A Short Note About Travel Guides

A travel guide book is the best travel companion. It is an essential part of traveling. It offers wonderful knowledge about the places you must see, the place where you will get good food and the place for your accommodation. It also explains the culture and more insight about the travel destination. This would save the time of searching the resources. With the help of travel books, you can get complete knowledge about the place and become more accustomed to a place within a short period.

We find a broad range of travel books. Some books would only cover the main things that would help the traveler. Few books are specialized and explain to you starting from the basic things. Some travel books are more specific for a particular sort of travel groups. You can find a wide range of travel books for individual travelers, backpackers, adventure travelers and vegetarians.

Generally, travel guide books would help you by explaining about all the information required to reach the particular travel destination and this would help you to get rid of the inconvenience. But then, few travelers would feel uncomfortable to use precious luggage allowance for simply carrying books. For these kind of travelers you get travel ebooks which could be easily carried and accessible.

The advantages of travel ebooks

A wide collection of ebooks are available on the web. Most of the travel websites provide travel guides as a PDF download. These can be downloaded onto a reading device and it can be carried wherever you go. Most of the E books contain photograph and illustration of the place, though they are in black and white. The advantages of travel E Books are:

1. It is easy to carry. You can download number of e books that interests you and some time you can keep them as a PDF document

2. The cost would be much less than the travel guide books you purchase.

3. Travel ebooks can be browsed and purchased from the internet. You can download them instantly as soon as you complete the payment.

4. Travel ebooks are easily accessible using the reading device provided along with that.

5. Reading devices contain additional functionality such as bookmarking. This could help you to have an instant access to the specific pages. For example, if you need an information about the particular place from over a wide range of book. You no need go through each page, instead you get a quick access to that particular page you are looking.

Travel ebooks are always economical while we get many options along with that. It provides wonderful information about the destinations. Apart from E books, we get travel guides in wide formats. Even you can purchase the audio travel guides. This would be really interesting and we can feel like going with the human companion. Over all, travel guides are mandatory to have a safe and wonderful adventure.

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Travel Guide – The Best Way to Plan Your Holiday

Holidays form a very important part of our lives because they recharge our batteries and refresh us completely. The only thing that can lighten us up and invigorate our spirit to work and live life dynamically is a holiday. Not just that, a holiday is something that helps us better understand the place we are visiting; there may be so many things we wouldn’t have known about the place if not for the visit. Most of all, it helps us build memories, which stay with us and probably never fade away until we become extinct. Furthermore, holidays bring us back on track and help us keep the momentum going once again with a new, rejuvenated and vibrant spirit. As humans, it is highly essential for us to take regular breaks from packed and hectic life schedules and enjoy the precious moments that a holiday brings about.

The travel guide can simplify the planning part of a holiday. It gives information pertinent to the destination and its various features. For instance, if you are planning a trip to Goa and you want to know the major tourist attractions, the answer can be got by looking up in a travel guide. Not only that, a travel guide also contains information about the various hotels that are located in the particular destination. For tourists, travel guides have come very much in handy and have helped in developing an understanding towards the various aspects about destination that is being visited. Referring a travel guide is a trend that is widely followed these days.

Travel guides are often documented by travel agencies. Since they deal with helping people enjoy their vacations in different places round the world, these agencies have an in depth knowledge about major and minor tourist destinations. Travel agencies are the best way to obtain travel information and the attractive aspects of a particular place you want to visit. Travel agencies also suggest places that can be visited on the basis of your preferences and priorities. The travel information about a particular place is provided by travel agencies and these agencies also take care of transport and accommodation services. Travels agencies have tie ups with the hospitality industry, both working in mutual coordination in order to promote their own services and increase their brand value. So remember, if you decide to go on a holiday to a particular place, approaching travel agencies is the best option since these agencies provide full travel information of the place you’d be visiting.

