Writing your short-term rental’s description can be daunting, making sure you are choosing the right words, the right photographs, and right descriptors that will appeal to the broadest array of potential guests. But all the time you spend describing the hardwood floors and spectacular views won’t matter if you don’t hook the reader with a headline first. Here are our best tips on writing vacation rental headlines that will get you more bookings.
Why You Need to Write Good Vacation Rental Headlines
With only seconds to capture your readers’ attention, catchy headlines are critical to securing more bookings. As famous copywriter John Caples wrote: “If the headline is poor, the copy will not be read. And copy that is not read does not sell goods.” A good headline grabs the attention of the prospect by:
- Making a promise. (“You’ll Never Want to Go Home.”)
- Drawing a picture. (“Feed Wildlife From the Back Porch of This Mountain Farmhouse”)
- Stating a fact. (“Most 5-Star Reviews on the Beach”)
- Ask a Question (“Are you ready for your Perfect Mountain Vacation?”)
To book your property, they need to click on the description and to do that they need to be motivated by the headline. We’ve put together a few tips that will help you write headlines that grab the vacation-searcher and help your rental property stand out from the crowd.
Understand Your Target
Does your property cater more toward couples, families with young children, groups of friends or business travelers? Use words that appeal to that audience from which you get most of your business. For business travelers, for example, you may want to use words such as “convenient” or “quiet.” For families, “Fun,” “Restful,” and “Near Attractions” work. Put yourself in the mind of your most frequent guest and write what they want to hear.
Use Unique Words
It’s time to break out the old thesaurus. If, in your area, other rentals overuse the word “paradise” or “waterfront,” find new ways for you to stand out while touting the value of your home. As an example: “Quirky,” “Secret Hideaway” “Rustic.” Also, avoid generic words such as “nice” or “great.” Words like enchanting, romantic, and cozy will appeal to readers because they will make an emotional connection.
Indicate the Type of Dwelling
Even though you only have a certain amount of characters to use for your headline, you must include the type of property that you’re renting. Is it a farmhouse? A villa? A condo? An apartment? A townhouse? This is important for renters to know as they search for the perfect rental.
Tug at Emotions
Once people start planning a vacation, they usually really need some time to relax. Using words such as “getaway” “relax” “peaceful” can appeal emotionally to the over-tired, over-worked American. Read your reviews. What adjectives do your previous guests use to describe your place? Find the words that others felt compelled to describe your place and use them.
Numbers are attention-grabbing for humans. They draw the eye and prove credibility. Consider headlines such as “More Than 100 Happy Guests” and “#2 vacation rental in Redington Shores!”.
Tout Your Location with a Landmark
Use words that tell the reader the convenience of the location such as “on the lake,” “Steps from Metro Station,” “5 minutes to Disney World.” By mentioning your location in this way, you can let them know that your property delivers a convenience that is valuable. Similarly, if there is a major annual event near your rental home, change up the headline to tout that during the months prior to the event (“15-minute walk to Madison Square Garden,” “2 Metro Stops from Music Midtown”).
Skip the Cutesy Names
Just because you named your rental property “Paradise Cove” or “Moose Lodge” doesn’t mean other people care about that. You only get a certain number of characters in your headline, don’t waste it on something that is meaningless to the reader.
If after all this, if your headline doesn’t seem to be drawing more click-throughs to your property, switch it up. We recommend writing 3-5 headlines all at once and testing them out every couple of months to see what really sticks. Headlines can be seasonal (fall getaway, winter oasis), customer target-specific (families vs. business traveler) and mention different amenities (hot tub vs. pool table).
We’ve put these tips into a handy cheat sheet so you can have it handy when you’re brainstorming great vacation rental headlines. Download it here!