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If you are a published author, and would like to be considered for an WritersCast.com interview, reading or discussion, contact David Wilk (firstname.lastname@example.org). Send a brief description of your work, and the kinds of things you might be interested in talking about on WritersCast. Or send a copy of your newest book to Booktrix, P.O. Box 3131, Westport, CT 06880 along with your contact information. We’ll get back to you in short order.
Just read an excellent point At MarketingProfs: DailyFix.
Gerry McGovern writes about how Links Are the Grammar of the Web.Â He points out how Internet readers want to skip the details (the textual content) and get straight to the point (the link).
As an innkeeper, when you link out to other blogs, consider linking to the text that will most interest your potential guest.
True sage advice!Â Thank you Gerry McGovern.
Six Web Must Do’s for the Bed and Breakfast Inn
By Amelia Painter
Your Web site is like having a top sales person marketing your inn 24 hour/7 days a week. Here are five must-do’s for innkeepers to help make the most of their Internet marketing program.
Create it for Guests
Your inn is filled with vibrant, colorful, exciting real people that serve the guest – feature them. The ownership team, the chef and general manager should certainly have pictures and brief bios on the site’s About Us page. Don’t stop there though-include the whole team when possible. Have a photo taken of the entire staff. It’s a small gesture, but it helps show the personality and flavor of the inn to folks visiting your Web site. It also gives a spark of pride to everyone on your staff to know that they are included.
One Photo Worth a Thousand Words
Great photography on a site jumps out and makes an impression. Surprisingly, many sites have few pictures, or low quality photos. Don’t make this mistake. The Web is a beautiful four-color world with no real space limitations like a print ad or brochure would have. This is especially important for upscale inns. Show your dÃ©cor, showcase common areas and gardens, highlight the size of private Suites.
Put Your Brand on Everything
The goal, of course, in developing a Web site is to have potential guests visit it. Make sure to cover the basics like including your Web site address on business cards, match books and print ads. If you custom print napkins or other materials make sure your address is included there as well.
Search Regularly for your Site
Do a Google, Yahoo and MSN search for your site. This is how most potential guests will try to find your inn on the Web. Hopefully your inn’s Web site will appear towards the top of the search results. If it doesn’t, you need to speak with your Webmaster and begin to resolve this issue.
Stay in Touch
E-mail offers several great ways to effectively and affordably communicate with past and potential guests. Hopefully, you are already collecting customer email addresses through comment forms, business cards or other means. You can also be capturing information from prospects that visit your Web site by offering an email sign-up form online.Â Of course it is important not to send spam email so these sign-up forms make sure that you have permission to email these folks.
Is the Valentine’s Day special still listed on your site in July? Do all e-mail queries that come in get answered?Â If you are having problems getting your Webmaster to keep data current, have a blog installed so you can be in charge of all lodging specials and keep the community event info on your site timely.
This hits on a broader point — many inns underutilize their Web sites and the Internet. A marketing or design firm builds the site and that is the end of it. No updates, no new content, no nothing. Avoid the pitfall of the “dead” site by dedicating someone from your inn to be your “Web” guy or gal.Â The important thing is that someone is responsible on a day-to-day basis for making necessary updates and responding to incoming customer e-mails. At the end of the day, you’ve got to work your Web site to have it work for you and your guests.
Having a Web site is a great thing. Having an effective site that sells for you and gives your guests the information they are seeking is smart marketing – and will help you successfully drive new and repeat business to your inn. Make sure you’re implementing these six must-do’s. Beyond these areas get creative and have fun — the Internet is an important part of your marketing and sales program.Â If you need assistance fromÂ ourÂ team of WebÂ professionals,Â contact us at 712-260-5372.