Traveling round the world is an exciting prospect and provides something very different when compared to visiting different places in your native country. For one, the culture is completely different and so are the people. Interacting with locals in a different country is as exciting as visiting the attractions there. You can travel world round and enjoy the sights, the cuisines and the wonderful locales which foreign countries can provide. A good source of information about international destinations is travel world magazine. The travel world agencies also give detailed information about the most sought after tourist attractions in the world.

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Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let’s take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

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The Usefulness of Travel Guides

When you mention the words ‘travel guide’ to someone, they may interpret it in 2 ways: a person who will guide you to certain destinations and a type of catalogue that can help you find your way when traveling and exploring a new place. In this piece of information, we will look at how each of the options can be useful to people who travel.

The person who is known as a travel guide is supposed to know all the destinations of a certain place well. The guide must know where the exciting places can be found so that tourists can be taken there to enjoy their stay in the new country. If the guide has to take the tourists to the game parks or game reserves, he must know the times when animals can be seen or when exciting activities can be found. For example, if the tour guide is from Africa, he must have knowledge of when the migration of the wild beasts happens. This migration is an awesome sight. Many have only heard of it but never seen it. The guide is supposed to make sure that his visitors get the ultimate experience of being in new place so that they can go back to their homes with great memories.

The guide should also know all the places where people can relax and have a meal. He should be able to treat them to some of the local delicacies of that country. He should also take them round to the some of the pre-historic sites that are famous.

On the other hand, the documented travel guide can be in the form of a book, brochure or pamphlet. There are some airlines which offer these travel guides for free. There are also some local hotels that will give tourists travel guides to find their way around the city or town. Such documents usually include information about restaurants, hotels and other recreational facilities that can make a tourist’s life a bit easier. Most of the travel guides have maps especially of major cities or towns.

So, which one does one choose?

This answer can only be determined by the tourist. Getting a person to act as a guide will definitely cost you more compared to using the booklet. However, you will get to enjoy and explore more places. The ultimate choice lies with the tourists, the activities they want to enjoy and the amount of money they are willing to spend.

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What to Expect From Professional Travel Guides

Human beings are nomadic by nature. Unexplored parts of nature, natural beauty, wonders of the world have always attracted people. But the urban lifestyle is pretty demanding. Everybody is busy but still people cannot ignore the calls of the unknown and set out for different destinations around the world.

However, the world is not the same as it used to be many years ago. There are several challenges that you have to face, language problem is one of the biggest problems that most travelers face. Apart from this, rules for foreign travelers, currencies, etc. make it more difficult to explore travel destinations in other countries.

Even when you visit travel destinations in your own country, you might have to struggle to find a suitable hotel or resort around the spot. However, professional travel guides can be of immense help.

In the past, many people used to take up this as a profession. Local people who have knowledge about the locality often work as guides and help tourists to explore the place comfortably. This profession is still very popular. Travelers who visit historical places prefer to hire guides who know about the place and can take them to all the local spots and share local stories and history with them. There are places which are century old. The history of local culture, people, lifestyle, festivals etc. are kind of tribal knowledge that is only available with the local people. Travelers who are interested to know about century old civilizations always prefer to interact with travel guides. A knowledgeable guide not only helps travelers to explore the place but helps them to find hotels, book tickets, find good restaurants, etc. There are people who love to explore everything on their own, but that is a different trait altogether. Common people prefer to hire a guide to make their vacation comfortable.

This is the era of digital age. Everything is getting digitized. At present, when someone says travel guides, he means online guides that offer every bit of information for a travel destination. Different forms of online tourist guide are given below:

1] Travel portals: There are many travel portals that feature world wide destinations. If you are planning to visit a place, you can search for a travel portal that has all the information about your destination. From cab booking, transportation to hotel booking, these online tourist guides can provide you all the information that you might need. You can search and find such portals. Some travel portals offer information about specific regions only whereas some cover all the destinations round the globe.

2] e-Brochures: If you are planning your trip through a travel agency, they can offer you online brochures that contain extensive resources and information about the destination you intend to visit. It is not that all travel agencies would give such brochure out, but some will. You can consult these brochures to find restaurants, local attractions, transportation facilities, etc. These books are great to consult when you plan a trip to somewhere.

