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Directory Debate Continued- Should we renew?

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happykeeper

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Who is in your stable? Throughbreds? Nags? Glue factory?
We are keeping
bedandbreakfast.com
bbonline.com
stayhawaii.com
They are consistently in the top 5 for our preferred searchs. We have let 4 or 5 memberships lapse recently after seeing little to no action from them. Our website has been appearing on page one often lately. We may add bestbnb.com to our list. We are starting to believe that most of these websites are of very little value. As they seem to multiplying like rabbits, the game is on. We've taken out the BB Gun and we're picking off the weak ones.
 

gillumhouse

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I have all the above. I dropped bandb.com when my renew fee went from 269 to 400 for the year and when I yelped I was tongue-lashed by the owner - funny thing but after that exchange (not for the first time) a link was added to the bronze level! I am weird - I like to deal with vendors who treat me, the customer, as if I mean something other than a whipping post.
My number of hits on my tracking shows little change in hits and although Spring reservations are down slightly, Summer is booked better than ever.
I have 2 of the other biggies and several dedicated to the different interests I market to - horses, bicycles, and motorcycles. So I am found here, there, and just about everywhere. But I am on the Mainland (internet is basically my shotgun marketing) and you need to be more on target with your marketing as you are destination specific.
 

Morticia

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Obviously you have to do what seems right for you. What I have found is that it pays to be found where the competition is found. Altho I do not subscribe to every directory I find the comp on, I'm on most of them and my website shows on page 1 of Google as well.
 

Don Draper

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Our best referrals sources, in order, are:
BedandBreakfast.com
bbonline.com
iloveinns.com
bnbfinder.com
We also belong to Lanier, and I really like that site and their philosophy, but I honestly don't think we get that many referrals from them.
 

happykeeper

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Obviously you have to do what seems right for you. What I have found is that it pays to be found where the competition is found. Altho I do not subscribe to every directory I find the comp on, I'm on most of them and my website shows on page 1 of Google as well..
Thanks for your thoughts on this Bree. Do you have a breakdown on site referrals? I have often wondered if the mainland generates better results from these directories. I think that whole destination thing GH mentions changes the way people search. It 's all a theory- I also wonder how many people actually go right to one of the directories if they are searching for a local getaway but don't do that for Hawaii.
We decided to apply that theory last year and that is what prompted us to sign up with several. When we review the numbers for visits to our site, we consistently see that the site referrals are coming from any site that is in the top five. The rest seem to fall of the map.
Further, Google Maps has been outstripping them all and our partner links are doing a much better job.
 

happykeeper

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Our best referrals sources, in order, are:
BedandBreakfast.com
bbonline.com
iloveinns.com
bnbfinder.com
We also belong to Lanier, and I really like that site and their philosophy, but I honestly don't think we get that many referrals from them..
Thanks Innsider- We signed up for iloveinns but is really isn't doing much for us. I am on the edge with bnbfinder. We are not on there, but I have been seeing them show up on the first page- just seldom in the top half.
 

JBloggs

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Have you tried BnBfinder? Sometimes it is the marketing efforts of the BnB Directory that are very valuable. Not necessarily there positioning on searches. I am on the fence with iloveinns - I have seen no worthy bookings come from it. I had two buy one night get one night free offers that actually took away real bookings and cost us money. I cancelled that program. I probably won't renew them.
 

