Let’s start with your existing tours. Seems like every destination has a paper brochure for a walking tour or something similar. Here are eight ways to post that same content, reach new potential visitors, and make your site easier to find in searches.
See, different types of people visit different places online. So every different way you can post your information gets you in front of different types of people. And with each of these postings you get another chance to link back to your main site and to include your description, both making the search engine bots happy. Then, you can put links to each one you create on your website’s tour page. That way, people can pick the format that works best for them.
Eight ways to reach more potential visitors with your existing tourism content:
1. Create and post a PDF of your tour brochure.
Example: walking tour of Guysborough, Nova Scotia. I think most places take this step. Although, I’m constantly surprised to find sites that only give one option: “stop in and pick up a copy.”
2. Make a set of photos of the stops on Flickr.
Example: Richland Creek Greenway, by Rex Hammock. Visuals are great to give the impression of a place. Flickr also lets you place your photos on a map, which gives you another way to be found.
3. Create a map of the route and stops on Google Maps.
Examples: Richland Creek Greenway, by Rex Hammock, and walking tour of Guysborough, Nova Scotia. Perfect for those folks who have Google Maps on their phones.
7. Record some audio of your best guide giving the tour.
Example: Henry Ford Museum audio tour. Possibly the most extensive online audio tour I’ve run in to. I wonder why I couldn’t see an easy way to download the whole thing.
8. Put the content of the tour on Posterous or Tumblr.
Example: I’ll admit, I couldn’t find a good example. Could I be the first person to think this up? The reason it makes sense is that both of these services make it easy to post audio, and both come with an automatic mobile-friendly version. Put one stop on each page, and make it easy to move from one page/stop to another. Soon, you’ll have visitors walking down the street, cell phones in hand, as they page through the tour on the mobile web. Here’s one site that’s close, but it lacks any way to navigate between the stops: Jersey City Art Walking Tour.
The first bonus? You don’t have to create a new tour, or come up with some new set of information. You build off of the information you already have compiled.
The second bonus? No cash outlay. Zero. You don’t need an expert consultant, and you don’t pay anything for any of these services, sites or tools.
The third bonus? You don’t have to do it all yourself. Rex Hammock, who created two of the samples above, is what we call at Tourism Currents an Online Champion. These are enthusiastic locals, visitors, former locals, fans and others who like your destination. It’s in your best interest to find and support your Online Champions. (We spend an entire month on Online Champions in Tourism Currents. We also spend a month on creating different kinds of tours.)
I don’t expect you to do all of these, but I hope it will make you think of some new ways to distribute info about your destination.
What interesting ways have you branched out using your tourism content?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.