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Successful Online Businesses

We see many startup online businesses, some successful, some not. What makes a successful online business?

Type of business

There is no doubt that some products and services are easier to sell online than others. Consumables with popular brand names, products that every body knows, are easier to sell online. Unknown products are harder to sell. Consumables bring repeat business because they always need to be replaced.

Domain names

Names that include a search word relating to the products have a better chance of being on page 1 of Google than others. Domain names like tbc.com won’t rank as high as texasbabyclothing.com even though the initials mean something to the owners.

Domain names should be easy to remember, but not just to the owners. Names like jhmtoys.com are not as easy for a visitor to remember as jackstoys.com. It’s better if the names can be pronounced.

Visitors talk to other potential visitors.

As well as being easy to remember for a visitor, domain names that include search words help Google to list them higher for a search.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Some factors that Google uses to rank web pages are:

1) Domain name.
2) Search word in the meta title.
3) The number of times the search word is on the web page.
4) Whether the search word is also in a heading or hyperlink.
5) The quantity of information on the web page.
6) The quality of information.
7) The time it takes to load the web page.
8) Whether the page is responsive to all devices including phones.
9) How popular the website is. That means how many other relevant quality websites are linked to it.

Search engines are there to provide visitors a list of web pages in order of relevance to a search query.

The position of a website in a search can make the difference between success and failure of an online business. A website on page 4 of Google is unlikely to be even visited if its competitors are on page 1

Website layout

The layout of the website should help visitors find information that they want quickly. Some have the product categories on the home page. Some have only specials on the home page with product categories on the first inside page.

The customer’s attention must be quickly gained and held. A menu of product categories and other information like delivery charges should be at the top and sides. Duplicate menus can be also at the bottom of a page.

The norm is to have categories click through to products. Then a click on the product should open to a larger picture and a full description.

There should also be a search box for customers to find the product they want quickly.

Product details

Some products are easier to sell online than others. If customers can see exactly what they are looking for, that’s a good start.

Products are easy to sell if popular and can be seen in stores on the street. It’s only the price and delivery that need to be compared.

It’s not so easy if the product is specially designed and only available online. That means full and exact descriptions with good quality photos.

An example that puzzled us was a website selling wedding gowns with descriptions as little as four words and just a small picture, with prices ranging up to nine hundred dollars. Surely a customer would want more information before spending that amount of money.

A better example we know, also clothing, has descriptions of a hundred and forty words per product. They get eight hundred visitors per day and a high sales volume.

Product images should be sharp with a clear background, preferably white. They should not be fuzzy. They should not have a background that distracts from the product.

We recommend business owners look at their websites from the point of view of a customer. Customers are looking for information. Each product is an opportunity for a sales pitch.

Business owners should also know their products sufficiently well to give very full descriptions that answer all possible customer questions.

Online customers can get frustrated and go elsewhere very quickly.

Customer Service

The quality of interface with the customers helps make an online business successful.

Customers must know that they can easily get answers to their queries. This can be by a chat dialog box, an FAQ section, prompt email responses and general attitudes to customers. It’s important to have a local phone number prominent on the web page.

Personal service to customers can be a critical difference between online businesses.

Summary

Successful online eCommerce businesses are those that:

1) Are on page one of Google through good SEO.
2) Sell consumables.
3) Have popular products.
4) Show large product descriptions.
5) Have good website navigation.
6) Have good customer service.

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Smart Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

One of the best ways to get more customers is to put up a website. However, putting up a website doesn’t stop there, a lot of factors contribute to the success of your site like simplicity, thoroughness and design. There are a lot of ways of getting traffic to your website, but the big question is, among those different ways, which is the best way? Let me give you my five tickets to increase traffic to your website without spending too much.

Advertise on several social media accounts that are available. Since social media channels are free for everyone, this first step isn’t rocket science. Facebook is the best example to promote your company / product / services or content. Twitter is also ideal for short, precise and snappy links. Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are both good ways to promote your product and find great traction with its image heavy feature as well.

