There is no denying the vacation rental industry’s rise; it is now valued at an estimated $87.09 billion and is expected to expand by 3.4 percent through 2027.
The obvious fact that vacation rental companies are starting to accept as a result of this expansion is that it is now more crucial than ever for hospitality businesses to create and manage their own websites.
A good website with an optimized design may truly assist hosts to stand out from the crowd and get more direct bookings due to the rising commissions paid by online travel agencies and the changing nature of how tourists book their accommodations.
Unfortunately for company owners, the hard work doesn’t end with building a website for vacation rentals. Every component of their website must be improved to get more visits and turn them into reservations.
Owners must understand the importance of cultivating a brand before they can even consider developing a vacation rental website. It’s critical to have a strong brand to assist hospitality firms to stand out from their rivals, create expectations for visitors, foster patron trust and loyalty, and serve as the cornerstone of any marketing strategy.
Domain names are one of several elements that may be categorized as branding. What thus makes a good domain name? Here are some selection criteria to guide you:
1.Pick the appropriate domain extension (.com, .net, .au, .uk)
- Don’t be too generic, and make it recognizable.
- Keep it brief.
- Make sure the phrase can be typed and spoken easily.
- Do not use hyphens, digits, or symbols.
- Use specialty keywords that are representative of your brand.
These are only a few suggestions to help you get your domain going. Because domain names are crucial to a website’s optimization, all Lodgable’s plans include with a custom domain name at no additional cost. We advise choosing and sticking with a domain name that you enjoy from the start in order to help establish your brand identity.
Think about how important the logo is to your success while optimizing your website. Your logo serves as the most memorable visual image of your company.
Consider social media as an example. Even though Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all a part of the social media space, they each have unique characteristics, and one of the first things that distinguish them from one another is their logos. Each logo is distinct and stands out from the others.
You should design your logo that symbolizes your company and is distinctive and simple to recall if you want to stand out from the competition.
Your brand is shaped by more than just your logo and domain name. You must put a lot of effort into creating a brand for your vacation rental to make it stand out from the competition if you want to keep up your professional image. Consider all the components of a unified brand, including typeface, color schemes, images, and tone, to mention a few. Read this post to learn more about how to brand-optimize your website.
headers, titles, and hero pictures
The hero picture and hero title are the elements of a vacation rental website that capture the most attention at first sight. A vacation rental home’s greatest features, such as its unique selling propositions, may be highlighted in the hero picture, which can either be a single image or a collection of photos at the top of the webpage. When combined with an alluring headline or “hero title,” they serve the objective of drawing visitors with only a cursory scan, increasing the likelihood that they will make a reservation.
Take into account that the headers and hero title will be what visitors see when they enter your page. You have the opportunity to “hook” website visitors now. Make sure your hero picture and title are made with that in mind as your objective is to persuade them to reserve a stay at your establishment. Although attractive designs and visuals are excellent, they shouldn’t take attention away from the booking process.
If your rental home is shown in an aerial photograph as the hero picture, follow it up with close-ups of the many facilities available on a gallery page or as the backdrop of another area on the landing page, such as behind a promotions page. Only post consistent, high-quality photographs to subtly but effectively persuade prospective consumers to book.
USPs and highlighted features
The term “factor or consideration provided by a seller as the reason why one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition” is referred to as a USP (unique selling proposition). Simply said, USPs distinguish hosts from any of their close by rivals since they are unique to the property. Consider what would motivate you as one of your clients to reserve this property.
The need to highlight your properties is what distinguishes the optimization of a vacation rental site. Your house is the product, thus by emphasizing and promoting your property or properties prominently on the landing page, you raise the likelihood that website visitors will make bookings.
When prospective visitors notice these standout characteristics on the site, they will be instantly intrigued. Additionally, for owners who have many properties, a highlighted property section showing the most well-liked choices—along with their prices—can assist visitors in making decisions.
A CTA, or call to action, will persuade website users to take genuine action, like booking a reservation or subscribing to your newsletter, as opposed to just passively exploring your page.
Although there should be a focus on bookings, general interaction is excellent for vacation homeowners. Owners that have a website cannot afford to fall into the trap of having visitors book elsewhere; instead, they should accept direct reservations and online payments with only a few clicks using a call-to-action button like the “Book Now” button.
Current specials like “10% off,” “book four nights and get one free,” etc. should also be prominently shown on the site. How else will visitors learn about them? Even the most hesitant visitors might be convinced to choose one vacation property over another by special discounts and seasonal specials.
