Top Ten Tips for A Successful B&B Website
Published on: 8th January 2014
Top Ten Tips for A Successful B&B Website
We've had the pleasure of making many B&B websites for lots of lovely B&Bs over more than ten years, and our experiences have give us a great insight into what makes a really great B&B website.
Here Are Our Top Tips For Making A Great B&B Website
1. Get Professional Photos Taken
People buy first with their eyes when it comes to finding places to stay. A professional photographer will be able to make your property look fabulous, and help you style your rooms for maximum impact. We've worked with some brilliant photographers, including www.lesleychalmers.com, www.jonathan-gooding.co.uk, www.sevenspringsstudios.com, who created memorable and evocative picture for our B&B clients. If your photos are poor then no amount of great website design will make your B&B look great.
2. Work With a Web Designer That Understands B&Bs
Many web agencies will try and sell "off the shelf" website designs to you, but B&B businesses are different and "off the shelf" may not work very well for you. There's a lot more to consider with setting up or re-launching a B&B website, and you'll probably need some practical and relevant advice on how to make it work. It also takes some market sensitivity to understand how to pitch your particular B&B on the internet.
3. Make Sure Your Site Is Search Engine Optimised
This means that your site code needs to be well written, your copy needs to be full of useful information for visitors and your images need to be well labelled to attract search engine's attention. SEO also extends to the social media marketing that will need to be part of the mix... A good design agency will be able to explain exactly what you need to do to maximise the SEO value of your site. No SEO = No Visitors = No Guests.
4. Let People Know What's Happening Locally
Use your site's news section (which is a real "must-have") to tell people about forthcoming events and activities in the area. Tell them about your milestones and successes with your B&B too; is the garden looking lovely, have you won an award for your B&B, have you redecorated your rooms, have you bought beautiful new bedlinen...? There's lots you can say that will be interesting to guests.
5. Make Sure Your Site Works Well On Mobile Phones And Tablets (iPads)
More and more people are using mobile phones and tablets to search the web and research their leisure activities. Make sure that your site works well on mobile devices. There are lots of clever ways to make this happen and a good design company will be able to suggest and build an appropriate solution for your website.
6. Consider Paying For A Listing On A National B&B Directory
If you're launching a new B&B then getting listed with www.quintessentialbedandbreakfast.co.uk or other high quality, respected online B&B directories will immediately bring people to your website, sometimes even before Google sends you visitors.
7. Link Your News Up To Social Media Networks
Make sure, at the minimum that your news is published on social media networks like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Doing this doesn't mean you have to spend hours on social media, it just means that any news stories you write on your website will get published immediately on the social networks, automatically, without any extra effort. Obviously lots of people talk about their holidays on social media websites, so if you're on there already, they can refer friends and colleagues to you directly, which can be really useful as a marketing channel too.
8. Make It Quick And Easy To Get In Touch
Make sure your website has your phone numbers and email addresses displayed prominently so you can receive peoples' enquiries with minimum effort. Some B&Bs like to put an availability calendar on their site, but in our experience this is not a necessity. If guests phone, but the date is booked, it may be possible to suggest a different date and therefore not lose the booking, whereas a calendar will almost always mean that people just ignore you and move on.
9. Make It Easy To Find You
Put a Google Map and key directions to your B&B on your website. Times from major cities can be a bonus too. "1 Hour from London" really shows that you're accessible, and have experience of accommodating guests from London. Train, plane and road times are helpful. Make sure your map is at the right level of zoom too, so people can see major towns and cities nearby, and get a sense of where you are.
10. Continue To Review And Update Your Website Regularly
Search engines like fresh content, and guests too like to know that your site reflects your B&B as it is now. Only showing awards from years ago makes people think you're standards have slipped recently, and that the quality of your B&B has dropped. It is better to remove old awards, unless you've won them every year to date, to remove this doubt in people's minds.
11! Work With a Web Designer That Understands B&Bs
A web designer that knows about B&Bs will be able to build a site that really works for you, and also help to support you with good ideas, training and guidance for maximising the effectiveness of your website. They will also be able to let you know about new web developments that can help you promote your business as they emerge. A good web design agency will be there for the long run, and be committed to making your B&B really successful on the web.
Together these tips form the bedrock of our approach to successful B&B design and has resulted in our B&B websites generating enquiries and interest almost as soon as they're launched.
If you're looking to make your B&B website more effective then please ring us on 01305 753769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk through these ideas with you.