You’re working on your new hunting guide website but what exactly do you need to post online?
The first thing you need to determine is the purpose.
What do you want to accomplish and how can you stand out from every other hunting guide website out there?
If you are a hunting guide or outfitter you most likely want to book more hunts. It’s as simple as that. You want to give them all of the information they will need to make the decision to go with you and you also want to get them excited to go with you.
The second thing you need to know is your audience. If you’ve been in business for a while you already know who your typical hunting client is, so you tailor your website content to that person. Choose photos, graphics and colors that will appeal to them. Find out what excites them and play to that.
When you talk to potential hunters they usually ask the same types of questions. Use these questions to build the content for your website. The idea is to answer as many questions up front before the client even contacts you.
Below are the most common topics potential hunters ask about. This info has been gleaned from several years of inquiries on several different hunting guide websites.
Rates and Availability
If you can post your open dates up front on the website, you will save yourself a lot of time emailing people back asking about availability. You don’t need a fancy booking system, just a list of openings is all you need.
Rates change from year to year so don’t forget to update your website before anything else
Hunting regulations can be complicated and confusing with different hunting units, bag limits, preference points, etc. The list goes on and on and your potential clients need your guidance. Spend an hour and do some research on the current regulations that will apply to the hunts you are guiding. Post links directly to the relevant pages on state websites so people don’t have to search around for rules and regulations. Make your website as helpful as possible to hunters.
Chances are good that you’re guests will be traveling to hunt with you. If you offer accommodations, give every detail you can think of with pictures and video if you can. You don’t want your guests to be unpleasantly surprised after they arrive.
If you don’t have a place for your hunters to stay, give them some options. Again, be as helpful as possible. Link directly to hotel websites. Do the research for them.
There is a growing market for handicapped hunters. If you can accommodate hunters with disabilities, dedicate a page on your website for this information.
Many states have given special hunting and fishing privileges to veterans and active duty service members. If you offer veteran discounts, make that known on your website.
A surprising number of inquiries to hunting guides are for gifts. A hunting trip makes a great anniversary, birthday, or retirement gift. I see a big opportunity to offer gift certificates for hunts that people can
Are you hiring
Hunting for a living is the ultimate dream job for a lot of guys and you will have people asking for a spot on your team.
Will you send me a brochure?
This one baffles me especially on websites with great content but people still want to look at a brochure.
Price for hunter and non-hunting companion
A lot of people want to know if it’s ok to tag along with the hunter. They’re not going to hunt, they just want to be there for the experience and share the excitement. This typically goes along with the gift hunt question.
Will I kill something on this trip? A guided hunt is not cheap and it is a big time investment as well. They want to know if it is going to be worth it before they make that purchase. If your clients have only been 95% successful, be honest about it and explain what happened with the other 5%. If you have given every one of your clients an opportunity to kill an animal, make that clear.
What to bring
Most of your hunters will probably be coming from out of town so they will need to know what to pack. This will all depend on what you provide on your trips so come up with a list of items that they will want to bring along and then post that list on your site. Some guys have never hunted before and have no idea where to even start packing so make it easy for them.
This can also be a good way to make a little bit of cash from your website with affiliate links to products you recommend. Every time someone buys a product using your link, you get a commission.
You probably won’t want to post GPS coordinates of exactly where you hunt but you should post general maps of the units you will be taking clients. Be vague on the location but describe the geography and terrain so hunters know what to expect.
A lot of DIY hunters try to figure out where the animals are by shadowing guides. One of my clients actually removed the signage from his horse trailer because other hunters were following him into the hills trying to find the elk.
I would post pictures of the land but maybe not the exact spots you will actually use. This will help your clients prepare and get them excited for the hunt without giving anything away.
So what else does the site need?
- Plenty of photos – If there is one area you should spend money, it’s on photography. Great photos of your hunts, the animals you are guiding for, your equipment, your staff, will set you apart from the competition who is still taking pictures with the little point and shoot camera.
- An easy way to contact you – Don’t hide your contact info. Give people multiple ways to contact you directly via email, phone, text or social media.
- Social Media Links – Post links to all of your social media outlets on every page of your site. Put them in the header or footer. The last thing you want is for people to search for your Facebook page on Google…because they probably won’t even bother.
- Links to relevant info – If people are coming from out of the area you should be helping them out by listing the things they need to know. Airports, grocery stores, restaurants, sporting goods stores…put yourself in their shoes and make their trip planning a breeze.
Do the research for them, lay it all out from start to finish and get them excited to hunt with you. When they do contact you, it will be easy to book the hunt.