How to – Link Building for B&Bs

Your bed and breakfast’s website is one of your most valuable assets.  Like all of our assets, we wish to grow their value.  But how can we do this, even in a down economy?  Your website and the traffic it brings is an asset you can grow anytime.

One of the most important value “drivers” of your website is search engine ranking.  Obtaining quality inbound links to your website from 3rd party sources is a major component of your search engine rankings.  Most search engines consider a link to your website as a “vote” for the importance of your website.  The more links that point to your homepage, the more important your site becomes when people search on major search engines.
Reciprocal linking is not the way to go, although it can be used sparingly.  Major search engines today are able to figure out what links are reciprocal or not, and reciprocal links are heavily discounted, along with you website if you employ them.  Reciprocal links should be used sparingly, and only with websites of actual bed and breakfasts.  It’s fine to trade links with other B&Bs.

The highest-quality links are one-way links to your website that come from related, relevant, and quality websites.  Building links can take a lot of time, but is worth the effort.

For another form of link that can drive qualified traffic to your website, BedBreakfastTraveler.com offers free links to your webpage with any free listing on our service.  There are over 100 websites in BedBreakfastTraveler.com’s network (Instant World Booking), and an average bed and breakfast may have listings on up to 15-25 sites, all with one free listing.  This means that on any of these SEO-optimized listing pages, a link to your homepage will appear.  Free links on our network display your website in a shadowbox on the listing page, and do not re-direct the user to your webpage.  Your entire website is visible however.  Free links also do not appear on premium sites like BedBreakfastTraveler.com and InstantWorldBooking.com

Introducing Paid Links

For a small cost, paid (sponsored) links are available to gain even more traffic to your website.  Paid links will re-direct the user right to your website, and paid links appear on our premium sites.  Note that all our links are constructed in strict agreement with Google’s guidelines.

Again, all you need to do is have a free listing on BedBreakfastTraveler.com, and then you can access either the free links which are automatically provided to you.  Or, purchase paid links by signing in to your listing at BedBreakfastTraveler.com.

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Your Bed and Breakfast Information Published in 14 Languages

Want to gain a major boost in internet exposure and traffic for your bed and breakfast? Instant World Booking has introduced a major service for our B&B partners worldwide. Now, when you list your property with us, we translate the information you submit into 14 different languages. We then publish your property on 14 individual multi-lingual webpages, each featuring only your property.

This is a major level of service that only Instant World Booking provides for free to B&B partners. In fact, it’s a must-have service for any lodging who wishes to gain serious exposure on the internet. As always, Instant World Booking’s services are free for bed and breakfasts to use.

Consider that your B&B or inn can quickly and easily have 14 new pages, dedicated specifically to your property, in the most used languages on the internet. Unlike other services, these pages are not simply duplicates with your comments translated. Each page is a full translation uniquely search-optimized to rank high on multi-lingual search engines.

If you haven’t listed yet with BedBreakfastTraveler.com and the Instant World Booking network, this new level of service is yet another reason why no competing service offers more to bed and breakfasts around the globe. We invite you to compare competing services, then check us out.

New also is the ability for you to submit your listing information in the language of your choice. If English is not your first language, not to worry. You can submit your property information in any language you wish, whether it’s Spanish, Italian, Greek, Arabic, etc., Instant World Booking will then take the information you wrote, and translate it into 14 of the most widely used languages on the internet.

To increase bookings, you need to increase your exposure. Get 14 translated listing pages for your property up and running on the web now. List with Instant World Booking today.

For more information, and to list your property, please see:

http://www.bedbreakfasttraveler.com/listings/add_listing.php

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Search Engine Advertising for Cheapskates

A recent letter that crossed my desk suggested that online advertisers should forget Google. Consider search engine advertising for cheapskates, the ad proclaimed, suggesting that Google was overpriced. The advertisement made me stop and think, when advertising our bed and breakfast or small inn on the internet, are we getting the value we need?

So, do we sidestep Google, and move in a new direction towards budget advertisers? We can’t answer that question for you. What we can say is that, when considering what search providers to target, you need to carefully consider your goals, and who you’re trying to reach. Many budget search providers can’t be matched in value or performance, considering the target audience you’re trying to reach. Their flat rate plans can offer an excellent way of controlling costs, considering Google PPC type advertising can quickly run up large bills if you’re inexperienced.

