You may be wondering if you need to invest a lot of money into marketing and communication in order to achieve more visibility online. Well, that’s not always the case!
Your website visibility is extremely important for running your rental business and bringing bookings in the long-term. And luckily for you, there are several free or inexpensive ways you can boost the visibility of your vacation rental online.
You can have the best rental property possible with five-star quality goods and services, but if no one can find you, you’ll never be able to get reservations.
That’s why we are helping you to discover these 10 inexpensive techniques to improve the visibility of your vacation rental on the internet.
1. HAVE YOUR OWN VACATION RENTAL WEBSITE
First and foremost, having your own website is the most crucial thing for your vacation rental business as it offers omnipresent visibility, 24/7 – anywhere in the world. And where there is more visibility, there are more bookings!
Your website is likely to be the first touchpoint with your guests, but many vacation rental owners still depend solely on listing sites. Indeed, they may think that creating a website requires a lot of technical skills, time and effort when it is not the case at all. With a website builder or a generic CMS, you can easily create your own website without having to be techy with advanced IT skills.
2. DEFINE YOUR TARGET MARKET
It is important to correctly set up your guest targeting, since this is how you can optimize your message and establish your brand positioning. It’s all about reaching the right people at the right time.
By defining your target market, you will be able to respond as effectively as possible to the demand of your audience, draw more attention and as a result, have more visibility and more guest loyalty. It’s preferable to identify a typical customer profile (or profiles) that combines the ideal characteristics for your vacation rental and the services you offer than focus on everyone. In this way, you can focus on their specific motives and expectations, as well as be more reactive to their needs.
3. IMPROVE YOUR SEO
“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
SEO is an absolute must for your visibility. It is important to know that when you search for anything on Google, the results will show as a list of different websites. There is no randomness to the way these websites have been ranked. Instead, they have been selected according to their SEO and are the sites which Google considers most relevant and researched by the audience.
Try searching for your vacation rental website on Google and see if it appears on the first page, or in the top 10 or not. Your goal should be to rank within the top three – so you can get up to 60% more visits. However, being in the first three positions is not enough, because if the page title does not catch your audience’s eye, they will not click on your site – even if you are first in the ranking.
There are many simple tips and techniques to follow which can easily and quickly improve the SEO of your website.
4. CREATE A BLOG
We talk about blogging a lot, but many do not know the origins of the term. The word “blog” is an abbreviation for “weblog”. This refers to the publication of free content, organized in categories and presented in reverse chronological order – showing most recent posts first. According to research by HubSpot, businesses with a blog generate 55% more visits than those without and they get 97% more links to their website.
Having a blog will allow you to share regular content with your target audience. Moreover, a blog can help your website appear first in Google search results thanks to optimized keywords and SEO.
Make your blog pleasant to read by double-checking for any grammatical errors before publishing and try to include visuals, like photos or graphics within posts to keep them interesting. In addition, internally linking between your blog posts can help reduce bounce rate and keep your readers on your pages for longer.
In addition to blog posts, you can also use this space to publish press releases. This is especially important if you have big news to share about your property or business.
Vacation Rental Marketing Blog founder, Matt Landau says that “there is no better way to convey a sense of expertise, hospitality or authenticity than a blog. The best owners use their blog to inform customers about the activities and good plans of the region. If you have ever visited a new place and you have a friend, family member or guest who has shown you or has taken you to the best places to make your vacation memorable, this is how you experience beauty, the value and the comfort of being in the hands of someone else.”
5. ENSURE HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS
The quality of the photos and captions on your website are essential for showing your vacation rental in the best light. This will not only give a positive impression to your target audience but also expand your SEO even further by inserting the right keywords when you name your images. Furthermore, you can also post your photos on social networks like Instagram to create more traffic.
Posting multiple photos of your clean and tidy interior with good lighting will attract your guests’ attention a lot more than a gloomy, dark and dusty indoor picture. The golden rule for having beautiful quality pictures is:
- Cleanliness and simplicity
- Great interior design
- Good lighting
- Thought-out compositions
And voila! Your photos will be appealing and professional-looking.
As for the captions of the photos, in order to achieve great guest reviews, make sure to always provide all the information concerning your rental. Moreover, don’t forget to make the title and description of your images the most impactful, realistic and complete possible by paying special attention to keywords and SEO.
6. USE STORYTELLING
Using storytelling on your website will inspire the reader to book a vacation at your property. Remember, your goal is to share your unique and personal story, highlight your brand, and connect with visitors to your website. So, it’s about telling a story rather than simply emphasizing the positives of your vacation rental business.
This technique captures guest attention and incites emotion. By describing the history of your vacation rental, its environment, the region, the country and local people on your website or blog, you’re improving the chances that guests have of finding you during their search – but in a completely different way. Storytelling can increase your visibility online because it’s something your competitors are not doing yet.
7. BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Where is the first place people around the world go to post and share what is important to them with all their friends and followers? Social media. For this reason, it’s a great tool for attracting guests. Social networks also allow you to communicate more easily with your guests – whether that’s before their stay or once they are back home.
In addition, your presence on these sites will give you more visibility, thanks to guests tagging you in their posts or sharing yours. It is also an ideal place to respond to comments and questions. Plus, quick reply times are essential to meet the demand of travelers!
As well as this, you could also organize contests or promotions on social media to further improve visibility. You could even take advantage of special events such as Black Friday or Christmas to reach even more travelers who could be future guests at your home.
There are several tools to help you get started and organize yourself on social networks:
- Snappa to make visuals super quickly and with the right format according to the social network
- Crowdfire to publish content on all social networks automatically and program at the time that suits you, helping you reach as many people as possible.
- Jarvee to automatically grow your account on social networks
There are also tools for your Instagram:
- Preview and Hootsuite: to organize your pictures as you want and schedule them in advance on your Instagram
8. CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE
You can also create a Google My Business page in less than 10 minutes to improve your visibility locally. It’s a totally free and easy-to-use service which allows your business to show up on Google (in the sidebar on the right) and on Google Maps. This service is intended for all types of companies, especially those with a focus on local services or activities.
9. BUILD PARTNERSHIPS
It’s very beneficial for property owners to create partnerships with local businesses which can compliment your guest’s stay. These partnerships can be very diverse and varied, such as local restaurants, cafés, spas and other providers of activities or services.
Partnering with other companies is a very good way to gain more traffic to your website and therefore, more visibility for your brand – especially on a local level. You can offer your travelers an exclusive discount for these additional services, while your partners simultaneously promote your brand to their customers.
Don’t be afraid to share external content on your blog in order to gain more traffic. In fact, you can quote or link back to other local businesses in your content. In addition, “guest posting” is a collaborative method that allows external providers to write an article on your blog, and in exchange, you also contribute to theirs.
10. PARTICIPATE IN TRADE FAIRS
Participating in fairs (both inside and outside of your immediate niche) can also help you to see what the competition offers, seek partnerships and gain more visibility. Keep an eye out for any vacation rental industry-specific conferences which are coming to town, but also don’t reject the idea of getting involved in local craft or hobby fairs (such as interior decoration, pottery, gardening etc.). Not only will you have the chance to meet people who could later be useful for your business (when you renovate your property, for example), but it’s also a prime opportunity for networking and spreading the word about your vacation rental.
Now you’ve discovered these 10 methods, put them into practice by carrying out regular updates to your website and you’ll soon see your online visibility improve!