Frequently Asked Questions

So what exactly is GuideAdvisor?

Who?

We are the fastest growing online marketing platform for Guides. We are focused on bringing guides and travelers together, through research and relationship building, to create memorable travel experiences.

Why?

Because we value guides and the traveling public; local knowledge; accurate and up to date information; amazing experiences; connections; and relationships.

How?

Through a combination of detailed information about guides and their offerings via; videos, photos, written copy, certification uploads and traveler reviews - all within a website that allows the traveler to connect with the guides directly - we are spreading the word about great guides and their offerings.

How to search for guides and trips

We've made it even easier to search for guides and trips on GuideAdvisor. Here are some step-by-steps to follow.

1.  Go to guideadvisor.com and click on the search field.

Home page search

2. Type in the start of any word related to your search, whether it's the name of a place or guide or an activity.

In the example below we started typing in California and the auto-complete function came up with suggestions. If you search using a keyword or a guide name, it will also track down not only trips and guides, it will also list on the search results page any blog posts related to your search term.

Home Search

3. Click the large orange "search" button.

Once you enter in a search word (or part of the word) the search engine will autocomplete and all you have to do next is click the large orange "search" button. A search results page is displayed. You can toggle between the two views, whether you're looking for guides (Figure A) or Trips (Figure B)

FIGURE A:search guides3

FIGURE B:
search guides4

4. Further sort your findings via cities, activities, or alphabetically.

In this particular example, where we used a broad search term such as "California." the results page also gives you the option to sort your findings.

search guides5

5. Refine your search by guides, trips or travelogues.

If we were to use other search terms, such as "California Desert," not only will the search engine find guides and trips that are specifically related to that type of activity/region, it will also list for you the blog posts (ie: travelogues) and Explore pages we've written about that particular topic. See the example below where you are given the option to refine your search by guides, trips, ecplore or travelogues.

search guides6

What can GuideAdvisor do for Guides?

INCLUDED IN BASIC PLAN

The Basic Plan is a free listing.

1. Editing Services for Guide and Trip Profiles

Worried about your writing skills and/or English writing skills? Don’t be, we can help.

2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search Engine Marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts. When listed on GuideAdvisor, you benefit from our SEM efforts and budget, since we drive clients directly to your profile pages which connect them to you directly, even on the Basic (free) listing.

3. Reviews and Ratings

Reviews and ratings are proven to influence a purchaser’s decision. We make it easy for you to request reviews from your clients; we give travelers incentives to leave reviews and we reward you for getting them.

4. Dashboard

We want you to have all of the market data you need to run your business, so we provide a Dashboard within your Account that allows you to see your GuideAdvisor page visits and click-through stats. To help you improve your own website’s performance and business efforts, you will also find that we provide some quick and easy to use tools, a number of free resources, and some referrals in your Account as well.

5. Ask Questions Form

We do not take any commission and the last thing we want is to get in your way. For the Basic (free) Listing we provide the "Ask Questions" Form for the client to email us and we will forward their inquiries on to you.

6. Set trip prices in your currency

As a Business or Premium Listing you are able to choose from 50 plus currencies, if your currency is not yet available you can request it be added.

INCLUDED IN BUSINESS PLAN

Includes all Basic Plan Services.

7. Company Page Link

When you subscribe and sign in (after subscribing), a Company Page (see example here) will be created for you that will be linked to your profile page from the at a glance section (see example here).

8. Email Link

We want clients to reach you directly. We do not take any commission and the last thing we want is to get in your way. So we provide your email link for the client to email you directly.

9. Website Link

We want to drive clients to your site directly and easily when they need more information.  So we provide your website link.

10. Send Request Form

To catch the eye of those who are ready to book but may have some special requests, we provide a strong call to action in the form of  the "Send Request" Form for them to complete. It will send their requests directly to your email inbox.

11. Photo Gallery

Multiple compelling images can now be loaded for each trip page!  Want to see how it looks?  Just click on the "Photos" tab on this trip.

INCLUDED IN PREMIUM PLAN

Includes all Basic & Business Plan Services.

12. Book Now Link

We provide a Book Now Link that can be directed to any online booking page you wish by simply entering that booking page’s URL into the field provided when building your trips, or by asking us to do it for you!

13. Featured Placements

As a Premium Listing you will get even more targeted marketing for your profiles.

  • You will benefit from Rotational Featured Placements on the GuideAdvisor.com homepage and any Adwords Landing Page related to your location and activity.
  • You will get a permanent placement on the Featured Guides page that is linked to from the Homepage.
  • You will get a “Similar Guides” or “Similar Trips” Placement on any Basic Listings Profile page that provides trips that are similar in location and activity to your offering.
  • An ad for one of your offerings on your “Get to Know” blog page (click here to see example of such a page).
  • An ad for one of your offerings on the Explore section of the site (also on a rotational basis).

