Kayak Adventures Worldwide Seward, Alaska
Kayak Adventures Worldwide
“We get an amazing amount of guests from just online in general.”Trent Gould, OwnerKayak Adventures Worldwide has 4 employees, plus 10 seasonal guides.link www.kayakak.comFounded in 1983, Kayak Adventures Worldwide provides educational and environmentally friendly sea kayaking tours of Resurrection Bay and the Kenai Fjords National Park in southern Alaska. Trent Gould took over from the previous owners in 2014, after working for them for two years as a guide and manager. With many competing kayaking companies in the Seward area, he wanted to do more than simply escort customers out onto the water. He also wanted to connect them to the environment. “We hold the key to something really special. I can make a difference in this world by getting people outside.”
Nearly all of Kayak Adventures’ customers find them through the Internet, so Trent turns to Google products to optimize their online presence. Google Search Console helps him monitor the website in search results and Google Analytics gives him insight into how visitors are interacting with the site. When Google Analytics showed that he was losing one-third of potential visitors to his site because it wasn’t mobile-optimized, he created a mobile-friendly site and saw his bounce rate drop significantly. “With these tools I can really get a sense of how the business is doing and what's going on,” Trent says. “I can make sure that our website is giving our clients the information that they need.” He also depends on his Google My Business listing to allow guests to easily read reviews, get directions, and view photos. He uses YouTube videos to illustrate the beauty of their tours. And Gmail makes it easy for him to respond to an email from anywhere.
“As a small business owner, time is really important to me,” he says. “There are so many things to do, it’s easy to lose track. Google makes it really easy.” Making it easier for Trent to run his business means he can spend more time making a positive impact and doing the things he loves. “We hope our guests go back home, wherever they're from, and continue to play outside and build this relationship with our environment. We want to reclaim an active stewardship, and take really good care of the environment.”Kayak Adventures Worldwide has 4 employees, plus 10 seasonal guides.link www.kayakak.com
K2 Aviation Talkeetna, Alaska
“Our website is extremely important, along with our social media. If we can make connections and build relationships, people not only return, they send friends and family our way.”Cole Ouellette, Sales & Marketing Director55 employees in peak seasonlink www.flyk2.comFor Stephanie Smothers and Cole Ouellette, working for K2 Aviation, a family-owned “flightseeing” business, isn’t about selling—it’s about sharing. “I’m sharing photos, telling stories, and talking about the grown man who came off a glacier crying because it was a really incredible experience for him,” Cole says. This mindset isn’t the only thing that makes K2 unique. “Talkeetna is the gateway to Denali National Park and Mt. McKinley,” Stephanie explains. “It’s the only village accessible by road, so it’s really attractive for tourists and mountain climbers to come see our town. And we’re happy to share that with them.” K2 Aviation was founded in 1992 and purchased in 1996 by the Rust family, who’ve been flying Alaska's back country since 1963. They have a major presence in the Alaskan skies, and a growing presence on the web.
K2 uses AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to get their name out and drive visitors to their website. They’ve also begun using Google+ and YouTube. “People really like to have a connection with the places they’re going,” Cole says. It used to be all through word of mouth, but now these connections happen online. “Our website is extremely important, along with our social media. If we can make connections and build relationships, people not only return, they send friends and family our way,” says Cole. Stephanie adds, “Besides being able to reach so many more people, our online presence extends the experience for them, both before and after their flight. That has a huge impact as well.”
The horizon looks bright. “We’re starting to see a younger, more active generation,” Cole reports, which means more opportunities for growth. Building K2’s online presence will be key in harnessing these opportunities, and they’ve hired a marketing coordinator to do it. “Our goal is to be the first company listed any time someone searches for air taxis, sightseeing, aviation, or the town of Talkeetna in general,” says Cole. “We will take it to a new level online, knowing that’s where we’re going to get the widest reach.”55 employees in peak seasonlink www.flyk2.com