To stay afloat in this competitive market, you cannot entirely rely on online booking sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com to provide you with sufficient reservations. If you have your own website, you can be independent, accept bookings directly, and save on fees.
Having a website is, unfortunately, not enough to attract visitors.
Below I give you a list of tips on how you can attract more visitors to your B&B website, increase traffic, and secure more bookings.
7 ways to attract more visitors to your B&B website
1. Have a professional website
To transform visitors into bookers, you need a professional website with clear navigation and optimized web design. Visitors must be able to easily and quickly find all the information they need. If your website looks well cared for and professional, it sends an unmistakable message to potential guests that you have a heart for your B&B. This message carries even so far that many visitors assume that if the website is of high quality, the B&B is too. The opposite is also true. Amateur and malfunctioning websites scare guests off because if the site is cared for so poorly, the accommodation surely must also be a mess.
2. Have a mobile-friendly website
More than 60% of the website traffic of my clients with a vacation rental is mobile traffic. So you will miss out on bookings if your website is not mobile-friendly. If visitors cannot read what is on your site, they will certainly not book with you.
A website that is displayed well on all kinds of different screens is called responsive. It’s not only great for your visitors that the site can also be seen on a tablet or smartphone but also Google gives great importance to this. Google penalizes non-responsive websites with a lower ranking in the search results.
The new generation of WordPress themes is responsive. But that does not mean that you can blindly trust that your site will look just as good on smartphones as it does on a computer. It is often necessary to polish up the mobile version for an optimal display and user experience.
3. Have a search engine friendly website
The above mentioned responsive website is the first step towards a search engine-friendly site. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can seem very complicated at first, but there are several simple tasks that you can perform on your website yourself. Every website I deliver has the Yoast SEO plugin installed. This plugin allows you to get started by yourself to improve the content on your site, and add keywords and descriptions. SEO is a long process, so please do not expect that you will get results quickly and end up on the first page of the search results.
4. Translate your website into more languages
If you focus on international guests, it is a good idea to translate the site into multiple languages. In addition to an English version, you can opt for several additional languages. Which ones depend on the market and type of guest you are targeting and which languages you speak. If you translate your site into Chinese, you must also be able to answer questions from Chinese people.
Prevent incomprehensible texts and strange errors by using a competent translator and do not rely on automatic translations.
A multilingual website must be set up professionally, and for SEO purposes and Google ranking, the languages must be properly separated from each other. Mixing multiple languages on a page is not only confusing for visitors but also for Google, and it will negatively influence your ranking.
5. Write a blog post regularly
With a blog, you can not only improve the SEO of your site but also make a valuable connection with your visitors. By regularly writing a blog post, new content is added to your website that is indexed by Google. Thus, more and more visitors will find their way to your site. As a local, you possess a wealth of information about the area, the best restaurants, or the most beautiful walking routes. Write about what you know to give your guests a truly unforgettable vacation and to interest potential guests.
You can then share these blog posts on social media and include them in your newsletter.
6. Set up a newsletter
An email list and newsletter is still one of the most efficient ways to reach customers directly. Collect the email addresses of guests who have booked with you and add a subscription form to your website. With a free MailChimp account, you can create beautiful newsletters and send them to your email list. Remember that you cannot just add an email address to the list without explicit permission.
In the newsletter, you can promote a special offer or last minute, link your blog posts, and share other news.
7. Be active on social media
Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, and with a Facebook page, you create a lot of new opportunities to reach new customers. Share your page, invite friends, post photos, talk about everyday life, and share your blog posts. Join interest groups where you can promote your B&B.
Instagram is mainly for sharing beautiful pictures, but you can add some text and link to your website from your profile page.
On Facebook and Instagram, there is also the possibility of paid ads.
With the rapid rise of video, YouTube has become a very important tool to be found online. Google is the owner of Youtube, and therefore, it is a good idea to share your videos on YouTube with a good description and keywords.