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Lanier: Yay or Nay

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Don Draper

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Pros (for us): Only $159/year, no "levels" of membership so presumably everyone who lists gets the same exposure.
Inclusion in print guidebook
Cons (for us): I don't have the appropriate tracking to say definitively, but I've never had one person say this is how they found us.
I decided to re-up bbonline.com and bnbfinder.com. Debating iloveinns.com. Debating lanier. Thoughts?
 

Morticia

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Nay. I just re-upped on bnbfinder but this is probably the last year. I get so few referrals from them at all that it's not really worth it. Ditto iloveinns. They have some great ideas but I don't see any traffic from them. (Ok, example of 'no traffic' is 4 referrals in a month. I get more than that from some of your blogs!)
 

muirford

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We dropped them this year. We are already in the Iloveinns book and the Select Registry book, so I don't feel the need for another print directory. No hits to speak of and my personal experience with her wouldn't allow me to make an exception - unlike my personal experience with Iloveinns.
 

gillumhouse

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Lanier - from a personal level NAY. From a business level - NAY (had very little activity from thie site)
After 2005 I determined that not one penny of my money was going there.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I have never bothered renewing Lanier either. It seems like not many of the other inns in my area are renewing either!!
 

Don Draper

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Thanks everyone for your input. Muirford, I apologize if you posted this already elsewhere, what was your personal experience with i love inns? I decided to re-up with them, think I am going to can Lanier based on input here and our personal experience.
 

SweetiePie

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I dropped Lanier a couple of years ago because of non-performance. Still with I Love Inns because they include me in press releases, which is helpful. They don't seem to rate well with search engines for some reason though.
 

NW BB

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A big NAY for both Lanier and I love Inns...We were in a couple of I love Inns newsletters, but still no action. I have very good tracking and could only track 1 reservation for the whole year.
 

JBloggs

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I can't confirm that I ever received any ONE room booking from LanierBB. We were on it for 3 years.
 

muirford

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Thanks everyone for your input. Muirford, I apologize if you posted this already elsewhere, what was your personal experience with i love inns? I decided to re-up with them, think I am going to can Lanier based on input here and our personal experience..
I write some of the press releases that Iloveinns sends out - I've probably done twenty or more in the last two years. Every once in a while they send an email out to ask if innkeepers are interested in contributing writing or marketing tips - that's how I got to do it. It's fun for me and keeps another part of my brain engaged, and they seem to like my work. I get good traffic from their website and I do participate in the BOGO program. I know that doesn't work for everybody but both that one and the Stash Tea have been okay for me. I can think of at least one repeat guest from a BOGO off the top of my head. I can control when those are used by limiting availability and those guests seem to be true 'B&B' people, unlike my experience with the bandb.com gift cards. I know that they have been working the SEO again lately.
I do think you really have to take swirt's advice in this area - different directories work well in different geographic regions and for different inns.
 

wendydk

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A big NAY on Lanier, after our first year, nothing. And I'm dropping Iloveinns after being with them since we opened. Just not worth it...when free listings are sending me 50% more business. The innkeeper.com went by the wayside last year. Our business has certainly not suffered, it's been nothing but up since I dropped the anchors and put that money into smarter marketing decisions.
 

Morticia

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A big NAY on Lanier, after our first year, nothing. And I'm dropping Iloveinns after being with them since we opened. Just not worth it...when free listings are sending me 50% more business. The innkeeper.com went by the wayside last year. Our business has certainly not suffered, it's been nothing but up since I dropped the anchors and put that money into smarter marketing decisions..
Little Blue Inn said:
Just not worth it...when free listings are sending me 50% more business.
This is interesting because the free directories I'm on send about 1-2 referrals/month and no bookings. They show up in the realm of 45-50th on the list of referrers. And all of them are on that list you posted.
I bring this point up for newbies who may think they'll save money by canceling all of their paid directories and going with free ones based on what you are seeing in your neck of the woods. Like muirford just said, not all directories work equally in all places. The best bet is check stats and see where all of the incoming referrals are from.
 