14. Social Media Marketing

You will be featured in our Social Media Marketing Campaigns via all of our social media channels when you complete your “Get to Know” interview for your “Get to know “ blog page .

15. Search Engine Optimization

We will Search Engine Optimize (SEO) your Guide and Trip Profiles to help them rank as well as possible on search engines.

16. A Dedicated Account Manager

For Business or Premium Listings, we provide a dedicated account manager who will be periodically reviewing your profiles and their performance and working with you to make sure that you are getting as much value as possible, and who will be your main point of contact when you have questions or need help.

Check out this case study for a Premium Plan!

Case Study – Impact of A Premium Listing Subscription

 

What is “The Billboard Effect”?

Peer reviewed research proved the existence of "the billboard effect" in the travel industry as far back as 2009 - uncovering benefits that accommodation providers (for example) gain due specifically to marketing their property across many listing mediums (like ExpediaTripadvisor, GuideAdvisor etc).

In fact, the research found that direct reservations increased between 7.5 to 26 percent through other direct channels, such as the accommodation provider's own website, telephone etc. - but only for the period of time when the provider appeared on multiple media sites.

The results are expected to hold true for other travel related booking organizations, like you and GuideAdvisor, where our branded efforts to market your guides and trips result in creating increased exposure, recognition and traffic for your unique offerings, that influences booking that arrives at your doorstep through other channels. Even non-travel industries are leveraging this purchase behavior to their advantage.

Why wouldn't you take advantage too? A full year's business listing at the introductory rate can be had for less than the average price of a single tour. You can even start out on a free one month trial to check us out, absolutely risk free. Sweet, huh?

The Billboard Affect

How fast is the GuideAdvisor Community growing?

Here are the growth statistics for GuideAdvisor from July 2014 - May 2016. Whew! We've been hopping!

2016-05 Media Kit Stats Graphic

Find out about the famous Billboard Effect.

Sign up for a one month no-risk  free trial period (or subscribe to take advantage of all of our features) today!

What is the difference between Traveler, Guide and Operator?

Here are some common terms that we use at GuideAdvisor:

Traveler:  Any person wishing to experience new and exciting things, whether it’s exploring a museum in their hometown or journeying to locations around the globe.

Guide:  A person who helps lead and narrate an adventure or experience – a motivating teacher, a trusted confidante, someone you’ll never forget.

Operator:  A business that employs guides and takes care of the service offerings and bookings. For example, a guide that is self employed is both a guide and an operator.

How to subscribe to a GuideAdvisor Listing Plan

To subscribe to a Listing Plan, go to the subscription page.  If you are not logged into your account, you will be asked to log in.

Sign In

Once you have logged in, you will see the subscription section. Choose the Listing Plan you desire and click Subscribe.

After clicking on the Subscribe button, you will be directed to PayPal to complete the transaction. If you have a paypal account, click on the first option "I already have a PayPal account".  Otherwise, click on the second option "pay using your debit or credit card" and it will create a PayPal account for you (just follow the steps).

Note: You must create a PayPal account so that you can manage your subscription.

paypal_subscribe_premium

Follow the prompts to complete the transaction. Once completed, you will be directed back to the GuideAdvisor site. If you're having issues paying with PayPal, Click here.

I’m having issues paying with PayPal

If you receive this common PayPal error, it means that your email address or credit card number is already associated with a PayPal account:


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 3.10.35 PM

Although you may not remember ever signing up with PayPal, they can be a bit sneaky sometimes. Many customers have created accounts without even realizing it. If you've made an online purchase in the past, it may have stored the email address in their system.

 

If you're experiencing this issue, follow these steps:

1. Go to www.paypal.com/home  and click on the question mark beside the email field.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 5.39.20 PM

2. Select "I don't know either one" and enter in all possible email addresses that you use.  Enter the code and select "continue."


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 2.52.49 PM

If an email address matches, you'll get a message similar to the following:

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 6.17.04 PM

Note: If none of your email addresses are found, then the credit card that you're attempting to pay with is probably linked to a different PayPal account. Try paying with a different credit card.

3.  Check your email and click the link. Follow the steps to create a new password.

Once your password has been reset, you can login and manage your PayPal account.

4. Go back to the subscribe page and login with PayPal to complete your transaction

Subscribe

How to request a new password

It's easy to request a new password. Just follow these simple steps:

1. Click on "Lost your Password."

Lost Password Link

2. Enter your username or email address and select "Reset Password."

Enter email

3. Check your email for a confirmation link and follow the steps to reset your password

Password email

4. Enter your new password and click "Save"

Save New Password

 5. After your password has been reset, click "Log in". It will automatically take you to your account page.

Log in new password

How to create an excellent guide or trip profile

Creating an excellent guide profile:

Note:  If you've already created an operator account, go straight to step 3

1. Go to guideadvisor.com/lp-guide/and create a Tour Operator account by completing the form.

2.Click on the account activation link that will be emailed to you.

