Checklist for assessing a BnB / guesthouse online-presence

Things to look at when reviewing the on-line presence of a small hotel, guest-house, bed-and-breakfast or similar.

Most businesses shouldn't try to set up everything all at once.   If they try, they won't learn the skills to keep it all up to date.

A businesses on-line presence is a work in progress:  it is only "finished" when the business closes.   No one can or should do everything on the lists below.   Just do what will contribute most to meeting their business goals short / medium / long term.

This list is a work-in-progress too - it grows / changes at on-line platforms come and go.


  • Landline
  • Cellphone
  • Skype 
  • WhatsApp


  • Non-personal address   ( or are fine, isn't)
  • Regularly monitored and responses sent

Booking engine listings

  • Others, depending on the market - look at where competitiors are listed.
  • For each one:  entries set up, rates and availability regularly updated  (approach varies depending on tools used), bookings accepted.


  • Exists
  • Owner controls the website and the domain registration
  • Attractive on desktop
  • Works well on mobile
  • One really attractive photo of the property
  • Photos of the room and other facilities
  • Logo or other identity graphic
  • Information about the rooms and facilities:   rooms, parking, Wifi, breakfast included / menu, smoking policy, pets policy, suitable for children (cots / beds), lounge or sitting room access, guests, parties, group bookings, 
  • Room rates displayed - comparable to booking engine prices
  • Info about payment methods, cancellation policies
  • How to book - Book-now button
  • Uses a booking engine, not an insecure form / email
  • Link to Tripadvisor listing
  • Google map with exact location
  • Customer testimonials / references
  • No irrelevant links
  • Local attractions / activities / events / restaurant / shopping information is up to date or timeless
  • Multi-lingual
  • Industry association links / ratings   (eg Failté, 3-star)
  • Inbound links from other relevant business only
  • Copyright statement (not legally necessary- just to put off naive people)
    • Google Analytics set up and regularly monitored

    Google Maps / Places listing

    • Correct name, phone number, website and location
    • Good description  (includes other keywords - BnB, B'nB, hotel, guesthouse, hostel, lodge etc)
    • Good photos
    • Business is claimed
    • (Currently no mechanism for owners to respond to negative reviews.    One is likely to come.)


    • Business is claimed
    • Regular response to some of the customer reviews - including all negative ones
    • Responses are professional - don't be a pushover, do apologise where it's due.  Show that you'll put it right for future guests.
    In some markets, the same may apply to Yelp or Squarespace.

    Social media

    For each channel - clear guidelines about who is allowed / responsible for posts, and what to post  (eg celebrity guests / privacy, local events to highlight or not)
    • Facebook Page (not personal profile) - administrators include the owner / manager, not just staff
    • Twitter account
    • LinkedIn business listing (if target guests  are small / medium business people)
    • Instagram account
    • YouTube channel
    • Pinterest
    • Local-market specific channels


    • Whose job is it to use / update each tool.  What's the backup if they are sick / on holiday.

    • Get and keep photo clearance for any pictures of guests that are used on-line or in print materials, or stock-photo purchase details.
    • Is there a regular review of the website and what competitors are using.