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In our previous article about Getting Your New Lanzarote Business Noticed Online I discussed how important it was for us as a company to have a strong web presence in order to achieve our own goals. Now in my business these goals and reasons for web-marketing appear to be clear. But why should a small bar in the old-town of Puerto Del Carmen or a bike-rental business in Costa Teguise or a restaurant in Playa Blanca need to use web-marketing?

The world has changed its approach to coming on holiday or taking a break. Despite travel agents still clinging to their high-street locations figures published in the Daily Telegraph by Ciao Surveys show that a staggering 58% of UK travellers prefer to book their holidays now through the internet. It is predicted that this number will continue to increase as the internet user population continues to grow.

With an average of 58% of UK arrivals in to Lanzarote having used the internet to book their holiday the question would be how many of them have also done searches on “best day-trip”, “good places to eat”, “cheap beer”, “where can I watch my favourite football team”? What about the other 42% of UK arrivals, even if they don’t book their holiday online may be friends or family have taken the chance to help by answering some of their questions for them. People are not afraid of asking questions anymore (except us Male drivers) the search engine has taken this fear away and allowed us to get these answers easily.

1.5 million UK arrivals are expected in to Arrecife airport this year and 800,000+ of these have been online before they arrive reaching a hand out to these people is not just a gesture anymore but is fastly becoming an essential part to any business. Most hotels and aparthotels on the island have their own website, rental villas are displayed with pages and descriptions on many websites yet small businesses continue to play the waiting game.

Now firstly it is important to stress that we are not stating that it is essential for every business in Lanzarote to have a web-presence but we are encouraging the fact that it is becoming a normal way to meet your customers the same way that you may do every day. Most small businesses are successful in a tourist resort for two reasons – one good service (whatever it may be) and two personality. Throughout the island you can buy a burger and chips from €2.50 to €9.50 so how does the customer choose where they will spend their money – recommendation or presence (attractive or personality). Web-marketing not only allows you to tell people that you are there but also allows you to tell people who you are and what you are about. This is what your regular and repeat customers visit your business for.

There are many ways of web-marketing and personally we don’t believe that it is essential for every business in Lanzarote (or any other tourist resort for example) to get a full website and start marketing this website online. There are other options! From the 800,000+ UK arrivals what questions might they have and how are you going to be able to answer them so that they know you are there – unless you are google then this is not likely to be possible.

There are review websites such as Trip Advisor or Lanzarote Tourist which is where past customers of a hotel or business can review their experience and make recommendations to future visitors to the island. On these websites there are also forums where friendly locals or frequent visitors are proud to help visitors to find their way around the island and will give their personal recommendations of places to visit or even other websites to answer the questions (remember this can be as simple as where can I watch England this Saturday in the Old Town?).

The other useful websites are information sites where it is possible to have your own web-page dedicated to your business and sharing your own information and of course personality. Two recommended sites in Lanzarote for this are Discover Lanzarote (designated Lanzarote website for full information about the island and what it offers) and Canary Nightlife (website devoted to nightlife and touristy questions throughout the Canary Islands). Both of these sites have the cross over between information sites and forums allowing business owners to not only have a web-presence but talk with their customers (or future customers) even before they have set foot on the island.

With tourism currently in decline on the island due to the economic climate throughout Europe there is not a more essential time to try and reach out to potential customers and reaching out before they get on the island is about as far as you can reach. Web-marketing is becoming a very important part of any business in the tourist industry and very much so here in Lanzarote.


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