The Role of Internet and SEO in Branding Destinations: Case of Albania as a New Destination in Balkans
AbstractThe Development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has recently been changing almost every aspect of society and economy. Within the new technologies, Internet with has impacted the interactivity between people and the variety of products and brands. When the discussion is not simply about a common product/service, but about a tourist destination, the concepts of marketing and ICTs are even more intertwined. An important aspect of tourist destination marketing is its branding. Destination Branding concept is very important because it make possible for a destination to differentiate from competitors through an unique name and identification in the perception that the target market will have. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact that Internet has in destination branding, especially for relatively new destinations. The role of Internet is present through a variety of tools, such as web-sites, e-mail, social networks, blogging etc. We will bring the Albanian Case as a new destination to illustrate how the use of Internet and its related tools has helped in constructing a good brand image. Nowadays people find themselves firstly searching for information online about the destinations they want to visit, through Internet and the various platforms, so they are becoming very important as means for branding a destination. Many Internet elements can make a difference in branding if included as needed in the e-marketing strategy of companies that are making the important work about destination branding. The most important elements that have a positive impact in Albania, are content and keywords of Websites and a good level of sharing with social media. While there is much more to do with forms such as blogging, very important tools in SEO and the use of the right elements to raise brand awareness and differentiation.
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