My second ticket is to feature popular people relevant to your line of business on your site. Knowing people who can contribute to promote and improve your company / product is such a good way to boost the traffic to your website thus increasing the credibility through name recognition. In this way, the interviewee will probably share his interview on his own site thus, expanding further its reach.

Third ticket is to ensure that your website is interactive. Don’t just create an account and share contents. Create features that will engage your customers to navigate and go through your page. You can create a community to build interactions. People want to always speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they are interested in. You can implement reply or comment system that will allow your customers to interact with you and to other customers. It is also important that you let yourself be heard not only by commenting and replying to the questions or inquiries but also by providing insightful and thought provoking articles.You may incorporate videos into your site as well. Join group discussions and put relevant hashtags. You just have to remember to only provide relevant topics and avoid sending spam links or unrelated websites. This will surely capture traffic to your website.

Invite several bloggers. Bloggers can review your company and products or services rendered. Today, bloggers dominate the Internet world. They can influence netizens through their blogs. They will likely share their blog articles which will definitely drive traffic to your website.

Lastly, make your site fast. You wouldn’t want your site to load forever, this will definitely drive your site visitors away and won’t visit again. Remember, the faster your site loads, the better.

Update your site on a regular basis is my bonus ticket to boost traffic to your website. Fresh, new and updated site is surely ideal. Sites that are constantly changing its content, being added to and improved are the ones who get more traffic. People want and expect to see or learn something new each time they visit your site.

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6 Ideas to Promote Your Website for Free

If you already have a website up and running but you’re lacking targeted visitors, check out 6 free ways to promote your website:

* Using Videos

Videos are extremely powerful if done right. Choose a topic you’re comfortable to talk about and create a series of videos. You can place these videos on our blog but make sure you also upload them to YouTube and other video websites. You can also choose to have just a text post on your website and the video on the video websites.

Just be creative. There are many types of videos out there. You can simply show your screen, you can record yourself, whatever you want.

Make your videos interesting and captivating.

* Podcasting

Podcasts are becoming more popular every day. They allow you to connect directly to your audience and there are many people who prefer podcasts to read a post or watch a video. Just give it a try.

* Using Forums

Start up by creating a spreadsheet of all the forums in your niche. Open an account with each one of them and create a signature with a link or two pointing to your website. Then, search for threads where you are able to give a good insight. The more answers you give, the better. This will make you not only have more links pointing to your website (within your signature) as it will also allow you to become an authority in your niche since other people on the forums will start to recognize you.

* Articles

Although they’re not so commonly used nowadays, it’s always good to have links pointing to your website. And with articles sites, you can have this through the “Resource Box” at the end of the article.

* Commenting on other Blogs

There are many blogs that still have their comments open. Just make a list of the best blogs in your niche, and check the ones that allow you to have a link to your website. Then, once a day, go through all those blogs you found and see if you can leave a relevant comment. Make sure not to spam or saying anything redundant. Your credibility is on the line here.

* Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is pretty common nowadays and there are many blogs accepting guest posts. Again, you need to make a list of the most relevant blogs that accept guest posts and see their guidelines carefully. Then, just follow them and try to be accepted. Make sure the blogs you choose allow you to have at least one link pointing to your website.

Each one of these methods works on its own; but it’s far better to use them all to see more results, sooner. Consistency is the key and with time, you’ll see a steady growth in your new visitors and visitors coming back to your website.

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5 Common SEO Mistakes That You Should Avoid

Over the past few years, SEO has evolved faster than the previous decade. And this has made it harder for users to keep up with most recent updates. The launch of Penguin and Panda changed the way things worked in the past. In short, the way Google used to rank website has changed a lot. But if you want to reach your objectives, make sure you avoid some common SEO mistakes.

1. Avoiding RELEVANT CONTENT

In the start, Google said that it would rank websites that have the most relevant content on its first page. This statement is still valid. What has happened is that the search engine has become a lot better at achieving the objectives. In other words, now, Google is in better position to know what is relevant and what is not.

So, what you need to do is offer content that is relevant and avoid content is not relevant to your niche. Of course, the content should be informative and unique.

