Preparing Your Business’ Online Presence for Tourist Season

tourists on the beach under an umbrella

Do you run a business in the Virgin Islands that is heavily dependent upon tourism? If so, now is the time to get busy upping your online presence.

Why? For one reason, Google’s crawlers periodically scan your web site to review your content. It’s these scans that help Google determine how relevant your site is for a particular search. For obvious reasons you want your site to appear when someone searches for a word or phrase that’s relevant to your business.

How Long Does it Take for Google to Crawl Your Site?

The time it takes from when Google scans your site to when your content shows up in search results can take four to six months. Note that I’m not saying this is how long it takes for your site to show up on Google. When I launched the ampliVI site it appeared in Google search results in a matter of days – but only if I was searching for ampliVI to find it. It took much longer for the site to appear when I searched for Virgin Islands social media management.

Planning ahead can make a difference in how well your page ranks in a search. For example, if your business sells lamps, you might want to create individual pages that talk about reading lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, LED lamps, or lampshades. Try to think of what people who are looking for your business would search for, and these are the words that you want on your pages.

Where to put these words? If you sell services, make a services page. Or you could write a blog, with a separate post for each service. It’s OK to create both a services page and a blog page. On your blog posts, write about the items that you sell. Write a refreshed page about each item once or twice a year. Don’t delete the old blog posts – those help you show up in search results as well.

Social Media Can Help Your Online Presence

In addition to your web site content, make sure that you also have social media pages set up for your business. If you have a retail store, claim your Google My Business listing and keep the location map, phone number and hours up-to-date. The same goes for Facebook and Yelp. Even if you have not yet set up a Facebook or Yelp presence, your customers may already be on those sites reviewing your business. Claiming your page(s) ensures you get notified when someone reviews your business. Then you can control the message and respond to your customers.

Get Listed on Other Sites

If you rely on tourism to fuel your business, take your online presence to other pages. Manage your listing on TripAdvisor and our local business directories. Go To St. Croix, Virgin Islands This Week, Visit USVI are three popular sites that get a lot of visits.

The bottom line? Give Google plenty of time to soak up all of your business’ content. You will be rewarded by showing up in search results, clicks, and new business. Don’t know where to start? We’d be happy to help.

Top 3 Ways to Chill on St. Croix’s West End

west end St. Croix USVI

St. Croix is the only one of the U.S. Virgin Islands with two cities. The smaller of STX’s two cities is Frederiksted on St. Croix’s west end.

While there are plenty of activities such as hiking, jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving and sightseeing available, sometimes you just want to chill – especially when you’re on vacation. Here are three ideas for how you can spend your time.

Beach Out at Sandy Point

Hands-down the best beach on St. Croix, Sandy Point is also a National Wildlife Refuge that protects three species of endangered sea turtles.  The beach is pristine, the water is clear and locals know it as the location of the last scene in the movie The Shawshank Redemption. With its turquoise blue water and powdery white sand, you’ll feel far away from whatever you left behind. Because the sea turtles also love Sandy Point, it is closed during the spring and summer months for turtle nesting season. When it is open to visitors in the fall and winter, it’s open on Saturdays and Sundays only (double check on cruise ship days) – which is likely part of what keeps this beach pristine. There’s no shade, so bring your own or have a cover-up handy.

Watch the Sun Set

Watching the sun set from St. Croix’s west end is a ritual for some, a highlight for others. On certain days you may be lucky enough to see the mysterious green flash, which appears for a second or two as the sun drops into the Caribbean Sea. The best sunset watching time is about 30 minutes prior to official sunset and 30 minutes after, as the sky lights up with shades of pink and orange.

Sunset Sail

The west end’s calm waters make an evening sail an ideal way to escape the heat. Let yourself be chartered along the coast, looking up at hillside homes and the twinkling lights of Frederiksted while you enjoy a small bite or an adult beverage. Lyric Sails offers sunset sails most months of the year, and other operators may be available in season.

Do you have any other favorite non-active activities? Post in the comments below.

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