wendydk

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I didn't say that I was cancelling all my paid directories; bedandbreakfast.com, bbonline.com and bnbfinder.com all produce great results. And the free sites that send us the most business are the outdoor adventure related sites, gay-friendly and pet friendly sites we're listed on...(we're everyone friendly...we even accept republicans). Pays to know your market and do whatever you can to get their attention. And the ones that don't produce that much.....they still get your name out there and the link love doesn't hurt either. I'd rather be the one Inn in my area to be on a lesser-known free site than to continue to throw money away on an expensive non-producing directory just because everyone else is on it.
Also VERY important to take note of the popular restaurants, microbreweries and attractions in your area that have websites. We get a ton of business from such local sites, and since we linked to them from our site already, they were happy to reciprocate. The more the businesses in your community work together, the better. Keeps people staying, eating and recreating locally.
Also, make sure that your Inn is listed on your state's official travel website, and join any Convention & Visitors Bureaus that you qualify for. I was disappointed in our state's B&B Association, so dropped them. I realized at that point that very few sites were specific to our state's B&B's, so I started my own state-specific site. And I get ALOT of business from that site as well, which costs me nothing but my time.
I'm considering branching out to other states as well....these sites can be something I can still do after we move on from Innkeeping.
 

muirford

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I didn't say that I was cancelling all my paid directories; bedandbreakfast.com, bbonline.com and bnbfinder.com all produce great results. And the free sites that send us the most business are the outdoor adventure related sites, gay-friendly and pet friendly sites we're listed on...(we're everyone friendly...we even accept republicans). Pays to know your market and do whatever you can to get their attention. And the ones that don't produce that much.....they still get your name out there and the link love doesn't hurt either. I'd rather be the one Inn in my area to be on a lesser-known free site than to continue to throw money away on an expensive non-producing directory just because everyone else is on it.
Also VERY important to take note of the popular restaurants, microbreweries and attractions in your area that have websites. We get a ton of business from such local sites, and since we linked to them from our site already, they were happy to reciprocate. The more the businesses in your community work together, the better. Keeps people staying, eating and recreating locally.
Also, make sure that your Inn is listed on your state's official travel website, and join any Convention & Visitors Bureaus that you qualify for. I was disappointed in our state's B&B Association, so dropped them. I realized at that point that very few sites were specific to our state's B&B's, so I started my own state-specific site. And I get ALOT of business from that site as well, which costs me nothing but my time.
I'm considering branching out to other states as well....these sites can be something I can still do after we move on from Innkeeping..
Little Blue Inn said:
I realized at that point that very few sites were specific to our state's B&B's, so I started my own state-specific site. And I get ALOT of business from that site as well, which costs me nothing but my time.
We bought a town domain name (www . mytown . org) when it became available a few years ago because my DH does a lot of hosting and cheap website work for several non-profits in town. It cost us $50 maybe to get it and we have spent no time on fixing it up or making it look pretty. We are the only accommodation listed on it, but we list places to eat, activities, etc. It always ranks in our top ten referrers, and it is sending us just slightly fewer hits than bandb.com.
 

wendydk

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Way to go...that's thinking outside the box...something that I've found very few Innkeepers do. Of course, not everyone is a webmaster, but anyone can do an easy template website...for not much money. My Michigan Inn Guide site has 28 different domain names that point to it.
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website. My Inn's site has probably half a dozen different domains. Different variations of your name, or "mytownbedandbreakfast", "northwestmystateinn" and the like. A MSN livesearch for "romantic b&b in michigan" brings my Michigan Inn Guide site up three times on page one, under three different domains. This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher), but on MSN and Yahoo, it will list your site under multiple domains. Great results for virtually no additional work.
 

aieechihuahua

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I got at least three bookings last year from Lanier. I'm staying because it paid for itself and I can always use the refering site to help my rankings. They do have a following of older users, but I think that the future travelers will not recognize the name and it will continue to fall out of use.
 

