An innkeeper recently asked us how they can improve their conversion from BedandBreakfast.com to their website. We think that many other innkeepers are probably wondering the same thing, so we wanted to share some insight here.
Some travelers only spend a few seconds looking at a page before they decide to stay or click away, so your photos and listing descriptions must quickly capture them. With so many B&Bs to choose from, your listing needs to stand out and give a peek into what a stay at your property is like. That will lead them to click on your website to learn more or book.
How can you make your listing more effective in order to drive more travelers to your website? Here are seven strategies:
1) Use all of the photo slots available to you. We often see that many members do not take advantage of all of the photo slots they’re paying for! Remember, Bronze members get 1 photo, Silver get 10 photos, Gold get 15, and Platinum and Diamond Collection get 25.
2) Lead with your best images; your thumbnail image should really show off your property. The exterior photo of Castle in the Country to the right is a great example. Our surveys show that photos are incredibly important to the majority of travelers. Think about it—would you want to stay at a B&B or hotel if all the photos were fuzzy and outdated? Remove photos of poor quality, as that is a huge turn-off to potential guests. It’s better to have a few high-quality photos than many low-quality photos. We highly recommend investing in a professional photographer to take high-resolution, well-lit photos that capture your inn at its best. They are also skilled at staging. For more information, read our articles about 10 photo mistakes to avoid and how to select a photographer.
3) Add photo captions. Potential guests want to know what they are seeing, whether it’s the name of a specific guest room or a description of a delicious breakfast dish.
4) Make your inn description clear and detailed. It should point out your inn’s best and most unique features. It’s the perfect place to mention things like close proximity to local attractions, gourmet food, luxurious amenities, or awards you’ve won. It’s also an ideal place to mention who your inn is perfect for. Is it an adults-only inn ideally geared toward a romantic getaway? Or is it family-friendly? Be specific.
5) Solicit reviews from your guests, especially if you don’t have many on your listing. In addition to photos, our surveys show that reviews are highly important to travelers. They develop trust. Not sure how to get them? When guests check out, ask them to write you a review when they get home if they enjoyed themselves. Send follow-up emails to recent guests thanking them for their stay and asking for them to write you a review. We can also send you free review cards that you can leave in your rooms, which can be mailed back to us at no cost. Email Support@BedandBreakfast.com to request them.
6) List specials and packages to let guests know about some of the great extras they can purchase. You should also consider listing a Hot Deal, as travelers can search for these on the site and opt in to receive emails each week that list Hot Deals in the location of their preference.
7) Fill out all the fields on your profile including room information and meals information so that guests know what to expect.
Create an experience that the guest will love, starting with your listing. Use it to show them in great detail what an amazing experience they will have at your property. That will grab their interest and lead them straight to your website.
By Emily Starbuck Crone