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Need help with new beta B&B directory

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Lisa

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Hi guys. I've been a lurker in this community for a few weeks now (so much great knowledge here!) and was hoping I could get some advice, if you'd all be so kind.
My company is trying to create a great resource site for the Bed and Breakfast community. We have a beta version of the Web site up and I was hoping I could get some feedback. Right now it's a simple directory but we'll be adding to it to help bring the community together and give people another place to share information and contacts.
It's going to be a great site and I wanted to invite some people I trust to be the first batch of B&Bs listed. If you're interested in helping us perfect our site, you can enter your B&B information (free of charge, of course!) over here:
http://www.cruising-america.com/listing.html
Once you try it out, if you could let me know what you think I'd really appreciate it. Do all the fields make sense? Did I miss anything on the form? Any advice you could give at all would be great. Should the inns be organized by some other criteria than just the State/Province? Like I said, we want this to be a great resource and I know all of you are way smarter than me. :)
You can email me privately with comments, if you'd like – lisa@cruising-america.com
I'm new to this industry so I'm trying to ask as many experts as I can. I want to do a good job for my boss! Thanks a bunch.
 

EmptyNest

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Hi,
I thought you all had a directory all along...guess it was the INNS FOR SALE I always used to check way back when. i will look closer at it. I guess the one thing i would say is..if you want this to be successful, you are going to have to PROMOTE it...so it shows up on search engines. And to this I ask...who would be looking for a B & B with a URL like: http://www.cruising-america.com/listing.html???? Certainly not me. It doesn't make sense and it has nothing to do with looking for a B & B.
 

gillumhouse

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This really is not a new site. I think it is just a new owner. The POs stayed here and did a review of us. The listing cost was very low and so was the response so I let it lapse - after several years of listing.
 

EmptyNest

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This really is not a new site. I think it is just a new owner. The POs stayed here and did a review of us. The listing cost was very low and so was the response so I let it lapse - after several years of listing..
Yes, I know it is an old site...it is being revamped. I used to check it for inns for sale years ago. I just don't think combining it with RV's etc is a good idea. The average person is not going to look for A B& B at that url unless the really promote and market it. And that means paying out the bucks...just not having it on line. I see no fee to list right now.
 

Proud Texan

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I agree. Mixing RV's and B&Bs is like apples and oranges. I would consider changing the domain name and the name of the website if you are planning on promoting Bed and Breakfasts.
The data entry is straightforward but it would be nice if you could customize the ammenities selections rather than choosing from such a limited listing.
 

agoodman

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I added my Inn but when I went back iit still said "Inns in GA = 0" - does it take a while to update?
 

Lisa

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Thank to everyone for all the great feedback!
To answer some of your questions:
Yes, the site has been around for awhile, however, we just purchased it from its own owners (who had led it die a bit) and now we really want to turn it around and make it useful to the community. As Catlady mentioned, there's absolutely no fee to list your site. Our focus is on the making the site great. That's the only thing we're concerned with.
Agoodman: Your Inn should show up very soon. Once you add it from your end, we have to push it live. It's just a safety against spam. It will be up shortly. We can't wait to have you! :)
As for as promoting it, do you guy have any recommendations on what I should be doing? I came here first because I really trust the community and the knowledge here. Are there any other Bed and Breakfast communities I should reach out to? Or is there a way to contact other Bed and Breakfast owners in a way that will make them feel comfortable? I'm trying to be very careful with how I approach people.
Again, any help you guys can give me would be amazing. And thanks for everything you've already said, especially the part about not combining RVs and Bed and Breakfast.
Thanks again,
Lisa
 

EmptyNest

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Thank to everyone for all the great feedback!
To answer some of your questions:
Yes, the site has been around for awhile, however, we just purchased it from its own owners (who had led it die a bit) and now we really want to turn it around and make it useful to the community. As Catlady mentioned, there's absolutely no fee to list your site. Our focus is on the making the site great. That's the only thing we're concerned with.
Agoodman: Your Inn should show up very soon. Once you add it from your end, we have to push it live. It's just a safety against spam. It will be up shortly. We can't wait to have you! :)
As for as promoting it, do you guy have any recommendations on what I should be doing? I came here first because I really trust the community and the knowledge here. Are there any other Bed and Breakfast communities I should reach out to? Or is there a way to contact other Bed and Breakfast owners in a way that will make them feel comfortable? I'm trying to be very careful with how I approach people.
Again, any help you guys can give me would be amazing. And thanks for everything you've already said, especially the part about not combining RVs and Bed and Breakfast.
Thanks again,
Lisa.
I think you should make some contacts with state B & B Associations. I see you have them listed on your site but have you actually informed them about what you are doing and intend to do.
You say this is FREE..and that is great..but you aren't doing this out of the goodness of your heart. There has to be something in it for you.
You obviously want to make some $$$ doing this. Are you going to be putting up Paid Ads??? PPC???
I would get a more appropriate URL and keep B & B"s separate from the rest of your listings. They just don't belong together.
What is in it for you????
 

