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Ice

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What is the real reason to be listed on these directories? Years ago I could understand it, but with the computer now, I'm not so sure. I have been listed with one of the big ones and what they tell me is lots of people are seeing me. but how come it showes no one when to my web site? They are expensive for people just to see my, but without booking I don't think it is worth it. Am I missing something? Do "I" look that bad? Are all directories alike? If you want to know who I am email me and then I'll email you. Would really like some ideals on this. Thanks!!!
 

Morticia

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It really depends on your area. If you are the only game in town, so nothing else shows up in a search for your area but you, you might not 'need' a directory for guests to find you. Something to consider, tho, is the incoming 'link love' from a known directory. Do you have a lot of incoming links from respected sites that are 'related' to your market?
ie- do lots of the local businesses and tourist attractions in your area have links to your place on their sites? You need incoming links that are valid to be sure Google sees you as a valid website for what you claim to be.
In that case, you could just accept that other not-so-hot directories are going to add you for free. But how valuable is their link back to you if no one can find their site?
I hate dropping directories we've been on for years for just the reason of losing that link. But, I'm with you in why join up if I never see any incoming traffic from them? OK, here's a reason...if all the other B&B's in my town are on there, maybe I should be, too, because maybe a guest looks at that directory and then does an individual search on the properties.
What you said- the directory is saying that guests are looking at your listing with them but no one is clicking thru from there to your site? I had that with one directory. I got only a few clicks which were almost immediate bounces. My take on that was that the guests were looking for, or expecting, something completely different from what they found once they got to my site.
If no one is clicking at all, is it really a good directory? Do you have updated pix & text on the directory? Is there an enticing reason on the directory for guests to click thru to your site? Do guests say they found you on the directory, but maybe they just take down the phone number and call? Have YOU tried clicking thru to your site from that directory? Does the link work? Do you show no clicks thru on your own website stats? None at all is really odd, so I'd start with the premise that the link is broken somehow.
I will say that if I was on a directory and no one clicked thru, I'd drop that directory. But only after making sure that my listing was as good as it could be.
 

JBloggs

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There are many trains of thought on this subject.
If you are in a very high touristy area, there are many B&B's and all of them are on these directories then you need to be everywhere they are. Remember a guest planning a trip goes through the planning stages they won't necessarily book the first place they see, so if they see you over and over (that is good marketing) and more likely to book a room with you. "Name recognition or branding" we'll call it.
On the other hand, there are directories that plain don't send you any business, they can have all the bells and whistles and they just don't work for you in your location, for whatever reason. So for this you really do need to test the waters and see which are the best bang for your marketing buck.
Your own website is paramount.
Your own website will be the #1 reason they find you online and if you don't have a decent website, you will lose the guest to the next one that is decent.
  • Large and clear photographs (of everything pertinent to their stay, ie rooms, common areas, breakfast),
  • easy to navigate pages with clear concise information (ie prices and how to book a room easy to find).
  • If you require a guest to email or call they may not book a room (some will, but some definitely will not).
  • If you cancellation policies are too prohibitive, they might not book a room.
  • Some thing very easily overlooked: if the tone of your website is not welcoming then they might not book.
There can be other reasons as well....
  • you do not list your location or proximity on a map or link to maps so they can find out if you are close to where they want to go.
  • you have a silly website with clip art (this puts off B&B guests),
  • you do not provide enough information for them to feel safe in their choice of where they put their money for vacation.
  • Price point? Is it too high or too low (too low can also be a problem).
Lastly, not all B&B's will attract tons of guests, location location location.
Then lay out lay out lay out (or in other words the setting).
Many of us are not in tourist areas and have to fight tooth and nail to drag guests in any way we can. So we blog, we market specials or packages on state websites, directories, any place we can.
You need something on the hook to get their attention and have them book a room. As my Daddy always says "You can't catch any fish without your line in the water!" So get the line OUT THERE and BAIT IT!
I hope this info helps, I am not trying to be a downer, but sounds like you needed some info (even if you have heard all this before). You would be surprised the number of inns who just don't have the basics on their websites and actually frustrate prospective guests and send them away without ever knowing they had a fish nibbling on the bait and they failed to set the hook!
 

paulavery

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All roads lead to Google.
To have your website be considered important you need l^space^inks. Trade them, get listed in directories (although, some directories put nofollow tag on, so the value goes away), get listed in local associations, etc.. And you might just see your website start ranking for KWs related to your B&B.
Paul
 

EmptyNest

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All roads lead to Google.
To have your website be considered important you need l^space^inks. Trade them, get listed in directories (although, some directories put nofollow tag on, so the value goes away), get listed in local associations, etc.. And you might just see your website start ranking for KWs related to your B&B.
Paul.
NO LINK FARMS...PUHLEASE!!! Use Only reputable links.
 

gillumhouse

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There are "scatter gun" directories - bb on line, b and b dot com, i lo ve inns dot com, pill ows & pan ca kes, etc. As has been stated, do a search on terms that would be used by Your demographics and see who come to the top. Pick one or two.
Then there are the "target" directories. They appeal to a target market. I do over night sta bl ing so I also list on several of these directories. the most expensive (and most productive) is $40 per year.
Look at your market and do a google on that activity - you eill find a directory, newsletter or something devoted to that activity. Then ask for a link. Festivals with web site? Ask for link as lodging. Local attractions? Same thing. I had 2 rooms a couple weeks before Mother's Day because I have a link on the site of the Mother's Day House AND before the lady left, she had booked 2 nights over 4th of July for her and her husband to come in on their motorcycle and attend our Community Band Indipendence Concert. Not bad ROI for a free link. (I send guests to her )
The object is to have your site come up any time there is a search on your area - many times, and many more times.
 

wendydk

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We started out paying to be on them all, maybe because our competition is on them all, like JB says. BUT, I have dropped ALL the paid links but the two biggies, and I pay for their top exposure levels....couldn't be happier, and don't care that the other Inns in town are being seen in places I'm not. I really market to a demographic that they don't...and don't want the guests they get anyway.
 

