Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fishing Charter Advertising on the Internet

Frequently I hear from fishing charter captains they are stopping their
print advertising because the results for the price are hard to justify
compared to their internet results. In the past, print advertising was
really all that was available to a Captain. Now the internet has become
part of most peoples lives and the prices to advertise much less than print
advertising. So let's talk about where you should consider advertising so
those clients find you.
Get your site listed with Google, AOL, MSN, Yahoo and all the search engines
you can. This will require you work with your web person to submit it. Also in
order to get a good position in Google and the others you will need to get links
to your site and have good search keywords in your site. This is where your
web person can help you make this happen. The judge of your success on this
is where on the list your site appears when a person searches on your main
keyword. Your main keyword is what describes your business the best. If
you are a fishing charter in Key West your best keyword is "Key West Fishing
Charters". Check your success on at least 6 or 8 search engines to see where
your site is on the list (and do this each month to see how it changes). If you
are number 355 you can't expect to get many visits to your site. Ultimately
you want to be on the first page or two of your main search keyword
depending on how much competition you have.
Get in the fishing directories. Typically the best place for clients to find a
fishing charter are fishing site directories. These sites have lists of fishing
charters and fishing guides by state and location. This is very important
and one of the best places to have your listing. The price on this listing can
range from a free listing to featured listings that cost money. Don't be shy.
The more the better. Just be careful with your advertising budget on this.
Pick out the top 3 or 4 sites you want to pay for and get listed with those.
Then get a free listing with every other site you can. To find these
directories just search for "fishing charter directory" or "fishing charters"
in or another search engine and you should locate most of the
top directories. The best directory sites have listings by location
(i.e. Key West, San Diego, etc.). If the site lists all the fishing charters in
Florida your listing is one of a whole bunch. But if they list your site under
Florida/Titusville area then you are one of not as many and the clients
have a much easier time finding the charters they are looking for in the
area they plan to visit. Whenever you pick a site to list with, take the
time to look at it... make sure this is a simple useful site for your clients
to find you.
Using Google adwords might be worthwhile. These are pay by the click
advertising you can do with Google. You see these on the right side of the
Google Search page. How affective your ads will be can vary greatly
depending on the keywords. If you select "Destin Fishing Charters"
then there are a lot of other ads out there and even if you pay $1.00 a
click (which is very expensive for clicks) then you may still not see too
many visitors from that ad. Take your best shot at this and pick one to
ten ads and start with around a .21 cent click and see how that does. If
needed to get a good position increase your click amount but do so
carefully. You can spend a lot of money on this so make sure it is giving
you the results you need. Use keywords that will get you 'quality' clicks
and not just a lot of curiosity shoppers who never book. A keyword
such as "Key West Fishing Charters" may work well for you because
those persons are looking specifically for fishing charters in your area.
However, "Key West" will give you more clicks because it is more
generic but those clicks are lower quality because they aren't specific.
Doing cross promotions are always a great way to advertise on the internet.
The price is right. I will put your banner on my site and you put mine on
yours for no charge. This method is great for both sides. You can also pay
sites to list yours. Depending on the site and traffic they receive it may
be worth it. Some larger sites will charge hundreds of dollars per month
for a banner and some you can get for just a few dollars a month. Pick
your sites well. Good fishing site banner advertising will typically get you
the best quality visitors that are really looking. So you know also, the
search engines like to see different banners and links which makes your
site do better in the keywords. The best ad is a banner with your link
shown below it. However, your link shown should be "fishing charters"
which when clicked goes to your site. This is a relavent link and tells
Google that the link has to do with fishing charters.
Those are some of the basics of internet advertising. Like everything
else it can be simple and cheap up to extremely expensive and complex.
Remember to try to compare your results to see where your spending
money and if it is making the return. Your web person can help here.
There are systems you can use that will tell you how someone got to
your site (via Google search, BlueSportFishing directory listing, banner
you had on the local tackle shop site, etc.). Obviously anytime you speak
to a client ask them how they found out about you and ask them if they
have seen your website. While a word of mouth might get the client
directed to you, it might have been your site that really created the call.
Get feedback on your site from your clients and your web person.

By Dan Mccart


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