Internet Marketing Weekly: Attract guests traveling with pets to your bed and breakfast.

Marketing your pet-friendly B&B

Take advantage of the growing number of people traveling with pets.

Do you allow pets at your bed and breakfast? If so, how often do you welcome guests with pets? Have you noticed the growing trend in pet travel? Do potential guests know your inn is pet friendly?

Let’s brainstorm. What could you do to spread the word about your accommodating pet policy?

Advertise your pet friendliness on your website

Let’s start with the basics: make sure your website states that you are pet friendly. Add information about your pet policy, like the maximum size of the pets you accept, the closest dog walking area, and the pet-specific amenities you offer. Do you offer dog treats at check-in? Is there a grassy area across the street where Fido can get some exercise? Are certain rooms set aside for pets, while others are kept pet-free? Do you have any resident pets?

Be positive when writing your policies. Don’t scare off potential guests with a list of finger-shaking rules, which sends a message of distrust. Instead, use your policies as an opportunity to welcome responsible pet owners. For example:

  • Negative: “We don’t accept pets over 50 pounds.”
    Better: “We welcome pets up to 50 pounds.”
  • Negative: “Your dog must be leashed at all times.”
    Better: “We ask that your dog be leashed in our public spaces.”
  • Negative: “Poop-scooping is required.”
    Better: “Please clean up after your pet. We are happy to provide plastic baggies and directions to the nearby dog park.”
  • Negative: “Dogs are restricted to the Tulip Room.”
    Better: “Dogs are welcome in the Tulip Room. We also provide pet-free, allergen-free rooms for the comfort of those with allergies.”

Ideally, devote a whole page just to pets. You can optimize this page for search engines so that it shows up in searches for pet-friendly lodging in your area. Plus, a whole page is more visible to your website visitors than a bullet point hidden on your policies page.

Write blog posts about area pet-friendly activities

Dog beach

Blog about local attractions and activities that pets can enjoy, like dog-friendly beaches and dog parks.

Use your blog to expand on the pet-friendly qualities of your inn as well as your town. The more content people see on your site about pets, the more comfortable they’ll be with booking a getaway with Spot. The more content search engines see on your site about pets, the more likely your site will be to rank well for pet-friendly lodging.

Here are some ideas for pet-friendly blog post topics:

  • Area dog parks
  • Best routes for dog walks
  • Pet-friendly restaurants in your area
  • Pet-friendly activities and attractions in your area

Get your pet-loving Facebook fans involved

Ask your guests to post pictures of their pets at famous landmarks on your Facebook page.

Let your Facebook fans help with your marketing efforts. Social media should play an integral part in your marketing efforts, and marketing to pet travelers is no exception. Fortunately, pet lovers can make this easy. Here are some ideas for promoting your pet-friendly rooms on Facebook:

  • Encourage guests to take photos of their pets and post them on your inn’s Facebook wall. People love taking pictures of their pets, and people love looking at pictures of pets.
  • Hold a photo contest in which you feature the winner’s photo in your page’s cover photo. Ask for pictures of pets around your inn, at a famous area landmark, or at a local pet-friendly attraction.

Do you have any tips for ways to attract guests traveling with pets? What has worked for you in the past? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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