As the digital accommodation booking industry gets more competitive it’s more important than ever before that as a B&B or small local inn you’re focusing on optimizing your online web presence for search engines.
These days people are only looking at the first few search engine results and if you’re stuck at the bottom of page 1 or you’re nowhere to be found on the first page then you might as well be invisible.
Along with focusing on SEO for your B&B you also want to make sure that you’re spending time optimizing your web presence across different platforms like TripAdvisor and Google Reviews, as well as focusing on social media.
However, most people are heading online and starting their travel booking process with a Google search so it’s a good idea to focus on getting in the top 3 results so that you’re able to take advantage of the lion’s share of search traffic.
Taking the time and setting aside a small budget to effectively optimize the online presence of your B&B is the best way to increase your bookings, gain new customers, and improve your overall online exposure in the long run.
Today, I want to share with you some helpful tips when it comes to SEO for B&B’s and give you some recommendations on actions you can take for improving your online presence.
It might seem daunting at first but there is plenty of information online, and even here on my blog, that you can use for optimizing your B&B site for more searches and more bookings.
If you want further help, don’t hesitate to check out my services page.
Alright, with the introduction out of the way let’s just jump right into it!
SEO Tips for Your B&B
Set Up and Optimize Your Website
Before worrying about anything else you’re going to want to first focus on making sure that your website is set up and optimized properly for visitors coming in from search engines, review sites, social media, and any other digital platforms.
I recommend getting started with your own self-hosted WordPress site, as opposed to using a free blogging platform, and setting it up with a relevant theme.
If you need help with setting up your site you can check out my post on starting a blog.
With your website up and running you want to have a few main pages for your visitors to check out. These include:
- Home page
- About page (provide more information about your B&B)
- Rooms page (that showcase all of the different rooms)
- Rates page (what your nightly rates are)
- Service page (a separate page for any special amenity you offer at the property)
- Blog page (where you maintain your blog and general travel info for visitors)
On all of these pages you’ll want to include relevant keywords, something I’ll cover a little more in-depth in the next section.
With these keywords you’ll want to use the name of your B&B as well as the location on each page. This consistency is going to help both your visitors as well as search engines, which will really help you to grow your business in the long run.
Create Content Regularly Using the Right Keywords
As the owner of a B&B or small inn you might not think that blogging is something that you should be focusing on
However, you might be surprised to find that it can have a positive impact on getting more bookings and growing your business.
Creating content and uploading it to your site regularly is going to give Google and other search engines a better idea of what your site is about. It’s going to make it easier for search engines to show your B&B site in relevant online searches for potential guests.
When people head online before their trip they’re going to be looking up things like “places to stay in Lake Placid” or “best small B&B’s in PEI”. By including relevant keywords like this on your site you’re going to be a lot more likely to show up in the search results when people make searches like this.
Along with simple search phrases like “B&B and “inn” people are also going to be looking for things like “child-free accommodation”, “romantic B&B’s”, “vegan accommodation”, and a wide range of other search terms that travelers are going to use for finding somewhere to stay.
You want to make sure you’re being descriptive in your content and including relevant keywords where they’ll fit.
To find keywords I recommend using a tool like KWFinder. This tool makes it super easy to find relevant keywords for your B&B that can help you get more customers and bookings.
As for what to blog about, here are some ideas you can consider that will bring people to your B&B website that are interested in visiting your local area and looking for somewhere to stay:
- Things to do in destination
- Fun activities for kids in destination
- Destination guide for tourists
- Best restaurants in destination
- Hiking trails in destination
- Destination hidden gems for visitors
Something else to keep in mind is that you’ll want to include the name of your B&B, its location, and the phone number on each page of your site. Having this contact info on every page makes it easier for your guests to get a hold of you to make a booking and it also gives Google and other search engines a much better idea of your location, which really helps for local optimization.
Participate on Social Media
Instead of having to rely completely on search engines to bring visitors to your site you should also be focusing on social media.
Using social media sites has a positive impact on SEO for your own website and can help more people find your accommodation, which can lead to more bookings and relevancy in the long run.
For a B&B I’d recommend getting set up on the platforms that are image friendly like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Setting up a Facebook page can work too and it can make it easier for people to contact you if you’re actively monitoring a Facebook page.
For each of the different platforms you’ll want to fill out the profile properly and include a unique profile image, a detailed description of the property, and links back to your B&B website where applicable.
Take the time to learn how these platforms work and each day upload a relevant photo or quick blurb depending on the platform you’re using.
You’ll want to include relevant hashtags as well so that you’re showing up in searches for people looking for more information about your local area. For example, if your B&B is located in Lake Placid you can use hashtags like “#lakeplacid” or “visitadirondacks” or “newyorkbnb”.
People that are planning to visit the area will be looking up these hashtags beforehand and if they’re intrigued by your property it’s likely they’ll contact you for more information – possibly leading to a booking.
Take Advantage of Local SEO
One of the most important factors of optimizing your B&B for SEO is to take advantage of all of the local optimization available to you.
This means getting set up on different websites such as Google My Business and local citation sites.
By citation sites I mean somewhere that you’re able to add a link back to your B&B website. This can include places like your local Chamber of Commerce website, any national or regional B&B directories, tourism board accommodation lists, and so on.
This is going to help both with your SEO and also with bringing visitors to your site that are checking out these other online areas.
From my experience working with plenty of B&B’s and inns, local tourism boards especially have a positive impact and bringing these properties more business as they’re able to provide personal recommendations for accommodation to people looking for suggestions.
Ask Your Guests for Reviews
Review sites are another type of search engine that travelers use to find out more information about places to stay when they’re traveling.
It’s really easy to ask guests to leave you reviews and I’d recommend asking for a TripAdvisor review and possibly mentioning something about Facebook or Google Reviews as well.
Having reviews for your B&B, especially on Google, can help show the Google search engine that you’re a business that they want to be recommending for their users.
It also encourages other people using Google and TripAdvisor to stay at your B&B, which is going to lead to more bookings.
Focusing on getting reviews is going to result in your B&B or inn showing up higher in the results on TripAdvisor and Google is also going to use their own review system when they rank your site.
For Google and TripAdvisor you’ll need to sign up for accounts on these two platforms and add all of the relevant information. Then you can simply send your guests an email after they check out suggesting that they leave a review or you can just mention it to them directly.
After just a few stay you should already have gotten some reviews and this is really going to help you in the long run when it comes to getting more bookings and building up your B&B business.
Setting aside some time each day to focus on improving the SEO for your B&B or inn is bound to have a huge impact on helping you get more customers and growing your business.
It might seem really technical and daunting at first but if you take the time to try out these different strategies and techniques then you can definitely get on top of your search engine optimization.
After just a few days or weeks you’ll start to see some improvements and a few months from now you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start implementing better SEO sooner.
If you’re too busy or if you need help with optimizing your website for search engines don’t hesitate to contact me directly.
I’d love to take a look at your website and work with you towards growing your B&B and getting you more bookings!