Local Journalism Initiative
MRC Pontiac – In an era dominated by digital interactions, cultivating a robust online identity is critical, particularly for entities dedicated to promoting tourism, such as the Pontiac Tourism Association (ATP). A recent collaboration with Calumet Media, through funding from the MRC, aims to tap into the agency’s content creation and digital marketing, ultimately heightening the visibility of the Pontiac region on Google’s search engine to attract more visitors.
“Long before packing their bags or buying a plane ticket, tourists nowadays start their research about potential destinations online. This makes it important for organizations like ATP to not only have a robust, comprehensive website that exemplifies the region but to also make it highly discoverable through search engines like Google and Bing,” said Jon Stewart, owner of Calumet Media.
By optimizing their website content with pertinent keywords and search phrases (Search Engine Optimization or SEO), the Association plans to increase their search rankings, steer more traffic to their platform, and attract more potential tourists.
According to Stewart, “As a non-profit organization, the ATP’s mandate is to promote local businesses within the tourism and hospitality industry; this project is designed to increase the number of tourists visiting the Pontiac through improved visibility and better story-telling. These tourists spend money through purchases for accommodation, food, and entertainment which are a vital part of the economy of the region.”
With the improvements planned for the ATP website, www.explorepontiac.ca, there is also the possibility of off-setting the cost of online ad placements for members through a Google Ad Grant, which encourages non-profit associations. For example, if ads from members meet certain criteria and rank highly when generic searches are used (examples: accommodation, adventure, hunting and fishing etc) the cost will be covered by the Google Ad Grant. This grant has a potential of generating as much as $10,000 in free online advertising per month for ATP members.
Stewart explained that the ATP has used the grant with some success in the past, but hopes to increase the benefit for members with the planned improvements to the website, creating an immersive and informative experience to highlight the many attractions and rich culture that Pontiac has to offer.