By Jon LeSage
Here are a few of the trends I’m seeing:
Websites: This has been a big year for chauffeured transportation companies launching revamped websites. When you look around the web, you’ll find many flashy, vital sites to visit with enticing visual elements and clear, organized information categories that clients usually ask for. If you’d like to see a few, go visit some revised industry sites: Leros Point to Point, A National Limousine, EmpireCLS, Aventura, BostonCoach, Carey International, Town Car International, Valera Global, Dave El, and Rose Chauffeured Transportation. It’s very interesting to see how much these websites have changed so recently. It’s clear that growing limousine companies need to invest more in professional, classy websites to impress clients and prospects, and build their image in the market.
Links: Linking your website onto high-traffic sites is important. In your market, those looking for ground transportation may be searching through specific websites and online publications to learn more about their options: wedding, prom, travel and tourism, amusement parks, special events, award shows, meeting and conference, local newspapers and magazines – these are all good sites to be linked to. They may be run by associations, local governments and agencies, newspapers, etc. Ask your clients where they go to research transportation options on the Internet, and see what other chauffeured transportation companies are doing. Some operators are also linking other websites onto theirs, to draw traffic to affiliates, association websites, local travel locations, chambers of commerce, etc. All of these links are good for everyone and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to put them in place.
Search engine optimization: When it comes to searching for local transportation suppliers, consumers obviously spend much of their time doing Internet searches, especially through Google (and others such as Yahoo and Ask). The key here is making sure your company goes up high on the list when the search is done. If you’re an operator in Miami, you want to pop up high on-screen if someone were to type “Miami limousines” into Google. And there will be other search terms that you want integrated into your website. Search engine optimization is the term used by consultants and online marketing experts to explain this process, and other things you need to be doing to end up high on the search list. Ask around – find out what your peers are doing, who they’re consulting with, and what is working well.
This year, online marketing has become similar to hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles: growing, growing, growing! Several chauffeured transportation companies have launched new, bright, and shiny websites. Online reservations have expanded and suppliers are linking operators around the world, and customers are doing a lot more through the Internet. Create-A-Card is helping lots of clients in their online marketing and communication programs, expanding beyond printed products. We’re certainly seeing this grow in importance this year in the publishing business, as well.
Blogs and social sites: Some people would call blogs (which comes from the term “web logs”) and social sites the exact same thing: less formal websites where those interested in a certain topic go visit and read about the latest news and gossip, and leave their own feedback. These can be something like LimoLicious, which is mostly a site for reading commentaries on industry topics and some industry feedback, or go to other sites like In the Left Lane or Limos.com’s Forum for lively industry discussions on all sorts of topics. Some Internet experts really believe in the future of online networking and blogging as an important way to build business relationships, stay up on the latest news, and gain knowledge and inspiration for staying two steps ahead.
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