Best practices, search engine optimization techniques, and online marketing have evolved greatly over the past 20 years.   The launch of Netscape Navigator in 1993 was the beginning of the modern day browsing of the world wide web and created the foundation for how consumers conduct research.  Shortly after the launch of Netscape Navigator, came the launch of Yahoo’s Directory, which was the first opportunity for on-page search engine optimization.

When search engine optimization first launched, the process was difficult and time consuming.  Each search engine had algorithms with unique requirements and specifications.  This meant that pages had to be developed with specific coding to meet the needs of each individual search engine, including Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite, Yahoo and others, to name a few.  Additionally each page had to be submitted individually for indexing.

Along with the launches of Internet Explorer in 1995 and Google in 1998, was the advancement of search engine optimization for the Vacation Rental Industry.  Paul Herman has changed the way that Vacation Rental Websites were showcased.  Very few companies had the programming, design, development and experience to carry out this endeavor, making Visual Data Systems the only marketer in the Vacation Rental Industry with the internal expertise to carry out this function from start to finish.

Pay Per Click Beginnings

In 2001, Visual Data Systems began conducting paid advertising on behalf of client by using paid advertising startups Go Toast and (later Overture, now part of Yahoo's Paid Search platform).  During this time, paid advertising was cutting edge and only used by just a handful of vacation rental clients.  Today, pay per click advertising is one of the most popular and widely used tactics to draw people to a web site.

Online Linking Strategies

Search engine optimization had again changed in 2001 when the focus became on incorporating inbound links to a web site.  During this time, the idea was to create partnerships and referral submissions to drive traffic to a site.  This practices carries over to modern search engine optimization with offsite strategies that use public relations tactics to facilitate this practice.

Traffic and Site Measurement and Analytics

First renditions of reporting included page visits, web rankings, inbound links, link submissions as well as link popularity.  This later evolved to include information through Google Analytics about site usage, visitor experience and more.  Today, Enhanced Clients receive reports with heat maps, exact clicks on links, scroll maps and much more, which helps guide messaging, future designs and customer experience on a particular web site.

Best Practices

For the past 20 years, Visual Data Systems has been a pioneer, innovator and leader in best practices for web site development, design, marketing, and paid advertising.  Throughout the years, we have adapted to the changing needs in web site promotion and have firmly established our presence as the largest and most experienced partner in the Vacation Rental Industry.  We ensure that our consultants and staff receive continuous training, attending multiple conferences and certification classes annually. Our goal is to be able to provide our clients with the most current and relevant strategy while always maintaining best practices.   This ensures that our clients are prepared for upcoming changes in online marketing. 

For more information about Online Marketing, please contact Visual Data Systems:

Phone: 410-964-8665