Ice

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Thanks to all who have shared. I would be so lost without all of you. Well I found out that my old website is not connected to my Google Analytics. It just didn't seem right that NO one wasn't going to my website. But we shall see real soon, new site should be live Friday. Thanks again you guys are the best!
 

egoodell

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Thanks to all who have shared. I would be so lost without all of you. Well I found out that my old website is not connected to my Google Analytics. It just didn't seem right that NO one wasn't going to my website. But we shall see real soon, new site should be live Friday. Thanks again you guys are the best!.
I don't know if anyone told you this yet, but what I do is google "my town B&B" and "Mytown bed and breakfast" forwards and backwards and then see what directories come up. BBonline is one of my best referrers and is affordable. I am on bed and breakfast but will probably drop that next year as it's so expensive.
Check your Visitors and Convention Bureau - ours lets us list for free and send us lots as well as our state website. That's money in the bank, not having to pay!
Riki
 

StonehengeBNB

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Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?
 

EmptyNest

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Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?.
As far as free ones go...most are not worth the bother. They don't show up anywhere in searches and are a waste of time. Stick with the big boys. THese are not free, but even the lowest level will get you more than freebies.
Bedand breakfast .com BB online .com etc. Your state association
We have discussed which to list in many times.
Check these out:
http://www.inngenious.com/marketing-advice/bb-directory.htm
https://www.innspiring.com/resources/bb-promotion/bb-directories
Note: Just because they are in the resources area...does not mean they are good

 

egoodell

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Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?.
StonehengeBNB said:
Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?
The best free places for us in Virginia is the State of Virginia website, and for me here in Charlottesville our Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Check yours for Richmond and look at the bottom to see how you can list yourself.
Check your historical websites - here after three years I finally got listed on Monticello's website under their "recommended B&Bs to stay at" which has increase my hits a lot.
You could also go become a member of the Journey through Hallowed Ground even though it ends here in Charlottesville - they are promoting history.
Google "Bed and Breakfast RIchmond" forwards and backwards. See what comes up on the first page. It could be some entity marketing Richmond which allows you to list for free. If not free, it will also show you where to put your money.
We have received hits from Purple Roofs and had some wonderful guests from that directory.
RIki
 

wendydk

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Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?.
StonehengeBNB said:
Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?
I have...see it here...along with the links to follow to add your Inn. A few are Michigan-specific, most are not.
 

EmptyNest

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Wow - that's some list, LB!!.
Yeah that is some list...but which... if any of them ...are worth anything???? Maybe the MI ones are appropriate for you in MI but some of the others???????
 

wendydk

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Wow - that's some list, LB!!.
Yeah that is some list...but which... if any of them ...are worth anything???? Maybe the MI ones are appropriate for you in MI but some of the others???????
.
catlady said:
Yeah that is some list...but which... if any of them ...are worth anything???? Maybe the MI ones are appropriate for you in MI but some of the others???????
Good Lord, CL, you are such a pessimist. Why should a new keeper not take advantage of such things? Might not bring anything, but if it brings a room night or two a year, it's worth the effort to follow the links and add your Inn. Same as any other low cost form of marketing.....it's a matter of spending the time and getting your name out there.
 

EmptyNest

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Wow - that's some list, LB!!.
Yeah that is some list...but which... if any of them ...are worth anything???? Maybe the MI ones are appropriate for you in MI but some of the others???????
.
catlady said:
Yeah that is some list...but which... if any of them ...are worth anything???? Maybe the MI ones are appropriate for you in MI but some of the others???????
Good Lord, CL, you are such a pessimist. Why should a new keeper not take advantage of such things? Might not bring anything, but if it brings a room night or two a year, it's worth the effort to follow the links and add your Inn. Same as any other low cost form of marketing.....it's a matter of spending the time and getting your name out there.
.
Yep...just call me "the glass half empty" lady
Sorry...guess I need to up by anti depressant dosage.
Sorry but looking over those sites, I just don't see how listing on the majority of them would be of any help to someone. List away all you want. I did it way back when..and it didn't get me a thing. IF you had the opposite then good for you.
 

toddburme

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Wow this thread is amazing. Getting to work on it right now. thanks!
 

gillumhouse

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Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?.
StonehengeBNB said:
Has anyone assembled a list of reputable directories which allow at least a basic inn listing for free?
The best free places for us in Virginia is the State of Virginia website, and for me here in Charlottesville our Convention and Visitor's Bureau. Check yours for Richmond and look at the bottom to see how you can list yourself.
Check your historical websites - here after three years I finally got listed on Monticello's website under their "recommended B&Bs to stay at" which has increase my hits a lot.
You could also go become a member of the Journey through Hallowed Ground even though it ends here in Charlottesville - they are promoting history.
Google "Bed and Breakfast RIchmond" forwards and backwards. See what comes up on the first page. It could be some entity marketing Richmond which allows you to list for free. If not free, it will also show you where to put your money.
We have received hits from Purple Roofs and had some wonderful guests from that directory.
RIki
.
While a free listing we had reservations from Purple Roofs - you are correct, really nice people! Then I got a paid listing - zilch! ONLY DO THE FREE listing on Purple Roofs if you city begins with anything other than AA! They will NOT move their paid listings ahead to the free listings - all are according to city in alpha order! Paying just gets you more photos and text - NOT PLACEMENT. Whoopee.
 
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