Lisa

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Thank to everyone for all the great feedback!
To answer some of your questions:
Yes, the site has been around for awhile, however, we just purchased it from its own owners (who had led it die a bit) and now we really want to turn it around and make it useful to the community. As Catlady mentioned, there's absolutely no fee to list your site. Our focus is on the making the site great. That's the only thing we're concerned with.
Agoodman: Your Inn should show up very soon. Once you add it from your end, we have to push it live. It's just a safety against spam. It will be up shortly. We can't wait to have you! :)
As for as promoting it, do you guy have any recommendations on what I should be doing? I came here first because I really trust the community and the knowledge here. Are there any other Bed and Breakfast communities I should reach out to? Or is there a way to contact other Bed and Breakfast owners in a way that will make them feel comfortable? I'm trying to be very careful with how I approach people.
Again, any help you guys can give me would be amazing. And thanks for everything you've already said, especially the part about not combining RVs and Bed and Breakfast.
Thanks again,
Lisa.
I think you should make some contacts with state B & B Associations. I see you have them listed on your site but have you actually informed them about what you are doing and intend to do.
You say this is FREE..and that is great..but you aren't doing this out of the goodness of your heart. There has to be something in it for you.
You obviously want to make some $$$ doing this. Are you going to be putting up Paid Ads??? PPC???
I would get a more appropriate URL and keep B & B"s separate from the rest of your listings. They just don't belong together.
What is in it for you????
.
I will be contacting the Bed and Breakfast Associations to help market the site, yes. Any advice on how to approach them?
Right now, we really are just focused on creating a resource that we can drive traffic to. Monetization isn't really a concern at the moment, but sure, once we build the site up and attract visitors, we'll start thinking about those options, as well. We're not at that stage yet. First we want to create something of value for the community.
 

EmptyNest

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Thank to everyone for all the great feedback!
To answer some of your questions:
Yes, the site has been around for awhile, however, we just purchased it from its own owners (who had led it die a bit) and now we really want to turn it around and make it useful to the community. As Catlady mentioned, there's absolutely no fee to list your site. Our focus is on the making the site great. That's the only thing we're concerned with.
Agoodman: Your Inn should show up very soon. Once you add it from your end, we have to push it live. It's just a safety against spam. It will be up shortly. We can't wait to have you! :)
As for as promoting it, do you guy have any recommendations on what I should be doing? I came here first because I really trust the community and the knowledge here. Are there any other Bed and Breakfast communities I should reach out to? Or is there a way to contact other Bed and Breakfast owners in a way that will make them feel comfortable? I'm trying to be very careful with how I approach people.
Again, any help you guys can give me would be amazing. And thanks for everything you've already said, especially the part about not combining RVs and Bed and Breakfast.
Thanks again,
Lisa.
I think you should make some contacts with state B & B Associations. I see you have them listed on your site but have you actually informed them about what you are doing and intend to do.
You say this is FREE..and that is great..but you aren't doing this out of the goodness of your heart. There has to be something in it for you.
You obviously want to make some $$$ doing this. Are you going to be putting up Paid Ads??? PPC???
I would get a more appropriate URL and keep B & B"s separate from the rest of your listings. They just don't belong together.
What is in it for you????
.
I will be contacting the Bed and Breakfast Associations to help market the site, yes. Any advice on how to approach them?
Right now, we really are just focused on creating a resource that we can drive traffic to. Monetization isn't really a concern at the moment, but sure, once we build the site up and attract visitors, we'll start thinking about those options, as well. We're not at that stage yet. First we want to create something of value for the community.
.
Until you separate the B & B's out from RV's etc...don't ask B & B associations for anything. THis has got to be a B & B site only...not a mix. Associations will not promote a site that includes others. As an ex pres. I would not even consider it.
About the only thing I could suggest is contacting the PRes. of each association and explain what you are trying to do and to encourage them to tell their members about the site. Then see if members sign up.
 

Proud Texan

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I also noticed that your site doesn't rank very high on Google. That is something you MUST work on. No one will want to list on your site if your site doesn't even come up in the search engines.
Besides tweaking your Metatags of your HTML code, you will need to have your site linked to by as many quality sites as you can. This, among other things, will really boost your ranking.
 

EmptyNest

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I also noticed that your site doesn't rank very high on Google. That is something you MUST work on. No one will want to list on your site if your site doesn't even come up in the search engines.
Besides tweaking your Metatags of your HTML code, you will need to have your site linked to by as many quality sites as you can. This, among other things, will really boost your ranking..
"tweaking" is the least of it. No description, no keywords. I would think someone doing a "supposedly professional site" would know these basic things.
 
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