We all know we should be blogging. But why? Well, for starters, to put it in real talk and not fancy acronyms, it’s the fastest way to drive traffic to your inn’s website — and those online visitors could become offline guests.
Tip #1: Write a Good Title
The blog post title is key to your blog post being found. There are a few rules to follow, and when executed well, you will drive traffic to your blog:
Use smart keywords that describe what your post is about AND relates to what someone is searching on
The title must be 55 characters or less (including spaces) – otherwise Google truncates it in a search result
If your title is running long, put your best keywords first
BAD: Read Local
GOOD: Anderson’s Bookstore in Lititz PA Supports Read Local (Descriptive and 53 characters including spaces)
BAD: Tomato Sauce
GOOD: Quick and Easy Recipe for Fresh Roma Tomato Sauce (Descriptive and 49 characters including spaces)
Tip #2: Mind Your Content
Blog Posts should be at least 150-250 words in length to gain credibility and authority with Google. If you are really creating good, quality content, you can easily write a minimum of 150 words on any topic. And of course, your content should completely support the great title you just wrote per tip #1 !
Also, every blog post should have at least one related image or photo, so that it instantly re-affirms to someone they’ve arrived on a page that delves into the topic they thought they clicked on to get there. We’ll get into particulars in another blog post but for now — just make sure your images are copyright-free, which means you’ve taken the photo yourself, have assured by all parties involved (in writing) that you may use the image, or purchased it for this specific use. It’s not appropriate to post an image you find online as your own.
Tip #3: Link but Don’t Overdo It
Use links sparingly. This leads back to tip #2: your post should have enough detailed content to keep the reader on your blog post long enough to gain all of the information they are looking for. If you are writing about an event that requires a ticket or other purchase, then link them back to your website (if you are doing the selling) or to the third-party site to complete that part of the transaction. Too many links back to your own site or to third party sites can start to look suspicious to the search engines.
So, if you searched for the name of the bookstore (we used in tip #1), in that town, in that state, it should have a very good shot of being picked up. If you have a page on your website with seven bookstores, ten antique shops, and 17 restaurants, then things start to get really muddled. That bookstore becomes a minnow in the ocean, and the likelihood of that page coming up in search engines is far less likely than if you wrote a blog post about just that bookstore.
Not to mention, writing a blog post and linking it back, helps the synergy between you and that local business owner. In fact, someone searching for information on that store may see your site, like how well written your blog is, and decide to stay at your inn, a thought they didn’t have when they first stumbled upon your website.
In the end, keeping a regularly updated blog means there’s more and more for the search engines to index. It’s important to check that your blog has been correctly integrated into your website, because if it’s done right, the more you write, the more you’ll grow, the higher you’ll rise in the search engine rankings. How do you know if your website is properly integrated with your blog? If you use WordPress, your blog address should haveyour site name, then a slash, then the word blog, like this: http://www.bedandbrunchpr.com/blog. If you’re on Blogger, then your blog address should have the word blog, then a dot, then the site name and no www, like this: blog.bedandbrunchpr.com.