The internet has become a huge force in marketing. For a number of our clients, it is now the ONLY medium they use. Used properly, it can bring you extraordinary results for remarkably little cost.
New Zealand Charterguide has been on line for more than 10 years. With more than 150 vessels and 15,000 - 45,000 visitors a month, it has become the marketing cornerstone for many charter businesses just like yours. There is no charter boat directory like it in New Zealand.
There are two essential aspects to internet marketing: Providing the right sort of information, and getting that information to your customers. People need different information at different times: Muddle your messages and you lose your customer. Internet users have very specific requirements.
A TV or cinema audience can be moved to book your vessel by showing them what a great time they will have on board. The reader of a tourist newspaper needs to know where you go and when you depart. A radio audience will want a snappy, easily remembered means of contacting you, and your magazine ads should be tailored to suit that mag's readership profile
So what are internet users after? They have learned to flick through huge piles of information very quickly. They dont have the patience to download the glorious image of your favourite bay that made your brochure so successful or to hang around figuring out which flashing doodad will lead them to your rate card.
Like readers of the yellow pages or classified advertisements, they will have come to your site because they are looking for the specific product or service you have to offer. They don't need or want to be told how much fun boating can be. They want detail - nouns and numbers, not adjectives and estimates.
The Charterguide provides easily chosen options for different types of charter. Listings are concise, yet packed with detail. They are purposely kept to a single page, and your text is professionally prepared from the information you give us, ensuring a uniformity of style that makes it easy to read.
Our format is not a matter of guesswork: Before we put finger to keyboard, an intensive survey of charter boat users told us what sort of information our readers wanted. Since then, feedback from users and focus groups has refined and improved our presentation.
Search engines send robotic "spiders" out to crawl all over the web. They do their best to decide what your site is about and then file it under a variety of headings. Your customer enters the words he thinks relate to the topic he is looking for and gets back a long list of sites. If he does not find useful information about the topic he is looking for in the first few listings he will try different words or use another search engine.
The NZ Charter Guide is online for more than 10 years now. Concentrating on providing easily accessible, useful information has seen us achieve top, or near-top ranking in any boat charter related search on all the popular search engines.
Links from other sites are a good way to publicise a web site, but unless they are from a specialist directory site, links are unlikely to be used by those actively looking for a particular service. Their greatest use is for encouraging surfers to visit and bookmark a site for later reference. Some search engines - such as Google - count inward links in ranking their search results.
Worthwhile links need to be individually applied for - sometimes using an online form, but more often than not they require a personal email. Paid links can be very effective too, but deciding which are worth having requires a lot of research. The NZ Charter Guide has hundreds of inward links from relevant pages because its a directory including detailed boat information..
Just as the yellow pages bring similar services together in print, directory sites maintain online directories of businesses - providing links, contact details and varying amounts of information. Within NZ, UEB and the Yellow Pages host general business directories, while PureNZ, the AA and Jasons concern themselves with tourist-related enterprises. Niche guides, such as The Bed and Breakfast Guide, Baches and Holiday Homes and New Zealand Charter Guide provide in-depth coverage of their specialist fields. With the exception of PureNZ.com, which is sponsored by Tourism NZ, all these sites charge for their services.
TRAVEL INDUSTRY PROMOTION - www.nzafloat.com
The NZ Charter Guide is a direct marketing tool where clients come direct to you. However, some 60% of NZ's tourism receipts still come through the wholesale and retail travel industry and for obvious reasons, travel agents and charter brokers are reluctant to direct their clients to the NZ Charterguide.
To help charter brokers and the conventional tourism industry sell your vessel to their clients, we set up NZafloat.com. It was launched at TRENZ (NZ's travel industry trade show) in May 2002 as an entirely separate website - just as big as the charterguide, but it is "blind" - it has no outward links whatsoever. Instead of giving visitors your contact details, it refers them back to their travel agent.
Every vessel listed in the Charterguide gets a free listing in NZafloat, updated automatically whenever your charterguide listing is updated. You can find any vessel's NZafloat web page by clicking the "agency page" link on the bottom right hand corner of the listing.
Because we cannot track the inquiries or transactions it generates, we don't know who uses it but it will get you more business. Next time an unknown charter broker or travel agent contacts you with an inquiry, ask how they found you. If they are not using your NZafloat web page already, tell them where it is and they can send it to their clients as an online reference.
Costs for extras, e.g. fishing gear, bait, diving equipment, food etc. are payable directly to the operator on the day of the charter.
"Thank you for this great resource." - Alison Heckler, Australia New Zealand Amazing Travel, California
"I must say I am VERY impressed with the website, this is exactly what our customers want when they are hiring yachts" - Nina Farrimond, Taylor-Made Travel, UK
"Your setup is a tremendous resource for getting folk into the right boat and I wonder if boat owners really appreciate what an effective tool it is. The charter industry is a very difficult and fickle business at the best of times given human nature, the weather and propensity of the best laid plans to go wrong but amidst all of that your service shines forth as a terrific internet tool for the industry." - Frank Vogels, Charter Broker, NZ
"Had a good 1st season - most of my work through charterguide web page" - Terry Breeze, Te Aura Charters, BOI.
"Have had some good business from web site, and any more you can point our way would be great." - John Doherty, Kilvay Charters, Auckland
"Your site works very well, right now I am getting at least one to three inquiries a week for my business" - Christy Butterfield, Melinda Sea Adventures, Tonga
"Thanks for all your help during the past years in helping me to sell my product. I will surely recommend your site to any new potential operators." - Tom Waters, Windborne Charters, BOI
"I would just like to take this opportunity,of thanking you so much for everything that you have done for us over these past years." - Nellie, Hinetai Charters, Auckland.
"Charterguide is good value. We check EVERY enquiry to find our where they found us." - Peter Tait, Talisker Charters, Stewart Island
"Your site is the only one we use now. The website of ours was a waste of money for a small hobby business like ours, so we intend to rely on you to make our way in the world.Thanks for the work you do on behalf of Charter boats etc. It's great." - Marilyn & Den Port, Pipedream Charters, Marlborough
"Must say we have received some very good positive enquiries from your site and a number have turned into firm bookings...we cannot ask for more than that !" - Carol Denton, Moondance Charters, Auckland
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