A Service of Colautti Enterprises
Ontario Explorer is a search engine designed to lead visitors through Ontario as thoroughly as possible. A primary consideration in developing this site was to put the customer and business together. Advertising on this site is to be integrated into the presentation of each page, so that it becomes an essential stop for each visitor, rather than an encumbrance to the visitor.
Advertising is not confined to tourism based businesses only. The map based search engine is the most logical and powerful search method for geographically distributed businesses, but there are numerous aspects of this site that can be used to your advantage in promoting your business.
If you are a geographic business, such as a Museum or Inn, your page is integrated into specific maps, as well as the site indexes. If your business is not site specific, such as a manufacturer of hiking boots, you can promote your business via other means. The alphabetical and topical search engines can be used to find your web page. The possibility exists of sponsoring the development of a portion of this search engine. For example, a single company might sponsor the trail maps of a park, etc.
A price list is provided below. If your needs extend beyond these basic services quotes are available for more advanced services. A series of brochures is available to familiarize yourself with the Internet and how it can be used to promote your business. These can be mailed or faxed to you.
If you are among several businesses in a local area that may be interested in my service we can arrange a group meeting where I can personally sit down with you. The design and set up fee will have a group discount under these circumstances.
This format will be expanded to encompass the rest of Canada. If you are a business outside the current map scope you can be added to the various topical and alphabetical indexes. If a sufficient number of businesses in a region not currently covered become interested in joining this service, please contact me and the maps of this area can be expedited.
The Internet knows no boundaries. If you run a business anywhere in the world, the same design used in this site can be expanded to suit your specific needs.
If you wish to learn how to program for the Internet, fine. However, if you wish to save money it won't work. The cost for the software, and hours invested for you to learn how to design your own page would exceed the cost of paying someone to do the work. Plus, you would still have to pay an Internet provider to host your page. Hire someone to do a proper job.
You could hire someone to provide you with a simple home page for as little as $100 a year. Plenty of amateur page designers are out there. Typically they throw together a very simple site based on a form. They post it on their own web site. This type of advertising is about as effective as placing a poster on someone's refrigerator. Unless someone actually goes into that persons home no one will notice your home page. The Internet is not television, people have to actively search for the information. Unless they know the name of your business, they won't find it.
Searches by topic have almost become impossible. In April of 1996 the word SCUBA generated 60,000 responses. By January 1997, the same search generated 160,000 searches and the number is growing. It doesn't matter what the topic is, the amount of information is growing so fast that a single business has precious little chance of making their web page ever show up in this mess.
Again, the problem becomes very simple. Unless the person knows what they are looking for, they can't find it. If they know about your business already, chances are they are not new customers. So how do you attract new customers who are completely unaware of your business?
The most common mistake is to try and make the web pages so "cool" that everyone wants to visit it. The site becomes filled with pretty pictures, neat graphics, Java apps. but very little information. However, the internet audience is not a TV audience, they are paying for the connection time and they want results. They don't wish to be trapped at the computer waiting 20 minutes for the impressive graphics to download. For you this type of web page would be costly and very likely attract the kind of web surfer who wants to be entertained by 'cool' pages but is not terribly interested in the business being promoted.
Ontario Explorer's approach is to provide a detailed backbone of information to provide a logical link between customer and business. Potential customers are after information; information in large, well-presented, useful quantities. When you join one of my sites you will not only have your own business's advertisement or home page, but a vast support service surrounding it to make your site have a global context. This is not something you could afford individually, but as a shared resource becomes very economical.
This is akin to saying that stores in shopping malls are at a disadvantage because their competitors are across the hall. Shopping centres have killed the downtown cores because of the convenience and variety and numbers they offer. There is a distinct advantage to businesses cooperating for new business rather than competing for existing markets. Your business will stand or fall depending on your service, not on your advertising. What I offer is a way for numerous businesses to harness their advertising dollars together to achieve far more than they could individually. An excellent example of cooperative advertising is the campaigns for milk. No single dairy farmer could possibly afford the cost of the commercials to promote milk sales.
As the pages for each region develop they become progressively more attractive to the potential customer. With each new business that appears on a given page, the customer has more to choose from, and has an easier time planning an excursion to that area, so the potential business for you increases. With individual web pages, the customer base becomes divided among numerous Internet sites.
There are two basic advertising models available: Web Sites and Web Advertisements. The distinction is simple. A web site or page is a separate Internet document that can be treated as a unique creation. It can be accessed independently, or contextually through a site such as Ontario Explorer. A web advertisement is tied into this site and cannot be accessed outside the structure of this site. Your business needs will determine which approach is best for you.
A basic web site can contain up to five photographs and five pages of text. It is listed on the major search engines. It includes a basic classified advertisement [see below]. It is linked into Ontario Explorer's Business Index, and Map Index at the level geographically closest to your business. A map icon appropriate to your business is also placed on the closest map to your business. PRICE: $500/annum
A web advertisement comes in several forms similar to classified ads, or Yellow Pages ads.
|basic classified||Fifty words of text placed in business index of nearest page||$50|
|enhanced classified||One hundred words of text, one photo or graphic||$150|
As with most advertising medium you can choose between a local coverage or much broader. An example, Telephone books cover areas similar to a District within this site. Of course the Internet is a global medium and so all advertisements on this site will have a global audience. Within the structure of this site, however, there are various levels. You can choose to have your advertisement appear at the local level, all the way up to provincial.
The chart below indicates the cost to add a link to your business to each level. The Map Icons that only come with web pages increase significantly in cost because a map has a very finite size and can accommodate a very small number of icons. By the regional level a map icon will cover the area that hundreds of businesses might occupy.
|Local/Area||comes with ad||comes with ad||Video store, Local photographer|
|District||$50/year||$300/year||Large Inn, Hotel, Real Estate Office|
|Regional||$150/year||$800/year||Significant business from outside area, tourism sites, major vacation sites|
|Provincial||$300/year||Please contact||Provincial or national sales/visitation|
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© M. Colautti 1998