All of us have been there. You went to a new restaurant or store because someone suggested it, maybe even without knowing anything more about it! The greatest strategy to increase reservations is via personal recommendations and word of mouth. You’ll need a testimonials section if you’re going to convey these recommendations online.
A relevant and personal remark is created by testimonials that express how wonderful the stay was in the guests’ own words and include a picture of the guests themselves. These testimonials are also a terrific approach to turn lookers into bookers. Nothing screams “Book Now” quite like a plethora of flawless five-star ratings, after all!
Outside opinions and reviews
The best source for establishing trust would be a testimonial praising how great your vacation rental is. You’ll need to include reviews with these shining stories though in order to make your point really stand out. A more straightforward approach to express, “Hey, it’s a terrific location to stay,” is through reviews.
Vacation rentals are no different from other internet purchases in that travellers like reading reviews. Showing off these positive evaluations as they come in can help persuade others to make a reservation. Making a strong impression as a host is essential to success in the profession.
By providing customers with independent reviews as evidence of value, you demonstrate the impartiality and bookability of your vacation rental. Having reviews on a third-party website shows visitors that your resort is excellent, not only because you said so. With our Reyvoos connection, you may show reviews from various listing websites and platforms on your tailored website.
Increasing customer confidence by promoting some excellent reviews can help you convince visitors that your accommodations live up to their expectations.
digital badges and the tourism board’s seal
Displaying external reviews in the form of digital badges, such as TripAdvisor excellence awards or even the Airbnb Superhost badge, is another approach to increase the legitimacy of a vacation rental company. This supports the legitimacy of a vacation rental company’s reputation and contributes to its confirmation.
Getting the seal of approval from local authorities and tourist boards, particularly in the era of domestic travel, demonstrates to visitors that your stay meets requirements even at the most basic level.
In the eyes of the public, your home is outstanding if your vacation rental company is adorned with digital badges from OTAs and regional tourist organizations.
People are attempting to validate the cleanliness of their accommodations as a consequence of the epidemic. The hospitality sector as a whole has pushed hotels to demonstrate increased hygienic requirements. Fortunately, you can provide examples of this on your website. You may inform visitors that your vacation rental meets a high standard of cleanliness and that you have the credentials to back it up by adding cleaning procedure badges to your website.
If the website enables payments, then lookers may turn into online bookers. Because of this, displaying the logos of accepted payment methods (Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, American Express, etc.) can aid in converting visitors and convincing them to make an online reservation. Additionally, visitors may have the assurance they want that their sensitive information is protected from online fraud by using security seals like VeriSign.
It is essential to have a reliable online payment system in place that supports various payment methods and lives up to what you advertise. By bragging about your secure payment system on the main landing page, you convince visitors that they’re safe with you. Visitors to your website want to know that it is authentic.
For a prospective tourist, social media may have a significant impact. Typical vacation research often involves spending some time on websites like Facebook and perusing the images and posts made by prior visitors. The number of followers a host has on social media may be shown on a vacation rental website to increase conversion. This demonstrates the host’s relevance and encourages users to interact with postings on all of these sites.
responsiveness to mobile devices and page performance
It is a reality that modern websites must be mobile-friendly in order to rank well in Google. The VR company will be able to appear in more search results by using (or even building) a website template that is 100% mobile-responsive, and customers will even be able to make reservations on these kinds of devices. The number of mobile travel bookings is steadily growing, thus, making sure websites are responsive to all devices is a step in the right direction for a site that is geared to boost booking conversion.
A website’s owner who wants to keep users connected for long enough to remain engaged and make a booking must increase speed since a poor loading time might discourage visitors from sticking on a website for more than a few seconds.
Typical errors to prevent
Thankfully, Lodgable makes it unnecessary for most vacation rental owners to be experienced website designers, but there are still several critical blunders to avoid while building a website.
Inconspicuous errors cause clients to doubt your competence and professionalism, which may cause them to reconsider making a reservation. Your website has to be flawlessly optimized to prevent this worst-case situation. You may enhance reservations and client happiness by correcting the frequent faults outlined below.
If you spend any time online, you’ll get familiar with error codes like 404 error, page not found, or 404 files not found. That simply signifies that the requested page has either been deleted or relocated to an unreachable URL. Imagine if your property page or picture gallery were that broken link.
