Essential Elements for Your B&B Website
Booking a trip can be exciting, but also a total energy drain.
Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes… It’s your day off work and are taking some time to plan your ideal romantic getaway. You’ve waded through dozens of hotel and B&B websites. Some have stood out, but none are just quite right. What is it that will really sell you on a place?
More importantly, what is it that will make you leave seconds after clicking the URL?
Here’s a quick checklist of essential elements for your B&B website. Collect them all for the better bookings!
Customer reviews are your B&B’s best friend! Big hotel chains have their cookie-cutter quality to rely on. You’re one-of-a-kind, so it’s harder for first-time customers to know what they’re in for.
Gain potential customers’ trust by showing off past guests’ positive testimonials on your site.
For your B&B, let your customers do the selling with great testimonials. (tweet this)
Reviews you collect yourself are a good start, but the real gold comes from a trusted external source. Think local newspapers, blogs, other media, and of course, TripAdvisor.
Link back to e-newspaper articles or blogs to back up your reviews. Add a TripAdvisor widget to your front page for a quick and trusted summary of past customer feedback.
Images are everything! The level of professionalism people see in your photos will be related back to the quality of your B&B.
Sure, B&Bs are supposed to be more down to earth and homey. That doesn’t mean your photos should be taken with your teenage son’s camera phone. Spontaneous pics are great for social networking, but your website should have a sleek and professional image.
Think of the underlying message. Professional photos set a certain tone. It shows the B&B owner cared enough to invest in presenting the rooms in their best possible light. How does that translate to the quality of the B&B? It means the owner and staff are dedicated. It means that they pay attention to detail, and take pride in their business. It means a clean, professional place to relax!
You don’t have to spend a fortune. Check out Marcus Berg’s guest post for a do-it-yourself guide to professional B&B photos.
Once again, for B&B owners, photos are everything! (tweet this)
It’s the information age, don’t withhold your rates!
Travelers like to weigh their options. Major hotel chains advertise their rates in the open. So should you.
Add a clear and updated list of rates per room, and any other potential costs. Definitely mention free perks like Wi-Fi, bottomless coffee, or discounts at local attractions.
Your customers are price conscious. They’ll appreciate a straightforward approach.
Just like with rates, potential guests want to easy access to your vacancy information. Most travelers have their specific dates.
Add a custom calendar or search option to show your availability.
If it’s not easy to find out your availability, you might be losing potential bookings.
So your prices are great and a room’s available? Make the sale as easy as possible.
Your B&B site should always have a link to “Book a Room” in a visible location. Check out the Westside Guesthouse for a good example. That big red button is hard to miss, but somehow it’s still tasteful.
Give your potential guests a range of contact options. Some customers will prefer email, while others like an old-fashioned phone call.
Felling tech-savvy? B&Bs today can really benefit from an online booking option. Try hiring someone to build a custom system for managing bookings online. Feed your local web developer this month!
Add a two-way conversation to your website. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with customers. Try to stay away from website clutter, though. Keep it tasteful by just adding a few subtle icons like these.
Social media isn’t just for staying in touch. The way you use these sites also acts as a testimonial to your quality. Everything from the way you respond to comments, to the recency of your last post, will help potential customers make a booking decision.
Link back to these sites to expand your reach!
Hotel Propeller makes it easy to have your own B&B website. Take a tour and see how Hotel Propeller works.
Free Hotel Website Checklist
5 Essential tips for using your website to book more guests! Plus, a Free email course, Winning Web Strategies For Innkeepers.