3. Sign in to your account and subscribe to take advantage of the 30 day free trial.

4. Once you have subscribed, you can create a new guide profile by clicking "Guides & Trips" and follow the prompts:

  • Write a few paragraphs about who you are as a person (minimum 600 characters, approx 120 words). Remember, GuideAdvisor is all about showcasing guides as people: travellers want to know who will be taking them on their excursions. In other words, write about you, not your company. This is your chance to set yourself apart from the rest. Possible information to include is: what you love about being a guide, your education or experience levels, what clients can expect when they're with you, why/how you became a guide, etc.
    Guide Profile Example
  • Upload an image for your profile that is landscape orientation (ie: horizontal) and a minimum of 1140px x 640px.  In other words, if it was a printed photo, it would be 6 inches long (15cm) and 4 inches high (10cm) and scanned at 180 dpi (dots per inch)  If you use an image that is not suitable - this is what will happen!GuideAdvisor - Photo Cropping Example

5. If you are ready for GuideAdvisor to review and publish your Guide, click the "Save & Submit" button. Otherwise, click "Save" to save your changes. After your Guide has been submitted, the GuideAdvisor team will then review and approve the info (within 3 business days) and it will go live.

Creating an awesome trip profile:

Trip Example

1. If you're not signed in already, go to guideadvisor.com and sign in to your account with your username and password

2. Create a new trip profile by clicking "Guides & Trips" and then click on "Add Trip".

3. Complete the form to profile details about your trip.

4. If you are ready for GuideAdvisor to review and publish your Trip, click the "Save & Submit" button. Otherwise, click "Save" to save your changes. After your Trip has been submitted, the GuideAdvisor team will then review and approve the info (within 3 business days) and it will go live.

How to update my guide profile and trips

It's easy to update your trips and profiles.

To begin, go to guideadvisor.com/my-account/ and sign in to your operator account with your username and password. After you are logged in, you can access your Operator Account to update your guide profiles and trips.

Home Sign In

Sign In

To update your trips:

1. Once you are logged into your operator account, click on "Guides & Trips" 

My Guides & Trips

2. Click on the edit button of the trip you wish to edit. 

Trip Listing

3. Make all your changes on screen.

Edit-Trip-Details

4. If you are ready for GuideAdvisor to review and publish your Trip, click the "Save & Submit" button. Otherwise, click "Save" to save your changes. All Trips need to be submitted and approved before they will be published.

If your trip was previously published, it will be republished immediately and if your trip was pending review, it will still be held for review by the GuideAdvisor editorial staff.

To update your profile(s):

1. Once you are logged into your operator account, click on "My Guides & Trips" and select the guide profile you wish to edit.

My Guides & Trips

Edit Guide Profile

2. Click on "Edit your guide profile" and make all your changes on screen.

Edit Guide Detail

3. If you are ready for GuideAdvisor to review and publish your Guide, click the "Save & Submit" button. Otherwise, click "Save" to save your changes. All Guides need to be submitted and approved before they will be published.

If your profile was previously published, it will be republished immediately and if your profile was pending review, it will still be held for review by the GuideAdvisor editorial staff.

*A note about "Operators" who are also "Guides"

An operator is typically a business owner who employs guides. Sole proprietorships, in which a guide runs his or her own business and doesn’t have other employees, are also categorized as operators. The business owner should upload their own personal guide information in the “Add New Guide Profile” section.

How to choose good photos for your guide profile and trips

Choosing the best photo for your guide profile or trip is very important for attracting travelers. On your guide profile, the best photographs provide some insight to your personality and help entice travelers to read more about you. On your trips, photos of activities and attractive scenery work best.fireshot-screen-capture-029-tour-of-amalfii-ravello-and-screen-shot

Note the cropping tool below the image. To zoom in slide the toggle to the right. To rotate the image click on the arrows . To reposition the image within the frame, click on the image itself then move the image until it is in the desired position.

Pick great photos

Photos play a crucial role in informing, influencing, educating and reassuring customers throughout the buying process, and they help to make that critical first impression a positive one. So naturally, the better your guide profile and trip photos are, the better the customer response will be. It is well worth your time to either send us your very best photos (or upload them yourselves). Business and Premium listing guides and operators can even ask for our help in sourcing great shots from our database - so that you can be sure the photos achieve the following goals:

Evoke An Emotional Response

Photos give depth and context to a story, thereby creating a more immersive experience than text can do alone. Photos can be used to inspire, inform, provoke or entertain.

Create Desire

The Web is about self-service. It’s also an ideal way to escape reality. Hotel websites know how important it is for potential customers to see resorts and rooms before they will book. They know that the customer needs to envision themselves in that hot relaxing place when they book tickets from their cold home in January. We want your potential customers to easily envision themselves on your tour!

