Promotion Niche: Beach Directories
During a dismal, wet winter, nothing relieves the cold weather blahs better that dreams of the beach. And why not? It’s the perfect vacation for everyone – singles, couples and families.
A trip to the ocean offers the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. Bone-warming sunshine and rhythmic surf sounds sooth the weary worker. The irresistible combination of sand and water keeps youngsters busy all day and sends them to bed early at night. Then, the beach clubs come alive after dark for those with the energy to dance until dawn.
Research shows (see our April newsletter) that most vacationers (87%) have already chosen their destination before they go online looking for lodging. However, more than 75% of them have not yet decided where they will stay. This presents you with a huge opportunity to attract their attention and sell them on your inn.
One of the best ways to lure these potential customers to your website is to have a listing for your lodging property appear in appropriate online beach directories. Most of these web sites offer information on every phase of coastal living related to their area. They will tell you where to buy sun screen and to how to find a doctor to treat your blistered skin if you don’t. Here are a few beach directories you may wish to check out:
This directory has undertaken the remarkable task of offering community guides for beach towns worldwide. The information here is so comprehensive that you’ll have a hard time tearing yourself away from it – and so will your prospective customers! You will find virtual tours of beaches, surf cams, weather and tide reports, government services, business listings, personal websites of beach dwellers, TV and radio stations and much more. To keep yourself from becoming too side-tracked, start with the US Beaches at www.beachcomber.com/guides.html#us .
An enhanced listing and link is available for $99.95 per year. If you’re willing to provide them with a reciprocal link, you can get two years for the same price. Their Google rank is 5 of 10. There is so much useful information to be found that beach lovers will return here again and again.
This web directory is similar to Beachcomber.com. However, it only covers the shore communities along the East Coast of the US. It, too, covers everything to do with the beach and offers beach cams, fishing advice, maps, weather and comprehensive community information.
If you’re willing to give them a reciprocal link, you can get a free basic listing. If not, a listing with a link will cost you anywhere from $20 to $60 a year. Their Google ranking is a 5 of 10. You can pay with Discover, Visa, Amex, MasterCard, and PayPal or by check. Their URL is www.easternbeaches.com .
Northwest Coast, www.nwcoast.com , is an Oregon and Washington Coast Guide. It’s easy to navigate and offers plenty of insightful information for visitors to the towns and beaches of the northwest.
The appearance of this website is more informational than promotional. In other words, it doesn’t look like one big advertisement. While it does promote its members, website visitors get more of a sense of gaining knowledge about the area than of being sold something.
There’s the usual information about shore communities, but it also has numerous articles about different facets of beach living. For example, you can learn how to catch a crab, and how to cook it once you’ve caught it. They will direct you to the most scenic drives or the wildest beaches. Those interested in visiting the area will likely find this wealth of practical information both entertaining and useful.
When you advertise here, you will receive your own full page with information, photos, and a link to your website. Once listed, you can go to your page and update specials on your own, which is a quick way to offer last minute deals to help fill your rooms. A Bed and Breakfast can expect to pay about $70 a year, while a multi-unit vacation rental or a larger lodging will a little pay more. The Google page rank is 5 of 10.
Gulf Coast Travel Online Magazine is another regional resource that offers loads of information and entertainment along with advertising. Over 1000 subscribers receive an emailed edition of this webzine each month. It covers the area of the Gulf Coast stretching from northern Florida to the Mississippi. There are specific city guides and special editions, as well. Advertising rates begin at $350 per year. You will find them at www.gulfcoasttraveler.com. Their Google page rank is 5 of 10.
If you live in a shore community, be certain to take advantage of your local resources. Many Chambers of Commerce and other local business associations have websites which show up prominently in the free listings for the best search terms and keywords for their area. For example, a recent MSN search for “New Smyrna Beach Florida” brought up the Volusia County web site, www.volusia.org , in non-sponsored positions 2 and 10 on the first page.