swirt

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Way to go...that's thinking outside the box...something that I've found very few Innkeepers do. Of course, not everyone is a webmaster, but anyone can do an easy template website...for not much money. My Michigan Inn Guide site has 28 different domain names that point to it.
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website. My Inn's site has probably half a dozen different domains. Different variations of your name, or "mytownbedandbreakfast", "northwestmystateinn" and the like. A MSN livesearch for "romantic b&b in michigan" brings my Michigan Inn Guide site up three times on page one, under three different domains. This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher), but on MSN and Yahoo, it will list your site under multiple domains. Great results for virtually no additional work..
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website.
Sorry I disagree with this suggestion. It has the potential to do more harm than good.
Yahoo and MSN are lousy at dealing with multiple domains on the same site and the fact they list multiples of them is not a good reason to support multiple domains with the same site. This is one of the reasons why MSN has such a small market share of users (less than 10%), people don't like bumping into the same thing three times in one search page. If they intend to get better, they will fix it and the advantage will go away.
MSN and Yahoo combined, even with multiple listings, don't usually come close to Google's reach and the method you are using is likely to limit your site's ability to perform as well in Google.
I spell out the gory details here.
This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher),
That is because Google realizes that duplicate results don't benefit users, so they take steps to remove them from their results. The steps they take do not help your site rank higher, in fact it is sometimes the opposite. It comes down to dividing the vote (see the analogy in the link above).
 

wendydk

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Way to go...that's thinking outside the box...something that I've found very few Innkeepers do. Of course, not everyone is a webmaster, but anyone can do an easy template website...for not much money. My Michigan Inn Guide site has 28 different domain names that point to it.
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website. My Inn's site has probably half a dozen different domains. Different variations of your name, or "mytownbedandbreakfast", "northwestmystateinn" and the like. A MSN livesearch for "romantic b&b in michigan" brings my Michigan Inn Guide site up three times on page one, under three different domains. This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher), but on MSN and Yahoo, it will list your site under multiple domains. Great results for virtually no additional work..
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website.
Sorry I disagree with this suggestion. It has the potential to do more harm than good.
Yahoo and MSN are lousy at dealing with multiple domains on the same site and the fact they list multiples of them is not a good reason to support multiple domains with the same site. This is one of the reasons why MSN has such a small market share of users (less than 10%), people don't like bumping into the same thing three times in one search page. If they intend to get better, they will fix it and the advantage will go away.
MSN and Yahoo combined, even with multiple listings, don't usually come close to Google's reach and the method you are using is likely to limit your site's ability to perform as well in Google.
I spell out the gory details here.
This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher),
That is because Google realizes that duplicate results don't benefit users, so they take steps to remove them from their results. The steps they take do not help your site rank higher, in fact it is sometimes the opposite. It comes down to dividing the vote (see the analogy in the link above).
.
The Inngenious article you reference states:
[h2]The Proper Redirect - 301 Redirect[/h2]There are many ways to redirect one website to another, the problem is, only one of them creates no problems for the search engines or site visitors. This trouble free method is called a 301 redirect. The number 301 stands for the response code that the server returns. It tells the search engine, this page has permanently moved to the new location, and immediately takes it there. It doesn't tell the a human visitor anything, it just immediately takes them there and changes the address in the web browser address bar to what is should be.

If you already have multiple domains make sure they are redirected correctly using a 301 redirect. Do not assume that your past designer knew what they were doing. Most do not fully understand the concept of redirects or multiple domains.
This is what I do, and while I can only speak from my own experience, I find it to be beneficial to have multiple domain names, for both of my websites. From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google as well as on yahoo and msn. Thanks for posting the article, though!
 

swirt

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Way to go...that's thinking outside the box...something that I've found very few Innkeepers do. Of course, not everyone is a webmaster, but anyone can do an easy template website...for not much money. My Michigan Inn Guide site has 28 different domain names that point to it.
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website. My Inn's site has probably half a dozen different domains. Different variations of your name, or "mytownbedandbreakfast", "northwestmystateinn" and the like. A MSN livesearch for "romantic b&b in michigan" brings my Michigan Inn Guide site up three times on page one, under three different domains. This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher), but on MSN and Yahoo, it will list your site under multiple domains. Great results for virtually no additional work..
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website.
Sorry I disagree with this suggestion. It has the potential to do more harm than good.
Yahoo and MSN are lousy at dealing with multiple domains on the same site and the fact they list multiples of them is not a good reason to support multiple domains with the same site. This is one of the reasons why MSN has such a small market share of users (less than 10%), people don't like bumping into the same thing three times in one search page. If they intend to get better, they will fix it and the advantage will go away.
MSN and Yahoo combined, even with multiple listings, don't usually come close to Google's reach and the method you are using is likely to limit your site's ability to perform as well in Google.
I spell out the gory details here.
This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher),
That is because Google realizes that duplicate results don't benefit users, so they take steps to remove them from their results. The steps they take do not help your site rank higher, in fact it is sometimes the opposite. It comes down to dividing the vote (see the analogy in the link above).
.
The Inngenious article you reference states:
[h2]The Proper Redirect - 301 Redirect[/h2]There are many ways to redirect one website to another, the problem is, only one of them creates no problems for the search engines or site visitors. This trouble free method is called a 301 redirect. The number 301 stands for the response code that the server returns. It tells the search engine, this page has permanently moved to the new location, and immediately takes it there. It doesn't tell the a human visitor anything, it just immediately takes them there and changes the address in the web browser address bar to what is should be.