Show Personality

Photography can convey the essence of a product or service, but it can surprise and delight too. We all want to appear professional and knowledgeable, however, photos that show we have a friendly personality (and don't take ourselves too seriously) are a nice touch and easy to do.

Depict Subjects In Their Natural Environment

The environment in which you place the subject helps the viewer understand their purpose and suitability. A shot of a grizzly in its natural habitat, for instance, seems much more fitting and “real” than a shot of that grizzly bear in, say, a parking lot. Unless of course, a Grizzly in a parking lot is part of your tour!!

Add video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an entertaining or informative video (3 minutes maximum) featuring a guide, tour or activity could very well be worth a thousand quality visits. Considering that video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings and that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video – this is one marketing force you can’t afford to ignore. Send us your video with your username and we will upload it.

Tips to get more from your trips and profiles

In today’s online market, you must make an instant impression to get noticed. Studies show it only takes about 50 milliseconds (that's about 1/20th of a second) for a visitor to form an opinion of your page or website. Your profiles and trips need to draw visitors in and then keep them interested.

Get your customers to add reviews

Reviews work. People are more likely to trust comments and opinions provided by other customers than a business’s comments. In fact, this report found that 70% of customers consult reviews or ratings before purchasing, 82% consider user generated reviews extremely valuable or valuable, and 71% agree that consumer reviews make them more comfortable.

Increase the click through rate on your profile by asking your current customers to visit your guide (and trip) page to leave their reviews. Your profile page is the ideal place to aggregate all the great things your customers are saying about you.

Optimize your own website for mobile - and reap rewards!

Customers are spending more time on their smartphones, and are performing a host of tasks there that used to happen primarily on desktops. As a result, in April 2015 Google changed how a site shows up on search results pages when a customer searches on their phone. Now if your site is mobile friendly it receives priority ranking on mobile search results pages! GuideAdvisor’s firm commitment to “mobile first” design means we were well ahead of the curve on this one. But how can you confirm that your own website passes the mobile-friendly test? Just make sure you have your website URL (i.e., https://www.your-website-name-here.com) entered in your Operator profile page and then use the test on your GuideAdvisor Dashboard to find out today.

Website Optimization Step1

Website Optimization Step 2

Fine-tune your profile bio and trip descriptions

A good, descriptive profile and trip description will increase the likelihood of a page visitor converting into a customer. Trip highlights need to be short, easily digestible statements that compel the visitor to read the description, click through to your website or contact you directly.

The guide bio and trip descriptions need to entice visitors into wanting to spend their time with you as their guide, doing the activities talked about in the trip. The descriptions should answer most of the questions that you are generally asked about the guide and trip.

As a final note, the highlights, guide bios and trips descriptions should contain keywords and keyword phrases that potential customers would search for. This will help your profile and trips show up in search engine result pages (SERPs) and drive additional targeted traffic to your pages on GuideAdvisor.

Make sure GuideAdvisor links to your website go to a relevant page; not just your home page

A visitor to your profile and trip pages on GuideAdvisor is twice as likely to click through to your website than they are to send you an email. Make it easy for them to find the information they need by linking each trip to the relevant page on your website and link your profile to your website’s “About” page. This will reduce visitor frustration and lead to more conversions to bookings.

Pick great photos

Photos play a crucial role in informing, influencing, educating and reassuring customers throughout the buying process, and they help to make that critical first impression a positive one. So naturally, the better your profile and trip photos are, the better the customer response will be. It is well worth your time to either send us your very best photos (or upload them yourselves).  Business and Premium listing guides and operators can even ask for our help in sourcing great shots from our database - so that you can be sure the photos achieve the following goals:

Evoke An Emotional Response

Photos give depth and context to a story, thereby creating a more immersive experience than text can do alone. Photos can be used to inspire, inform, provoke or entertain.

Create Desire

The Web is about self-service. It’s also an ideal way to escape reality. Hotel websites know how important it is for potential customers to see resorts and rooms before they will book. They know that the customer needs to envision themselves in that hot relaxing place when they book tickets from their cold home in January. We want your potential customers to easily envision themselves on your tour!

Show Personality

Photography can convey the essence of a product or service, but it can surprise and delight too. We all want to appear professional and knowledgeable, however photos that show we have a friendly personality (and don't take ourselves too seriously) are a nice touch and easy to do.

Depict Subjects In Their Natural Environment

The environment in which you place the subject helps the viewer understand their purpose and suitability. A shot of a grizzly in its natural habitat, for instance, seems much more fitting and “real” than a shot of that grizzly bear in, say, a parking lot. Unless of course, a Grizzly in a parking lot is part of your tour!!

Add video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an entertaining or informative video (3 minutes maximum) featuring a guide, tour or activity could very well be worth a thousand quality visits. Considering that video now appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video – this is one marketing force you can’t afford to ignore.

