Small Fish Big Ocean

Helping specialist tour operators and activity providers with travel ecommerce

Hi, I’m new in travel business and to this forum.  I hope to learn some tips from other members of SFBO.  First of all, I would like to thank Paul and Alex who have been very helpful and informative during the integration of the Tourcms system.  I launched my website  a couple of months ago, however, I still get no traffic to the site at all.  I would like to learn some tips from you on how to bring traffic to my site.  I have had SEO people working on it since June.  Although they have submitted over 1000 links, my Google Webmaster Tools shows that I have no links to my site.  I am devastated.   If you know any good SEO company, please let me know.

Also, I have applied for membership of Travel Trust Association and have been invited to its membership meeting.  I did not attend the membership meeting as there is no traffic coming to my site.  Therefore, I can’t really afford to pay the TTA Trustees’ on-going monthly fee.  I wish the TTA can charge on pay as you go basis such as the percentage of our sales and I have asked TTA about this but their answer is “No”.   I paid for TTA annual membership as I didn’t realise it would take so long to get my website ranked.  I am wondering if anyone knows any other alternative for a new small business?   

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Hi Fran

There are some other alternatives for you that will charge a per booking fee rather than a monthly fee. Which one is best for you depends on a number of factors including how you put the packages together (i.e which suppliers you use).

Please feel free to give me a call to discuss.

Matt Purser
020 8853 3700
07786 230837

Hi Fran

Forget about search engine optimisation. You can't launch a business with SEO itself - it takes months and months of work to get product to rank highly in search engines. That work will include creating pages and pages of interesting content, videos, social media interaction etc etc. 

Instead lets focus on marketing. Lets focus on website design. Lets focus on tuning product proposition.


* Who are you advertising with? How are you tracking it?

* Why are you not using the TourCMS Marketplace system - loading up all your tour descriptions - using the widgets - putting your tours on partner websites, letting affiliate sign up to promote your products etc (I know you use TourCMS so this should be an obvious thing to do next)

Website design

* Trust - nothing there to inspire me about trusting you. Nothing there to let me know who YOU ARE and why you are an expert in selling asia. 

Product positioning

* Some of your products are day tours - some are multi-day. Both need to be presented differently (day tours are often brought at the last minute, multi-day are sold 100-130 days before travel). This will impact your marketing too - as marketing mutli-day is very different to how you would market day tour things.


Overall - changing how you bond your products should not be your focus (unless you want to mothball your business). Really you need to sit down and think about marketing that is NOT SEO.


best wishes. Alex


Hi Fran,


You are asking for the 'Golden Ticket' here. The successful travel websites spend literally thousands on SEO and Paid Search online. You are a tour operator but without any official bonding (consumer protection) its unlikely you can ever sell many long haul holidays - and travel agents that you could use to sell on your behalf won't use them.


As Alex mentioned - your site needs a lot of work doing to it and unless you are bonded you couldn't sell through a network of specialist agents (which is sometimes the best way to get started as they already have customer databases for holidays such as yours. Happy to talk to you about this - you can follow me on twitter @stevemrushton where I send out travel centric online advice to our network of specialist agents -





Hi Fran,


We may be able to provide you with the solution you need.


If you require more information please contact me.




Kris Hall


Dear All,


Thank you for your reply.


Alex, I’m taking your advice to prioritise my marketing and put my SEO work on the backburner.    I have switched on Tourcms Marketplace on all my products but I still need to enter more product details, etc.   I didn’t do it earlier because I was just snowed under.    However, I am getting more familiar with my systems as well as Tourcms’ systems, I am sure I will catch up.


Matt, I’m interested in the other alternatives you mentioned in your reply, please send me more info to my email


Steve, I have visited your site, there seems to be lots of info to digest but I will keep revisiting to get a better understanding.


Kris, I did try to phone PTS a couple of times before signing up with TTA but no one was answering my call.   I’d be grateful if you can also forward more info to my mail box above.


Once again, many thanks to everyone who has responded.   All your replies are most helpful.








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