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My situation: I am starting a hotel in a peace-loving Central American country. I've spent my pension just getting in and I am living on rice and beans (true but no tears please). 30% of my potential customers will be coming from Europe. My competition has no presence in Europe, most of their websites are not even translated into the local language. This is my edge.
I cannot afford 6 different yahoo listings, a large ppc campaign, or domains in 6 different countries, or for that matter professional translations.
Anybody been in a similar situation? Any advice?
I know about optimization, meta tags, google is king,odp etc.
I look forward to one day being able to give back.
It has to be said: translations are the single most important thing to reach out to european customers.
If you can't afford a good professional translation though - rather don't have any translation.
You have to rely then on the wide spread ability in Europe to read english.
You could try and address european customers in your copy - explaining you don't have a page in their languages right now. Like doing some pages with titles like:
Bienvenu à l'hotel (your location)
Welcome to all people from France - unfortunately...blabla...
Make them feel welcome, and rely on the traffic coming from searches done without restrictions to languages other than english.
In other words: get top rankings in Google, ATW, INK.
Are you in Honduras or Guatemala perchance?
Try getting listed in directories that cover those areas, links on travel sites etc... Otherwise, optimise for Google, since that's where you going to get the traffic anyway. The word hotel is of course very hard, but try "guesthouse" instead. Optimise for the country name, and the town or city, and people will find you.
And just from a usability POV, you might separate the links at the bottom (home/rates/directions), I thought it was a single page until I klicked them.
[edited by: heini at 1:18 pm (utc) on July 17, 2003]
Hence my suggestion: If you don't do translations, and you really should, then at least you should go the extra mile to make foreign language users feel welcome. Build trust. Make it easy and transparent to use the site.
My main concern is getting listed. As you all know the saying "Build it and they will come" is not true. So specifically:
Besides dmoz add urls for each country which can take forever to show. Does adding the url for each language page to their respective countries with google make any difference?
Are there any free submission services for Europe?
Does paying the $39 to inktomi get your site spidered and the language pages listed?
As far as ppc goes, anyone else besides google, ov and espotting? Does anything like findwhat, at a penny a click, exist?
joined:Oct 23, 2000
VERY good idea. Give what you have and can afford. Barter deals baby! ;)
>Does paying the $39 to inktomi get your site spidered and the language pages listed?
NO. Paying, only gets the specific url in - and only that one. You have to pay for each url.