Patch.com just really started to come on the radar since late last year. To take Connecticut as an example, I remember there only being a 3 or 4 hyperlocal sites and now there are 67 and rolling at apparently several towns per month. Statewide, they went from only a few states to 23, I predict by mid next year they will have a presence throughout the US.
From what I am seeing and continue to see in search, the Patch sites are getting ranked well by Google and Bing in search.
Bed and Breakfasts can create a free business listing on a local (or near local Patch site) for their business. They do need to check first as a business (similar to Google Local/Places+) may have a listing already online, in which case they need to claim the listing.
You can add up to 250 photos
You can also add Videos (from Youtube) and PDFs
In addition if you have events you can add them to the events calendar.
If you blog or wish to blog you can also blog for the local Patch about pretty much anything under the sun and have a trackback to your listing.
A bit about Patch.
“Patch was founded by Tim Armstrong in 2007 after Armstrong said he found a dearth of online information on his hometown of Riverside, Connecticut. The company was then acquired by AOL in 2009 shortly after Armstrong became AOL’s CEO. Armstrong told AOL staffers that he recused himself from negotiations to acquire the company and did not directly profit from his seed investment. He instead asked that his seed money be returned to him in the form of AOL stock when it split.” from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Media
Patch does have some adverting venues that are paid options, the one that may be of interest is the video service they offer which from the local pricing I’ve gotten seems quite affordable.
- A custom-shot video featuring an interview with the business owner and footage of the business products, services and location.
- Complete production and hosting on site for 6 months
- Hosting on-site additional 6 months or on neighboring patch
Additional Paid Offers
- Home Page (HP) Banners
- Inside Page (IP) Banners
- Article Sponsorships
- Enhanced Video Listings
- AOL Home Page Presence, AOL subscribers register their account with their zip code. Patch uses this information to feed local patch news directly to AOL accounts.
- Mapquest Presence, when searching Mapquest, businesses near or in Patch towns will have the option of being re-routed to that businesses Patch Directory Listing.
Patch also had Daily Deals, which unfortunately they disabled a few months ago, similar to a Groupon but with a better split to the business then Groupon. I thought this was interesting from a B&Bs advertising aspect in that if you lived in New Hampshire you could have your Deal run on a Boston or other locale area Patch.
Rumor has it they will be bringing back the Deals sometime soon with some changes. I would recommend B&Bs check out the option if it returns, as Deals were also getting promoted in the daily emails that were going to all local subscribers of the Patchs,
I have a business listing on Patch and blog as well and get a good amount of traffic from it. Of note as well, businesses can get rated but can report ratings if they are fraudulent as well as it has the option to respond to a review.
Considering a B&B can get a free listing on it with the 250 photo options I would recommend taking the few minutes it takes to register and either claim or fill out your listing. Suggest leveraging a few photos just like in Facebook for additional ROTI (Return on Time Investment) https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/another-quick-tip-for-bed-and-breakfasts-to-leverage-facebook-photos/