a web or design agency.

We are a tourism marketing company.

We want to understand your business before we do anything else. We want to help you create a marketing strategy first and foremost that then determines which marketing tools are best for your business.

We believe your business is worthwhile enough for you to invest in professional solutions that get results. The question is, do you believe your business is worthwhile enough?

If you do, then please, get in touch with us and find out how we can help your business kick some goals.

Images courtesy of 123rf.com