2. Following Tricks

People have been using many illegal ways of cheating the search engine algorithms for traffic, exposure and backlinks. Some of these tactics can still give you a temporary edge, but they are bad for your blog or website for the long-term.

So, you should avoid using low-quality, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, questionable redirects or cloaking for traffic. It may be tempting to go for these short-cuts, but they will just hurt your ranking, and may even get you banned for good.

3. Overloading your site

It has been a common perception that photos, videos and other graphics make a website more appealing for the viewers. To some extent, this perception is true; however, there should not be too much of it or your website will take ages to load. Your viewers don’t have all day to wait for your site to load. If your blog takes longer to load than other websites, the viewers will just click away. You will not only lose viewers, you will also lose ranking against other websites.

4. Making navigation difficult

Navigation is one of the most important factors for any website. It’s important for both viewers and search engines. Ideally, your viewers should be able to get the desired information from your website in one or two clicks. This may not be an easy task for you. So, what you can do is put important content on the main page of your site. This the users will be able to get what they want more easily.

5. Misunderstanding THE BACKLINK PROCESS

You may not want to be obsessed with obtaining a lot of backlinks. Although you don’t have to have backlinks from authority websites to establish your credibility, it helps a lot. However, what you need to do is try to get backclinks in a nature fashion. But it’s not a good idea to buy backlinks. This is one of the worst mistakes that you can make.

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Image Optimization for SEO – Best Practices

Quality content is the key to SEO success. Content doesn’t just mean your text contents. Images must be an integral part of your content strategy. At times, single images can be far more effective than your 1000 word blog post. It also helps you improve blog post quality and performance.

Images, Infographics, Videos and all other multimedia contents on your web page will help you in increasing the user engagement on your site and makes the visitors stay on your site for longer duration which helps in reducing the bounce rate.

Not just adding images to your contents, you should also optimize those images for better SEO performance. Optimization of images must be the one important aspect of your on-page SEO process.

If you are using images in your content, there are many aspects to be considered related to SEO.

Relevancy

Using images doesn’t mean that you should fill up your content with loads of pictures. You should use it only when it is required and also you should use images that are more relevant to your content.

Placement of your images is an another important aspect. It should be placed at a relevant location in your content according to your text content.

Use original images

Originality always helps in improving your user experience and your authority. Usage of original images will be helpful in improving your SEO performance. You can create original images with a graphic designer or you can take your own photographs with a quality camera. It is the reason top White hat SEO companies employ talented graphic designers for creating quality images.

If you are not able to employ an in-house graphic designer or if you are running out of time, you can always use high quality images from the web. But the important factor to be considered is it should be copyright free.

There are many tools available for getting copyright free images without any cost. The most popular ones are Unsplash, Flicker, Freeimages.

Image Size

Images are the main source for damping your site’s speed. And site speed is a crucial factor in your SEO performance. So, you should be extra cautious in using images without compromising your page speed.

It should not also affect your image quality, you should have a correct balance between. You can achieve this by reducing the file size by compression. You can use tools like Photoshop for compression.

File name

Search engine crawlers are visually impaired, it can even interrupt a 5000 word text content, but it cannot interrupt a single image and what the image is about. It is the reason using a keyword rich file names for your images is an important aspect in image optimization.

Google bots and other search engine crawlers can read your image’s file name and if it is named with your target keyword, it gives a signal to search engines about the image topic and thus helps your SEO performance.

For example, if your image is related to selling sports shoes, rather than using the file name as “IMG_89868″ you can use it as “Black_Tennis_Shoes”.

Alt text

Similar to the file name, search engines can read Alt text of the images. Alt text is known as “Aleternative Text”, is an HTML attribute used to describe the content of images.

You should use Alt text which is relevant to your images and it should be clear and descriptive. You can use your target keywords in the Alt text but be cautious about Keyword stuffing.

If you are not focusing on Image optimization, you are missing a huge opportunity in improving your SEO performance. You can use above mentioned best practices in your on-page optimization process.

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