Cycling tours and holidays in L’Estartit Spain
Compete with the big boys without their budget
I can’t even go on holiday without getting involved in peoples website business! While I was in Spain, I got talking to one of the holiday reps and he mentioned that he had a great idea to take the over 30’s on cultural cycling tours and that he had limited money to set up a website.
Requiring a feasible excuse to miss yet another shopping trip with the females of our group, I offered my usual one-hour free consultancy session. It was soon apparent that the tour rep had a sound business plan but was too focused on one aspect of the website.
His sole focus was to attract people actively looking to make a cycling holiday booking within the next 12 months and to create a website containing approximately 15 pages. I informed him that I could quote but that he would be wasting his limited money.
He would be competing with many other well established holiday websites offering similar holiday services and the only way to achieve good search engine rankings in the short term was to target more specific search terms e.g. “cultural cycling holiday L’Estartit” (name of the resort he worked at) instead of “cycling holiday Spain”. These specific search terms were very unlikely to be used and therefore a waste of time.
Generally speaking, established websites with good links pointing to them and frequent new content perform better than newer smaller stagnant websites. You can compete with them but it is an effort and patience game, sometimes measured in years to provide worthwhile results.
The way round this was to identify his target audience and attract them to his website at some other point in their life instead of when they were looking for cycling holidays. The target audience were 30 plus age group capable of cycling that would enjoy culture, views and relaxation more than fitness. There is no substitute for research but to start with, educated guesses will suffice for the short term.
Below are a few suggestions we made to attract the right audience without going head to head with established holiday websites.
- Cultural keywords and phrases are usually much less competitive than holidays so create content about culture that is within the tour distance.
- Create a comprehensive section about cycle maintenance aimed at the over 30’s e.g. write about comfortable gel seats instead of cutting cheese wire racing seats.
- Compile packing lists for cycling holidays and list the best places to buy the required equipment.
- Contact these suppliers and ask them to link to you in return for writing reviews about their products.
- As he was using local hotels to accommodate his guests, ask them to link to the website.
- Put a cycling forum on the website as like-minded people like to talk with each other.
- Create a “ask the cycling expert” section so anyone with cycling related issues could get a solution.
- Write as much information about the local area as possible. Holidaymakers tend to want to find out about the area they are going to before arriving and the tour companies are historically poor at providing this.
At the end of the session I asked “so do you think you can fit all that in 15 pages?” to which I received a cheeky smile and “I think your original estimate of over 200 pages is more likely”. His business plan stated that the company would start in 12 months time, which is ideal as the time could be spent writing the 200 plus pages of content and then add to the site on a monthly basis once he was up and running.
Lesson to learn from this case study
Expand your thinking. There are many different points in a person’s life that your website could be useful to them. Taking this to the absolute extreme this website could be useful for cyclists from the time they have had stabilisers removed as a child. Give them a reason to keep coming back and you improve your chances of them parting with money.
If you would like us to show you how changing your way of using your website can make tangible differences to your business then call Internet Consultancy and Management Ltd now (or soon!) on 0800 043 1057 or contact us