Why can I only choose one location and activity?

The activity and location information that you select to be shown on your trips and profiles are important for customers to help them find matches to the activities and areas they are interested in. If the activity and location information are confusing, conflicting or otherwise misleading, the customer will not feel confident about any of the information presented and this may influence them to not book your trip or leave negative reviews. This is why we ask you to choose the one location and activity that is the best choice to describe your trip.

Location

When you are creating or editing a trip, choose one location that best represents the trip location. If your trip occurs in more than one city or region, choose the starting location as this will usually be the most important decision factor for the customer. Try to be as specific as possible by including the country, state/province and city. If the city is not included, a customer will not be sure if the trip is conveniently located close to where they are or plan to be.  Remember to include all the places you will visit in the trip description.

Activity

When you are creating or editing a trip, choose one activity that best describes the trip and sets an accurate expectation for the customer. For example, do not choose Photo Tour unless the tour includes learning how to take a photo and/or learning about camera settings. This will ensure that the customer has the proper understanding about the trip and will result in more positive reviews.

If the activity is not present in the list, please use the provided field to contact us to request an addition to the activity list. However, if we have determined that the the activity term does not benefit you, we will not add the term and will help you to choose a related term. Before we add a new activity, we research the term to make sure that it is an actively searched term on major search engines because if it is not actively searched, your trip and profile will not benefit from organic searches. It also means that customers don't use or recognize the term and therefore will not search it on our site either.

How to add your email and website URL to your Account

If you are subscribed to one of GuideAdvisor's listing plans, visitors to your Trip & Guide can be in direct contact with you via your email address, and can also click directly through to visit your website to learn more about you and the trips that you offer.

Our statistics show that these links are the most popular route that customers take to begin the booking process. The website address that is set here is also used as the default website link in various places on your trip, profile and company pages (unless you've specified other specific trip URLs).

  1. Log in to GuideAdvisor and click on the My Account page
  2. Enter your email address
  3. Enter your website URL
    Dashboard - Account Page For Email & Website Entry - Email & Website
  4. Click on Save

That's it!  Easy, right?

Now you can proceed to add trip specific URLs to your trip pages, and also connect your Google Analytics to display on your GuideAdvisor Dashboard.

How to add a URL to your trip page

It is so easy to add a URL to your trip page!

1. Go to guideadvisor.com/my-account/ and Sign In with your username and password.

Screen Shot - Sign In

Screen Shot - Sign In

2. Click on "Guides & Trips". Choose a trip and click on the edit button.

Screen Shot - Guides + Trips

3. Scroll down to the "Trip Link" field and enter the URL of the page you would like the trip link to go to. Note: Be sure to include either "http://www." or "https://www." before the address name (whichever is correct for your site).

Screen Shot - Trip Link

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Save".  That's it - you're done!

How to add the Book Now link

If you are subscribed to one of GuideAdvisor's Premium plans, you can now provide visitors with a link directly to the booking page on your own website.

Trip Screen Shot - Book Now Link

We're more than happy to help you set this up, but you can also make the change yourself by logging in to your Account and choosing Guides & Trips from the sub-menu.

Account Menu Screen Shot - Guides + Trips

Click on the edit button beside the first trip you want to add the link to.

Scroll down to the Online Booking Link field and enter in the full URL of the booking page on your website for this trip (or the URL for this trip on any 3rd party booking engine you use). Do this for each of the trips you want to set an Online Booking Link for.

Account Screen  Shot - Online Booking Link

While you're there, make sure you've set up the GuideAdvisor Trip Link for this trip to go directly to your trip details page on your own website.

Scroll down to the bottom of the trip page and click on  save when you have entered the links. That's it - you're done!

What is a company page

A company page displays your company bio, your guides, trips and any content that you have submitted. Tour operators that have subscribed to one of our paid plans and have at least one guide profile published qualify for a company page. See an example here.

Once the page is created, the company name on each guide and trip page become linked to your company page to help travelers find all of your guides and trips. You can also use this page as a landing page to link in from your site or email campaigns.

Company Link on Guide Profile

How to create a company page

Once you have subscribed to a paid plan and have at least one guide profile published, you can initiate the creation of your page and retrieve the link by completing the following steps:

  • Log into your account Sign In
  • To confirm that your company page has been created, click on My Account on the menu and look for the Company Name link.

    My Account Navigation

  • Click on the Company Name link to view your page
    My Account

 

How to link to GuideAdvisor and add the GuideAdvisor Logo to your website

Below are a few GuideAdvisor logos that you can save to your computer and upload to your site. When set-up as described below - clicking on the logo will link your guests to your trips and/or profile on GuideAdvisor.

To add the logo:

1.  Save the logo you would like to use to your desktop. Upload the logo to your website and make note of the URL where the image is found.

