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If you are not spending money then presumably you are relying on SEO skills to promote your site. What areas of Search Engine Optimisation have you spent time on and which have generated most successful results?
I certainly am relying on SEO skills to promote website and have focused more on researching keywords which holidaymakers are using to find type of holiday accommodation portfolio has available, as well as working on various linking strategies to get website and it's pages ranking well.
Initially I thought specific keywords would bring in thousands of holidaymakers every week - keyword 'holiday rentals' I thought would be an excellent keyword to get ranked on first page - I found after spending a good few months optimising website for this keyword that it brings in a few referrals a day... lesson learned there.
What proportion of your internet traffic is direct referral from search engine queries?
I would say 90% of traffic is from search queries from search engines and directories - with other 10% from links, and forum posts. I feel I'm in a position now to attempt to bring in more visitors by spending revenue on marketing website through other means - I do have sleepless nights thinking what I would do if Google was to stop sending me holidaymakers.
What would you consider to be your best, zero cost, marketing success?
Good question - search engine optimisation on a number of pages with some very competitive keywords - obviously I don't want to give my competitors opportunity of outranking me, so I'd prefer not to divulge keyword terms. Also, I submitted a few press releases to www.prweb.com and found myself speaking to two editors of a regional newspaper, and an online travel magazine, both these articles brought in a good level of traffic for a few weeks after... and it was free.
Your site has featured in UK papers (The Yorkshire Evening Post). How did you manage to gain such press coverage?
The business was featured in Yorkshire Evening Post under business section, simply because one of editors had heard about me setting up this business and thought it would be a really good story for other small business owners (or people thinking about setting up a business). Word of mouth is and will always be best form of marketing - I spoke to a guy in pub, who knew an editor at newspaper and rest is history.
Now that you are obviously experiencing some success are you tempted to invest your profits into marketing in order to move your site up to next level?
Yes, in past couple of weeks I have started to look for quality websites to promote my business and website on, problem with advertising is that you don't know how effective it is going to be, and with a tight marketing budget you can't afford to make any mistakes.
Finally, do you have any other areas of free promotion that you are looking to exploit in near future?
Yes, I'm actually writing my first e-book, and will obviously continue on optimising website and writing press releases and travel articles. I believe that networking (word of mouth) is a big part of promoting your business, and you won't believe how many new clients I have received by simply taking a taxi ride and telling driver all about my business (without boring him!) and handing them my business card. I'm also a member of www.ecademy.com which is paid or free membership, and enables you to meet and network with people of same interests, this has been a great place to pick up ideas and again promote my business.
The interviewer, Lee Munson, runs www.info-sales.co.uk, a webmaster resource site offering lists of free directories and article submission sites, in addition to more webmaster interviews.