Maximizing Your Charter Bus Website

UMA Expo Seminar Maximizing Your Website Notes

Moscone Center North
Room 121
San Francisco, CA
2pm to 3pm, 1/17/08


1. Maximizing Your Website

2. Overview

– Making Sure Your Website is an Effective Marketing Tool
– Driving Traffic to Your Website
– Selling Via Email – A New Sales Approach the Works


3. Internet Growth

* 71% of North Americans use the Internet (Up 119% since 2000)
* Printed Yellow Page usage is decreasing
* Search Engines are the most popular
– 26.62% of Internet users visit Google
– 0.07% of Internet users visit
* There are over 1.8 million bus-related searches per month on Google .
* Having a website is critical


4. Getting Up to Speed

* 18% of bus companies do not have a website
– ( is the largest free build-your-own website on the internet. 243rd highest-traffic in the world.)
* 57% of bus companies do not have a professional email domain ( is more professional than


5. Two Common Content Mistakes

– The #1 issue with most websites is that they do not have enough pictures
i. Buses interior and exterior
ii. Facility
iii. Staff (Including uniformed drivers)
– The 2nd is that content is subjective
i. For example “We have great drivers” is commonly written instead “Feature – Advantage – Benefit” (FAB) statements such as, “Our drivers have over 5 years of experience so they know how to ensure your trip will go smoothly”


6. Let Your Website do the Selling

– Post your DOT number and link to your registration page under your company name
– Search other websites for ideas


7. Bringing Traffic to Your Site

– Search engines are the root source of a majority of the traffic on the internet
– There are 3 ways to capture this traffic
i. Directly through Organic Placement
ii. Directly through Paid Placement
iii. Indirectly through high-ranking directories


8. Organic Placement

– Pro: Free
– Con: Takes a long time to develop
i. There are only 10 slots on the first page
ii. Not all companies can come up on the first page
iii. You have nothing to lose by trying


9. Organic Placement – Tips and resources

– Exchange Links to build your Google Page Rank
i. Download the Google toolbar into your browser
– Change/Update your site every 5 days
– Traffic appears to be a factor
– Visit
– Include keywords in your content


10. Top 10 Keywords

Rank Top 10 Keywords
1 bus charter
2 coach bus
3 bus rental
4 bus companies
5 bus service
6 bus transportation
7 tour bus
8 bus travel
9 charter buses
10 bus line


11. Paid Placement

– Pro: Immediate Results
– Con: Extremely Expensive
i. Limited slots cause a bidding war
ii. Top slots go for over $3 per click
iii. Low conversion – 3% of our paid traffic fills out a quote request


12. Placing on High-Ranking Directories

– Pros:
i. Immediate results
ii. Develops organic potential by building links and Google Page Rank (PR)

– Con:
i. Must research and evaluate each one (value varies)


13. Placing on High-Ranking Directories – Tips and Resources

– Download the Alexa Toolbar from to evaluate traffic levels
– Comb the search engines for high-traffic directories
– Search one keyword and city at a time
– Search Google, Yahoo and MSN


14. Converting Traffic into Bookings

– Internet customers will contact you via email just as frequently as by phone
– Selling via email was met with little success in the beginning (2004), but most bus companies report some level of success today


15. Sales Scenarios

Sales Senario Likeliness of Booking
In Person More Likely
They call you ^
You call them v
By email Less Likely


16. Tips for Converting Emailed Leads

– Do not reply with just a price. This is as good as throwing the lead away.
– Write up an email template that gives a company overview. Focus on factual selling points that can be converted into benefits. Show the customer you have put some time into their quote to earn their business.
– Set up your auto-reply email through your email host
– One saleswoman reports booking 90% of her emailed leads. Her approach entails:
i. Sending a personal email
ii. Includes options
iii. General information about the company
iv. Attaches photos of the bus
v. Attaches promotional information
vi. Responds within 4 hours if not immediately
vii. Says a large part of her success is the lack of response from other bus companies (her customers tell her)


17. Tips for Converting Emailed Leads

– Follow up every 7 days – 33% recapture rate
– Email their quote out as a ready-to-sign proposal
– Instead of replying by email, some companies report success by calling customers directly
– The online national broker’s Internet success can be attributed to assertive customer service:
i. replying to requests right away
ii. Emailing the customer a professional template email
iii. always answering their phone
iv. Professional website with high placement


18. Quote Reply Email Ideas

– General company info
i. Customer service
– Driver cell phones; 24/7 emergency lines; Office hours; Driver experience; Driver attire; On-time record; Movies; Hostess
ii. Equipment
– Amenities; Maintenance; Fleet
iii. Safety
– Insurance; Inspection record; Accident record; DOT compliance
– Association Memberships
– Certifications
– Photos of the Bus
– Promotional flyer PDFs
– Pricing Options
– Proposal


19. Build Value, Not a Bidding War

– Avoid selling on price
– Instead of answering the customer’s questions, show the customer what questions they should be asking.
i. Point them to your DOT Registration page
ii. Point them to you BBB record page


20. Conclusion

– Shared Success Stories and Ideas
– Questions