2. Update the following code.  Change the target-url with the full url of your trip or profile (whichever you would like to link to) on GuideAdvisor and change the image-url to the image location from step 1:

<a href="target-url" target="_blank"><img src="image-url" title="GuideAdvisor" alt="GuideAdvisor" /></a>

3.  Add the code to your site where you want the logo and link to display

GA_button_100x100

GA_button_100x100_2

GA_button_55x55

GA_button_55x55_2

How to get your guide profile on the homepage

You'll notice that certain guides are now featured on the homepage of GuideAdvisor. To ensure you, too, can have your guide profile on the homepage:

Subscribe to the Premium or Premium Plus Listing Plan

To subscribe to these Listing Plans, go to the subscription page.  If you are not logged into your account, you will be asked to log in.

Sign In

Once you have logged in, you will see the subscription section. Choose the  "Premium" or "Premium Plus" listing  and  click Subscribe.

Note: You must create a PayPal account so that you can manage your subscription.

 

Subscribe

Follow the prompts to complete the transaction. Once completed, you will be directed back to the GuideAdvisor site. If you're having issues paying with PayPal, Click here.

How to be the subject of one of our “Get to Know your Guide” Interviews

You'll notice that certain guides are featured in the Travelogues blog section of GuideAdvisor in interview-style articles. (Take Italian Scuba Guide Aldo Marangoni for example.) You too can be featured in one of these articles:

    Subscribe to the Premium Listing Plan By subscribing to the plan, you'll automatically be the subject of an article, which is pushed out to all our social media channels and press contacts. To subscribe to the Premium Listing Plan, go to the subscription page.  If you are not logged into your account, you will be asked to log in.

    Sign In

    Once you have logged in, you will see the subscription section. Choose "Premium Listing"  and click Subscribe.

    subscribe_premium

    Note: You must create a PayPal account so that you can manage your subscription.

    Subscribe

    Follow the prompts to complete the transaction. Once completed, you will be directed back to the GuideAdvisor site. If you're having issues paying with PayPal, Click here.

What is an AdWords Campaign?

An AdWords Campaign results in advertisements that display at the top and right side on the search engine results page (SERP) when specific search terms are entered into Google’s search engine.

Ad placement / position is determined by bid (the amount the advertiser is willing to pay) and by quality score (how closely the ad matches the search term). These factors are constantly monitored and fine-tuned to get as much highly-targeted, high-quality traffic to our guides and trips as possible.

Google Search Results Page

In addition, our marketing team creates custom display ads for specific listed trips and then places these ads on high visibility / high quality sites. These ads are presented to people online when they match known conditions of what people are typically doing when in their travel planning and research stages (like looking for things to do, booking a flight or hotel in another city, for example).

It's techno-magic and it drives quality traffic to trips at just the right time!
Adwords Display Ad

 

 

How to win a $500 Targeted AdWords Search Campaign

When a customer leaves a review for you at GuideAdvisor, you will be automatically entered into a monthly draw for a $500 Targeted AdWords Search Campaign*. Each unique review left in the month counts as one entry into the draw for that month.

The AdWords Campaign will be set up to run from the 15th of the next month through the 15th of the month following.

5 Stars

We're not ignoring your customers either - as a thank-you for every review submitted, the reviewing customer will also be entered to win a $100 Visa Gift Card in a separate monthly draw held on the same day.

What does a Guide / Operator get if they win the monthly draw?

GuideAdvisor’s Marketing Team will select keywords and create ads for your trips and profile which link directly to the appropriate pages on GuideAdvisor.

You don't need to do anything!

If your entry is drawn and you have a specific trip that you would like to highlight or focus on during your month, you will have an opportunity to let the Marketing Team know, so that ads and bids can be targeted accordingly.

* Draw is subject to the standard GuideAdvisor Contest Rules.

How travelers win a $100 Gift Card for leaving a review

When a traveler leaves a unique* review on GuideAdvisor for a tour (or for the guide who gave the tour), the traveler is automatically entered into a monthly draw for a $100 Gift Card. Each eligible review left in the month counts as one entry into the draw for that month.

It's our way of saying thank-you for taking the time to share information on your tour experience with other travelers!

The Gift Card is sent by mail to the winner by the 10th day of the following month.  

5 Stars

*   A unique review is one that is not identical to, or cut and pasted from, other online sources.

** Draw is subject to the standard GuideAdvisor Contest Rules.

How to create an automated request for customer tour reviews

A cool feature makes it easy as pie to entice your customers to leave a review for your tours & trips. When you login to your Account - a page called Reviews is now visible.

On this page - after each tour concludes, select the trip and guide from the dropdowns, then enter the date and customer email addresses into the form, check the confirmation box and click Request Reviews. We take care of the rest. You'll receive an email listing the information entered for your records.

The tour customer will receive an email from GuideAdvisor and with one click they will be able to leave a "verified" review for your tour.

