Have you “googled” your vacation rental website lately? Few people will look past the first page, so if you end up on the bottom of your search results, you are most likely missing out on potential guests. Ideally, you will want to have your business listed within the top three results. Using a few basic techniques will allow your vacation rental or B&B website to rank high on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. Here are 5 simple tips that will help your vacation rental business become more visible through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
A search engine scans your VR business’ website for certain keywords, and uses this information to determine your ranking. Consider which terms people would search if they were trying to find a vacation rental or B&B in your area, and add these to the content of your website. Use general terms like ‘vacation rental’ or ‘bed-and-breakfast’, and think about other phrases that could lead a guest to you. For example, if your business caters to families, use words like ‘family friendly atmosphere.’ When focusing on couples use ‘romantic getaway’. Or use words that emphasise the unique geographic location of your property.
An alternative strategy for your main keywords could be to choose a relevant but not so competitive keyword, in order to rank high for that specific keyword. Users might search less for that keyword, but the chance to rank on the first page is higher and could end up driving more traffic eventually.
That said you do not want to overdo your keywords. Totally focusing on what you believe search engines want, will make your copy keyword-heavy. Doing this displeases your visitors and search engines.
2. Meta description
The meta description is the short text paragraph that is visible next to your listing in search results. It gives you the opportunity to basically advertise content to searchers. While this will not increase your SEO rankings, it is essential to attract visitors to your page.
A relevant meta description will influence the click-through rate as potential guests will use it to determine if they want to learn more about your business. Consider it your ‘first impression.’ The description should optimally be between 150-160 characters.
3. Social Media
Social media is a SEO tool that you can use outside your website. Creating a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ profile just takes a few minutes. When creating your various profile descriptions, keep each one unique. A search engine responds better to material that is not ‘cut and pasted.’
Use your keywords strategically in your username/profile, and when updating or adding posts to your social media sites. Finally, offer visitors social media buttons to make sharing your content easy.
4. ‘Partners’ Page and Link Building
Ask your local businesses to link to your site from their website’s ‘Partners’ page. Local attractions, restaurants and other nearby businesses are places that vacationers may look for information. Link building is a way to foster endorsements for your business. By building links, search engines and potential guests will see your property or B&B as a great place to vacation.
Successful content marketing includes establishing a blog. You can begin with just one post a month. Use your social media outlets to promote your posts. In time, Internet users will share your blogs on the web, which results in links and endorsements; thus improving your site’s SEO.
And finally, be patient and don’t expect instant reward. Results often take weeks or months, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online. Once it takes effect though, it can turn into your most powerful method of online marketing.