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Kalispell Business Revenue Climbs From $0 to $30,000 in a Few Months

A Tactical Internet Marketing Plan That Can Be Tailored to Your Business - Cost Effective With A Positive Impact on Company Revenue


Large companies staff entire departments with people charged with implementing and managing their Internet marketing activities. Typically these responsibilities are defined by the skills and experience required in the areas of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, online advertising (Pay-Per-Click or PPC) and of course website design, programming and maintenance.

The size of such departments is dictated by the degree of online activity in which a company is involved. A business such as that is primarily a web-based e-commerce retailer is focused exclusively on Internet sales, and virtually the entire company is involved with the process. In markets where companies serve mainly local customers, the Internet department may consist of a programmer and marketing person where all online activity is managed and shared by these individuals.

Small local businesses seldom have staff dedicated to Internet marketing and this has created a problem that is shared universally with this demographic. They recognize the need, but cannot afford to fund a full-time staff position. Consequently website updates, online social interaction and other Internet-related activities are either neglected or outsourced piecemeal.

Social media involvement has become a requirement to maintain a website’s rank in search results. Additionally, it is an increasingly important channel to connect with existing customers, attract new prospects and monitor competitors.

The following report shows how we helped a small business in the NW Montana tourism industry, Captain Norm's Fish~N~Fun, solve this problem and leverage their website and social media resources to generate revenue and grow their customer base.

The Problem

When the Captain Norm met with the Webunet Group he explained that his website was almost two years old, but that he had never received one phone call or email that he could attribute to his website.

  • Captain Norm’s Fish~N~Fun is a sport fishing charter business in northwest Montana
  • Company provides half or full-day fishing trips on Flathead Lake and Lake Koocanusa
  • A 1/2 day charter costs $350
  • Company domain name was (now forwarding)
  • There was one video on YouTube under a personal account
  • Company had no Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blog or any other online social involvement
  • Marketing effort is targeted to tourists and their business is seasonal

Marketing Assessment

  • had a Google Page Rank of “0”
  • The Alexa rank was 10mm+
  • The domain name was flawed; it had little value for branding
  • It had no leverage in search results
  • There were only “2” backlinks pointing to the website
  • No pages were optimized for search engines
  • Page content was marginal and did not make use of any important keyword phrases to influence search results

Strategy & Tactics

The challenge was to launch a campaign as quickly as possible so that the company could start showing results in search to attract activity from people planning summer vacations. What follows occurred between April. 01, 2012 and July 2012.

New Domain Name:  Because the old website had no search value and utilized no beneficial keywords (“fish” is too broad of a term to have value in this instance), it was recommended that we obtain a new domain name and try to include strong search terms in that name. After researching primary keywords and available domain names, we were able to obtain

If the existing domain had value in that it had Page Rank or numerous (content-related) backlinks we would have opted to capitalize on that reputation, keep the domain and build around it using social sites, backlinks and other resources to strengthen the domain.

Website Management

The customer wanted to be able to edit/manage his website in the future; to upload photos and videos from his charters and to update page information. We recommended WordPress, a user-friendly CMS platform (Content Management System).

  • WordPress is a robust web authoring platform that requires little training
  • The WP community provides wide-ranging support
  • “Plugins” offer capabilities to perform an array of onsite functions

Captain's Blog

A blog is one of the most effective online marketing tools. It can be used to post daily or weekly information, videos, photos, etc. With every update, search engine spiders are summoned to index the new information. We created pages to appear as static web pages and serve as a traditional blog, see blog page at


Channel: As the second-largest search engine, having an optimized presence on YouTube is mandatory, and obtaining a branded channel is crucial. After acquiring the channel, we optimized the channel with a custom branded background and completed the profile to show contact information, company description and website link. The only video (at the time) was under a personal account and it was not optimized and had very few views. We downloaded the video, added new images, background music, text and an intro, optimized the video and uploaded it to the new channel, “FlatheadLakeFishing”.

Example Video

NOTE: The title utilizes four strong keywords. The highlighted terms below are important keywords that help the video rank in search queries.

Video Title: Flathead Lake Fishing Charters with Captain Norm

Video Description: - Fish Flathead Lake on a private charter with Captain Norm and his fleet of fishing boats. The Captain and his crew will show you how to have fun and catch the best fish Flathead Lake has to offer.

