So, sitting in a Jeffreys ay shopping mall and giving search engine optimisation advice is a pretty new thing for me – the last time I was in such a structured environment was when exhibiting at the Rand Easter Show during the late eighties.
Tourism owners the country (and probably the world) over are much the same; they want to dominate the online market, are mostly of a certain age that didn’t grow up connected and are pretty susceptible to being ripped off.
I am currently in Jeffreys Bay to give Search Engine Optimisation advice, specifically to tourism web site owners, and in the course of my day yesterday I heard tales of:
- R34 000.00 web sites
- R2000.00 per article update or publication
- R450.00 per month for hosting
- Web site owners with no actual plan or idea of how to rank high
- Tourism product owners WITHOUT a web site
- No cohesive marketing agency for the area
- A lack of willingness to embrace and learn how to master online marketing
- One tourism product owner even argued with me by saying that Google only sends searchers to the index page of every web site and not to deep pages
- Another said that her Guest House had instructed some faceless Search Engine Optimiser in Johannesburg that they wanted to dominate the SERPS’s for these terms; “self catering accommodation, jeffreys bay accommodation, guest house accommodation and bed and breakfast accommodation jeffreys bay” AND that the index page of their web site must appear on top of the search results for ALL those terms. Most frightening was that he was prepared to take their money under those terms.
- Not one that I spoke was on Twitter and not one was using any of the social media channels in a meaningful way.
- And the recurrent theme was one of not wanting to advertise on the same properties as opposition (huh?)
I get the sense that the Jeffreys Bay market for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) based on decent advice is pretty wide open and that web sites are ranking high in a sea of mediocrity and happen-stance rather than as a result of good planning, decent on and off page optimisation, solid backlinks and useful content.
When the ethical Search Engine Optimisation expert attempts to give good advice and realistic prices in an environment where people have been ripped off it can be an uphill battle – nevertheless I shall continue to try and add my two cents worth to the discourse at the Eastern Cape Tourism Indaba in the Fountains Mall, Jeffreys Bay which will end on Sunday, 1 April 2012.