You’ve probably put a lot of time and money into getting your web site and/or blog set up and ready for potential clients to find online. Like most travel-pros you would probably like to be getting more traffic to your web site (a safe assumption if you are reading this article!). If you aren’t using local SEO strategies, you are missing out on a great opportunity to “get found” online!Even if you are not in a brick and mortar business and a lot of your clients aren’t local, these simple strategies will help improve your overall SEO. If you are a brick and mortar agency, you’d better listen up! While moving to the head of the search results for “honeymoon travel agent” or “Hawaii specialist” might take quite a bit of work, scoring that “page one” ranking on Google for “Marietta, GA honeymoon travel agent” or “St. Louis Hawaii specialist” will be considerably easier! I’m willing to bet that most home based agents out there are happy to meet with an ideal client at the local coffee shop for a face to face meeting!So how do you move up into those top spots?You probably already know that one of the ways that Google uses to rank web sites is the number of other web sites that link to it. There are all sorts of “link building” strategies out there, but there are 3 simple, web sites where you can quickly and easily add links to your business that will have you bumped up into those local search categories before you know it!FacebookI’m willing to bet you’ve already got your business listed with the first one, if not, we need to talk! Yep, the Facebook profile you already have can help with your search rankings as long as you make sure your profile is filled out correctly. Facebook pages rank really well with search engines so it’s worth going the extra step to make sure yours is seen as a “place.”The most important factor is to list an address in your profile. It can be a post office box if you don’t want to list your physical address. Don’t have a PO Box? You should get one… but until you do, list your physical address, then save your profile. After you save it go back in and edit out the street address leaving just your city and state.Next, fill out your profile as completely as you can. In one or two of the boxes, list your specialty and your location. Word it in the way clients are most likely to search for your specialty. Mine says “Disney Travel Agent, Atlanta, GA.”Google Places for BusinessIf Google owns it, you can bet making sure you take the time to fill out the info will help with your search ranking! Google actually integrates results from Places into the search results (and at the TOP too!) so this is an easy way to show up even if you don’t have a web site. Visit Google Places and follow the instructions to get started. You will need to enter a phone number and a physical address for your business. If you use a PO Box you can use the physical address of your post office and list the box #.Once again, be sure to fill out our profile info as completely as possible. One exception: if you do not have a brick and mortar location, do not list hours. List “available by phone between the hours of _____ and ____. Meetings available by appointment only.”YelpYelp has easily become the #1 place to search for reviews of local businesses. Not only will Yelp help you out with local search, it is a great place to showcase reviews. You can start asking local clients to post a review of your services. Yelp will even alert you to new reviews so that you can respond to them in a timely manner. It only takes a few seconds to fill out your profile at Yelp for businesses.Are things you should be doing to improve your local SEO? Absolutely but I wanted to give you 3 quick, easy and simple options that can make a big difference for you. Building great SEO takes time and dedication. This is just one piece of the puzzle for online marketing. Once you get people TO your web site, you’ll want to have a good strategy for converting them into clients… but that’s another article for another day!
There has been a lot of interest recently into the Your Travel Biz (YTB) business opportunity so it’s high time I took a look at it and reviewed it.As you might expect this is a travel business, you will be able to sell competitive travel packages once you are a YTB member. Some of their prices are actually quite good and compete well with some of the big well know companies that are already established in the industry. Product price can be a problem in Network Marketing, invariably you find products are more expensive than say your local high street shop of the same quality, but usually cheaper. With Your Travel Biz you will find that you may actually be cheaper than some of the major competitors.With the YTB business you will be offering other products to your customers as well as just travel products and deals. As they have business contracts with Dodge, Nissan, Chrysler to name just a few, they are able to offer wholesale prices to customers who wish to purchase a vehicle. They also provide honeymoon, wedding, floral, ticket, theatre, concert, and tour services. There are plans to add other services to their portfolio also.With a good portfolio of products that you can offer your potential customers you stand to make a decent amount of money.There is a leadership team in YTB that has the experience necessary to take the company forward. It first began in 2001 and was set up by Lloyd and Scott Tomer and the very experienced Kim Sorenson. Very soon this company will have done in excess of 1 billion dollars worth of business and they have also been labelled by the Travel Weekly publication as the eleventh largest leisure provider in the world.How you will get paid with Your Travel BizIt has to be said that the largest commissions come from sponsoring new distributors into the business. You will also earn money for any product sales that you make through your sales portal. To make the most money you would probably need to focus on bringing in new people who buy the system. If you are skilled at online promotion and able to sponsor people into a business, then you can do well out of this opportunity.Before joining any company its worth checking out if there are any negative reviews about the company you’re planning to join. YTB is no exception you can search online for more information about any negative press they may have received and also check with the Better Business Bureau.After your research if you are OK with the company and products then you should sign up and start marketing. To be ultimately successful you will need to have lots of prospects to talk to. Many new network marketers are relying only on their warm market, which may only be 100 people or so. More often than not you won’t recruit many new distributors and end up stagnant.Using the internet and some straightforward strategies you can generate 30+ new leads each and every day for your business. By using a proven, scientific marketing system these leads can become your ‘warm market’; ready to buy and do business with you.