Account Screen Reviews Page 2016-04-26

Note: A single email address is limited to receiving one request review from GuideAdvisor per month in order to comply with international anti-spam laws.

 

View a “Request For Review” email sample

This message will be sent to all email addresses that are entered into the "Customer Email Addresses" field on the Reviews and Conversations page of your Account.

Items with the yellow background are replaced with the details selected by you [eg. the trip, guide and date] automatically before the email is sent.

request tour reviews email sample

What displays in the By Device section of the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard?

Within the Google Analytics section of the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard is a very useful breakdown of traffic "By Device".  This tells you who comes to you on mobile, tablet or desktop devices, how long they stay, and where they "bounce" from.

This can highlight trouble spots in your website design that may pose obstacles for potential customers, and may be worthy of further investigation when the statistics show a distinct or unexpected disparity in visitor behavior on one device type vs. another.

Learn more about connecting your website's Google Analytics to your Premium subscriber Operator Dashboard.

Googly Analytics By Device

What displays in the Visitor Channels section of the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard?

With a Premium Listing - we not only show you your GuideAdvisor page visits and click-through stats, we can also show your own website's Google Analytics within your Operator Dashboard.

The Visitor Channels section is an overview of the total amount of traffic your website is getting, where the traffic is coming from, and what they are doing on your site. Wondering what % of your traffic is coming from referrals? It can all be found here.

The Google Analytics stats for your website displayed within the GuideAdvisor Dashboard provides a subset of visitor statistics for your website traffic and gives you these details:

  • Sessions: Total number of sessions within the date range. A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website
  • New Sessions: % of sessions from first time users
  • New Users: The total number of first-time users during the specified date range
  • Pages Per Session: The average number of pages viewed during one session during the specified date range
  • Average Session Duration: The average length of a session in minutes
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

This means you only have to look in one place to see across your website's business reach. 

Visitor Channels - Full Size

Learn more about connecting your website's Google Analytics to your Premium subscriber Operator Dashboard.

Return to the overview of the GuideAdvisor Dashboard.

What displays in the Visitor Trends section on the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard?

This section shows all guides and operators what the overall traffic is for the GuideAdvisor site. We see pretty dramatic increases here every month, which means more and more visitors are coming to your guide and trip pages.

Here we also highlight the difference in exposure that comes from taking advantage of special features of both Business and Premium listing subscriptions. It's amazing what happens when you subscribe to a Premium listing - that's for sure.

Remember that exposure on multiple sites (like your own plus GuideAdvisor) can bring more direct traffic to you... it's called "The Billboard Effect".

Visitor Trends - Full Size

Learn more about the GuideAdvisor Dashboard.

How to use Google Analytics on the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It is the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.

As a Premium Listing customer - adding this key business information to your GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard is as easy as a couple of mouse clicks.

Once you're connected  - all the information you need to see across your website's business reach can be available in one place. Sweet, huh?

Below we describe the three sections, what they display, and what it all means.

Visitor Channels

This section is an overview of the total amount of traffic your website is getting, where the traffic is coming from, and what they are doing on your site. Wondering what % of your traffic is coming from referrals? It can all be found here.

The Google Analytics stats for your website displayed within the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard provides a subset of visitor statistics for your website traffic and gives you these details:

  • Sessions: Total number of sessions within the date range. A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website
  • New Sessions: % of sessions from first time users
  • New Users: The total number of first-time users during the specified date range
  • Pages Per Session: The average number of pages viewed during one session during the specified date range
  • Average Session Duration: The average length of a session in minutes
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

 

Dashboard - Visitor Channels

Traffic By Device

The center section subdivides your visitor traffic by the type of device they are using. This helps you analyze where your site performs well and where visitors may be having difficulty using your site. For example, if you are getting a large percentage of new users from mobile but your bounce rates are higher on mobile, this could mean your site is less usable on that device type and could result in the the loss of potential bookings.

Put your website to the mobile test with the Website Optimization analysis tool on the Dashboard to dig even deeper.

Dashboard - Google Analytics By Device

Visitor Goals

In Google Analytics you can establish business goals to be automatically tracked - and they will be reflected right here within your Operator Dashboard. This section displays the number of Goal completions in the specified date range (and the value of these goals) if you have them set up. Goals can be set for things like how many people on mobile sent you a booking request for example. Just ask us for help getting these set up or check out this FAQ to learn how.

You know we're here for you, right?

Dashboard - Goals

How to connect Google Analytics to your GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard

Connecting your website's Google Analytics to your GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard is a snap! As long as you have entered your website URL on your Account page and you are logged in - you're just two mouse clicks away from hooking it all up.

  1. Click on the "Connect my Google Analytics account" button on your Operator Dashboard page
  2. Click on "Accept" to allow GuideAdvisor to view your Google Analytics data and you're done!

