How to Customize your EAN Search Box for a Niche Site I 19


customizing your Search Box to Only Search for Specific Amenities

In my last post I talked about niche markets and how they were the quickest way to success for a smaller site in a sector where big sites use the entire shelf space in the most common keywords SERPs.

Having a specialized site will pave the road to an easier success, and customizing your search box to only search among hotels with certain amenities or characteristics is one of the first steps you can take to create your niche travel affiliate site.

Giving how easy it is to create a white label site with our WordPress Integration Guide or our Example Travel static HTML site white label implementation guide and the flexibility our search widgets, creating your niche site may be easier than you thought.

Select your Search box

When you log on to our affiliate centre go to the Site tab and choose the Search Forms option there you will find a variety of search boxes that you can use on your site, which come in a standard design with almost no customization.

 

With a small tweak each form can be coded to find hotels accepting pets, ones that have swimming pool or other specific amenities and to do that you will just need to add the following tag right after the opening

You need to change the value in that tag to whichever amenity you want to customize the search form for according to the amenities codes you can find below:

Amenities Codes

You will need to change the value of the “amenities” field to the number of each amenity with the following codes:

  • Swimming Pool = 1
  • Fitness Center = 2
  • Restaurant = 3
  • Children’s Activities = 4
  • Breakfast Included = 5
  • Meeting Facilities = 6
  • Pets Allowed = 7
  • Wheelchair Accessible = 8
  • Kitchen/Kitchenette = 9
Here is an example, where the search form would only look for hotels that include breakfast: 
















....

Hotels, Condos or all

This is another tag that will allow you to have a specific search box for just hotels, condos or a combination of both:

In this case the search box would only look for hotels excluding condos.

The values you can use with this tag are as

it follows:

  • Hotels = H
  • Condos = C
  • All = A

As you can see this is an easy way to

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create a niche site that will allow you to enter the travel market through a wider door, remember that it’s better to be a big fish in a smaller pond than a small fish in the ocean.

Customize Your Search Box to Limit Searches by Star Rating

Limiting your searches by hotels with a certain star rating (and above) is as simple as the examples above, you just need to add the following tag:

In this case the search is limited to 3 star hotels and above, but you can customize to any of the following star ratings:

  • 1
  • 1.5
  • 2
  • 2.5
  • 3
  • 3.5
  • 4
  • 4.5
  • 5

Creating Amenities-only Sections on Your WordPress Site

There is a modified version of the Samsaring PHP plugin for wordpress that will easily allow you to have customized search boxes in certain sections of your site. The plugin is called “MO Widgets” and it works by adding extra options in your PHP widget so you can hide or show the widget in the blog/categories/sections that you choose.

To install it you need to go to the Plugins section of your WordPress Admin interface, click in “add new”, search for “MO Widgets” and install it.

The plugin installs in Chinese by default but if you want to change the interface to English (which you probably do) you need to follow these steps:

  1. Connect through FTP to the directory where your WordPress blog is hosted
  2. Go to the wp-content/plugins/mo-widgets directory
  3. Rename MO-widgets-cn.php to MO-widgets-cn.php.txt
  4. Rename MO-widgets-EN.php.txt to MO-widgets-EN.php
  5. Go to your Plugins admin area in WordPress and activate the plugin.

Once you activate the plugin, go to the widgets area in your WordPress admin interface (Appearance>Widgets) and repeat the same steps as with the Samsarin widget as explained in: http://blog.expediaaffiliate.com/integration-guide-for-wordpress/

Add the widget twice to the same sidebar (repeating the previous step), customize one of the widgets to only search for Hotels with pets (or the amenities of your choice) and then choose the sections/pages/posts where you want each widget to appear. Normally you will have one general widget that shows in every page except the amenities related one with an un-customized search box and once that only shows in the amenities related ones with a customized search box.

You can see an

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example of this in our WordPress Example site:

http://www.exampletravel.com/wordpress/

and

http://www.exampletravel.com/wordpress/hotels-that-allow-pets-in-new-york/


About Jose Truchado

SEO Expert Jose Truchado has been working on Search Engine Optimization since 1996, he is a marketing coach, social media advisor, and entreprenuer founder of several successful start-ups within the travel industry. Jose has been providing SEO and SEM support to EAN partners since July 2009. Google+ profile: Jose Truchado on Google +


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