So I admit, I am a member of an e-commerce travel company. But this article is not about selling you on a home-based business; it’s all about you becoming your own travel agent. Believe it or not, even if you never sign up one person in this company, you can win financially in amazing ways, regardless! For less than $1,000, you can own your own turnkey travel business, receive quick travel agent training, and become an independent, credentialed agent with all the terrific benefits that offers. And what are some of those benefits?First, FAM or “familiarization” trips are offered by tour companies, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines and cruise lines. The purpose of these trips is to familiarize the agent with the cruise line, hotel, or tour company. Of course, the particular company is hoping you will send future travelers their way. The great thing about these FAM trips, sometimes called member trips, is that they are so easy to access. Once you become an agent you are able to take one of these FAM trips immediately. These trips are extremely discounted, and can save you up to 80% on land trips and 70% on cruises. Obviously, this is more than worth it. Here are a few random examples of some of the member trips that you can take advantage of: 4Day Jamaica Vacation for only $234.00 4Day to Cozumel, Mexico only $181.00 4Day to Cancun Mexico Vacation, $230.00 6Day Caribbean Cruise for only $285.00 Myrtle Beach golf vacation for 3 nights: $359.00 7Day to Spain: Madrid, Cordova and Seville. From $990 for agents; $1090 for spouses/companions. Disney World 3 Day/ 4 Night, only $335.00. The kids will love this one…(Many of these quotes cover hotels, transfers, sightseeing, and at least two daily meals).Second, on top of the discounts, earn Travel Agent commissions on your personal travel, as well as the travel of your clients. Book any travel on your own site or point friends/family to it and you get cash back. Yes, you heard me right.Third, enjoy sometimes being treated like royalty when traveling as an agent. Even the governments of some nations offer the red carpet treatment to agents. This is because politicians realize the huge benefits tourism dollars can bring to their economy. So don’t feel as if you owe them the world. You’re helping them too.Fourth, enjoy tax advantages for running a business. According to the IRS, deductible expenses related to business travel are the normal and necessary expenses of traveling to perform your business, job, or profession. When you become a travel agent, you make traveling your business. Deducting travel expenses from your income before paying taxes means huge savings. The average American traveler that spends $3,000 a year on travel must earn $4,500 before taxes. For the travel professional that owns his or her own business, their income is not taxed until after travel expenses are deducted. This could equate to a 50% savings on expenses and a $2,000 a year difference in spendable money. This could be cash in your pocket! (Consult with a tax accountant for details).Have the ability to travel more and better than you have ever dreamed while you compile frequent flyer miles as well as many other rewards. Connect your FAM rates to frequent traveler numbers with airlines, hotel chains, etc. Not all providers let you do this, but, for example, if you have a frequent guest number for Marriot, try and attach it to your reservation. Not only will you get the discounted rate today, you are working towards a free stay in the future.Sixth, receive unbelievable discounts to shows, theme parks, and attractions. Enjoy discounts on swamp tours, riverboat dinners, dinner theaters, etc. All you have to do is ask.You may be thinking, “All this is great in theory, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to constantly ask for travel agent discounts right in front of customers who are paying full price.” Don’t worry about that. To get these discounts, most times you will receive them when you book the trip. And if there’s a situation involving a long line of full-paying customers, travel agents go to the Guest Relations, Group, or Administration office or window and get their discounts there. Would you love to travel almost free in years to come? This is the way to do it!