Friday, December 9, 2011

Finally starting a blog for your inn?

Here are the answers to some FAQ's about Inn Blogging
Guest blog by David Pearce from TRIPPO INC "An Inn Marketing Agency"


1. Should my blog be a separate entity or integrated into my website?

Both ways will benefit your business by driving additional traffic, however, I would strongly recommend hosting the blog on your own domain. The reason is simple, SEO. If you're going to spend the time (and it does take time) creating unique content for your blog then you want to make sure you're getting the credit for it.



Blogs are one of the best ways to generate inbound links. If you post an interesting blog post, and someone links to it, you want that link to be for your domain (www.yourinn.com). If the blog is not on your own domain then that SEO link juice will go to something like blogger.com or wordpress.com.

Also, as you may have heard Google is beginning to factor in freshness into their search results. While I don't expect this heavily impacting lodging-type searches, it will certainly affect other types of searches you could show up in. Thus having fresh content on your site is important. If you're blogging then you're creating fresh content, however if the blog is not on your own domain then again you're not getting the SEO credit you deserve.

2. Should I just call my blog, "Blog"?

Generally speaking "Blog" or "News" seem to be the most common. If you plan to mostly post about things relative to the inn (discounts, events, packages, etc.) then I would go with "News". If you plan to be more broader and include featured posts on nearby attractions, recipes, etc. then I would go with "Blog".

3. What should my blog's URL path be?


You can add it as a subdomain (blog.yourinn.com) or as a subdirectory (www.yourinn.com/blog). If you're calling your blog something other than "Blog", your URL should reflect that (www.yourinn.com/news). I don't believe there is really a significant difference in which route you go. However, unless you have multiple subdomain's it's probably best for consistency that you use a subdirectory (www.yourinn.com/blog).

4. What should I blog about?

Heather Turner has a great list of blog ideas you can find here

5. Should I allow comments on my blog?

Comments are a great way to allow visitors to engage with you. To ask questions, or to provide feedback. At the same time, comment forms generate an enormous amount of spam from people and bots looking to build links back to their own website. I recommend allowing comments but you'll need to take measures to prevent spam.

If you use wordpress there is a great plugin called Akismet that will block most spam. You can also moderate each new comment so that you must approve it before it get's posted and/or install CAPTCHA's to try and block out bots from posting. Another option is to use a plugin to install a 3rd party commenting system like Facebook Comments or Disqus. We currently use Disqus on our blog as it still allows for unregistered/anonymous comments.

Follow the Trippo Blog here for no-nonsense advice on online marketing. You can email David if you are interested in learning more about Trippo Inc, website here with contact information.