Hotel Propeller Blog

The Secret to Winning Guests From Your B&B’s Website

What separates a professional web designer from a hobbyist?

How do the pro’s do what they do — design stunning websites that not only look great, but actually convert more visitors into customers, or in the case of Bed and Breakfast websites, more bookings?

Well, the professional web designer takes a very precise approach, based on a very simple concept.

So what’s their secret?

You’ll be delighted to know that this key principal can actually be employed by anyone — not just us professional web designers.

That’s why I’m writing this article.  To let you in on the secret to turning more of your B&B website visitors into paying guests.  So here it is:

You must read the minds of your website visitors.

Now, before you accuse me of suggesting the impossible, let me explain…

Professional web designers call this user experience design, or gaining a crystal clear understanding of what your visitor’s motivations, needs and aspirations are, then crafting the website with the specific goal of satisfying those needs.

But in simpler terms, all you really need to do is read the minds of your website visitors.  Tweet this 🙂

OK smartypants, how do I read minds?

It’s actually very simple.  Just ask yourself:  “What are 3 specific questions that first-time visitors need answered when they discover my website?”

Believe it or not, when we surf the Internet and discover a new web page, inside our minds we’re continuously asking questions and seeking answers.  Every click leads to a new piece of information, which sparks a new curiosity.

As a Bed and Breakfast owner, you can make a highly educated guess as to what questions your visitors are asking themselves as they browse your website.  You probably receive a few questions again and again when folks call you on the phone or send you email, right?

Here are a few that I’d guess top that list:

  • Where is this B&B located exactly and how far is it from [the most popular local attraction]?
  • What do the rooms, house, and grounds look like?
  • What are the room rates and can I book my stay on these dates?

Remember, the more specific these questions are, the better.  By getting specific, you can really get a clear understanding of their needs.  Ultimately, you’ll be that much more likely to satisfy those needs, and win their business.

Why only 3 questions?  Not 5, not 10?  Good question!

By limiting it to only 3 questions, you’re forcing yourself to prioritize.  Once you figure out what the 3 most common questions lingering inside the minds of your visitors, you’ll have a clear direction to follow as you setup your website.

Us web designers call that “visual hierarchy”, or figuring out which pieces of info or more important than others, then guiding the visitors eye to each of those areas in a specific sequence.  We’ll dive deeper into this idea in a future article.

But today, I just want to introduce you to the idea of reading the minds of your website visitors, then using that to guide your decision making when setting up your website or working with your web designer.

Try it yourself…

Off the top of your head, which questions would you say your website visitors need answered?  Share them with all of us in the comments below, and let’s compare notes 🙂

11 Responses to “The Secret to Winning Guests From Your B&B’s Website”

  1. Harri Chiba August 7, 2012 at 4:23 am Reply

    1. Have they got rooms for the date/s I need?
    2. What’s the cost?
    3. What do the rooms look like?

    • Brian Casel August 7, 2012 at 7:13 am Reply

      These are the questions I always have when browsing a B&B website 🙂

  2. Tony Tidswell August 7, 2012 at 4:33 am Reply

    1 – Yes – keep is simple

    Where – Why – When

    But you already said that

    2 – Keep it short

    No more than 140 characters in a line (useful for other stuff)

    3 – Keep it personal

    Tell them WHO you are not what you are

    Keep it to three points (or no more than five)

    Get a sales person to do it – not a “designer”

    • Brian Casel August 7, 2012 at 7:12 am Reply

      Good stuff Tony! Great point on #3. People want to buy from People – not ambiguous companies/entities.

      A useful tool for bloggers/website owners is – let’s you easily add a “tweet this” button with your own customized tweet text anywhere you want (you may have seen it a few times here on our blog).

  3. Eve Mazery August 9, 2012 at 8:21 am Reply

    Very good photographs that show how things really are. If you make things look better than they are you will be cuaght out!

    • Brian Casel August 9, 2012 at 11:51 am Reply

      Great point. My wife and I have been burned by misleading photos. I’ve especially noticed this on Groupon deals (which is why I tend to stay away from those).

      • Max Israel August 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm Reply


        See if there are reviews on the website or somewhere on the web and read them and/or contact the posters.
        We have on our site with almost all of the reviews the email of the guests ( some don’t want to show their email address)
        We don’t want to use groupon

        • Brian Casel August 13, 2012 at 8:12 am Reply

          I like it. Great way to be proactive about finding new guests. I think as long as the email you send is short, authentic, and references what they commented about, it will be welcomed.

    • Marcus August 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm Reply

      @Eve; You have a Great point. I just read a comment from a guest that had won a room at a B&B, but had a Very disappointing experience. The image made the room look much bigger than it really was. This is why I try to focus on what the room is showing and just bring out the best in the room. I would love to help anyone with any questions regarding photography. Thanks for reading.

      • Brian Casel August 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm Reply

        Good tip Marcus – Misleading guests, especially first-time guests, is a great way to encourage bad reviews.

      • Mary Potter August 24, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply

        Would love your feedback on our photos

        we have many more on

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