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Starting a bed and breakfast business
2010-02-21: OK, this blog is all very well but let's make it real. Let's take, over time, a bed and breakfast, preferably someone who is starting a bed and breakfast business near to Scarborough, and publicise it using all the things I know.
How did that idea come about?
As I was writing the previous blog I was thinking, well, I'm not really taking my own advice. The best way I've found to blog is to write the blog, leave it overnight, then tidy it up, add-in key search terms ("start a bed and breakfast business" is one for this article), and then publish it.
So I took the previous blog's text and put it into Google's Keyword Tool. That is supposed to take the text, work out what it's about, and provide other keyphrases that might be of interest.
It can do this because Google, obviously, knows what people type into the search engines. So its suggestions are based on those search terms, and it provides both the frequency of use and an indication of how competitively each term is fought over in Google's Adwords pay per click advertising system.
If you've not seen this sort of tool before, let's be clear how big a deal that is. Type in any phrase (for this, I typed in "starting a bed and breakfast"), and Google will tell you the number of times people are searching for that phrase (320 times per month) and similar ones ("how to start a bed and breakfast", 170), and how keen people are to bid for each of those terms (maybe 6/10). It's nothing to do with your website, it's about search frequency in Google. That's awesome market information, even if you're not doing Internet marketing, even if you just want to know what to stock in your shop.
Anyway, it's a bit imperfect when presented with a lot of text. It thinks the key issue I talk about in this blog is starting up in business. I mention 'startup' only twice and talk about all sorts of other things, so that doesn't really make sense, but the point is .. perhaps in that case my own blogs should be more optimised for keywords than they are.
So wandering down the results of Google's Keyword Tool, a phrase like "start a business" has 90,500 searches per month in the UK, and 10/10 for competitiveness. I don't think I really have a right to be in that space, so let's keep looking.

Marketing a bed and breakfast business online

Well, to cut a long story short I settled on "starting a bed and breakfast" (I kinda like people who are willing to type out "bed and breakfast" rather than B&B). As I said above, that phrase attracts 320 searches per month, so 10 per day, and the competition's maybe 6/10. I've worked successfully with lots of B&Bs so I know what I'm doing .. I live in Scarborough after all .. so I think I have a right to be there when someone types in "starting a bed and breakfast", "how to start a bed and breakfast business" or even "run a bed and breakfast". And if I can get to work with a new startup bed and breakfast business every month, I'd be happy with that.
So I think what I'm looking for is a guinea pig bed and breakfast business, someone who is willing to go through the whole process of publicising their bed and breakfast with me, 'live', even on camera. YouTube, blogging, Twitter, Facebook .. the whole shebang. And let's see if what I say and do works on a real business. It can be a new bed and breakfast business or one that needs more visitors.
So basically, if you are a bed and breakfast, especially if you're starting a bed and breakfast in or near Scarborough and you fancy that, get in touch. First come, first served.

By John Allsopp
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