Dashboard - Connect My Google Analytics
Dashboard - Accept Connection of Analytics Data

 

Well, you will be done if you are signed in with your Google account. However, if you’re not don’t worry, because Google will just ask you to login with that account.

Dashboard - Accept Connection Sign-On Step

Ta-da! That's it. If you need more information about what will now be displayed for Google Analytics on your Operator Dashboard, this FAQ is for you.

Learn more about the GuideAdvisor Operator Dashboard.

How to set goals in Google Analytics

Goals are an important part of tracking activity on your site. When a visitor to your site completes an action you would like them to take, this is called a conversion and how often it  happens can be measured by setting it up as a goal. As a Premium Listing customer - you can view your Goal Results on your GuideAdvisor Dashboard.

An example of a goal would be the booking confirmation page after they have completed an online booking or a confirmation page they see after completing and sending a form to ask about a tour.

Goal set up can be very straightforward to very complex, depending on your purchase funnel and your individual business requirements. The following steps will walk you through a standard, straightforward goal setup to show you how to create a goal in order to measure booking completions:

  1. Log into Google Analytics (whoever owns the website is entitled to create a Google account for access to all Google Analytics tools)
  2. On the top menu, click on Admin
  3. Under the View column, click on Goals
  4. Click on +New Goal button at the top
  5. Under Template, click on Buy TicketsGoal Set up
  6. Click on Next Step
  7. Under Goal Completion, enter in a descriptive name such as "Completed tour booking" and click Destination under TypeGoal Set up
  8. Click on Next Step
  9. Under Goal Details, enter in the destination url of the page that the visitor sees after completing a booking and do not include the domain name. The page is often “/thank-you/” or “/payment-completed/”. If you are not sure of the page url on your site, make a test purchase yourself to find out what page the visitor sees upon completion of the purchase.
  10. Set a Value. This is optional but can be very useful if you have several different goals since you can allocate different values to different goal completions. For example, if you have set up 3 goals on your site - completion of a tour booking, confirmation of submitting a form and confirmation of signup to your email list - you can allocate an average trip value to your tourGoal Setup
  11. Click on Create Goal.

 

More information can be found at About Goals and Create, Edit and Share Goals

 

Purchase funnel explained

funnel

How to test your website for mobile optimization

Customers are spending more time on their smartphones, and are performing a host of tasks there that used to happen primarily on desktops. As a result, in April 2015 Google changed how a site shows up on search results pages when a customer searches on their phone. Now if your site is mobile friendly it receives priority ranking on mobile search results pages!

GuideAdvisor’s firm commitment to “mobile first” design means we were well ahead of the curve on this one. But how can you confirm that your own website passes the mobile-friendly test?

Just make sure you have your website URL (i.e., https://www.your-website-name-here.com) entered in your Operator profile page and then click on "Analyze My Website" on your GuideAdvisor Dashboard to find out how you are rated today.

website_optimization_1

After the test completes - the Dashboard is populated with the resulting score and recommendations.

Website Optimization

Help travelers find unique places “off the beaten path”

Some of the most common search terms used by travelers are for "off the beaten path" types of destinations. Frequent travelers are always looking for new and unusual places to visit; places that everyone hasn't already either been to or heard about yet. Now there's nothing at all wrong with the beloved and well-known tourist sites - but many travelers today are looking for a unique spot that they in turn can be "in the know" about and share with others. Guides always have the inside scoop on at least one of these secret local gems and we need you to help us share your knowledge  - in a way that entices travelers to learn more about your area of the world.

To thank you for your contribution, we'll place a dedicated trip ad on the page for one of your tours - similar to the one in the example below.  

Yes, it is just that easy to get more exposure for your tours.

Here is an example of an "Off The Beaten Path" article to give you a good idea of what we're looking for. Note - this type of article is not a place for you to describe a specific tour or transport service your company offers, but it is an opportunity to create interest that pays off when you pique travelers' curiosity about your neighbourhood or region.

The information you provide should be for a location we have not yet profiled in a similar article. It also must be in your own unique wording (i.e. not available in the same exact words anywhere else on the internet) and it should be detailed enough to answer the questions listed below - all in about 300-400 words. And if you can provide a couple of high quality photographs - it will turn out great.

  1. What is the name of the location or area?
  2. What makes it special?  Why would visitors want to go?
  3. What is the best time of year to visit?
  4. What's the most well-known city or town nearby the landmark or region?
  5. Any there any special instructions for dress code or concerns about weather, supplies to bring, fitness capabilities needs, or specific footwear to consider, etc.
  6. How can travelers get to, and get around the area?
  7. Provide a bit of the background story of the place over time (how it started and/or how it has changed).

When you're ready - send your "off the beaten path" article to content@guideadvisor.com.  We'll connect you with one of our writers who will verify the content as "unique" and may follow up with you with a question or two before they publish it on our site.

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