BedandBreakfast.com lack of presence in Google for our area

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

The other thread was quite lengthy and this is a new day...so here is a new thread.

I have ZERO referrals for the first week of June from BandB.com in my livestats report from our website.  All the other regulars are showing up, google, bbonline, iloveinns, etc etc.

I just went into google and did some basic searches that I would think guests would do.

bed and breakfast virginia and similar

I looked at two pages on google for every search term/phrase and gave up (like a guest would, as they would click within the first page or two at the most).

I realize all the marketing BandB.com do, I realize the promotions, the review cards, the gift cards they sell.  But dang it if it ain't comin this way! 

I am considering dropping them.  I have been a faithful member for 5 years as owner here, and the prev owners before me.  I just can't see ANY BANG FOR MY BUCK!  I brought it to their attention and was told "we never said we guaranteed placement in google for you" and basically suck it up or get lost.  I gave them a couple months to sort it out and show up again for VIRGINIA.

Innkeepers if you are in Virginia, and on this directory, you might want to do some searches yourself to verify what I am saying.

$349 might not be alot ot them, but it is to me.  Any advice?  I can almost guarantee the click through's below were me, or when we were looking into this two months ago - from then.

 

Click-throughs to
Inn's home page from:
Today Yesterday Month
to date
Last
month
Year
to date
Last
year
Member Listing 0 1 2 38 205 538
Featured Property 0 0 0 0 0 0
Availability Calendar 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 1 2 38 205 538

__________________

"What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." Will Rogers

 

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06/25/2008

Hi JBJ,

I went in and did some digging into your numbers.  I'm not sure if you want me to post actual numbers here in the forum, but let me make a few comments:

1) We switched to direct links to all property websites in Feb and March, and we changed the way we track data.

2) We now track using java code - both our own, and Google Analytics.  So when we report views/clicks - we are actually using numbers that match Google's own measures.  This does a much better job at filtering out bots and non-human traffic overall.  It actually should under-report traffic since anyone who does not take a cookie cannot be reported on.  That number is estimated at 10-20% from what I have seen.

3) Since we made this change to our tracking, the number of clicks we are reporting dropped between 5-15% or so per property since we filtering a lot better.

4) Even considering this, in June we sent you more traffic year-over-year already (still a few days to go), and in May we sent you two less users year over year.  March was 4 less users, and April was quite a bit lower at 14 users. 

In any case though, it seems that we are continuing to send you similar numbers of users year over year.  I'm happy to dig deeper into these as well,

JB

__________________

John Banczak
Owner
Inn Above Onion Creek

 

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

All good and valid points.

No, not in my top ten referrer anymore.  I will give it a month or so and track this.  By their OWN click thru #'s we are not receiving many.

I agree being seen on one and all is important.  Also being able to take GC's is important, esp if someone searches specifically for inns who accept them, versus just searching a spec area -- ie they are ALREADY on BandB.com versus just looking for a B&B in our state.

Thanks all.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

The other reason I write the tear-stained check is the Publicity Leads on that Directory. That is where I found a lead that I had forwarded to ITS that I hope worked for her and how I linked up with the Rachael article.

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Am I incorrect or are you basing everything on that one key phrase?

People find me on all sorts of key words and phrases and most of my Bandb.com hits do not show any key word(s) searched on. They are finding me - that is the fist requirement - to be found! They often come back for a second look, from the same directory or another. I think they look to see if you are listed on several Directories because you must be good if they all list you. I am not sure many of the guests even realize that we PAY to be on these Directories. As long as they continue to be consistently in my top 10 referrers, as much as I hate it, I will continue to send in my tear-stained check.

 

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Joined:
05/30/2008

Well, you know what the guys at B&B.com always say... if it isn't paying for itself, don't buy it. If it IS paying for itself, just suck it up and write the cheque. Sad

As you know, I don't like B&B.com. I find it bizarre that a company that services the hospitality industry can be so backwards when it comes to customer service. But that's not a good enough reason to drop them if it's working.

Here's a third option for you. Down-grade to their linkless option. I know it goes against EVERY fiber in your being to pay for a listing without a link, but wouldn't this let you still participate in their GC program? If you do this, make the very first line of your description "Visit our website at www....". It's more work for the potential guest to copy and past the URL, but I do this sometimes even with linked directories. Some people have to be hit on the head with your website to know you actually have one, even when there is a live link.

Just another option.

YellowSocks's picture
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05/22/2008

I'm really thinking of going this route...

=)  Kk.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

I have to agree about the live link to the website. The number of guests who call while looking at a directory listing and tell me they are looking at MY website is enormous. They really do NOT see the link, even when it says 'click here to view the inn's website'.

My feelings on directories are that I want to be listed where the competition is so that I am in every guest's face as much as my comp. They need to see me everytime they see the other guys (up to a point, I don't list everywhere, but I go with the majors).

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

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05/22/2008

I never joined them because I just didn't see the need. I was doing fine without them and being small, I didn't want to spend that much money.  The rest of my directories did just fine for me. But as SWIRT says, it has to be your call. 

Do you ask guests how they found you? Do you specifically ask if they used BedandBreakfast.com???  I would put much more into that answer than in the fact that they don't show up when doing a VA B & B search on Google.  If none of my booking guests ever told me they found me there, then I would be going.

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

I can't address whether you should or shouldn't let them go.  That has to be your call based on your numbers and how they compare to the other sites you are using.

What I do know (and am only comfortable commenting a little on) is that they hired at least one SEO to consult on the problem.  Some suggestions were taken, and some have not been implemented yet.  I am certain they are actively trying to solve whatever the issue is.  It is also quite possible it is not their issue at all.  It is my opinion that Google bears some responsiblity in this too.  There really is not much of a reason why that page is not among the top 10 for the search you mentioned.

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