If you already have multiple domains make sure they are redirected correctly using a 301 redirect. Do not assume that your past designer knew what they were doing. Most do not fully understand the concept of redirects or multiple domains.
This is what I do, and while I can only speak from my own experience, I find it to be beneficial to have multiple domain names, for both of my websites. From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google as well as on yahoo and msn. Thanks for posting the article, though!
.
From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google...
If you are doing a proper 301, then in Google's eyes the other domains do not exist. Any benefit you perceive in Google is due to something else. If you care to share a few of your forwarded domains, I can show you more details. (If you don't that's ok too) ;)
 

egoodell

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Way to go...that's thinking outside the box...something that I've found very few Innkeepers do. Of course, not everyone is a webmaster, but anyone can do an easy template website...for not much money. My Michigan Inn Guide site has 28 different domain names that point to it.
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website. My Inn's site has probably half a dozen different domains. Different variations of your name, or "mytownbedandbreakfast", "northwestmystateinn" and the like. A MSN livesearch for "romantic b&b in michigan" brings my Michigan Inn Guide site up three times on page one, under three different domains. This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher), but on MSN and Yahoo, it will list your site under multiple domains. Great results for virtually no additional work..
That's another recommendation I would make.....for $10 each, buy some additional domain names that apply to your Inn and point them to your existing website.
Sorry I disagree with this suggestion. It has the potential to do more harm than good.
Yahoo and MSN are lousy at dealing with multiple domains on the same site and the fact they list multiples of them is not a good reason to support multiple domains with the same site. This is one of the reasons why MSN has such a small market share of users (less than 10%), people don't like bumping into the same thing three times in one search page. If they intend to get better, they will fix it and the advantage will go away.
MSN and Yahoo combined, even with multiple listings, don't usually come close to Google's reach and the method you are using is likely to limit your site's ability to perform as well in Google.
I spell out the gory details here.
This doesn't happen as much on google (although it will help your existing site rank higher),
That is because Google realizes that duplicate results don't benefit users, so they take steps to remove them from their results. The steps they take do not help your site rank higher, in fact it is sometimes the opposite. It comes down to dividing the vote (see the analogy in the link above).
.
The Inngenious article you reference states:
[h2]The Proper Redirect - 301 Redirect[/h2]There are many ways to redirect one website to another, the problem is, only one of them creates no problems for the search engines or site visitors. This trouble free method is called a 301 redirect. The number 301 stands for the response code that the server returns. It tells the search engine, this page has permanently moved to the new location, and immediately takes it there. It doesn't tell the a human visitor anything, it just immediately takes them there and changes the address in the web browser address bar to what is should be.

If you already have multiple domains make sure they are redirected correctly using a 301 redirect. Do not assume that your past designer knew what they were doing. Most do not fully understand the concept of redirects or multiple domains.
This is what I do, and while I can only speak from my own experience, I find it to be beneficial to have multiple domain names, for both of my websites. From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google as well as on yahoo and msn. Thanks for posting the article, though!
.
From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google...
If you are doing a proper 301, then in Google's eyes the other domains do not exist. Any benefit you perceive in Google is due to something else. If you care to share a few of your forwarded domains, I can show you more details. (If you don't that's ok too) ;)
.
swirt said:
From a keyword standpoint and from a ranking standpoint....on google...
If you are doing a proper 301, then in Google's eyes the other domains do not exist. Any benefit you perceive in Google is due to something else. If you care to share a few of your forwarded domains, I can show you more details. (If you don't that's ok too) ;)
I have for example from my web hoster's advice purchased the common second spelling for Arcady aimed at my website (Arcadie) so this is good. I have purchased a couple others like monticelloappellation because I think it will one day be valuable. So I might point that at my wine tour website. That's not something that would make Google mad, would it?
Riki
 

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