The vacation rental industry is increasingly growing and expanding. According to predictions, the sector will be worth up to $170 billion by 2019.
With the rise of sharing economy sites like Airbnb, the market is growing more and more competitive. But staying competitive in this industry means you can no longer simply rely on listing websites to get bookings and grow your business.
Having your own website is an absolute must, but the work doesn’t stop there. Above all, you will need visitors to your website in order to achieve direct bookings. Let’s take a look at 101 of the best ways you can start increasing your vacation rental website traffic today!
1. Have a modern website design
We already know that having a website to showcase your property is essential in this hugely competitive market. But in order to attract visitors and convert them into guests, you’ll have to make sure you have a professional website which is easy to navigate and boasts an optimized design.
Create a logo to build a professional reputation, and use it throughout your website and social media accounts. Use high-quality imagery to illustrate your property’s unique selling points or the places of interest in the area. Draw visitors in with a compelling headline, followed by a clear call to action (typically, “Book now”).
2. Have a mobile-friendly website
According to eMarketer, nearly 60% of travelers who booked a trip in 2017 did so using a mobile device. Mobile-friendly designs, (also called responsive designs) aren’t just a fad. They allow you to deliver a seamless experience to your visitors, tailored to the device they are using, and simultaneously improving readability and loading time.
Moreover, mobile-friendly designs help improve your SEO as Google now takes it into account in its algorithm. They also fit in perfectly with the minimalist web design trend that has been growing in the past few years.
3. Have an optimized domain name
Your domain name is important for SEO, but it’s also the primary interaction guests will have with your vacation rental brand. That’s why you want it to be memorable and unique – and to say something about your lodging.
To find the right domain name for your website, start with some research and keep branding at the top of your list of priorities. Make sure you choose a short, catchy domain and use the appropriate extension depending on the location of your rental.
4. Translate your website into different languages
Though English is undoubtedly a very popular language, it’s actually only third on the world’s list of languages by total number of native speakers. In addition to this, Chinese travelers are known to be the world’s biggest spenders in terms of tourism, with Germans, Russians, French, Italians and Brazilians also all placing in the top 10.
So, what does this mean for owners? You might be missing out on big international bookings if your website is only available in English.
Lodgify makes it easy to translate your website into over 25 of the most common international languages. Our automatic translation relies on Google Translate, so be sure to ask a native speaker to double-check any translations to avoid mistakes.
5. Grow your email list
Email marketing is one of the most successful forms of online marketing when we think about ROI. Therefore, building and growing your email list should be a priority for your vacation rental website.
To grow your list of subscribers, make sure to let your website visitors know that you are sending interesting information. You can use the footer or the sidebar of your site to invite them to leave their email address. It is good practice to say what type of content you will be sharing, and how often, in order to avoid disappointment. You can also use an incentive to grow your list. Why not create a pop-up window to offer people a voucher or discount on a future booking in exchange for an email subscription?
6. Run a giveaway
Running a giveaway on your vacation rental website can be an excellent way to collect email addresses in order to consolidate your mailing list and boost your traffic, both during the promotion and in the long term. Share the news on your social media channels on a regular basis and encourage your followers to share, comment, tag their friends and retweet. Get traffic from other sites, too, by asking them if they could promote your giveaway – either on their own social media channels or directly on their website.
7. Offer a free stay (or night)
Everyone loves freebies. Create a dedicated page for the offer on your website and share it with your audience – using email, social networks, groups, forums and blogs. This will attract your regular visitors back to your site, pushing some of them over the line, as well as new visitors who will be entering your conversion funnel.
8. Run a promotion/special offer
Running a promotion or a special offer is a good way to get some extra traffic. It is a perfect opportunity to send out a newsletter, invite your regular subscribers to visit your website and get more attention on social networks. You could also get in touch with deal listing websites or travel bloggers and ask them if they would link to your promotion on their website or social media channels.
If you’re short of ideas, you could advertise a couples’ package for Valentine’s Day, offer a special “Christmas package” deal or offer complementary services to convince business travelers into booking.
9. Publish credibility badges and hospitality awards
Leverage social proof by displaying your certifications, badges and awards. This will build trust to reassure potential guests and boost conversion, as well as establish your reputation as a fantastic host. If you don’t have any credibility badges or hospitality awards to display, look into what you’d need to do to get one and establish a plan, as it can be just the extra push needed for visitors to make a booking with you.
10. Create a vacation rental blog
Running a thriving vacation rental business is about more than offering amenities like a comfy bed and a clean bathroom; it’s about creating lasting relationships with your guests.
A vacation rental blog can be a great tool to help you connect with guests, as well as promote your business online. You can use it to talk about the area, gauge the interest of your visitors (using Google Analytics) and gain exposure via social shares and improved SEO. You could even publish a calendar of local events and an FAQ to showcase your expertise and professionalism.
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