Tourism leaders have sought advice from online marketing experts to boost Skegness’s official promotions website, which is currently ‘invisible’ on search rankings.
East Lindsey District Council’s tourism manager Alison Macdonald said she was keen to understand how the website’s exposure could be improved from a marketing expert who yesterday criticised its low profile.
“We are aware of the website’s position in the Google rankings and would welcome any advice Mr Dixon can offer in improving this,” she said.
DP Online Marketing’s Brett Dixon posted a blog yesterday which highlighted the fact that the district council’s official Visit Skegness & Mablethorpe website currently languishes on page 19 of Google for ‘Skegness’ searches.
The top five Google search hits, which research shows would receive 72.4 per cent of all subsequent ‘clicks’, are dominated by privately funded, advertising revenue generators, which Mr Dixon fears could be off-putting to visitors.
Whereas rival resorts such as Brighton and Blackpool’s top results are publicly supported websites, featuring regularly updated promotional material, the sites topping Skegness’s search hits contain less information, some of which is out of date or inaccurate.
To capitalise on the 368,000 internet users searching for Skegness each month he believes the resort’s official website should feature among these high rankers to offer potential visitors an enticing array of what the town has to offer.
He said: “Consumer behaviour has evolved, the internet is a huge part of our lives.
“A modern and fresh approach is critical - without it Skegness may find itself joining the ranks of HMV, Blockbusters and the other brands that didn’t take full advantage of the internet to promote their product.”
Ms Macdonald felt there were already a number of promotional websites ‘all with credible information’ but hoped Mr Dixon could help elevate the council’s official website into the top five search results.
She also highlighted ELDC’s other promotional initiatives, which had seen requests for the council’s visitor guides increase by 20 per cent this year.
“We are already delivering a number of high profile regional and national marketing campaigns that will drive potential visitors to the website to find out more about the area and we’re working hard to improve content,” she said.
The tourism manager also claims to have attempted contact with Mr Dixon ‘a number of times’ after an initial meeting in January to agree an online marketing plan.
Mr Dixon was surprised to hear Ms Macdonald had been unsuccessful in her attempts to reach them as he regularly receives calls to his Skegness office and employs staff to take messages in his absence.
However, following this renewed request, he says he would be happy to offer free ‘pointers’ to help improve the website’s search rankings.
“We share the same passion about improving Skegness,” he said.