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We are asked constantly by hospitality clients which directories they should be on. The real answer I guess is as many as you can afford. There are two reasons that you should list on niche properly hospitality themed directories.


1/ The obvious one is that these directories can drive some targeted traffic prospects to your site and some of that traffic translates into bookings for your property. Generally speaking, the higher the organic placement of the directory or the more $ the directory spends on pay per click ... the more traffic they are likely to drive to your site. We call these top referrers. If the directory can't be found in organic or paid listings with a keyword search on the first four pages (EG “Ontario resorts”), it is unlikely that it will be of much value driving prospects (unless it is a low cost directory and you are buying it for the backlinks vote only ... see below).


2/Themed directories provide backlink votes to your site and as long as these links to your site are one way votes pointing at you and not reciprocated back, you are helping your site in its own organic placement. Votes on a directory from keyword anchor text are even stronger than links from say a graphic ad, however if the directory has high Google PR the vote will be stronger. PR is determined by the quality and number of backlinks that a site gathers. The higher the PR the better ... so a PR8 site sending you a backlink vote is a very strong vote. Why bother you might ask? These backlink votes to your site make up about 25% of the Google algorithm that determines where your site places. We have other methods of building good quality viral backlink votes at a lower cost BUT every resort or lodge should be on the top niche directories that match their theme (resorts, lodges, cottage rentals, vacations etc. - etc.) because they achieve both the goals of backlink development and referrals.


So first of all, ANY directory backlink that matches your theme is a good one IF the price is right. In other words, even if the directory gives you zero traffic, it has value for the themed backlink vote if the price is right. However, for our purposes, this list focuses on directories that achieve both referrals and good PR backlink votes. In our industry this is often referred to as “link juice”. If you have questions about other directories that might be useful that haven't made the list contact us at www.first-page-seo.com .


Here's our top 10 recommendations:


1. www.resortsofontario.com You can't argue with the top placing directory on a keyword search for “Ontario resorts”. Aside from excellent placement they provide lots of referrals and typically they are in the top five directory referrers (often #1) for participating resorts. It is not inexpensive to participate but Resorts of Ontario is one you need to be on and they have delivered excellent results in the past few years. They are a high PR valuable backlink vote for your site. They also do some heavy keyword bidding seasonally which drives even more traffic. Resorts of Ontario is a very strong brand in the province representing the industry.


2. www.tripadvisor.ca I guess we're stating the obvious here but Trip Advisor is prolific in placement everywhere and you need to participate with them. Some would say it's not really a niche directory but Google relies on Trip Advisor and it drives traffic and votes so it makes our list. And yes, we know the postings on the site are frequently contrived and they have reward badges for almost anything and everyone, but consumers love it, so use it to your advantage.


3. www.400eleven.com Great placement consistent over many years and reasonable referrals at a reasonable price. They are almost always a top 10 directory referrer for most participating resorts.


4. www.cottageresorts.ca Inexpensive with good positioning. Not fancy but it works for cottage resorts. A great low cost backlink.


5. www.resortsandlodges.com This is a very expensive directory. You will have to decide if you can part with the coin they want. They have good organic placement and they also heavily keyword bid year round. They are a broad geo catchment product so you're in there with the masses ... but their Ontario partition landing page drives good traffic. Almost always a top referrer.


6. www.cottage-resort.com Fairly economical straight forward directory that is usually in the top referral category (most often top 5). They have fair placement and provides some excellent backlink votes from a broad range of categories. They also do some keyword bidding. You couldn't say it is fancy, but it's been around a long time successfully delivering traffic and votes at a reasonable cost, so you want to be on this one.


7. www.ontarioresorts.net A testament to the fact that a site doesn't have to be pretty to get high placement ... if it has the right content. It's been around a long time and hardly ever leaves the first page. They want reciprocal links for a free listing for some odd reason, but pay them and get their link one way to your site. They are inexpensive so do it for the backlink vote.


8. www.duenorth.net Not fancy, but been around a long time and this site places over the years. Drives some traffic but it's inexpensive, so again do this one for the backlink.


9. www.summerfunguide.ca Up and down a bit on placement but generally can drive some traffic and it's a good PR vote. It's kind of middle of the road, expense wise but worthwhile and it makes our list.


10. www.ontariotravel.net They can't place their site organically to save their lives (they should be talking to us about that) - but they were founded and built with the help of taxpayers so they have resources and programs and they are heavy duty keyword bidders with seemingly deep pockets. Not cheap, so you'll have to think about that ... but their prolific Google AdWord's marketing and their programs and strong branding will bring you plenty of referrals and they are a very good high PR backlink vote.


Now here are a few other REGIONAL bonus directories that also place well for “Ontario resorts”. Use them if you are located in their catchment area.


Muskoka – www.discovermuskoka.ca & www.north-muskoka.com

Haliburton Highlands – www.haliburton-tourism.com


Regards First Page SEO


(705) 286 3656



Hi Gord and Nancy. We continue to be impressed with the work you're doing at Cottage-Resort.com. It is a strong source of referrals to our site.
Hugh Sibbald - The Briars

Hello Gord,
Cottage-resort.com is a life saver! Thanks a million!  Using the Last Minute and Summer Vacancies pages, we were able to re-rent the cottage (#2) from July 17-28th. Thanks again and have a great day!

Regards,  Marie-Claire Warden - Ruby's Cottage Resort

If you ever want a testimonial I can give you one. We are averaging 6-8 hits per day from your site.  Its been a lifesaver as we have made some changes to our web site that had us taken off the search engines for a short time.

Debra - Echo Lake Cottage, Sault Ste. Marie

Hi Gord - I am loving the new link from your web site. Just today alone I have had 3 telephone inquiries and 1 booking from your site
Cheers! Jo-anne - Beachwood Resort

Hello Gord,
Thanks for all the information and help. You have a great website and I  have noticed on my stats that about 40% of enquiries come from your site.

Felicity Barrington - The Chicchan Centre

Hi Gord and Nancy:
I had a great season here at the Saucy Willow. Thanks for your last minute ad for me. It really worked for that first week especially.  Thanks again for your great support. Have a great Fall.

Penny Johansen, Saucy Willow Inn

By the way, the page is great.  We have had tons of inquiries from this site.  Great job.
Darlene - Pleasant Cove Resort

Hope you are having a great summer. We have been 95%+ full. With many guests coming from your site.
Best Regards, Judi & Brent Ross - Ross Country Waterfront Retreat

Thanks - we're getting an unbelievable number of hits thanks to you folks. Hope your summer is going well.
Sincerely, Dorothy - Silver Lake Cottage Resort

Hi Gord: Thanks to you, I was able to fill most of our vacancies.
Thanks, Carole & Cliff Porter - Long Beach Cottages

technology award company of the year
2010 Muskoka Technology Achievement Award Winner Winner of Company of the Year 2005


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