B&Bs, farmstays and holiday homes aren’t usually located in highly populated areas. Booking agencies maintain that you won’t be able to attract attention on your own if you run a small business like this. Well, in our experience, this is simply not the case. Having a great website can be all you need to succeed online.
No More Agency Fees
Fees paid to booking channels can be a killer for small accomodation businesses. The big sites take such a significant margin from profits that many B&B / farmstay operators and holiday home owners are left wondering if it’s worth the effort. Attracting direct bookings through your own website instead reduces agency fees to zero.
We have several clients who run B&Bs, farmstays and holiday homes based in rural and remote regions and take their own bookings. They report a steady flow of business without having to pay third party fees and they feel pretty happy about that.
Get Ahead of the Competition
Large booking channels also put you right up against your competitors with very little space to tell your story. With so little information it can be hard to communicate why your property is offering something special.
Your own farmstay, B&B or holiday house website will give you a chance to highlight what is unique about your property – and to use this content to get direct attention from your prospective guests online. Great content helps you move up the Google search rankings and beat your competitors.
You can attract traffic to your website by publishing articles about local sporting and cultural events or seasonal and natural attractions in your area. Reach out to tour operators or tourism associations in your region too, and link to one another’s websites.
Simply by publishing relevant content regularly that promotes your region, you can attract links to your website, improve your Google search rankings and bring in more bookings – we’ve seen it done! No time to do this? Consider re-prioritising or getting help – there are tools and services available to assist you, and any outlay of time or money will surely pay off in the long run.
Let Pictures Tell Your Story
People buy on emotion, and your own website gives you a chance to tell your story through images as much as words. You have space to showcase photos that are going to appeal to the type of customer you want to attract. An example of this would be images that show a really special view from your property, or even pictures from a local tour.
Remember that quality is important too! Poor images won’t cut it. Explore your state tourism department image library for free, good quality photos.
Make Personal Contact
The best part of having your own farmstay, holiday home or B&B website is the unique content, news posts and testimonials you are able to publish. These can make people feel as if they know you already. It gives you a chance to have a more personal conversation with your prospects too. This makes it easier for them to pick up the phone and talk with you about their booking.