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sonatainn

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What portals do you all recommend I spend my money on ? (or is it even a good idea to begin with?)
I am an Inn in Charlottetown, P.E.I, so I figured bbcanada.com might be a good place to start?
Any other suggestions?
 

EmptyNest

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I think we need to let some of Canadian friends answer this one as they would have better experience. However I will suggest that bedandbreakfast.com is probably the one directory you will want to consider a listing with. There are lots of previous discussions on lots of directories if you do a search for them here.
 

Morticia

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term.
 

sonatainn

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
 

EmptyNest

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
I did what Bree suggested "Charlottetown PEI B&B" and bedandbreakfast.com came up on top after the Google local Listings. So I'd say...that is a safe bet there. Make sure you sign up for Google Local Businesses so you show up there too. Bnb FInder was second.
This was third: Don't know if you are familiar with this or not or if it is a pay for free site. Good luck!
http://www.staypei.ca/pei_bed_and_breakfasts.php?start=30
 

EmptyNest

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
If that is the town you are located in, that would be good as well as Charlottetown bed & breakfast and Charlottetown lodging
 

happyjacks

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Hi Sonata, welcome from Ontario!
For directories, I would say BBCanada for sure. I can't really recommend the big US directories such as bedandbreakfast.com or bbonline. They just don't have the same folume or brand recognition on this side of the border.
For search terms, use whatever you think your potential guests might use: various combinations of Charlottetown, PEI, B&B, bed & breakfast, inn, accommdations, tourism...
Then see what directories and association sights show up well in the organic listings.
And don't think you have to find B&B-specific directories to list with. Some of my best referrers are from regional tourism sites. So see if the city or provincial DMO (destination marketing organization) turns up well in your searches.
 

Morticia

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
sonatainn said:
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
Here's what I would do...optimize one of your pages for 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' and another one for 'Charlottetown PEI Inn'. Are you a B&B? ie- offering breakfast every morning? If not, then you may not want to optimize for that.
If you're a B&B, then optimize 2 different pages for 2 different searches. Add a page with things to do and optimize for that as well. Add a breakfast page with pix of the food and optimize for that. (You know, the freshness of the ingredients, especially if you're going to have any kind of seafood on the menu!
I'm going to put my oar in here, uninvited, take the info or leave it, matters not to me...your page titles are very important real estate on your website. Don't have them just say 'Sonata Inn- Rooms'. BTW, if I do a search on 'Sonata Inn PEI' I come up with what looks like your URL, but the name in the title is Heritage Harbour House, which then resolves to an error page. You need to get that fixed. If guests search on your name and they get an error page, they won't be happy. sonatainn.com/map.html
Also, the other very important piece of your 'behind the scenes' web info is your description of each page. They should not all say the same thing. The page description meta tag should have what the page is about, not just where the B&B is located.
"Charlottetown Bed and Breakfast Inn, Located in Downtown Charlottetown PEI"Making changes to these pieces will allow YOUR website to place well which CAN cut down on how much you have to pay to other people (directories) to get your name out there.
 

Willowpondgj

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Your local and regional visitor's center, chamber and neighboring chambers, Canadian tourism and then whatever niche or demographic you are appealing to (we do some of the B&B directories but also regional wedding directories, since we do weddings) the majority of our referrals come from our VCB. Since you are "Sonata", perhaps playing up the local music scene/activities. Don't forget about local festivals,
Pay attention to where your business is coming from and invest your dollars carefully. You don't necessarily need to sign up for every site your competitors are on...they may be serving a different demographic...we learned that the hard way, and don't pay for premium memberships if there are no competitors on the sites you are looking at.
If I may make a few suggestions, IMVHO: You need more "energy" on your site, colorful photos of things to do, you want to make sure it looks inviting. You need a better photo of your exterior, cleaned up in photoshop...your accommodation photos are nice, but they are "flat and dark" and with the grey neutral website color theme, which does look nice and classy, the rooms don't "pop" . Maybe just retake the pics with more warm lighting. I would take out the dayglow colors on the rates, they don't match your color scheme.
Photos of your breakfast? Places to relax inside/ outside at your inn? Photos of common areas? A little about the innkeepers?
Start blogging on what there is to do there with lots of good pictures, people want to know what to do when they come there...
I realize your site is a new work in progress...
Good luck with your new inn!
 

gillumhouse

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Sorry, Sonata. I thought you were talking about a mne. Here mine entrances are portals. Although portal does mean doorway or opening, it is only used regarding mines here. Funny how difference words have a meaning of their own depending on the area.
 