The first item in the description field is an active link to the website. Subsequently we added additional videos from recent fishing trips. All videos have been repurposed on Facebook, Pinterest, the blog and other video streaming sites.

Not visible are the “Tags” used to help refine search results such as “Flathead Lake” Fishing “Fishing Charters” “Fishing Guide” etc.


Facebook Page:  A Facebook “Page” (unlike a regular personal page) is a necessity for any Internet marketing exercise because Google indexes Pages. This means that when one mentions a product or service on FB and includes a link to the appropriate page on the website, this creates deep links and helps improve search results. Facebook for local marketing is an exceptional resource. It is easy to seek out local people and companies and become friends and the average FB user has 130 friends. This means that when someone becomes a friend they automatically introduce you to their 130 friends. The viral potential is unlimited. In creating this page, we chose to capitalize on the ‘brand’ name vs. the domain name and used “Captain Norm’s Fish~N~Fun“.



Twitter augments the marketing campaign by using it to post short messages with active links. Adding Twitter to the Facebook account means that all FB posts also appear in the Twitter feed. The plan is to utilize Twitter’s instant messaging capability to alert followers when a vacancy occurs due to a cancellation in addition to regular tweets. Twitter drives traffic and provides backlinks and "SEO juice" to the primary website.

Pinterest A newcomer on the social sharing scene, Pinterest has become the fastest growing social website in history. Pinterest (on average) directs more traffic to a website than Twitter. Pinterest’s strength is in sharing photos and videos, which plays well with Norm’s new practice of taking photos or videos of every new charter. Being able to add links from all ‘Pins’ is an added SEO bonus. Note: When possible we employed related keywords for the branding with all social accounts.

Other SEM Details

There numerous other details involved in onsite and off-site Internet marketing were implemented in this strategy.

  • Google Places and Bing Local are critical in achieving local search results
  • Obtaining backlinks from other local companies and resources
  • Well optimized articles syndicated for distribution
  • Press Released issued on a timely basis
  • SEO best practices to ensure that search engine spiders are instructed correctly


Summary of Project Results

  • The new website,, had achieved a Google Page Rank of “2” in less than 120 days (PR-2)
  • Alexa Traffic Rank – Global 1,053,284 and U.S. 241,577
  • YouTube videos have over 12,000+ views
  • Company blog, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and YouTube are channeling traffic to the website



Most websites strive to reach huge traffic numbers, but that is impractical to expect in a niche as narrow as charter fishing boats in a confined geographic location. Thus, these numbers are not large, but reflect highly-targeted results. According to Google Analytics, in the time frame of April 1, 2012 – August 2, 2012, the company received:


Visits: 2,639 Total number of website visits
Unique Visitors: 2,110 Number of first-time visitors
Page Views: 6,721 Number of pages viewed
Pages/Visit: 2.57 Visitors viewed 2+ pages
Avg. Visit Duration: 02:20 Time on site is very strong, means that content clicked with visitors
New Visitors: 79.35% New visitor numbers remain strong and means that search is performing well
Returning Visitors: 20.61% Means that people returned to get more info.

Bottom Line

Advertising Dollars Spent: $0.00 All traffic results from SEO and social activity
Number of charters booked: 85 Many more calls received, dates not confirmed so not included as booked charters
Revenue: $29,750.00 As of 8/01/12

Summary: The company’s old website produced no inquiries and no bookings. Visitors to the new website remain on site for an extended period of time; view multiple pages and 21% of the visitors return for additional information. In a few short months, this Internet marketing campaign produced 85+ charters for $29,750.00 in new revenue.


“Tom Heatherington has done a great job creating a new website for Captain Norm’s Fish-N-Fun. We have booked more charters in April and May than my previous 5 years combined for the same time. I have recommended him to several of my associates to improve their websites. I would be glad to chat with anyone that is interested in hiring Tom’s company and wants to know about his expertise”. ~ Captain Norm Brewer

Flathead Guide Follow-upLearn how a listing in the Flathead Guide can help you get more customers

When the Flathead Guide (Flathead Valley Business Directory™) was launched in December of 2012, Captain Norm was one of the first companies to sign-up. In 2013, Norm could attribute at least four fishing charter bookings from his Flathead Guide listing because he asks all customers how they found his business. Take the first step in improving your marketing, add your business to the Flathead Guide, get all the details here and discover all the benefits of being included in the official Flathead Valley Business Directory™!


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