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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SEO: Are You Being Found By Your Clients?


What is SEO? These three letters are every website's friend, or hopes to be friend. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the method of structuring websites so that they can be indexed by various search engines such as google, bing, yahoo, msn, among others. A website's good SEO ranking means easily find by potential customers and clients because they are indexed well in searches.

Let me share with you an experience we had a year ago in Alaska, which is a very good example of how a good SEO position brings business more clients. When I was planning for the adventures we will do in Alaska, one of the activities I had in mind was glacier hiking.
A Picture of us, Glacier Hiking

I am a "type and click" planner, in short, I use search engines heavily when researching for our adventure vacations. I rely on heavy researching prior to our adventure vacation to make the most of our time, money and energy. My first glacier hike google searches were kind of expensive, from $150-$550 per person. Not only they were expensive, I was not impressed with their glacier hiking pictures! But with patience, clicking after clicking several pages in google, I ended up finding a glacier hike that is really within our itinerary! I was so happy then, because it was also the cheapest! For a 3-hr glacier hike or ice fall trek the fee was only $90 per person ( $70 for the guided hike + $20 access fee to the glacier park), that was the cheapest I found online at that time. Because I found it at the last minute prior to flying, I was not able to make reservations for that glacier hike. During our first few days in Alaska, we were so busy hiking here and there, that each time we reached our hotel room for sleeping and resting, we were so dead tired. In short, I failed to make reservations for the glacier hike. The day I finally told myself to call the glacier adventure company to make reservations, it rained so hard that our flightseeing tour with glacier landing at Denali National Park was even cancelled. Instead of feeling sad our flightseeing tour was cancelled, we rejoiced that we could hike in the cold rain, plus we saved $375 person for not being able to fly to the peaks of Mt. McKinley.
Hiking In The Rain
That heavy rain really brought us many beautiful gifts! We had so much fun hiking and singing in the cold rain. After the rain, we enjoyed beautiful sky and calm lake that reflected the beautiful sky.
After The Rain Pictures 
The best gift we got from that rain was the next day! I decided not to make any reservations at all for glacier hiking the next day because the forecast was still heavy rain. Instead, the next day, we drove in heavy rain at Glenn Highway National Scenic Byway to Matanuska Glacier. Our plan was just to do some sightseeing and hiking in the rain as long as the situation would allow us. When we arrived at Matanuska Glacier Park, miraculously, the rain stopped! We were greeted by pink flowers, a sign of good luck!
Pink Fireweed at Matanuska Glacier Park
Our good luck did not end here! We were told by the management of the park that they also offer guided glacier hike for 3-4 hours, for $45. I was like, "wow, cheaper by $25!" But then, there was more: we would not pay the $20 access fee because they are the private owners of the park. So, it mean we would be saving $45 per person had we booked at the cheapest guided glacier hike I found online. So, I told them: "How come I did not see you online at all? Do you have a website?" And their response was: "Yes we do!", and they gave me their business card with their website. I was so surprised how I was not able to find them in my google searches considering I clicked after clicked maybe up to the last pages in google search. I really wished them to be found online by travelers like me, so I brought it to their attention that I actually heavily searched google and other search engines for a guided glacier hike. In my search of glacier hike and guided glacier hike, it was at the latter pages where I have learned of Matanuska Glacier, but not from them, but from their competitor. Once I found Matanuska Glacier and was specific on my google search about Matanuska guided glacier hike, google sent me to their competitors, where the cheapest I found was $90 per person (including the $20 access fee). I told them that maybe their competitors are using Social media packages extensively that is why their websites have better position in search engines and therefore are easily found by clients and potential customers. I was not very sure however, while talking to them if they are familiar with SEO reseller companies that can help their website gain higher ranking and land on the top page of search engines.
Now, let me share with you one of the best gifts we had in our AK adventure, aside from saving $45 per person for the guided glacier hike. One of the reasons why I always say no to group tours is because I feel I would not be able to enjoy the scenery and nature with so many other people around, and especially if there are a lot of "talkers". Our guided glacier hike was just "us" and our guide, no other else! They have a lot of guides that they wanted the experience of travelers to be more quiet, more personal, and more memorable. Plus they know if there are so many people in the hike, either some would slow others down while some make others huff and puff. Thus, we hiked at our own pace, and we were able to take as much pictures of the scenery  or pictures with us without having to wait for people to clear the way!

Anyway, glacier hiking and meeting the guides at Matanuska Glacier Park was really one of the best things we had in this trip. I really wish that the park would improve their website position in search engines so that more clients and potential customers find them online, for they truly offer one of a kind glacier hiking experience. As personal as it could be, as quiet as it could be, as educational as it could be. Before I end this post, let me share why we were so thankful to have met Matanuska Glacier Park and one of its wonderful guides, Becky. On our way out of the park, we saw the guided glacier hiking group that I was planning to make reservations the previous day, there were ONE WHOLE BIG BUS LOAD, so crowded, and so noisy. On seeing them, we all smiled for we almost were with them, we smiled because we had not only saved $45/person, we also have enjoyed our quiet moments hiking Matanuska Glacier. 

8 comments:

  1. like you, i prefer not to be in a tour group Beth but i am so tempted to try sometimes just for experience.
    rain is a blessing in disguise. glad you had a quiet time glacier hiking.
    thanks for sharing awe-inspiring photos from your AK trip. :)

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    1. thanks Che, yes, rain was a blessing in disguise here, and we had such wonderful experience.

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  2. I did do all the searching, selecting and deleting works too.

    Internet does help.

    It sounds like you have a very value-for-money trip.

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    1. thanks, Rainfield. yes, we always try to get the most of the value in our trips. but this one, SAVED us a lot, not by our intentions, but nature intervention.

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  3. Such a wonderful experience doing glacier hiking! Gusto ko yung last picture and 3rd to the last!

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    1. thanks, anney, especially you liked 2 of the pics that has me in it. :)

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  4. So glad to hear everything worked out well in the end for your glacier hiking tour, Beth! Sounds like you all got a really good deal, and hopefully, the Matanuska Glacier Park and its owner/guides get on the ball and use a good social media package so that more people hear about them. Love all your pictures. The ice in all its jagged formations is simply breathtaking. I wish to hike the Alaska glaciers someday.

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    Replies
    1. thanks a lot MJ, I checked their company when I write this post, sadly, they still do not come up in the first page of search, maybe in time.

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