We originally owned a petting zoo in Clacton between 2009 and 2015. The ‘Things to do in’ idea came about when I asked all customers who attended how they heard about it as we wanted to know which form of advertising was working the best. I found that customers had seen the board outside, previously attended the zoo, were local residents or the zoo had been recommended to customers. Over the years, the majority of customers said they had found it on the internet.
The Zoo monitored this feedback for three years! During this time we tried local radio adverts and maps around the town but neither of these options seemed to work.
At the beginning of 2014 we started asking all customers who said they have found the zoo via the internet if they could remember their search terms and to our surprise, around 90% of customers would say they typed in ‘things to do in Clacton’. We decided to investigate. When I did this for myself, I found that we were on Google and TripAdvisor under the categories of days out or children’s activities.
There wasn’t a ‘things to do in Clacton’ website so I thought it was a fantastic idea and we decided to buy the domain which then led to branching out to multiple locations across the UK.
The original idea was to start out as an attraction based business however due to rapid success, Things to do in has evolved into an online business advertising directory with the main reason being they had over one hundred and thirty page one Google search terms just in Clacton alone!
Things to do in want to offer customers a one stop shop for online advertising at a very affordable rate as well as a link to their website, a purpose built microsite including a Google map and regular updates of businesses on Things to do in social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter.
Apart from having thousands of businesses on Things to do in, we also have thousands of unique visitors per week to the sites. My whole team believe it’s a win win situation!