So, when considering paid search advertising, know your audience and who your customer base is. Consider that Google accounts for roughly 60% of online searches worldwide, and Yahoo accounts for about 20%. If you want to try some budget search providers you can definitely gain some value for the amount you pay. But, if reaching the largest possible online audience is one of your goals, then Google and Yahoo cannot be ignored.

If your bed and breakfast targets customers in a particular geographic region, the large providers offer excellent ways to target the placement of your ads geographically, so you don’t have to worry about wasting money on ads displaying in regions where you never expect to gain customers.

To recap, the lesson to learn when considering online search providers is to know your target audience and select the provider that offers the best and most economical method of reaching that audience. If your goal is to reach the largest and most geographically diverse audience quickly, then Google is pretty hard to match.

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Collective Marketing for your Bed and Breakfast Inn

Collective Marketing is a new concept gaining a lot of attention these days in the online marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) world. And, it’s a term that is very relevant to marketing your bed and breakfast inn or small hotel on the internet.

So what is Collective Marketing? The concept is that the more relevant websites and online services that your bed and breakfast or hotel is listed with, the more exposure and brand recognition you gain. This is true even if some of the individual sites or service yield no direct return. This is actually not a new concept per se. It is the theory of synergies in marketing, the idea that 1 + 1 equals more than 2 when it comes to advertising your small business.

As a consultant in the online marketing world for hotels, I have frequently heard lodgings question why they should keep a listing with services that don’t return any reservations, or that don’t have an immediately apparent direct benefit. The answer is quite simple. As long as a website offers free advertising, links, articles, or other mention of your hotel business, then it definitely makes sense to maintain the relationship. Even if you don’t see any direct revenue stream from the website in question, know that the exposure your property’s name receives on the internet will multiply.

How many times have I searched for a lodging on the internet only to find no more than one page listed. If you have the benefit of having your hotel’s name listed on multiple pages on different websites on the internet, consider yourself lucky. This name recognition ultimately has an influence on search engine rankings, and translates into brand recognition. When prospective guests search for your bed and breakfast on the internet and your name appears in several or more listings, there is a perceived reputation gain.

So remember, next time you consider removing your hotel from an advertising listing simply because of ROI concerns, think again. If you have a free listing on a web service like an online booking service, don’t give it up. Beyond the collective marketing advantage, online travel services are growing rapidly. In these lean economic times, you too can ride the growth that they experience.

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SEO and SEM Tips for Your Hotel or Bed & Breakfast Website – Part 2

In our previous article, we touched upon the surface with some basic tips on how to optimize your website for increased search engine traffic on the internet. This advice is valuable for any Bed & Breakfast or Hotel website to maximize your search engine potential.

Let’s consider another important attribute of your website, the TITLE tag. This is the title of your homepage or other web pages. The TITLE tag should always contain the primary keyword for your page. Write each page around one primary keyword that relates directly to your property, or the subject or niche of the particular page.

For example, if your bed and breakfast is in California, your niche is “California bed and breakfast”. Your title tag should include the name of your property and the term “California bed and breakfast.” Need more specifics, consider a title tag that reads “ABC B&B, a California Bed and Breakfast.”

Each page must have one primary keyword, and it should be included in the Title tag for that page. The Title tag does not appear in the body of the article, but in the HTML between the two HEAD tags in your html.

For each of your web pages, make sure to use Header tags (<H1>, <H2>, etc.), and use them wisely. These are heading tags, with <H1> being the most important. The heading for each main section in your page should be contained within <H1> tags, and often times, each page will only have one set of these tags. Subheadings, containing secondary keywords, should be contained within <H2> tags, and so on. So, for example, if you have a page describing Fall Foliage Packages, include a header tag as follows: <H1>Fall Foliage Packages at ABC B&B</H1>. After an introduction to your Fall Foliage packages, you may then have subheaders such as <H2>Fall Foliage Weekends</H2>, etc.