sonatainn

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Your local and regional visitor's center, chamber and neighboring chambers, Canadian tourism and then whatever niche or demographic you are appealing to (we do some of the B&B directories but also regional wedding directories, since we do weddings) the majority of our referrals come from our VCB. Since you are "Sonata", perhaps playing up the local music scene/activities. Don't forget about local festivals,
Pay attention to where your business is coming from and invest your dollars carefully. You don't necessarily need to sign up for every site your competitors are on...they may be serving a different demographic...we learned that the hard way, and don't pay for premium memberships if there are no competitors on the sites you are looking at.
If I may make a few suggestions, IMVHO: You need more "energy" on your site, colorful photos of things to do, you want to make sure it looks inviting. You need a better photo of your exterior, cleaned up in photoshop...your accommodation photos are nice, but they are "flat and dark" and with the grey neutral website color theme, which does look nice and classy, the rooms don't "pop" . Maybe just retake the pics with more warm lighting. I would take out the dayglow colors on the rates, they don't match your color scheme.
Photos of your breakfast? Places to relax inside/ outside at your inn? Photos of common areas? A little about the innkeepers?
Start blogging on what there is to do there with lots of good pictures, people want to know what to do when they come there...
I realize your site is a new work in progress...
Good luck with your new inn!
.
I agree...I do need better photos...that is being worked on right now....the rates page was done in ten minutes...those colours will be fixed.
I am working on a blog to add dynamic content to the page....I think there I will add more personal shots....but yeah, I need more pictures of fun, energetic subjects.
 

sonatainn

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
sonatainn said:
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
Here's what I would do...optimize one of your pages for 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' and another one for 'Charlottetown PEI Inn'. Are you a B&B? ie- offering breakfast every morning? If not, then you may not want to optimize for that.
If you're a B&B, then optimize 2 different pages for 2 different searches. Add a page with things to do and optimize for that as well. Add a breakfast page with pix of the food and optimize for that. (You know, the freshness of the ingredients, especially if you're going to have any kind of seafood on the menu!
I'm going to put my oar in here, uninvited, take the info or leave it, matters not to me...your page titles are very important real estate on your website. Don't have them just say 'Sonata Inn- Rooms'. BTW, if I do a search on 'Sonata Inn PEI' I come up with what looks like your URL, but the name in the title is Heritage Harbour House, which then resolves to an error page. You need to get that fixed. If guests search on your name and they get an error page, they won't be happy. sonatainn.com/map.html
Also, the other very important piece of your 'behind the scenes' web info is your description of each page. They should not all say the same thing. The page description meta tag should have what the page is about, not just where the B&B is located.
"Charlottetown Bed and Breakfast Inn, Located in Downtown Charlottetown PEI"Making changes to these pieces will allow YOUR website to place well which CAN cut down on how much you have to pay to other people (directories) to get your name out there.
.
Bree:
Thank you for the tips....that error page should be gone soon...google indexed that a little too quickly.
However: by different titles on each page...should they be completely different?...I figured they should have the establishments name on each one...I guess I'm wrong....So, should each page simply be "RATES," "ROOMS," and so on....help me out with this one.
ps: Yes, we are a B&B (breakfast inn,) we serve a delicious hot breakfast every day.
 

EmptyNest

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
sonatainn said:
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
Here's what I would do...optimize one of your pages for 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' and another one for 'Charlottetown PEI Inn'. Are you a B&B? ie- offering breakfast every morning? If not, then you may not want to optimize for that.
If you're a B&B, then optimize 2 different pages for 2 different searches. Add a page with things to do and optimize for that as well. Add a breakfast page with pix of the food and optimize for that. (You know, the freshness of the ingredients, especially if you're going to have any kind of seafood on the menu!
I'm going to put my oar in here, uninvited, take the info or leave it, matters not to me...your page titles are very important real estate on your website. Don't have them just say 'Sonata Inn- Rooms'. BTW, if I do a search on 'Sonata Inn PEI' I come up with what looks like your URL, but the name in the title is Heritage Harbour House, which then resolves to an error page. You need to get that fixed. If guests search on your name and they get an error page, they won't be happy. sonatainn.com/map.html
Also, the other very important piece of your 'behind the scenes' web info is your description of each page. They should not all say the same thing. The page description meta tag should have what the page is about, not just where the B&B is located.
"Charlottetown Bed and Breakfast Inn, Located in Downtown Charlottetown PEI"Making changes to these pieces will allow YOUR website to place well which CAN cut down on how much you have to pay to other people (directories) to get your name out there.
.
Bree:
Thank you for the tips....that error page should be gone soon...google indexed that a little too quickly.
However: by different titles on each page...should they be completely different?...I figured they should have the establishments name on each one...I guess I'm wrong....So, should each page simply be "RATES," "ROOMS," and so on....help me out with this one.
ps: Yes, we are a B&B (breakfast inn,) we serve a delicious hot breakfast every day.
.
Make your titles for each different page reflect what that page is all about. ie: Guest rooms at Sonata Inn Bed & Breakfast in Charlottetown....and then
For the description meta tag have your description give a brief summary of what your page is about. ie: Sonata Inn Bed & Breakfast in Charlottetown offers 4 luxury accommodations with private baths for your stay on PEI. or For Charlottetown PEI lodging, consider The Sonata Inn Bed & Breakfast as a Charlottetown PEI hotel accommodations alternative.
Look at the page source codes for B & B's you'll get the idea better:)
 

