Cycle Tourism and How Communities Can Build Visitor Numbers and Income

I was really impressed to read that Minnesota has created a billion dollar industry around cycling. Promoting Bicycle TourismThey are seeing more income from Cycling that other popular sports, which is amazing when you consider there would be a short season for Cycling in Minnesota compared to a place like Australia where you might cycle year around.

So, what are they doing? First, they’ve created a group that connects many government and industry people. That then helps them marshal forces to get ‘real’ things done:

  • Routes and Signage
  • Support – Places to Stay, maps, shelters
  • A knowledge base with a website and specially designed mapping that can be used from a mobile phone

As a web guy, I often get caught in the trap of thinking all the website stuff is really important. While it certainly can be a good way to present ideas and knowledge – the fact remains that having routes that are supported with good surfaces, signage and places to stay along the way is really what counts. But, here is the website > http://www.pedalmn.com/ for which I think they have done a very good job.

Promoting Cycle Tourism

Doesn’t that look like a way to get out and enjoy nature!

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SEO and Meta Tags for Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords

It is always interesting to hear people’s opinions on Meta Tags and how they effect Search Engine ranking for your website. Some people think they are very important while others don’t bother to complete them at all.

A Meta Tag is an html attribute found in the HEAD section of a web page. Nothing in the Head section is visible to users, but this info is visible to search engines.

For example, the Meta Tags for this page are:

  • <meta name=”description” content=”How do Meta Tags such as Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions effect search engine results?” />
  • <meta name=”keywords” content=”Meta Tags, Meta Keywords, Meta Description, effect on search engine results, SERP, Better Ranking” />

In the old days, Meta Tags had a greater purpose for informing Search Engines about the content of web pages. Because Meta Tags were not visible to users, there was a great temptation to stuff all kinds of words into these fields. You might add the names of competitors, or just repeat the same keywords over and over like website design, website design, website design. Meta Tags became so abused with spammy content that Search Engines like Google stopped using them.

Or did they? Matt Cutts is Google’s spokesman on how the search engines work. In this short video Matt tells us that sometimes Google still uses Meta Descriptions in search results. The advantage of seeing statements by Matt Cutts is that what he says is probably true. Google is very tricky about really telling us how they get search results.

 

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Kalang River Motel in Urunga gets a New Website

We recently made a new website for Kalang River Motel in Urunga for June and Adriaan de Jonge who asked us to use a design similar to another website that I won’t mention. Often, we create custom website templates using Artisteer, but in this case we used a theme from Elegant Themes.

New Website for Kalang River Motel I must say that I was pleasantly surprise by the Theme and how it managed image sliders and layout. More interesting has been the way it manages SEO. You can download an unlimited number of themes for a yearly joining fee of $39 – so the price is right and the themes are very attractive.

I’ve tended to install All in One SEO as a plug in for WordPress websites because of how it helps you manage page titles and meta tags, but it would appear that Elegant Themes has built and SEO tool that may make All in One redundant (jury is still out).

One of the main challenges has been to attract people looking for accommodation in Coffs Harbour to consider Kalang River Motel because Urunga is 20 minutes south of Coffs.

TripAdvisor has been a great source of guests for Kalang River Motel, so we integrated a reviews widget into the sidebar. We also added links for FaceBook, but decided to leave the stream off and just opt for the like button.

Naturally, there is a secure Online Booking feature provided by Web Reservation Systems.

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Best Marketing Tip for Accommodation and Travel in Victoria

Our services are used by accommodation providers all around Australia – many of which are located in Victoria. For some, we have made websites and for others they use our online booking engine. This has given us some interesting insight into what really works.

Inbound Links from a Highly Ranked Tourism Website in Victoria

Getting better ranking with any website is a big job. A big part of SEO work comes with links from quality websites related to travel.

TravelVictoria.com.au has proven time and again to offer incredible value for a fraction of the cost of other (often less productive) websites. I watch the referrer stats on websites and this one is consistently bringing traffic as well as giving a great inbound link.

Accommodation Owners get Online Bookings for Free

Perhaps more significant is the fact that TravelVictoria lets you place a link to your online booking system on their website and best of all they are not interested in taking a commission. Really, commission free bookings today are a rare thing and something to be respected.

Again, looking at actual results – we see many times the cost of a listing being paid back in real bookings. Businesses like the Executive Hideaway Motel in Benalla have been benefiting from links in the Benalla Accommodation section for years with outstanding results.

Get a Discount on an Already Great Price

TravelVictoria is celebrating their 8th Birthday with a special discount off their already low price. Instead of paying $69 a year, you can now get a $20 discount and pay only $49.

I came across this discount on twitter. Really, I like this website a lot and they do not pay me to recommend them. In fact, I would suggest that the value they offer is so good you should pay them more than $69, but when you can get a deal you should take it.

Great Deal on Internet Marketing for Accommodation Owners in Victoria

TravelVictoria Celebrates their 8th Birthday with a Special Listing Price

You have to act fast as the offer ends on March 31st.

My only complaint about this website is that they don’t cover other States. Sure, we have a lot of clients in Victoria, but I wish my other accommodation customers in NSW, QLD, etc could benefit.

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Adding Flickr Photos to Your Website with Author Attribution Tags

Building up a beautiful website is always a balance between clever copy writing and using photos and videos to communicate your subject. In a perfect world, you would be able to use all your own content to do everything, but really that is not necessary.

Mornington Peninsula TourismI make a lot of websites for clients and I also build websites for myself on topics usually related to travel. So, getting interesting images is always a challenge. Flickr is an online photo library used by amateur and professional photographers to display their work. Many photographers are happy to share their work, using the nonprofit Creative Commons which has 6 default licenses as an alternative to full copyright. This means that both you and the photographer can benefit – you get to display great images and they get recognition for their work which can lead to greater things as well.

Using Photo Dropper with WordPress

Spending the day at Ashcombe Maze a natural maze made from hedgesIt’s one thing to know it is possible, but another to do it. And, more important to do it easily. With Photo Dropper installed as a plug in for WordPress, you can now quickly search through Flickr for images and then with a couple of clicks insert the photos into your blog posts with full attribution.

Once you’ve installed the Photo Dropper plug in, your page editor has a new button that helps you browse images on Flickr and click to install them into your post.

I’ve used Mornington Peninsula as an example and I’ve inserted 2 images into this post: a photo of the bathing boxes at Portsea and a shot from Ashcombe Maze. Also note at the bottom of the post is an attribute to the photographers. You can chose the size of the image and give it your own title attributes and set the image to right, left or centre.

 

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