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Ocean City Tourism Commission Looking to Improve Online Presence

Webpage FX representative Xander Becket made a presentation to the commission Thursday morning.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Since the city partnered with Webpage FX in 2009, traffic to oceancityvacation.com’s traffic has increased significantly.

On Thursday, company spokesman Xander Becket introduced some ideas to help improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the website.

Some of the new initiatives he proposed to the Tourism Commission, a public body funded through mercantile fees, included the possibility of joining Pinterest and Instagram, and setting up live chats with representatives at the Visitors Center.

He also suggested the use of infographics and continuing to link out to other businesses to help maintain its position in Google searches.

According to Michael Allegretto, the council representative on the commission, the website’s position in Google searches has improved since the city partnered with Webpage FX.

“Our placement improved,” Allegretto said. “We used to be on the third page of listings, and now we’re on the first page.”

The company helped the city target people using variations of search terms such as “Jersey Shore vacation.” It is the No. 1 site that appears when searching specifically for Ocean City vacations, superseding the city’s government website, and the No. 2 site when searching for Ocean City in general.

In order to maintain that standing, the city needs to continue to invest in SEO.

“Our suggestions are based on things recommended by our other clients,” said Becket, whose company has over 50 clients. “Our goal is to increase eyeballs, and once they’re there, get them to like the Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and find ways to market to those people to keep them interested in coming back.”

Becket said the cost to the city would depend on exactly what they wanted to do.

That decision may be among many made next week when the commission convenes to discuss its budget for the year. That budget includes advertising.

On Thursday, the commission voted to purchase eight half page color advertisements in the Philadelphia Inquirer and on Philly.com at a discounted rate of $15,000.

The ads could change on a weekly basis, and don’t necessarily have to run consecutively. More ads can be purchased at a later date, but the commission wanted to approve the purchase Thursday in order to take advantage of the discounted rate.

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