I arrive in Hanoi, Vietnam last Monday. Flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific was excellent because they had the best selection of movies compared to other airlines. I think flew from Hong Kong to Hanoi with Dragon airlines and they had the best meals I’ve had on any airline. Overall I great flight. Hanoi has the best food, I’ve had a 100% success rate with getting very tasty meals.
Quick update, while I have been off flying and settling into Hanoi my developers have been working on a great photo upload tool. We’ve chosen one and will integrate very soon.
Next we have an innovative chat help on the site home page. If you have any questions as support is online you can ask the directly about anything.
Had about 3 hours of meetings. A lot is happening. I can’t give away too much but now I’m talking to a very trusted old friends that is and has experts in travel working for him. They have been running adventure tours in Asia, Europe and Africa. They are quite large and we have complimentary strengths.
I am also in talks with human resource professionals. We may have a chance to still yet have a team in time for the next peak season for our first market, Croatia.
I have someone going to http://www.eurotravelexperts.com.au Saturday in Geelong and another partner going Sunday in Melbourne. This will be an excellent opportunity.
Consumers have become more demanding of travel suppliers and expect niche rather than mass audience information. Google will be competing with search aggregators like kayak.com and skyscanner.com but will help promote sites that go direct. Holiday Nova goes direct.
Google has categorically stated it is not getting into the business of selling travel (doing so would jeopardise its advertising revenue) but is aiming to dramatically improve the search experience, which it believes is far from ideal.
This new service coming from google will change the main players in travel. This will benefit customers because they will always get the best price online! Watch out greedy travel sites :)
Currently how long it takes for products to show up on the site:
10 minutes discuss registering on site + 10 minutes create account and approval + 30 minutes follow up for photos descriptions + 240 minutes for a medium sized product page
Future improvement for adding products
10 minutes discuss registering on site + 10 minutes create account and approval + 10 minutes for follow up for photos descriptions + 15 minutes for medium sized product page
Improvements come from easier tools for product owners to be able to upload photos to the site. Lessons learned are that inbound product owners don’t go to any effort at this stage to do anything themselves. Hotels will only with pressure from Directors! Professional conduct. At this stage sales teams need to upload photos so the only way to help this early stage adoption problem is to make the process for product owners to upload photos to a server with descriptions very easy, meaning no need for username and passwords. Then the photos with which the tool renamed the files, should be easily accessible, structured per room or tour and uploaded in minutes to the actual account page. This process is part of the critical path to launching each product and must be made as efficient as current technology allows.
Please link to this blog or even better http://www.holidaynova.com to help promote our page rank.
We use canonical tags for each inbound partners individual products. So whatever page they create and change or our internal search engine generates pages with cid’s, there will be no duplicate content and therefore search engines like google won’t penalize us. Page rank will also be passed onto the optimized for keywords version of the page.
We are still updating the html version of the sitemap and also so other pages that will be at the bottom of each page on http://www.holidaynova.com
Partnering with Holiday Nova is a good idea. We know what we’re doing. We’re always open to opinions and feedback of course!
I have a loyal sales team who work in travel and have been with me for 2 years through training videos and weekend meetings. They have been very patient during the site development process. Now we are in the market development process that has been proven directly by me and now I we need to expand.
Partnering as a sales team right now is the best opportunity to make money. Later once there is critical mass and we reach a tipping point in products leading to sales conversions we wont be partnering so easily because we will tend to employ. Currently partners have the options to expand and employ staff.
The website is a platform that benefits everyone. It has all the elements for success with a roadmap of improvements to really leverage all it’s elements.
Example of possible improvements
– Promote the already developed customer types like black, platinum and blue members. We also have corporate members. This means products on the site can be hidden and only available to certain member tyeps. This means they can receive extra special deals or organize functions/events for themselves exclusively.
– Version 2.0 of the site, We are at version 1.1, will expand on benefits to the outbound accounts. At the moment they make a fixed 3% of the profits. Later then will get negotiation options with inbound partners to get $ and % discounts. It’s a good idea to use the site now though because we are collecting statistics so in the future outbound partners will be rewarded for booking. If outbounds book certain inbounds repetitively they will likely have more leverage to ask for better deals with that inbound. You may wonder why wouldn’t they bypass the site and go direct, they can but it doesn’t cost anything to use the site and there’s benefits with other inbounds if an outbound has a good reputation.
Succeed in Search:
– Google, target key words with high number of searches, low competition, high likelihood of conversion. I used a googles webmaster and a tool called market samurai
– Google, use google trends to looks at what languages are searching key words eg location
– Website, use selected key words for that region that meet above criteria. They must show up in your title tag, url, H1 H2 H3 headers, description meta data and the content of your page.
– Update your xml and html sitemap file.
– Promote the url on all related sites but choose the url in the language that has the largest audience reported by google trends.
– Wait for your sites to rank. Try to get links to your site from reputable sites.
Succeed in offline promotion via outbound partner travel agents:
– Offer outbound specialists an outbound account and your inbound products and a commission
– Offer outbound accounts a extra % and fixed deal with select inbounds based on booking history
Succeed in offline promotion via inbound partners and product owners:
– Offer a fair commission per booking.
– Allow promotion of their products for no cost.
– Use all forms of promotion to promote their niche
– guarantee payment by taking full upfront payment of the product from the customer
Succeed with Customers to the site:
– Have real time upfront payment with cancellation and money back policies.
– Guarantee best price online and offer prices that are cheaper then anywhere else online or going direct.
– Offer contact details of products, sales team, travel agents after booking is complete.
– Don’t require login but create login when they purchase and allow them to login and check booking details in the future
– Send booking details with link to be able to cancel booking real time.
– Provide all information that might be of interested like photos, videos, reviews and descriptions of the product.
Do not use any black hat SEO techniques only white hat!