Whether you’re a professional or an individual working in the vacation rental field, your website is your property‘s window: so it is important -that’s an understatement! to adapt your Search Engine Optimisation -or SEO- strategy.
Google can potentially bring thousands or dozens of thousands of future customers on your website. But as you’re not the only vacation renter out there, how can you make the difference? How can you get ahead of them and attract more visitors on your site (meaning, more bookings)?
This is what SEO was made for: using several pre-established techniques aiming to improving your online visibility.
At BookingSync, we’ve chosen to offer our clients an optimized website, meeting today’s standards concerning SEO. Several aspects have been improved:
Structured source code and reduced CSS code
Integrated rich snippets and microformat
Optimized pages loading time
But you also have a role to play if you want to get a better indexation; we give you here a few hints.
SEO basics applied to vacation rental
Define your SEO goals
Beforehand, select the aspects on which you wish to communicate, be found and make the difference: these will be your SEO goals.
Do you own villas in the Catalonian countryside? You SEO goal could then be “Catalonian villas rental”.
It is highly important to keep in mind that each page of you website can only have ONE SEO GOAL, and only one! On Google, you cannot rank a webpage using different requests, as its content must be as precise as possible and the most adapted to the goal.
For example, do you also offer concierge services? Create another page dedicated to that service on your website, explaining it in details, where you are available. Work on the concierge lexical field.
Your domain name
Should you choose a literal domain name, such as rentalinparis.com, or choosing your brand or name, as in BookingSync.com? Experience has shown that literal domain names don’t bring any valuable traffic from Google. It is advised to choose a domain containing your brand or name, as these are easier to remember and pronounce. And it should have a bigger effect on your potential customers!
The title tags
This is the result that appears when you type on a search engine, here circled in red.
This catchphrase will attract your potential customers, or not. It is intended for travelers looking for ideas for their next holidays, but also for Google’s crawler, that determines your indexing in the researches.
For example, speaking of vacation rental, it is advised to always write a title following this example:
Vacation rental [TYPE OF PROPERTY] [CITY]
This title is used by Google and helps it identify the content of the page it needs to index, it must be as close as your page’s content.
Note that those points can also be managed from BookingSync’s interface.
Titles and subtitles add structure to your pages and texts, but also play a leading role in indexing. Google loves well-structured pages.
Several types of tags exist: <h1>, <h2> and <h3>.
Here for example, the h1 title is “Improving your visibility thanks to SEO”. H2 title is “SEO basics applied to vacation rental”. Think about your contents’ structure and what you will write inside them.
Content is KING!
We have gone from a web where a lot of content was written for Google (about 10 years ago), it was easy to manipulate Google's algorithm and position by giving it the content it wanted, to a richer web, participatory and above all : personalized.
So beyond thinking about making your content visible to the greatest number, it is more and more important to ask yourself the questions:
Is my content understandable to my target?
Is my content good for my goal? (Selling, triggering a booking, getting a first contact)
That is why we recently devoted many articles dedicated to the importance of the content:
These 3 blog posts serve the same purpose: content is key to your success!(We are talking about the text, but the photos and videos are equally important, we'll talk about it soon on the blog)
Through a vacation rental listing, the potential traveler should be able to plan, imagine how great the holidays they'll spend in the house will be.
The description of a vacation rental listing takes time to write and you need to have in mind that it's a "living content", you regularly have new opportunities to update your description:
Renovation or installation of new equipments in the house
When a question comes often on a listing, it's definitely time to integrate more information to it
When opening new attractions or shops nearby
When seasons change, it may be good to change some pictures of the environment.
The more your listing contains useful information for the traveler, the less they risk leaving your website to go find answers to their questions elsewhere.
For example, are there any shops / supermarkets nearby? If you do not specify it, they will open Google Maps to explore the surroundings.
Google is constantly changing its algorithm and focuses on web pages with rich and relevant content.
If you produce quality content and useful information for your customers, then it will necessarily appeal to Google too.
Other ways to influence your SEO
Don’t forget to write a description (here circled in red) highlighting your properties on the search engines. The keywords it contains don’t have an influence by themselves but this is what travelers will see first, even before entering your website.
This can also be managed thanks to BookingSync’s interface.
You should indicate your rental’s strong points, its equipments, what will attract them right away when searching on Google.
Added to your website, starting a blog will also help you create more visibility. Write short articles, describe your properties, your region or city’s history, what can be visited, etc.
This will help show how well you know your region, but also attract users preparing their travel, looking for some advice. And who knows, they could also enjoy one of your properties!
Exchanging visibility with your partners
What’s better than word of mouth?
Ask your partners (tourism activities, private chauffeur, golf club…) to talk about you on their websites and professional pages, and to share links to your own site. You could also do the same for them!
Favor quality exchanges such as writing a dedicated blog article about their service, in which you’ll take time to explain why you chose that partner. It is much more efficient than simply sharing links.
It is also possible to exchange visibility through newsletters.
Last but not least, share your rentals and blog posts on the most influential social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…) with your professional accounts and interact with stakeholders and potential travelers.
All these processes need to be repeated for every SEO goal you have defined.
Search engines’ indexing algorithms (mainly Google) are constantly modified; there is no magic formula that could make you appear on the results’ first page. Nonetheless, these few tricks should help you improve your visibility and help reach as many potential customers as possible.
Patience, diligence and communication are key to your online success!