Saturday, January 26, 2008

Postini tip

I use Postini to pre-filter my e-mail for spam before it gets delivered to my e-mail client. A good tip is to sort by Subject. That way you'll see all the Russian spam together (usually first), and it also has the advantage of grouping same Subject messages together - and multiple e-mails from different senders with the same subject is a sure sign of spam!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Domain Tasting and Front Running

'Domain Tasting' and 'Front Running' is a registrar - Network Solutions in this case - who will reserve a domain name because you've just searched for it. In doing so they force you to buy that domain from them! So either be prepared to buy immediately... or don't do a search using NetSol!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Customer Reviews Close the Deal

If there was any remaining doubt as to the high value of customer reviews in getting your hotel more bookings, this has put it to rest:
TripAdvisor Reviews Double Conversion Rates

Online shoppers who look at TripAdvisor hotel reviews on long-haul travel specialist Hayes & Jarvis site book trips at double the rate of online shoppers who have not seen the TripAdvisor reviews. Read full article at

So if you aren't taking advantage of -- or at least putting your customer testimonials on your website and linking to TripAdvisor - you could be missing out on a lot of business.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Putting a price on free advertising

Often, for all your efforts on paid advertising, it's the free publicity that surpasses it.

We're very fortunate in Dominica to have a tourism product that carries with it an inbuilt 'wow' factor: our unspoiled natural beauty inspires so many people. So for all our efforts in the marketplace - trade shows, magazine adverts, online marketing, one good magazine article so often exceeds the exposure we pay for.

Of late Dominica has got rave reviews in many publications - and one such caused the above peak in traffic to an accommodation website featured in the article - a 3,000% increase, for minimal cost. And this is just one of many, fairly regular, good reviews.

While quite often it's true there's no such thing as bad publicity - last year's earthquake and Hurricane Dean turned the spotlight on us briefly, and we bounced back quickly from the damage of Dean - anything that damages the key perception of our island will damage that free publicity we so need.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Best Practices in Search Marketing

More and more website owners are becoming involved in Search Marketing. It is a natural progression in the evolution of doing your business online.
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is defined by Wikipedia as a form of Internet Marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in the Search Engine result pages (SERPs).

Several years ago, many of our clients thought all they needed to do was put a website on the internet and the business would start flowing.

In our small market here in Dominica, that was actually sometimes the case! We had plenty of clients who received bookings the first day their websites went live. One key to this success was that their brand new website was linked in from our network of high-traffic Dominica sites, such as, so it brought traffic to their door immediately.

But these days, as more and more businesses go online, the competition has increased and everyone must work a little harder to grab the attention of a prospective customer.

That's where search marketing comes in. You have a website, but how do you make sure it gets listed well in the search engines for your keywords and that it brings traffic and clients your way?

You must stick to our Three Golden Rules:

1) Know Your Keywords - Know what your best keywords are and integrate them into the content and titles of your pages.

2) Content is King - Good Content is essential. It's what your customer is searching for in order to decide whether or not he will buy your product or service.

3) Link Building - The age old idea of networking is still critical in today's electronic marketplace: get good quality links from other websites to yours. This increases the quality of the visitor who reaches you and ultimately helps drive your site higher in the search engine rankings.

If you need help with these services, there are many qualified marketers out there. Visit our corporate website for more information about Search Engine Marketing Services from Delphis.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Show me the stats!

An e-mail was recently received by many locally about signing-up to a new regional tourism website. Closer inspection however showed the recommended fee was US$2,000. Well, you could donate as well. But it wasn't clear what you got for your money.

The first rule of Internet Advertising is 'Ask about the traffic'. It's the beautiful thing about the web - all sites capture a wealth of traffic statistics, and if an advertising medium can't - or won't - share with you, it's a huge red flag.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Travel Search Insights

"On average, customers make 12 travel related searches, visit 22 websites and take 29 days from the first time they search until they make a purchase..."

From an interesting study on how people search for travel 'products'.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What the client wants....

"Only downside for us was that whilst we were waiting for the whales to resurface (45 mins I think) they opened the punch and played the same tunes over and over, and very loud. The boat had several families aboard and no one was looking for a party boat, although they tried (and failed) to make it so."

A comment that illustrates one of the flaws we so often see in our websites too - we want to give the client what we think they want...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hands up who hates PowerPoint presentations?

And we've all been to terrible ones. And yet we all still do them.

Here's a great article that suggests how, if you can't do without, to do a better presentation.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Driving traffic

Today's the day I reset and archive the database that tracks click-throughs to client websites from our Big Two Dominica websites: and sent 56,354 click-throughs to client websites, while sent a massive 211,877 click-throughs. Looked at the other way, a typical client website gets around 15% of their traffic from their links from our websites.

And these figures don't include direct e-mail enquiries sent to clients form these two websites (or the others in our network of Dominica sites, such as