Marketing and promoting your B&B on-line is a great way to find potential clients. Your B&B is exposed to a much wider audience and your chances for referrals and new business increases considerably. One of the most effective ways to market your inn is to submit it to various bed and breakfast directories.
Adding your B&B to a bed and breakfast directory has several advantages. The first is that you are adding your inn to a targeted directory. That is a directory with many other inns. The second advantage is that many directories will rank better in search engines than your inn. This means you get to take advantage of their hard work.
How do you pick a good bed and breakfast directory? The answer is really simple. Submit to directories that come up in results you’re looking for. For example searching Google Canada for the phrase: Find a B&B shows several directories in the top spots. You can also search for more general terms such as: Elm Arbour or even Find a B&B in New York. Try to think of phrases your guests will search by and use those.
Look at the first few pages of search results. Which bed and breakfast directories show up? Which ones show up consistently? Write down the top 10 or so directories. This is the list of directories that best match your inn.
Now visit each one. Pay particular attention to the price and features each directory offers. Directories that charge a lot of money may not be worth the expense. Is the contact information for the directory easily found? Do they answer emails and phone calls in a timely manner? Is the staff pleasant and friendly to deal with? Do you like how the other inns are presented on the website?
What features does each directory offer? Can you add a picture? Can you add a link to your website? Do you have to pay extra for these features? Does the directory work with your reservation system? How much exposure does your inn receive? How many pages is it listed on?
As you review each directory and consider your answers to the above questions, put a “+” beside each directory if there is something you like. Put a “-” if there is something you don’t. At the end, add 1 for every + and subtract 1 for every -. Submit your directory to the top 5 choices, more if your budget permits.
How do you know which directories to renew next year? That’s the easiest answer of them all! Just look at which directories give you the best referrals. Those are the directories to resubmit to.
With these simple tips, you will be able to find the best B&B directories to meet your needs.