5 Bed & Breakfast SEO Tips
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must for any business online. It’s SEO that gets your name out to as many people as possible.
Think of the missed booking opportunities! Someone planning a trip to the West Coast searches “Santa Barbara B&B.” You may be their perfect choice, but another B&B catches their attention. They were in the top 3 results, not you.
If you were at the top of the list, that would have been the start of a valuable guest relationship.
Optimize your B&B’s online presence to reach more potential customers…
1. Add The Right Keywords To Your Website
Search engines scan your website’s text for keywords. They use this information to decide the ranking of your site.
Use descriptive text to increase your visibility in B&B searches. Always have a text version of your name and contact information on each page. Then think of other words that connect your B&B to the local community and hotel industry.
Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. What search terms would you use when looking for a quality B&B in your area?
Beyond general terms like “inn” and “B&B,” niche keywords are important too. If you cater more to couples, for example, use phrases like “for two,” “romantic getaway” and “couples discount.” If your focus is eco-friendly accommodations, use words like “organic” and “energy efficient” to reach out to that eco-conscious market.
Never overdo keywords on your Bed and Breakfast website. Write for your target customer. (tweet this)
If you focus on what you think search engines want your copy will be keyword-heavy. Your customers will be turned off and so will the search engines.
2. Participate in the Press
Think outside your site. Get your content onto websites that have more traffic and search power.
Leading newspapers and magazines have great visibility on the web. Ride their reputation wave. Get reviews and send out occasional press releases. This content will often show up first in searches, proving that you’re popular in the press.
Remember to reach out to blogs as well. Even some personal travel blogs have a great following. Just look at this journal-style post about the Cheshire Cat Inn for inspiration. Consider offering a discounted stay to influential reviewers.
Getting in the press also get your photos more exposure.
Imagine searching your own B&B on Google Images. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the top 20 results were unique, professional photos from a variety of reliable newspapers and blogs?
Keep a vault of professional, unique images ready for use by the press. Always try to give journalists an image that’s never been used before. Remember to always name your image files using keywords before sending them in.
3. Optimize Social Media
Social media is another excellent SEO tool outside your website.
Try to create original content for each profile description. Search engines respond better when material isn’t cut and pasted.
Again, strategically use keywords in your profile to connect to your niche and local community. Don’t just limit this to your main description. Also use keywords in updates and regular posts.
Use hashtags to enrich your content. For example, if you’re a B&B in Piscataway, NJ, occasionally add tags like #piscatawaybnb on Instagram and Twitter.
Customize your URL for each social network. Always use your full business name in the username. If “Bed and Breakfast” isn’t in your official business name, you might want to add this in parenthesis.
Sharing is good for SEO. Use social media buttons to make content shareable from your website.
4. Start A Basic Link Building Strategy
But don’t think of it as a link building strategy.
Your goal for building links is simply building endorsements for your service so potential customers (and search engines) see you as a great place to visit.
To begin, ask your partners to link to your website from their site on a “Partners” page. Restaurants, tourist attractions and other businesses have websites where customers look to find this kind of information so it makes sense to have your B&B listed.
Business partnerships are great for B&B SEO and for business in general. (tweet this)
An advanced link building strategy will involve content marketing, which includes creating and maintaining your own blog. You can start with one post per month or maybe one post per week.
Start by answering common questions your B&B customers have. Promote the posts on your social media profiles. Over time, your articles will be shared by others on the web resulting in links and endorsements that improve your site’s SEO.
5. Solidify Directory Listings
Get into every relevant online directory. I recently mentioned GetListed.org as an excellent tool for managing directory listings from one place. See that post Getting Started with GetListed.org for a more detailed walkthrough.
Always include a link to your website and social media in listings. This increases external links and traffic to your site, giving it a higher ranking on Google.
Yelp and Google+ are two other directories that benefit your B&B rankings.
Categories are important with directories. Always categorize your B&B listings using as many specific fields as possible.
One quick final tip: The sooner you start optimizing the better. It takes time to make it to the top.
Start now for the best results.
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