Historic Lincoln Hotel

The Historic Lincoln Hotel in Lowden, Iowa.  We recently finished designing their new Web site and would love for you to go and visit the site at: http://www.lincolnhoteliowa.com

The Lincoln Hotel, tucked in the junction of Old Lincoln and Hoover highways, is located on the southern tip of Iowa’s Wine Country. Built in 1915, the Lincoln originally hosted workers and travelers on the Pacific and Northwestern Railroads and the Old Lincoln Highway.

Completely refurbished, the hotel was present the “Best Restoration in Iowa” award in 1996 by Governor Branstead. (*See photo on the site of Brad Norton and Governor Branstead.)

If you are wanting to see a good example of the beginnings of a “travel links page,”  go to the Map and Attractions page on this site.  The site has outbound links to several local attractions, but a high quality link to a very popular tourism site.  This one link will help ensure the site is indexed fairly regularly once the innkeeper acquires a link exchange from the Eastern Iowa Tourism site.

Search Engine Rankings & Web Directories

What is a Web Directory?

A web directory is a collection of links broken down into relevant categories. Think Yahoo! and their directory, the Open Directory Project (ODP) or even the Google Directory (which, incidentally, is pulled from the ODP). At its most basic level, a web directory is a collection of bookmarks made available to the public. In other cases, like Yahoo, it is a professional resource for people actively looking for information.

To get listed in such a directory, you can either get listed for free (which might take a while), or in many cases, pay a one-time fee to have your website reviewed and entered in the directory.

Innkeepers, you need to submit your Web site to the ODP, that way you’ll get into the Google Directory. If you want to pay for inclusion into the Yahoo directory, ($299 is a bit expensive, but it saves you weeks of waiting.)

Once you know your site has been indexed and added to Google or Yahoo, begin to focus on a “travel links page.” We try to add such a page to every innkeeper’s Web site we create. It is a valuable page to not only the potential guest, but also to the link exchange efforts that all innkeepers should make.

Once you have a few quality outbound links on your travel links page, arrange for a site that is spidered regularly (this is the term used when a search engine robot indexes your site) to link to your site and the spiders will find you quicker. Once you are on the index, build link partnerships, so that spiders find your link each time they visit the sites that are linking to you.

We used to resubmit sites monthly to the search engines, today that behavior could actually harm your ranking on some search engines. So, don’t resubmit every month, it won’t do you any good and it could end up doing you harm.

If a site that carries your link is regularly spidered, it should only take a matter of 2-3 days for your site to be fully indexed (if it is properly linked), on Google and should feature on Yahoo and MSN within 1 to 3 weeks.

Also, don’t waste time submitting to piddly minor search engines, when the only ones you really need to worry about are Google, Yahoo and MSN. Once you are featured in these three, any engines worth their salt will find you, or receive feeds from these engines anyway.