Leveraging the Internet to Boost Sales

UMA Expo Seminar

Leveraging the Internet to Boost Sales Notes

Orange County Convention Center
South Concourse
9899 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
Room S-230 F-H

More and more charter orders, contract work, corporate shuttles and other lucrative pieces of business are coming through the internet. Even the most seasoned (read old) group planner is using the Internet to search for motorcoach companies. But are you tapping into the best resources available so that next search finds your website? Are you optimizing search engines so your company comes out on the top of the first page on a Google or Yahoo search? Mark Greer of BusRates.com will show you how to boost sales by learning what big companies do to make sure you find them when you’re searching for one of their products or services.

1. Leveraging the Internet to Boost Sales for Your Bus Company

 

2. Overview

* Main ways to pull traffic from the internet
* Methods for building your traffic
* Tracking and assessing your traffic
* Case studies
* Other techniques that are working
* Optimizing your ads
* Tips for selling via email

 

3. Internet Use

* 75% of adults use the Internet
* 93% of teens 12-17 use the internet
* Building a website is not enough
a. Apply methods of bringing traffic to it
b. Convert that Traffic into Bookings

 

4. What is the number one piece of advertising real estate on the internet?

* [The top results of Google shown]

 

5. Focus on Search Engines

* 70% of users find websites through a search engine
* 28.11% of internet users visit Google.com
* 0.13% of Internet users visit Yellowpages.com

Search Engine Market Share:

* Google 62.9%
* Yahoo 20.2%
* MSN 8.5%
* Ask 4.3%
* AOL 4.1%

* There are over 2 million bus-related searches per month on Google.

 

6. [Google results shown again]

* Paid Placement
* Google Maps Business Listings
* Organic Placement
* Directories

 

7. Ways to Capture Search Engine Traffic

* Paid Placement
· Pro: Immediate Results
· Con: Very expensive

* Google Maps
· Free

* Organic Placement
· Pro: Free
· Con: Takes a lot of time and money to develop with uncertain results

* Advertise on Sites found in the Results
· Pro: Immediate Results; Less expensive; Develops links
· Con: Must monitor cost and quality of traffic

 

8. Targeting Organic Traffic

* Taking natural first place on Google for a broad term like “bus charter” is difficult, capturing niche terms is easy.
i. [Search Results for “Charter Coach Redwood Falls MN” Displayed – Thielen Coaches]

 

9. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” (organic or algorithmic) search results.

* Download the Google toolbar to your browser
· Get page rank info from each site as you visit them

* Exchange links with relevant sites that have good page rank
* The older your website the better
* Update your site every 5 days can help
* Make sure you have integrated relevant keywords into the text and tags
* Make sure you tag photos with relevant keywords
* Reprogram your site in CSS
* Google Sitemap
* Google Site Search
* Google Webmaster Central
* Your website designer is probably knowledgeable enough on SEO to help you.

 

10. Link:www.yoursite.com

* [Link:www.busrates.com results shown]

 

11. Advertise on Sites Found in Results

* Run searches for your relevant keywords to find great advertising value and link building opportunities
* [“Minnesota bus charters” results shown]
* BusRates.com
* Partypop.com
* MagicYellow.com
* Alltimefavorites.com

 

12. Assessing Quality and Cost of Traffic

* Alexa.com – Download their tool bar for traffic ranks as you browse.
* Tracking Software – Google Analytics is free
· Where your traffic is coming from
* Cost per visitor (25 cents per visitor is good)
· The number of page visits per visitor
* Eliminate sites that are sending you one page visits.
· Lead conversion tracking
* Determine the ultimate cost of your quote request.
* Requires 165 visitors to visit BusRates to yield 5 quote requests (About $70)

 

13. Server-Based v/s Web-Based Tracking

* [Tracking examples shown]

 

14. Case Studies

* Gene of B & W Charters of Grand Rapids, MI
i. Has been mentioned in trade magazines for his success with online marketing

* Ray Land of Fabulous Coach Lines, FL
i. Featured in trade magazines as the industry’s youngest operator; has the best approach to responding to internet leads.

 

15. [Fabulous Coach Lines Traffic Sources Shown]

 

16. [Fabulous Coach Lines Referring Sites Shown]

 

17. Other Ideas and Resources

* Video Introductions for your Website
* Example for Richfield Bus, MN was built by Rick Busch

 

18. [View their video from RichfieldBus.com BizStory link towards the bottom of the page. ]

[Snapshot of the video playing shown]

 

19. Other Ideas and Resources

* Post a video on YouTube.com; Link it to your site.
* Online Customer Service Management: such as Kayako, e-tickets,
Live Chat, Meebo and Live Person
* Implementing Quote Request Software through services like RBS and uTrack
* Posting your DOT registration link on your homepage and message to charter directly with the operator.

 

20. Staff Bios

* [West Coast Tours example shown]

 

21. Optimizing Your Ads Online

* The way you display your ad online affects the amount of traffic you receive. Sometimes why one company receives much more traffic can be explained, often, there does not seem to be a reason:
* Rank
· Top listings usually pull over triple the traffic of a company at the bottom of page 1
* Proximity
· Companies posting in out of area cities receive about 30% of the traffic a local company would
* Description
· The rewording of a description triple the traffic of a posting
* More Equipment
· Larger companies receive more traffic than smaller ones usually

 

22. Tips for Selling via Email

* Selling via email isn’t easy at first
* Do not reply with just a price
* Write up an email template that focuses on the factual selling points
* Set up your auto-reply email to give a thorough overview of your company
* One saleswoman who consistently books 90% of her emailed leads

· Sends a personal email
· Includes options
· General information about the company
· Attaches photos of the bus
· Attaches promotional information
· Responds within 4 hours if not immediately
· Says a large part of her success is the lack of response from other bus companies

* Follow up every 7 days – 33% success rate reported
* Email their quote out in a ready-to-sign proposal

 

23. Quote Reply Content

* The 2 Most Powerful Marketing Tools are
· Product demo (show them the bus and driver)
· Testimonials

* General Company Info
* Customer Service
· 24/7 emergency line, office hours, Driver attire, driver cell phones, GPS to
avoid having to ask directions during the trip, Part of an association that will
aid in the event of a break down, on-time record, movies, hostess.

* Equipment
· Amenities, Maintenance, Fleet

* Safety
· Compliancy, Insurance, accident record, inspection record

* Extras
· Association memberships
· Certifications
· Photos of the bus
· Promotional flyer PDFs
· Pricing options
· Proposal

 

24. Sales Tips

* Build Value, not a Bidding War
* Avoid selling on price
* Instead of answering the customer’s questions, show the customer what questions they should be asking.
* Point them to your DOT registration, your record with the BBB.
* Post clear rates and policies
* Honesty, transparency, diplomacy will ultimately prevail over gimmicks and manipulation