Monthly Archives: July 2014

Promote Your Local Area to Guests

promote your local area

 

Since your guests decide to stay with you in large part due to where you are located, it is in your best interest to promote your local area. You can do this with website links, menus, guidebooks, maps, and more to tell your guests about your area’s attractions, events, and concerts. Remind them why bed and breakfasts are better than hotels.

 

Start by having a links web page on your website that refers your guests to local places of interest.  

 

  • Art & Cultural Activities: theater, museum, symphony, ballet, etc.

 

  • Area History: historical sites, battlefields, visitors center

 

  • Fine Dining: you can emphasize your own restaurant if you have one and/or recommend local restaurants

 

  • Recommended Guide & Recreational Services: tours, biking, fishing, hiking, river guides, etc.

 

  • Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife Activities, & Gardens: birding, golf courses, gardens, parks, recreation, wildlife sanctuary

 

  • Specialty Stores & Services: bakery, brewery, tea, herbs, landscaping, food stores, gift shops, spa, etc.

 

  • Sports Events, Family Activities, & Concerts: concert venues, concert tickets, sports arenas, sports tickets, arts and drama

 

Of course, depending upon your location, you may have different categories.  For example, your bed and breakfast may be on the beach and/or have its own spa.  Emphasize the places you know that your visitors like to see and activities they like to do.  You can also offer specific packages based upon the special occasion your guest is celebrating or their particular interests.

 

When your guests arrive at your bed and breakfast, direct them to a welcome table that features brochures from local attractions and restaurants.  Think about having a guidebook or a basket full of local maps, fliers, and more.  Local Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Centers will have various information for you to display.

 

You may even arrange with some of these local places (such as local restaurants) to offer your guests a discount if they mention that they are staying with you.  This is great for a number of reasons:

 

  • You look good for having this arranged ahead of time for your guests

 

  • The local business owner benefits from the referral

 

  • Your guests benefit from the discount

 

  • It is a win-win-win situation!

 

Thus, you can use your website to post local links, your inn to provide brochures for guests when they arrive, and your connections with local restaurants and other businesses to have deals in place for your guests. 

 

Do not forget the power of video to highlight local attractions near your bed and breakfast and the power of social media to spread your message.  

 

By following this advice, you will take attract more guests to your bed and breakfast as well as position yourself as an expert on your local area.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How To Ask for a Link Request

how to ask for a link request

 

Do you wonder how to ask for a link request?  I am going to sum up the main points in the awesome book published by Entrepreneur Press called Ultimate Guide to Link Building: Build Backlinks, Earn a Higher Search Engine Rank, Increase the Authority and Popularity of Your Site by Eric Ward and Garrett French.

 

Steps:

  • Look over the website you want to have your link on to make sure it is relevant
  • Do not put the words “link request” in the email subject line
  • Start the e-mail off addressing the website owner by name
  • Introduce yourself, your website, and why you would like to the link
  • Identify the exact URL on their site where you think the link is a fit
  • List the exact URL from your site that you want them to link to
  • Give a valid email address and respond to any email requests they send
  • Provide your phone number–something a spammer would not do
  • Follow any link request instructions they give
  • If a reciprocal link, confirm that you have linked to their site and provide the URL
  • Be attentive, professional, courteous, and to the point

This book also lists Link Building Strategies written by Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO:

  • Start blogging on your website
  • Have internal links to other content on your website
  • List resources and outside links
  • Build relationships with others
  • Find niche-specific directories
  • Write guest posts or have guests write posts for your blog
  • Provide educational content
  • Write compelling testimonials
  • Provide useful lists–there is power in making lists!
  • Be interviewed or interview someone in your industry
  • Offer timely/seasonal content
  • Use humor
  • Provide printable resources
  • Host contests
  • Cover news first
  • Give helpful infographics
  • Host online webinars
  • Promote National Days and Events
  • Survey people and post results
  • Debunk popular myths
  • Comment on relevant blogs
  • Do question and answer blog post
  • Ask customers what they want to see more of
  • Connect with industry associations and organizations
  • Attend relevant conferences
  • Call people
  • Host local group meetings
  • Retweet Twitter tweets
  • Provide email signature listing website & ways to connect with you via social media
  • and much more!

There are always things you can do to draw bigger audiences to your website. By taking the steps to ask for link requests and implementing the link building strategies, you will be well on your way to developing more a popular website.

Readers, I welcome your responses to this post as well as other ideas related to the topic of link requests and link building.  I read every comment and respond when appropriate. Thanks! Kristi

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Mike’s Road Trip To B&B’s

Mike's Road Trip

 

Mike Shubic of Mike’s Road Trip is an outgoing man of adventure.  He has been traveling on the road since 2010.  Mike hosts and produces high quality videos for hospitality businesses such as bed and breakfasts, inns, restaurants, and other “hidden gems of the road.”  He has been featured in USA Today Travel, Rand McNally Best of the Road, The Travel Channel, and more.

 

Check out Mike’s Road Trip’s Intriguing Inns and Beautiful B&B’s videos from YouTube.  I highly recommend him if you would like entertaining and professional videos made to highlight the unique strengths of your bed and breakfast.  From his website, Mike gives several reasons why your bed and breakfast inn should have a video:

  • If a picture is worth a 1000 words, how many is video worth?
  • Video builds trust with your prospects. Trust equals paying guests.
  • Videos attract attention and help set you apart from your competition.
  • Video is important for SEO (search engine optimization). Google is ranking pages with video higher for the same search terms.
  • Video is not a fad. Four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube alone.

Mike makes these suggestions to bed and breakfast owners:

  • Have a professional overview video of your B&B/Inn produced.  Be sure to include the owner/innkeeper in front of the camera.  Let prospective guests know what makes your inn special and memorable.
  • Guest testimonial videos can be very powerful.  This allows the viewer to hear what the experience is like from varying viewpoints.  Your guests may talk about things they liked that you never even thought about!
  • Informal videos for your social network can be a great way to showcase area events and/or activities at your inn while keeping in touch with past and future guests.
  • The visual impact of videos gives them a long shelf life.  Trust and interest can be earned as long as the video is live on the Internet.  You can be media friendly and share your videos with local media.

Professional and informal videos can be put on your website as well as shared on social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube!  Mike is a well-spoken promoter of bed and breakfasts on his road trips all across America.  I recommend Mike Shubic of Mike’s Road Trip to all my Bed and Breakfast Blogging clients.