Marketing a guesthouse or B&B online

Customers via Google to website

Getting more internet bookings to your website can be a challenge. Especially when you are juggling the day-to-day tasks for your small tourism business and working with limited resources. Often during the busy summer months you just don’t have the time to sit down and work out the nitty gritty of how to market your bed and breakfast. However, there are a few things I would recommend for you to consider if you want to increase online bookings.


Who are your customers?

Here is a quick exercise that can help you identify your customer base. It is really helpful with any marketing you do.

  1. On a sticky note describe who your main customers are ( use 1 sticky note per customer type) eg. couples from the UK between 45-55, families from the US or perhaps you have lots of hiking enthusiasts from Germany.
  2. Now pick up one sticky note and ask yourself how would this person book my tourism business? Eg. would they search particular keywords on Google, use word of mouth, use an Online Travel Agency such as Tripadvisor or hotel reservation agency like, through a guidebook, online ad or Facebook etc. Look at your website analytics or statistics for this also. Go through each sticky note one by one.
  3. What information is important to this customer to make a decision to book,  for eg. It might be important for UK couples to know that there is secure car parking facilities or that pubs or entertainment is close by etc. think about what makes your business stand out.

How to optimise your website?

Now that you have identified your key customers. Go through each of these questions and ask yourself can this be improved?

  1. Look at your website, is all the information that each of these customers needs there?
  2. Are the titles, headings and meta description reflect what people are searching for?
  3. How easy is it for a customer to check availability?
  4. How easy is it for a customer to make a booking on your website?
  5. If a customer has a question are your contact details listed clearly and accurately?
  6. Are there images of all aspects of your business?
  7. Do all the image file names have keywords eg. Dublin-guesthouse.jpg?
  8. Have you used Alt tags with keywords so search engines can see them?
  9. Do you have links to your Facebook or Twitter pages so people can easily share information on your site?
  10. What does your website look like on a mobile or tablet device?
  11. How long does it take for your website to load?

Hold tight, in the next couple of posts I will have info on Google Places, Facebook Places more on social media, email marketing & OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies)


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