Morticia

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Obviously you have to do what seems right for you. What I have found is that it pays to be found where the competition is found. Altho I do not subscribe to every directory I find the comp on, I'm on most of them and my website shows on page 1 of Google as well..
Thanks for your thoughts on this Bree. Do you have a breakdown on site referrals? I have often wondered if the mainland generates better results from these directories. I think that whole destination thing GH mentions changes the way people search. It 's all a theory- I also wonder how many people actually go right to one of the directories if they are searching for a local getaway but don't do that for Hawaii.
We decided to apply that theory last year and that is what prompted us to sign up with several. When we review the numbers for visits to our site, we consistently see that the site referrals are coming from any site that is in the top five. The rest seem to fall of the map.
Further, Google Maps has been outstripping them all and our partner links are doing a much better job.
.
I'll go look, hang on...I did a range from 1/1/09 to today:
  • state website
  • bedandbreakfast
  • local tourism website
  • bbonline
  • innspiring (I will discount this one as it doesn't ever lead to bookings and it's mostly from a couple of dates where I had my website posted for commentary)
  • Google images
so that's the top 5 (6). Of the sites I pay to be on, only one does not make the top 25 referrers. Altho, there could be a couple of really low cost ones that don't make the list at all. I get decent referrals from other B&B's that I exchange links with, but few bookings from those exchanges. I get quite a few referrals from other B&B blogs. (Thank you all, you know who you are!)
 

happykeeper

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Have you tried BnBfinder? Sometimes it is the marketing efforts of the BnB Directory that are very valuable. Not necessarily there positioning on searches. I am on the fence with iloveinns - I have seen no worthy bookings come from it. I had two buy one night get one night free offers that actually took away real bookings and cost us money. I cancelled that program. I probably won't renew them..
We have not tried them lately. I wonder if we had them way back when. Do they do some kind of marketing that would make a difference? Most of the stuff we have tried and seen ends up being a not so great thing for the inn. The BOGO thing doesn't interest us and the online booking with 25 to 30 percent scraped off the top doesn't work for us in it's current form.
 

egoodell

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We are on
State Site - free
Convention and Visitors Bureau - free
bed and breakfast - this is our first year and we are getting bookings so far - we'll check before renewing next year.
bbonline - big booker
Virginia bed and breakfast assn
winecountry.com - very affordable and visable for wine people
I'm not on any others since we only have two suites. A lot of my competition are on all kinds of paying sites but I don't see why if they don't show up until page 2 or 3. I may join when we have all five rooms and then track to see if any book.
Riki
 

Don Draper

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Our best referrals sources, in order, are:
BedandBreakfast.com
bbonline.com
iloveinns.com
bnbfinder.com
We also belong to Lanier, and I really like that site and their philosophy, but I honestly don't think we get that many referrals from them..
Thanks Innsider- We signed up for iloveinns but is really isn't doing much for us. I am on the edge with bnbfinder. We are not on there, but I have been seeing them show up on the first page- just seldom in the top half.
.
I hear you, they are all up for renewal right now and you really have to weigh what is doing you the most good.
We do accept bbonline and iloveinns.com gift certificates, and I have to say the quality of those guests is vastly different from the type we used to get with b&b.com gc's (who were usually only staying with us because they had a gc)...these directories' gc's just seemed to send us the perfect type guest we are looking for, and they only charge a 10% commission which is reasonable to me. We do not participate with the BOGO that iloveinns.com offers.
I try to put myself in our guests' place...if it were me, coming to my area, I would Google search "Smithville bed and breakfast". When I do that bedandbreakfast.com does come up first, so that is my primary reason for sticking with them. I wish they were more affordable for membership (although I do greatly appreciate the fact that they are now offering a monthly payment option, that helps), for gc's, and for direct bookings.
The major reason I am hesitating to jump to RezoVation is because I just don't fully believe that this company has my best interests at heart...YES, I get that they do a LOT for the B&B market, but they also gain a LOT, imvvho at the expense of small inns. I don't want to start a diatribe here, this has all been hashed out with great input from John...it's just my two cents for someone who is struggling with the same issue.
 

happykeeper

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We are on
State Site - free
Convention and Visitors Bureau - free
bed and breakfast - this is our first year and we are getting bookings so far - we'll check before renewing next year.
bbonline - big booker
Virginia bed and breakfast assn
winecountry.com - very affordable and visable for wine people
I'm not on any others since we only have two suites. A lot of my competition are on all kinds of paying sites but I don't see why if they don't show up until page 2 or 3. I may join when we have all five rooms and then track to see if any book.
Riki.
It is sort of shaking out this way for us too!
I forgot to mention that we are on our HVB webiste called gohawaii and a few free local directories.
we are looking for one or two special sie like your wine site
 

JBloggs

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Are you on purpleroofs.com? There are a few on this forum on that directory who may be able to say if they get bookings from it or not.
 

scrambled_eggs

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Are you on purpleroofs.com? There are a few on this forum on that directory who may be able to say if they get bookings from it or not..
Joe Bloggs said:
Are you on purpleroofs.com? There are a few on this forum on that directory who may be able to say if they get bookings from it or not.
I have the free listing on Purpleroofs.com and I do get bookings from there. They have a higher level that you pay for that is expanded but I havn't felt the need to do that.
 

