Your website is an important piece of your vacation rental marketing strategy, especially if you want more direct bookings. As a matter of fact, most consumers don’t consider you a real business unless you have a website. Website design has evolved over the years because travelers are demanding well designed, easy to navigate websites from businesses they want to spend their money with. Here are a few hacks you can use for your vacation rental website to get more bookings.
Less is More For a Vacation Rental Website
You hear this a lot when you’re staging and designing a home. Not only is it true for your space, but it’s true for your website. Think of your website as your digital home. It’s the hub of all your online marketing and potential guests’ first impression of your property. And just like with your home, you want to strategically place things so that people find the experience to be as simple as possible. Space is always a concern in a home, even in tiny homes, and the same is true on your website! Don’t cram everything at the top of a page and create a mess. You have probably heard the term ‘above the fold’. Meaning, you want all your important information above where you start scrolling down (this is an old newspaper term). And while we’ve shifted over to digital channels, this is still true. Yes, you do want your most important information above the fold but ALL your information isn’t the most important. Chose what absolutely needs to be seen in order to get that booking and push it towards the top!
One Call to Action
Travelers have so many choices when it comes to booking a vacation rental. And every platform is shooting marketing at everyone all the time. This makes it hard for travelers to know what to do. There are so many options that they get decision fatigue and then don’t do anything because they are overwhelmed with options.
Have you ever went to a website and immediately you’re asked to download this and sign up here and buy now and contact us with questions? You are asked to do 4 things but you can only pick one at a time. So why ask all those other things? When it comes to your vacation rental website your goal is to get a booking. Travelers don’t want to have to do 5 different things just to make a booking.
Concentrate on the Most Looked at Areas
People read websites like an ‘F’. Think about it. If you tracked your eyes when you look at a website you read it from left to right, scroll down a little, read from left to right again. Then you scroll to the bottom just glancing at everything and then back to the top. Like and ‘F’. Since this is the case, you want to put your call to action and most important information in those areas – in the top hero banner and then 2 sections down.
Content Drives Traffic to Your Vacation Rental Website
Just putting up a website does not mean that people will find it and visit. This is not Field of Dreams. You need to work to drive traffic to your website. Google doesn’t just see that you put up a website and send people there. Working with SEO and Google can get very complicated and we can get into that in another post but the point is Google loves words and creating content for your website provides Google with those words. Here are a few quick tips on creating content that will help you with being found.
- Add a blog or a page to your website where you put information about your property and neighborhood. Things like what to pack for your trip, best restaurants in walking distance, events happening in the area. Things that your guests want to know.
- Go to Google type in ‘things to do in (your area)’ and hit enter. Go past the ads at the top and make a note of the things that show up but scroll to the bottom. There you will find Google suggestions. Those are keywords similar to what you just typed and people are looking for. Find something that you can easily write a blog about and post it using that keyword in the title, 3 times in your post, a subheading and as part of the title in your photos.
- Name all of the images on your website using your business name and any keywords you want to be found for. Google also puts image titles in search results and no one is searching for IMG_97568. Don’t overlook this small thing, simply change the file name on your images!
Tell Your Story
It is universal that the second most visited page on your website is the About page. It is very important to focus on the 1 thing you want people to do but after they have made the decision they want to explore your property more they will want to know about you. Everyone loves a good story and you need to tell yours and your home’s story. This builds the know, like, and trust factor with your guests. This is your opportunity to really hook ‘em and book ‘em. And don’t forget to ask them to book at the end of your story. Always think about the call to action even in your about page.
Your website doesn’t have to be fancy and have all the bells and whistles. It just needs to have beautiful photos, easy to navigate and focus on 1 call to action. Simple, right? We’ve put all this into a worksheet so you can go tidy up your website and start getting those bookings.