Search This Blog

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The #1 Free Tool to Help People Find Your Camp

What's the #1 free tool you can use to show off your camp's location to the world? Google Maps.

Let me explain.

You're probably familiar with the phrase, "location, location, location." Having a great location can make one business thrive, while a bad one (poor parking, no street visibility or whatever) can force you under.

Now in the summer camp field, you're probably not too concerned with foot traffic or customer impulse purchases -- that kind of thing is reserved for restaurants and retail stores -- yet your LOCATION is just as important. Here's what I mean.

Let's say you're driving down the street and you're hungry. You see a Subway sandwich shop, so you stop what you're doing and walk in to buy a sandwich. You noticed the Subway because it's located in a good spot -- you SAW it, after all, and Subway gets tons of business this way. 

But as a camp professional, you can't count on that. You can't expect someone walking down the street to see your site and suddenly say to themselves, "Oh, this looks like a nice place, I think I'll sign up for camp today."  

And yet, your location, and facility itself, are equally important to the success of your operation as the Subway owner's location is to him. If your facility is impressive enough, and located in the right place, that could be enough to get customers to sign up for your camp.

As you may know, my summer camp is located on the beach. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that my program's much easier to sell when people see it ahead of time. So what I've done is, I've experimented  with various types of maps on different parts of  my website. This way I can show prospective campers and their families where my program's located and the various activities we do at camp. 

For many years I used a hand-drawn map, which was (and still is) pretty cool I think.  Here's a link to that map so you can see what I mean.

Now as you can see, that map is still (obviously) active on my website. It does a pretty good job of showing people what we offer and where we offer it. But I've discovered in the past year or two the best way to really capture my prospects' interest, from the standpoint of showing off my location*, is using Google Maps.

*(And that's not the only benefit. By putting a Google Map on my open house page, attendance at my Open Houses have increased 22%, the page views on that part of my site has increased by 38%, and my Facebook Likes have increased on that page too. And the best part of all is when people search on the terms "Aloha Beach Camp map," the Open House page of my website comes up first on Google! : )

Google Maps is a ubiquitous part of internet use these days. People search for places on Google Maps at a VASTLY increasing rate. They want to see what they're buying, and WHERE the place they're buying it from is located. They want to SEE where they're sending their kids to camp! 

If you don't use Google Maps, I highly suggest you start. You can create a map and deploy it on your website in minutes. You can show people EXACTLY where your program is located, and you can even include supporting sales copy or informational text to boot. Here's a link so you can get started right now. It's  a very easy thing to do and will help many more people discover camp.

No comments:

Post a Comment