LanierrBB.com worthy of listing?

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

Your membership to Pamela Lanier's BBIGI has expired and as of today, we have not received your renewal.

I had them for two years and could not see any benefit whatsoever from being on this B&B directory.  Does anyone actually get some revenue/rooms rented or good referrals  from this directory?

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I had Lanier for a year or 2.  I did not re-up, because I did not feel that the number of referrals were worth the money. 

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Linda
Strawberry Farm B and B
Muscatine,Iowa

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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One caveat about directories in general is that their strength will vary by location so what works in Boulder, Colorado may not work for you.

EXACTLY!

Welcome to the forum Brendan.  I clicked thru to your website - great place. 

briarrosebb's picture
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Lanier has been an excellent directory for us.  In the last twelve months, lanier only trails bedandbreakfast.com and bbonline.com in gross number of referrals and conversions.  Also, lanier's conversion rate is higher than these top 2... i.e., the quality of the referrals is highest among the directories.  Lanier also shows well against other channels... it's more productive than our state B&B association (innsofcolorado.org) and the state tourism agency (colorado.com).  Frankly, I don't understand why this is:  it's not clear to me how they deliver these results and I am sceptical that they can continue this. 

One caveat about directories in general is that their strength will vary by location so what works in Boulder, Colorado may not work for you.

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Warm regards,
Brendan
Boulder Bed and Breakfast

 

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

HI Brendan, and welcome to INNspiring.com   That's very intersting information.  Just two quick questions.  What tracker are you using to track conversion?  What are you counting as a conversion (viewing your availability, making a reservation, viewing more than one page...)?

briarrosebb's picture
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Swirt,

We use Blizzardtracker's "ROI" edition to track conversion.  A conversion is an actual rez on our Rezovation booking engine.  (We also use Google Analytics to track conversions... it does not have quite the same level of granularity.  My perception is that Google Analytics will not find the conversions of prospective guests who book on their second visit to the website through a bookmark or natural google search after they found our name.)  ROI uses Javascript and cookies to keep track of where the prospective guest first found us.

 

swirt's picture
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Thanks.  That's great information.  You are right about Analytics, it is just based on click paths so it will not show a conversion made on direct follow-up visit.  What does Blizzard charge for their ROI edition?

briarrosebb's picture
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Steve, I think we have conversion tracking set up correctly in google analytics ("GA").  And we get no useful information out of GA e-commerce/conversion tracking.  Just to be clear... GA in general is great for understanding where your quality web activity is being directly referred from... it's just that you have no idea what pay-per-click words are causing booking, which natural search expressions are causing booking, which B&B directories provide guests that actually book as opposed to looking carefully, etc.

Since we started GA this spring, we have 38 online bookings tracked:  44% of which are classed as direct, 22% of which are classed as referred from our own website, 22% from one of our competitors, and the remainder from other competitors.  No revenue is tagged to any keywords.  No revenue is tagged to any B&B directory.  What do you think?

swirt's picture
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It sounds to me like you have something amiss in your goal setup.  If you go to the Keywords report in Google and then click the "Goal Conversion" tab you should be able to see the keword phrase used, the number of visits and the conversion percentage as well as the per visit goal value.   It helps to click on the top of the "Visits column" so that you get the most heavilly used keywords first.

The report does lack a little though, because if you sort by Conversion rate for the goal, you get the 100%ers first which are all the 1 click - 1 reservation but they are typically very low traffic phrases. Sorting by pervisit goal value is not much better.  What it really needs is a column that is simply Total Goal value (not per visit) then you could see more.

briarrosebb's picture
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We pay $50/month.  There was also be a setup fee.  By the way, Acorn-IS.com has a similar product which is cheaper.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

That's good info. On my stats for Lanier, they show well in referrals but the bounce rate is very high. I think guests get to my site and say, 'This is not for me,' and leave.

I explained that to the persn who called from Lanier and she said she would rewrite my listing so I got the 'right' traffic. Not sure what that meant. I decided to put that directory money into a listing on another site with a different market.

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Most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes. - Oscar Wilde

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

Lanier is a pronoun so it sounds specific, like the name of a single inn, not a directory of inns.

Oh yes, that has always bothered most of us.  It is an ego thing, like I AM SO WELL KNOWN MY NAME STANDS ON ITS OWN. 

BandB.com wants you to sell GC's - which some innkeepers might find objectionable, but it is not a hard sell, and it benefits all of us in the end (who subscribe to BandB.com).  Not to mention the cost diff in a GC with no expiry date and a bedroom suite. 

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

It does often (but not always) show up well in searches but I think useablilty is partly an issue.

I find it odd the way the site shows some info and then in a different spot shows more.

For example if I navigate in to my region of the state

http://www.lanierbb.com/New_York/_Finger_Lakes/

and then scroll down to a large city, lets say Syracuse  (the list looks like there is a large selection as I am scrolling so I would think it is a list of ALL the B&B's. ) Then I get to Syracuse and see only one B&B listed (Syracuse is a fairly large city...why only one B&B???)  That would leave me thinking either that there are not a lot of B&B's in this city, or this site is not a good resource.  Only if I am smart enough to click on the link to the actual syracuse page, do I get to see that there are 5B&B's  for the city http://www.lanierbb.com/syracuse-new-york-bed-breakfast.html (they are pulled in from nearby regions, but that's not clear either).

What I do like is the compare feature (similar to a lot of shopping sites)  I think that part is great.

It's not a horrible directory, there are worse, that do better.  I think one thing it does suffer from despite showing up well in the search engine results is the address.  It does not give the impression that it is a directory, it looks like a single inn so when it shows up in search results and you are scanning for what seems like the best pick, are you going to pick something with an address like bbonline.com, bedandbreakfast.com or lanierbb.com ?  Lanier is a pronoun so it sounds specific, like the name of a single inn, not a directory of inns.

 

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

sorry to say, i had them for one year only.

using google analytics, i don't see them showing up as where my hits are coming from .... so will not be renewing.

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Is that you????  I have always imagined what you looked like

seashanty's picture
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R U talkin' to me?

 

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05/30/2008

It's her Smiling

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05/22/2008

So much younger than I had imagined

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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05/22/2008

They come up fairly well in searches, that is why I went for the two years to see what would happen.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Ditto...the searches were good but looking at my stats I usually saw the highest bounce rate and the least time spent on site from referrals from Lanier. I dropped them this year.

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05/22/2008

I have never heard anyone have a positive comment about them.

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