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Internet Advertising Guide for Virginia Beach Tourism Companies

As a company advertising in Virginia Beach, or anywhere else, there are many new factors to consider, especially in our current economic times and the changes being made to "old world thinking and technology".

In the past, advertising in magazines, the newspaper and the telephone book were key. Now, magazines and newspapers are in decline and the phone book is becoming obsolete.

This article will help guide you on the decisions you must make regarding Internet advertising, specifically for Virginia Beach. Internet advertising is on the rise and if used correctly, can be a "game changer" in the way your company reaches your audience.

Last month, one of our prospects mentioned they were paying approximately $900/month advertising in one of those "yellow" web directories and they were desperately trying to get out of the contract. It pains us to see the company wasting so much hard earned revenue. They were not seeing the results they wanted. Why?

Where is your audience on the web? Geodomains.

When I wanted to visit Dallas, TX a few years ago, the first website I went to was Dallas.com. I found a list of hotels, restaurants and a realtor (we were looking to relocate due to health reasons at the time). We were armed with information before we hopped on the plane. Going to one of those "yellow" directories didn't cross our minds.

Dallas.com is a Geodomain. The site you are on right now, VirginiaBeach.com is also a Geodomain. Geodomains have many amazing benefits. The first is web traffic. More than half of our traffic comes from tourists intuitively typing in our domain name. The rest comes from search engines like Google and Yahoo.

The next benefit is search engine placement. Almost every Geodomain with actual content ranks very high in the search engines. Search engines tend to give Geodomains special treatment, especially if they provide actual content related to the area.

There is no doubt that if you depend on tourists for business in Virginia Beach, advertising with this Geodomain will be successful. It's guaranteed and it's amazingly cost-effective.

What about other sites that might be free? You should absolutely advertise with them. This is called advertising redundancy. You should never advertise in only one place. This could be disastrous. For example, as VirginiaBeach.com was advancing through the search engine placements, other sites ahead of us were enjoying a good amount of search engine traffic. As we gained ground, their traffic was drastically reduced. Anyone who started to depend on that traffic found their numbers dwindling.

Periodically, all search engines readjust their algorithms for placement. It's not unusual for the top ranked sites to find themselves missing from the first page. Any clients who depended on those rankings found their business abruptly halting. Frivolous law suits have been launched when these happen, to no avail. Nobody is guaranteed a search engine placement.

Since Geodomains do not solely rely on their search engine rankings, if they fall for any reason, your business may slow but will not stop (since less than half the web traffic comes from search engines). This is the kind of redundancy you want in your advertising campaign.

Pricing.

PPC versus flat rate? When analyzing the cost-effectiveness of advertising, we recommend our clients try PPC first. PPC (pay-per-click) allows our customers to only pay for the the actual clicks they receive. Ads can be shown but if nobody clicks, nobody pays. Weekly and monthly reports can be generated to show you how effective your advertising is.

Ad placement.

Sometimes page placement can make all the difference too. When we moved "Timeshares" from the top menu to the left menu, traffic dropped by over 50%. We then trimmed our left menu and moved Timeshares toward the top and traffic resumed. Be sure to work with your advertiser on ad placement. Merely being on a site isn't as important as where you are on the site.

If you have questions on how to effectively market your business on-line, please feel free to email me. My email is sjones@virginiabeach.com.