Morticia

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A great way to start with figuring out which portal (we generally call them directories on here) would be good for your area is to Google your area as if you were a guest. Which directories show up? Where do your competition list?
Another thing to do is to make sure your own website is going to show up for the search terms 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' oe some such search term..
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
.
sonatainn said:
Thanks Bree....I will try that.
Do you think "Charlottetown Inn," is a good keyword to address as well?
Here's what I would do...optimize one of your pages for 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' and another one for 'Charlottetown PEI Inn'. Are you a B&B? ie- offering breakfast every morning? If not, then you may not want to optimize for that.
If you're a B&B, then optimize 2 different pages for 2 different searches. Add a page with things to do and optimize for that as well. Add a breakfast page with pix of the food and optimize for that. (You know, the freshness of the ingredients, especially if you're going to have any kind of seafood on the menu!
I'm going to put my oar in here, uninvited, take the info or leave it, matters not to me...your page titles are very important real estate on your website. Don't have them just say 'Sonata Inn- Rooms'. BTW, if I do a search on 'Sonata Inn PEI' I come up with what looks like your URL, but the name in the title is Heritage Harbour House, which then resolves to an error page. You need to get that fixed. If guests search on your name and they get an error page, they won't be happy. sonatainn.com/map.html
Also, the other very important piece of your 'behind the scenes' web info is your description of each page. They should not all say the same thing. The page description meta tag should have what the page is about, not just where the B&B is located.
"Charlottetown Bed and Breakfast Inn, Located in Downtown Charlottetown PEI"Making changes to these pieces will allow YOUR website to place well which CAN cut down on how much you have to pay to other people (directories) to get your name out there.
.
Bree:
Thank you for the tips....that error page should be gone soon...google indexed that a little too quickly.
However: by different titles on each page...should they be completely different?...I figured they should have the establishments name on each one...I guess I'm wrong....So, should each page simply be "RATES," "ROOMS," and so on....help me out with this one.
ps: Yes, we are a B&B (breakfast inn,) we serve a delicious hot breakfast every day.
.
sonatainn said:
Bree:
Thank you for the tips....that error page should be gone soon...google indexed that a little too quickly.
However: by different titles on each page...should they be completely different?...I figured they should have the establishments name on each one...I guess I'm wrong....So, should each page simply be "RATES," "ROOMS," and so on....help me out with this one.
ps: Yes, we are a B&B (breakfast inn,) we serve a delicious hot breakfast every day.
No, not just 'rooms'. You can use this space for more info, tho. You generally have up to 15-17 words before truncation occurs. So you can get another instance of your location in there. So, say, the homepage is 'Charlottetown PEI B&B-beautiful downtown location-Sonata Inn' then your rooms page could be 'Charlottetown PEI Inn-waterfront room views, suites and private baths'. So using words guests might search on. Whatever words you think guests will search on, but don't just string a bunch of keywords together, make a cohesive sentence out of it.
Whatever search words you think guest will search on should be the first couple of words.
Once you are up and running and are completely indexed by Google, your inn should show up when your inn is searched on using your inn's name, even if your inn name is not first in the title. So, an example that drives me nuts but works, is ALL of the B&B's in Savannah, GA (a tough market for B&B websites) have 'Savannah, GA B&B' as their first couple of words in their titles. It drives me nuts as a guest because if I have 6-7 of these websites open the only word that shows on the tab is 'Savannah' so no way to tell them apart. BUT, it works. As a guest I am searching for 'Savannah, GA B&B' so those words had better be first in the title and the description of the page.
So, take a little time and decide what words you want to optimize your pages for and then make sure those words are first in your title and description. But remember that you have room for more info and use the space wisely.
Just doing a quick look at the 10 inns that show up in Google maps (I didn't look at the Heritage Harbour House), if you get 'Charlottetown PEI B&B' in the titles with a few more good, searchable words, you'll beat the pants off the other websites out there. The only one that has any 'good' search terms in the title is 'Shipwrights Inn'. Take a look at what they did with the titles.
An example of a fairly good title...but, if they had 'Charlottetown' first it would be better.
Heritage Harbour House - Charlottetown Inn PEI B&B Prince Edward Island Charlotte's Shore
Code:
Code:
BTW, if the same person doesn't own both inns, or the same person doesn't maintain both sites, 
they should not both have the same person's email address in the header. 
Not that guests are ever going to notice that, but it is there for any web geek to see.
The best thing to do is ask some random people how they search for lodging. Find out what search terms they use.
I should talk. I'm still working on optimizing my titles and descriptions!
 

Don Draper

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Congrats on your b&b! I promise you will find excellent suggestions and help from the "pros" on this forum. Your website is a great start, I agree with many of the comments that have been made so far and think they will make a good "to do" list for you as you continue to grow the site. But celebrate the fact that you HAVE a site, it's functional, and you are off to a great start!
 

sonatainn

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Alrighty...I did a few quick alterations with the titles of my pages, but I still have a lot more work to do if I want to fully optimize it. Thank you so much for all your suggestions! You are all so very friendly!
 

sonatainn

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AHAHA, this is sad....I just posted my blog today (like 4 hours ago,)...and yet...it indexed faster than my actual site....oh google, what is with your love affair with blogs anyways!?
Oh well...a blog listing is better than no listing!
 
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