Mobile Madness | Travel Research Online


Mobile Madness

Dear Stephanie,

I keep hearing about mobile sites. I already struggle to keep my posts and deals updated. I’m often behind. Do I need a mobile site and how do I keep that updated?!

– Zoe S.

Hi Zoe,

We’ve got two important subjects to cover from your email and not enough space! I’m going to break this into a two-part series so I can make sure to give the subjects the ink they deserve.

Okay, so first thing. I have to confess that as a marketer, my heart broke a little when I read that your site may have outdated information! I can’t help but think of the ripple effects that one small task left undone can create. Let’s see if after reading this, you’re open to trying another route on things. By the way, don’t feel alone on this in the least – it’s something I see often so you’re in good company!

I am the first person to say that a truly engaging and informative site can do wonders for your business – I love that sort of stuff! I’ll quickly follow that with a website that has good intentions but no follow-through when it comes to being engaging and informative is doing more harm than good.

You probably know what I’m talking about: the specials area with not-so-up-to-date specials; the blog that was last updated on a trip fourteen months ago; or even worse, the untouched blog graced with the default post “Hello World!” from 2010… and nothing else.

I’m beating a dead horse here, though. You know this.

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Invisible Visitors are Quite Visible

So let’s try approaching it another way.

I’ve talked about this before but I’ll mention it again, the importance of Google Analytics on your site. If you don’t have it on your site yet, you’ll want to get it. It’s great for all sorts of wonderful-ness but in this specific case, you’re going to use it to give you concrete visitor numbers.

Since you can’t see your website visitors, they can become an abstract idea easily forgotten. People visit your site but will rarely leave a trace – only a small percentage will leave footprints by contacting you. When you’re not hearing from visitors or seeing them, it is easy to put updating your site at the bottom of your list.

No longer. Google Analytics will rob you of the ability to brush that task under the table. It will show you exactly how many people are visiting your site. No longer allowing you to feign ignorance or pretend that it doesn’t matter.

Contingency Plan

If it’s just not happening and you’re still struggling, we may need to face the music. A dynamic site is not for you at this point in time.

There’s no doubt that a dynamic site – when properly executed – will increase the likelihood of a sale… but sometimes, we small business owners are only able (or want to) do so much.

If that’s the case, my heart still breaks… but just a little. The best solution for you is to revamp your site to remove areas that require updating. The site will be there, ready for a facelift, whenever you are. Until then, your visitors will have a much better user experience on your site, even if it’s lacking a blog or specials!

Next month, we’ll chat more on the mobile part of your question but for now, let’s focus on cleaning up your current site.

For the rest of you, if you have any questions on host agencies, getting started in the travel industry, growing your home-based agency, etc. drop me a line:

Until next time,

PictureAfter a 6 year stretch as director of a national host agency, Stephanie Lee started Host Agency Reviews – a resource website with host reviews and articles to help travel agents start and grow their travel agencies. She was awarded the ASTA’s Young Professional of the Year and Travel Agent Magazine’s 30 under 30 award. As time marches on, the dates of the awards have been surreptitiously left out to avoid drawing attention to the fact she’s aging. She’s not.

You can connect with Steph on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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