Another important feature for your hotel or B&B website is the ALT attribute. Use ‘Alt = ‘ within the Img tags of your images and graphics. This lets the search engines know what the graphic or photo is about. Search engines do not read graphics, and the Alt attribute presents you with the opportunity to use your graphics meaningfully to enhance your SEO web design. Remember to use your primary keywords throughout the Header tags and ALT attributes on your page.

That’s not all you have to worry about regarding HTML tags, but if you get these few tags and attributes right, you’ll be 80%-90% on track for your SEO web design. Beyond this, consider text formatting. Your text formatting can be used to emphasize to search engines what the important text on your page is. So, if you use bold text, underscoring or italics, these can indicate the important words and phrases on your page. Use <STRONG> and <U> html tags in your headings and elsewhere where you wish to emphasize certain keywords.

Finally, remember to write naturally. Don’t worry too much about your keyword density (KD), other than having too much. Keyword density is the frequency on your page of your important keywords. Too high a KD could harm you if Google thinks you are making unnecessary use of them. This is often referred to as search engine spamming. So, the basic rule is to write naturally, as you would for human readers, and not robots. If your text reads well and includes a clear message on what your subject is about, then your page should automatically gravitate towards optimum keyword density. Another way to approach natural writing is to ignore keyword density altogether, and simply include your important keywords in title and header tags, as described above.

Contact BedBreakfastTraveler.com or Instant World Booking for more on how to market your bed and breakfast, inn, or small hotel on the internet.

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SEO and SEM Tips for Your Bed & Breakfast or Hotel Website

As owner or manager of a small hotel or B&B, your website is an important part of your marketing strategy. But if you’re like most small business owners, web design is not your expertise. Here are a few tips on how you can increase the productivity and traffic of your website, with some minimal effort. And, you don’t need to turn yourself into a web tech expert. Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a skill that can be learned. There are many ways for most novice website managers to get improved search engine rankings, and secure a high search engine listing.

Linking is an important part of your SEO strategy. You want to get as many independent, 3rd party websites to link to your site as possible. Sites of any type linking to you are beneficial, but the more authoritative and respected sites are preferred. While linking is important, good on-site SEO is also necessary.

Obtaining a good listing on Google or any of the other search engines is not as difficult as some consulting firms may tell you. There are rules and standards to follow, and if you play the game properly then the end outcome should be in your favor. The tips we’ll offer are not really secrets. Some consultants who offer their services for a price offer to divulge incredible secrets to you. But, this information is available freely on the internet, and for free. You might want to spend a little time reading some Web SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) Blogs. Just type “Web SEO techniques” into your search engine search bar.

So here are some so-called “secret” tips on getting an excellent position for your website in Google, and improving your search engine ranking. You may know about meta tags, and have been informed that most meta tags aren’t used by search engines. The most important search engines, Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live do not divulge all there search listing methods. They withhold a lot of their ranking methods as secret. After all, they don’t want to let each other know how they do their magic. Nevertheless, don’t let anyone tell you that many top search engines do not use meta tags like the Description tag, because they do. It is very important for your B&B, inn, or hotel website to have a well written and complete description meta tag. This tag may not be used in its entirety, however, what you write here will definitely have an impact.

The keyword meta tag is another feature that has been in use since the humble beginnings of the internet 15 or more years ago. The most authoritative search engines like Google won’t be so impressed by what you tell them your keywords are. After all, anyone can post a list of their most important keywords. However, they decide for themselves the relevance of the page from the real content text and “Alt” tags on the page. Google no longer seeks keyword repetition to understand what you are writing about. They have an algorithm called LSI, which will determine the meaning of your page from various unique character strings it contains.

To maximize the potential for your hotel or bed & breakfast website to reach top rankings in search engine listings, the Description meta tag is important. But, there are some other HTML tags you should use. Although little used, the Keywords meta tag should not be ignored. It is a trivial matter to enter it, and cannot do any harm. There is evidence that some search engines still use it. The rest of the meta tags are of no consequence.

We’ve only touched upon the surface with some basic tips, including on-site SEO using Meta tags. Stay tuned for our next article, which will include other important HTML tags you should be focusing on in your B&B Hotel website to maximize your search engine potential.

Contact BedBreakfastTraveler.com or Instant World Booking for more on how to market your bed and breakfast, inn, or small hotel on the internet.

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