Don’t jeopardize your bookings by having a website that isn’t fully functional. You should take the following actions in addition to choosing a top-notch website hosting provider like Lodgable to prevent broken links and pages:
- Make sure your URL begins with “https://” and is completely qualified.
- No punctuation should follow your URL.
- Check your links and preview your pages.
The primary step in preventing issues with your links and pages is to maintain a reliable website, but doing the aforementioned actions will help protect your website from any mistakes you may have unintentionally made.
Booking Widget absent
Do you recall the CTA we previously mentioned? Let’s discuss it once again! The ideal strategy to acquire direct bookings from your website is to have a clearly designated area where visitors can make reservations. A common error among VR owners is to make the reservation button smaller than other, less significant pages. Even worse, some proprietors don’t even have a widget for bookings!
Partner and media logos
They have full right to publish any press logos of these mentions on their webpage when vacation rentals are mentioned in press articles or publications. Media mentions are a reliable source of social evidence for consumers and a symbol of brand trust, as well as legitimacy and reputation.
This holds true for partner logos as well. Partnering a vacation rental with nearby businesses like tourist attractions, car rental agencies, or even local eateries and bars is a terrific way to strengthen the VR brand both within and outside of the local community.
social network connections in the footer and payment logos
By adding their contact details in the bottom of their website, hosts can’t go wrong. This includes the name, phone number, and social media connections of the vacation rental company so that customers may contact them whenever they want using their preferred method. Make it simple for visitors to contact you, and you’ll notice an increase in conversions!
As an added bonus, this is excellent for local SEO and moving up the Google results pages.
You’re going to direct all of that internet traffic to a booking widget so that people can make reservations. Make sure you have the necessary tools so that you can promote direct reservations, which is the goal of having your own website.
Mistakes to Avoid
Not using a website builder that isn’t specifically focused on vacation rentals
Have you ever visited a website that has a gorgeous appearance but lacks the essential features you require? Owners of vacation rentals may get too fixated on the aesthetic and overlook the functionality. Why wouldn’t you use a website builder that specializes in your business if you are promoting a vacation rental property?
You can get the right tools from a vacation rental website builder that you couldn’t get from a generic website builder, such as a reservation system, payment interfaces, and overall design.
Slow landing pages
If a page takes more than a few seconds to load, your visitors could simply go on to the next website to save time. Online chances for getting direct reservations change quickly. Make sure your sites load quickly so visitors can decide on a reservation right away.
Not having a website that is SEO-optimized
Visitors are likely to start by typing their search terms into a search engine like Google. It’s often a general search for a vacation property in your neighborhood. Even though it’s quite uncommon, the visitors that directly put in your property’s name aren’t the ones you need to worry about enticing since they already know what they’re searching for.
The first, maybe second, or third link that shows will be clicked by visitors who are using a broad search term, such as “Vacation Rental Kissimmee, Florida.” You definitely don’t want to be the last one among the millions of search results.
Although it might be challenging, SEO is crucial. Read our guide here to get the lowdown from the pros.
not monitoring the effectiveness of your website
Your website may still fail even though you’ve followed all the advice, used all the tactics, and avoided the main blunders. Understanding what’s working and what isn’t while creating a website is the greatest method to make it better.
You may promote successful content and rethink the low-traffic portions of your page by monitoring the performance and maintaining statistics of your website. You may use Google Analytics to get insight into your company’s overall performance, which you can then apply to your website to boost revenue and bookings.
How often should you improve your website for vacation rentals?
If if creating a website and walking away were that simple. Maintaining and improving your website will be a continual effort, as we discussed regarding analytics. Interests vary and trends come and go. Your website has to be updated often in order to be up to date with what your visitors desire. We advise you to conduct a thorough website audit at least once every three months if you cannot optimize and monitor your site’s performance regularly.
An updated website will not only sustain visitors’ interest, but it will also improve the functionality of your real page. A sluggish, out-of-date page isn’t helpful to anybody.
In order to establish the legitimacy of your vacation rental company, you must have an optimized website. Customers often visit websites first in the digital age when they want to make a purchase. Your website has to go above and beyond the norm to remain competitive.
Lodgable understands the value of a great website, which is why we created high-performing website designs that vacation rental companies can quickly adapt.
If creating a website seems challenging, remember that it shouldn’t be. Lodgable’s website builder succeeds because it is user-friendly and visually appealing. Don’t let a dull website prevent you from getting direct bookings. To experience the feeling for yourself, sign up for free.