We have spent the last few years writing about our travels in Ecuador and other Andean nations. We still have a ton to write! While you’re waiting to read more about our own personal experiences, we know you sometimes just want the facts. Therefore, we are hosting a new place directory where Not Your Average Americans (yes, that’s you!) can help us post more information about neat places to visit. Any member can add a new listing to the directory. If you happen to be the owner or manager of the location, you can manage the listing long term. If you’re not and just want to add a new place, that’s okay too… we’ll let the people in charge know that a new listing has been added for them. They can manage it or not, as they like. 

Before you get started adding a new place listing, you will want to open the “Add Place” form. That way, you can follow along as we describe each section.

Create an Informative Place Listing

To create an engaging and useful place listing on Not Your Average American, we recommend a few suggestions. These listings are for tourists who may not be traveling with a guide or tour group. Please take that into account when writing the description. Also, don’t guess when adding information. If you don’t know something, skip the section and leave it blank. Someone else can fill it in at a later date.

Write Your Listing in Your Native Language

We have made it possible for members to submit listings in either English or Spanish. Since it is easier to write in our native language, we recommend sticking with it! I will say that I have an easier time translating posts from Spanish to English. However, we are hiring people to help us fine tune our English to Spanish translations. Furthermore, we do provide instructions on how to duplicate and translate your listing into the alternate language.

If you’re reading this article in Spanish, all links will take you to the Spanish-language forms. If you’re reading this article in English, all links will take you to the English-language forms (though you may see many of the words in Spanish as the new directory system auto-translates some fields based on your browser settings).

Let’s tackle the fields on the form one by one.

Place Name

For the most part, enter names in the language that you are writing. However, there are several destinations that will only ever be known by their Spanish name. For example, The Teleferico, The Panecillo, and the Compañia de Jesus. In English, we will use the word “the” in these situations. But for other locations like National Parks, use the English Translation. For example, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve make more sense to English readers than Reserva de Producción de Fauna Cuyabeno. If in doubt, feel free to make an educated guess. We can always edit the place name at a later date!

Categories

We have divided places into a few helpful categories.

  • Archaeology Site
  • Art Gallery
  • Attraction
  • Church
  • Museum
  • National Park or Reserve
  • Regional Park or Reserve

You may select more than one category. Only one choice can be the main category and will be marked by a blue circle. However, all marked categories will appear on the listing.

If you would like us to add a category, please contact us.

Place Description

This portion provides plenty of space to describe a place. We recommend three sections.

  1. The first section should provide an introduction to the location. This might be one or two simple sentences.
  2. The second section should include reasons to visit this place. This might become two or three paragraphs if the place has a lot to see. Focus on what a tourist can see without a guide. You may want to add a final paragraph explaining guide-only options like special access to the church domes, for example.
  3. The third section should include the easiest ways to get to this location. In Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil, this might simply be a busline or using a local taxi. But in rural areas, the instructions might include arriving to a local town to hire a local taxi or to hike.

If you would like to see an example of a place listing, check out this listing about the Guagua Pichincha Refuge.

If you are the owner of this destination, you may want to take into account key words. These are words that people might enter into a search engine. You want those individuals to find this listing advertising your destination.

Formatting The Description

You have direct access to the advanced editor in fields that require text. The advanced editor is an important tool to help make your place listing easier to read. While the advanced editor looks complicated, it is actually fairly simple to use.

First, you will want to click on the Visual Tab. Unless you are familiar with html code, you will not want to write in text.

Click on the word visual to switch to the visual editor.

When you look at any of our articles on Not Your Average American, you will notice that sets of paragraphs are organized under headings. Every post and listing has a main title. It is always coded as Heading 1. There should only be one Heading 1 per post or publication. Therefore, when you are adding headings to your description, DO NOT USE Heading 1. 

 Also, there should only be one Heading 2 per post or listing. The first heading you use in your listing should be a Heading 2. After that, only use Heading 3. 

Click here to change your heading from Paragraph to Heading 2 or Heading 3
Heading 3 can be used multiple times.