NW BB

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Are you on purpleroofs.com? There are a few on this forum on that directory who may be able to say if they get bookings from it or not..
I also have a free listing on Purpleroofs and get a few bookings a year from it. Definitely worth the price of admission....free! Word of caution though, don't list with them if you have ANY reservations about having same sex couples at your B&B or if your area isn't gay friendly. I have had gay couples thank me profusely (even with tears) for treating them the same as anyone else. It's sad that they even have to think in those terms in this day and age.
 

happykeeper

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Are you on purpleroofs.com? There are a few on this forum on that directory who may be able to say if they get bookings from it or not..
a free listings I think- don't think it generates a lot of traffic but it may be a gateway to our site- we don't see many referrals through them directly
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ?
It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
When we started out, we got listings on a few of the big, five star rated ones, a few four star and so on and so on.
Our conclusion after only a year or two was that the lower ranked and cheaper listings were a waste of money. Its far more efficient to have fewer listings and try to affordthe higher categories on the best rted ones.
 

Copperhead

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If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ?
It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
When we started out, we got listings on a few of the big, five star rated ones, a few four star and so on and so on.
Our conclusion after only a year or two was that the lower ranked and cheaper listings were a waste of money. Its far more efficient to have fewer listings and try to affordthe higher categories on the best rted ones..
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ? It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
I haven't looked at it in a while but did after you mentioned it. Last updated in 2006 and I know they use to update once a year. Not that things have changed that much but I it would be nice to have an update maybe every other year or so. inntelligent.com. also gave a different spin on things but I do not think Scott is updating his either.
 

gillumhouse

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If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ?
It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
When we started out, we got listings on a few of the big, five star rated ones, a few four star and so on and so on.
Our conclusion after only a year or two was that the lower ranked and cheaper listings were a waste of money. Its far more efficient to have fewer listings and try to affordthe higher categories on the best rted ones..
I am listed on a couple of the "big guys", I replaced bandb with purpleroofs. I am getting hits but it is early in the season so do not know about bookings yet. Have had some same sex in the past - none of my business, the revenue is my business.
A woman I used to work with will be here on her honeymoon in July as they go back to Illinois from MA where they can get married. Her van with PFLAG1 and rainbow decals all over it has been parked in front of my place before with nary a nick nor dent appearing so I guess the area does not care either.
I look at the inexpensive sites as pellets in the shotgun shell. Just another link for the search engines to find me on. I get hits from all of them from time to time. Something must be working because I usually come up on the first page of searches for my State.
 

swirt

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If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ?
It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
When we started out, we got listings on a few of the big, five star rated ones, a few four star and so on and so on.
Our conclusion after only a year or two was that the lower ranked and cheaper listings were a waste of money. Its far more efficient to have fewer listings and try to affordthe higher categories on the best rted ones..
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
If I had a nickel for every directory we're listed on, we wouldn't need as many guests.
Has everyone heard of www.innstar.com ? It is a website dedicated to rating and ranking the various B&B directory websites. Nearly every ranking we've chekced out there was pretty accurate and the site is pretty comprehensive on informtion about the directory sites.
I haven't looked at it in a while but did after you mentioned it. Last updated in 2006 and I know they use to update once a year. Not that things have changed that much but I it would be nice to have an update maybe every other year or so. inntelligent.com. also gave a different spin on things but I do not think Scott is updating his either.
.
http://www.innkeeping.org/ This one is more current. The thing to keep in mind though is that every area is different so you have to research it for your area.
 
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