Seems like every week you discover another website that lists one of your local events, usually with some key piece of information wrong! And then there’s another directory listing your town, asking you to send them updated information monthly or yearly. And there’s the state tourism site, and the regional site, and your neighboring town has offered to trade event calendars…. How can you possibly ever keep all these up to date?
A Word About Keywords
Before you get started, you need to know your area’s keywords. Start with your town name, add in attractions, event names, and important tourism-related businesses. You’ll want that set of keywords to do monitoring online and other projects, so you might as well make a decent list now.
Build a simple spreadsheet or database.
Include for each listing:
- Web Address / URL
- Type of info they are keeping on you. (You might want to make this a checklist format: events, lodging, food, etc.)
- How to do corrections and submissions. (Email? URL? Login? Be sure to record those logins.)
- Update schedule. (Probably annually when you do your calendar.)
As you run across other listings online throughout the year, add them to the spreadsheet. The work to maintain this list pays off in fewer inaccuracies online about you.
The Unexpected Upside
All these sites offer links back to your local destinations, and probably to your tourism site, too. Links are the currency of the web, and they make your sites more credible in the eyes of the search engines. Not to mention that these sites actually do generate some visitors. Just this week, a local tourism person told me a potential visitor called about an event, with incorrect dates found online.
- You could easily delegate much of this process to volunteers, interns, etc.
- You could also do your paper directories and publications the same way. That way, when you finish your annual calendar of events, you’ll know where all to send it to get it online.
What are you doing to keep all your local listing up to date?
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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.