Now let’s tell you how this works in practice. Go ahead and write the place description. The first paragraph does not need a heading. Think of it as an introductory paragraph.

The example below is from our guide listing but the process is the same. For each section, choose a title and type it above that section. Select the title words and navigate to the Paragraph Menu. When it drops down, select a Heading. For your first heading, you may choose Heading 2. Every heading after that should be a Heading 3.

How to add a heading to your story.

Let’s repeat a little information. It is important to understand that this formatting not only looks pretty but is essential to telling Google and other search engines what information is important on this page. Google searches for one Heading 1, one Heading 2, and multiple Heading 3. If you have multiple Heading 1, Google grades the page lower. If you have multiple Heading 2, Google grades the page lower. You can have as many Heading 3 as you like and it will not adversely effect the page’s Google ranking.

Here is a visual explanation of what headings might look like in practice:

An example of how headings should be used in a listing

Images

Images are very important on today’s websites. Use photos that are well-lit, sharply focused, and nicely cropped. If you would like to learn how to take better photos using your phone’s camera, check out this article in English: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/good-pictures-phone-tips

Or this article in Spanish: https://mott.pe/noticias/10-trucos-para-saber-como-tomar-fotos-profesionales-con-el-celular/

You will be able to load as many photos as you like on this listing. We recommend 5 to 10 quality photos. Better to have only three quality photos than 10 bad ones.

After loading your photos you may change their order. The first photo will be the featured photo. Please choose a featured photo that represents this place.

Add Image Title and Subtitle

Also, after adding photos, we suggest adding a title and subtitle. Scroll over the photo and click on the edit button. This will open a window where you can add the title and subtitle.

Scroll over the photo and click on the edit button to add title and subtitle.

By adding this information, you will be improving the listings ability to rank well on Google and other search engines. The best titles and subtitles include the name of the location as well as the city and country. Use the subtitle to add the photographer’s name. If you are not the photographer, it is your responsibility to obtain permission to use their photo. We will delete photos that do not include the name of the photographer.

Add complete titles and subtitles to rank well on Google

Tags

Tags are another tool to help a place listing rank well on search engines. It helps make the listing easier to find. Choose a few keywords that describe the location. For a national park with easy to see animals, I would use “wildlife” or “birdwatching” as a tag. For an archaeology site, I might include “inca” or “cañari” or “outdoor museum”. Three to five tags are sufficient.

After you type in a key word or very short phrase, add a comma. That tells the computer to enter the new tag.

Address

Enter the address of the location. You can also move the marker on the map to set the address. Then the fields for Region, City, and Address Latitude and Longitud will autofill. Regions in Ecuador are the province names. Post codes are not required. And it is perfectly acceptable to keep the Map View on Default. The only times we recommend changing that are for remote locations with roads that are not on the traditional Google Map. Sometimes it is easier to see a road via Satellite map.

Business Hours

If you kow the business hours of the location, feel free to enter them. This is not a required field. If you chose to enter them, the timezone will either be Guayaquil UTC-5 (mainland Ecuador) or Galapagos UTC-6.

Contact Info

Fill in as many of the contact information fields as appropriate for the destination. Many destinations will have no contact information. We do not want to put the information for a single guide or a tour agency for a destination. There are other listings for that information.

Contact – Video

Video is listed with other social media links. However, on the final listing, it will appear under “More Info”.

If this destination has a video that would be good to share, add the html source code in this box. (i.e. <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/awdTzE_SwHs” frameborder=”0″></iframe>).

Claim Listing

The last question is pretty self-explanatory. If you are not the owner or manager of the destination, please do not claim the listing. We really appreciate the time you took to add this listing to our directory! Thank you!

Final Note

Don’t worry about making a mistake. We can always come back and edit this listing. If you would like edit it after the fact, navigate to Profile > Listings. On the listing you would like to edit, click on the three dots and choose “Edit.” 

In closing, we want you to know that we are here to help. If placing a listing feels overwhelming, let us know! If Angie’s Spanish isn’t up to the task, we can make sure that a native Spanish-speaker can take you through the process step-by-step. Send us a note to let us know what kind of help you need.

Esta publicación está disponible en: Español