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Why Waterport Companies Should Have a Robust Website

10/06/2021

In this blog we’ll discuss the importance of websites for watersport operators and provide some guidance and tips on the best ways to build out a robust website that moves the needle for your brand, your bookings, and your bottom line.

Many operators these days still rely heavily on walk ups and phone bookings and maybe only have a Facebook or Instagram account as their “digital presence”. While we certainly believe walk ups and phone bookings are still a critical component of your sales breadth it’s important to wrap your head around the need for a robust digital approach in the current market environment. Social media is an important component but you don’t own any of that real estate and you’re not building any organic clout online. Building out a website, whether it’s a simple 1 or 2 page “business card” site or a fully fleshed out interactive site, is critical as the cornerstone of your digital presence. At the core your website allows your customers to learn more about your business and your offerings, find out where you’re located and how to get there, and take action on interacting with your business (i.e. booking a trip/rental, giving you a call, following you on social media, etc.). Additionally, having a website is key in securing your digital “footprint” and staking your claim in the online world. The longer you have a domain name, website, social media presence, etc. the more defined your digital footprint will be and the easier it will be for your business to attract customers online. The process of designing and building a website is different for every business depending on their specific industry and individual needs, for simplicity we’re going to focus on general options with the watersports industry in mind. We’re always happy to provide further guidance on an individual basis if you’re interested, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

One of the huge benefits of using WaveRez is that from a website perspective you don’t need to build out the scheduling and booking side of your business. That would be an incredibly time consuming and capital intensive process and largely not worth it for 99% of businesses. WaveRez solves this part of the puzzle! Using WaveRez as your businesses’ scheduling, booking, and operational backend your website is simply a way to educate your customers, build trust, and show off. That’s why we always recommend delegate building a robust site to professionals.

Below we’ll outline three website levels; Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. We’ll provide links to offerings and examples of content to accompany each. Let’s get started:

Table of Contents

 


Basic Level Website

 

A basic site could be a 1 or 2 page site that contains your businesses bare minimum information, we call this a “business card site”. This is a totally acceptable option if you’re still doing a majority of business via walk ups and phone bookings. A basic site, such as one from Go Daddy, can be built quickly (potentially by you) and may even be free. It will allow you to establish your online presence, provide your customers with simple information (offerings, address, phone #, Book Now link/button, relevant info related to your business), and anchor your digital presence.

 

Intermediate Level Website

 

An intermediate site would do all of what a Basic site does with the addition of adding some more in depth content relating to your offerings and some “show off” content like images. Building out different pages for each offering (i.e. jet ski rentals, dolphin cruises, etc.) allows you to help sell your offerings and detail any specific information pertaining to each one. Adding photos helps dramatically from a sales perspective and can increase conversions online. A solution such as Squarespace allows you to build out your site in more depth and add features as your online presence matures.

 

Advanced Level Website

 

An advanced site has all the features of the former Basic and Intermediate options with a plethora of upgrades. An advanced site would generally be custom built for your business, have a design and theme around your brand, and more bells and whistles (i.e. a blog, newsletter sign up form, images/videos, social media embeds, live chat, etc.). An advanced site would also be tied into analytics so you’re able to track where your customers are coming from and what they’re seeing as well as the option for linking to paid online advertising. A custom advanced site is going to be more expensive than the previous 2 options but it’s an investment in your business just like your physical location or your equipment and can be just as important. If you’re ready for the major leagues WaveRez is affiliated with a company and provides a compelling offer to get set up and save some money in the process, click to learn more about our AAMPsite offer.

Getting started on your business website can feel overwhelming, we understand. Whether you start small or go straight to a custom site the important thing is just getting started and setting something up. Any presence is better than no presence. If you’re having trouble deciding where to start or how to move forward please reach out to us and ask for help, we’re here to chat and consult with you. We wish you the best of success on your digital journey and look forward to working with you to develop your watersport business, both online and offline!

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