If you are a home-based travel agent and you don’t have your own site yet maybe it’s because you think it’s just too big a job for you to tackle. You don’t know HTML or web design. You’re just not a techie at heart. You don’t have the time to learn a whole new business. I mean, there are lots of excuses.
But if this is sounding familiar, you might want to visit a site called Sites That WORK For Any Small Business.
When you get there, click on the “Travel” link. There you’ll find a list of travel-oriented sites that are in the top one percent of all Internet sites when it comes to traffic (as measured by Alexa)!
I can’t say I’ve had to time to look at all of them, but of the ones I’ve browsed, none seem to be home-based travel agencies. (The villas in Tuscany site comes close, but they seem more a broker than anything else.) Most of them seem to have advertising as their business model, but with traffic like they’re getting that could be quite lucrative.
Still, I see no reason why the basic approach illustrated by these sites couldn’t be adapted for a home-based agency, as long as there was a mechanism in place to capture opt-in emails and continue the marketing conversation.
There are a few things that I noticed when browsing through these sites.
1. None of them are terribly fancy. Do you see anything that screams “We spent a TON of money on this site”?
2. They are packed with information.
3. They have odd looking and sounding domain names. I mean, what’s with all those dashes?
4. And then there are those Alexa rankings. People would kill for readership like that.
What’s not immediately apparent is that all these sites were created using a relatively inexpensive all-in-one web-based software solution. Better yet, It’s remarkably easy to use — even for people who have ZERO Internet experience.
All-in-one means it is quite literally soup- to-nuts, starting with helping to choose a domain name. That’s why there are all those dashes in the sometimes cumbersome domain names — because they have been chosen to be search engine friendly (just one reason for those high Alexa rankings).
There are a lot of other services (like SEO) that are built into the package that otherwise would have to be purchased separately. If you were smart enough to know you really needed them, that is! Even web hosting is included.
Web-based means that the software lives in cyberspace, not on your local computer. That way, you can fiddle with your site from your laptop, anywhere there’s an Internet connection. In a Paris cafe? On a cruise ship?
The solution is called Site Build It and they have an action guide that walks you through exactly how it works. Just click on this link:
I think it’s worth looking into as an alternative to the “canned” solutions that offer you cookie cutter sites that aren’t optimized for the search engines and have nothing to differentiate themselves. Of course, Site Build It can’t provide you with the creativity. That has to come from you. But its tools will help get your creative juices flowing and the point-and-click site building tools will help get you over any web design fears you might have.