In previous years, managing the marketing for a taxi business was based around a number of basic but well proven techniques which did not rely on anything associated with online taxi bookings. Instead the marketing strategy often centered around the following:
Careful choice of an easy to remember local phone number
Card drops to your local neighborhood
Posters in areas of special interest stations, supermarkets, and late night venues
Advertising on the cars themselves with your local phone number
Paying for a Yellow Pages listing
Word of mouth and local reputation for reliability
Much of these techniques have been well used and will over time yield results. It is for this reason that I will not state hear that any of them will do your taxi business any harm – indeed, many taxi companies are still using these techniques today!
In spite of this, customers and businesses are now sourcing goods and services using a modern phenomenon – the internet. Since 2000’s, the internet has revolutionized the way in which we all search for and buy goods and services. The selection and purchase of taxi services is no different though it would be fair to say that even in 2012 the taxi and private hire sector has been slow in taking full advantage.
A lot of taxi and private hire companies seem very entrenched into the old methods of advertising their local businesses. As we have said, that in itself is not a bad thing but the fact that so many people nowadays use “Google” to search for local good and services it does appear that many are now losing business, a poor commercial decision.
Having a presence online is not something that any taxi or private hire business should be scared off – yes it is new, it is fast moving but above all else it will secure your business more taxi work! But just having a low quality, DIY static website is not enough in 2012. Following on from all of those older methods of local advertising, your web offer needs to engage your customers, offer complete clarity about you and your business, and enable the customer to “interact”.
The online world interacts with customers in a different, more sophisticated way. Online customers expect information, they want to see what services you can provide, what your contact details are and above all else they want to be convinced that you can meet their demands.With so much information available, customers will not only ne seeing your offer, but that of your competitors too, and so your “offer” needs to be extra special!
A taxi website seeking online taxi bookings must therefore provide the following:
Clear website title with phone number
Easy to use and simple navigation [services, car types, contact us,fares etc]
400-500 word description about your business, the local area with perhaps local links and numbers that will provide your web users a more useful experience.
A quotation and booking engine ie fare calculation system and payment integrations that will enable your taxi business to truly interact with your customers 24/7.
General inquiry form
In addition to a great looking and well functioning website, your site must be capable of being found on the world wide web. Similar to the principal of having a good, easy to remember phone number or being found high up in the Yellow Pages listings, your taxi website must be found on the major search engines. Your site must therefore be found on the front page of Google – no compromise! This is where your search engine optimization comes into its own – both on site and off it.
Understanding how to secure your taxi business more online taxi business takes application, time, understanding and resources. It doesn’t cost a fortune to do but you will need to understand the basics to ensure that whatever investment you make online you are able to see a return on that investment.
Shrewd taxi operators have for some time understood that the Yellow Pages is fast being replaced by search engines like Google as a way for local customers to source local goods and services. Being #1 therefore on Google or Yahoo for your local town or city would guarantee you more online bookings – guaranteed!
Don’t have a clue where to start on how to secure more online taxi bookings? Don’t worry, there are many web designers out there who can assist. One suggestion however would be to visit Taxi Web Design. We not only assist taxi and trade companies worldwide on improving their web presence with great looking sites, they also offer expert advice on all matters relating to search engine optimization too.
Securing online taxi bookings is similar to the old way in which you and others would have sourced customers – as long as you remember this then the processes that can be employed to assist your business will seem far more straight forward! Embrace the internet and it will help your business.