In case you missed the recent HomeAway Community webinar I hosted on how to give your listings more firepower with a website for your vacation rental, you can watch the recording here. As promised, there were a couple of questions asked that I have answered here.
How do I generate more links to my website?
I’ve written a few articles on link building for your website here on the MyVR blog. The first is what to do after you’ve launched your website and the other is 10 free vacation rental listing sites to boost your SEO. You can also get a few easy links by posting your website on all of your social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and getting listed on local directories like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
I’m also a fan of HubSpot’s small business marketing tools. They have a great set of tips for link building on their website.
Should I have an inquiry form on my website or just link to my HomeAway listing?
I think it’s best to have a separate inquiry form on your website so that you can track where those inquiries are coming from. This way you can evaluate the true cost of each marketing channel. When you receive an inquiry, you can manually add the details to your HomeAway Reservation Manager and they will generate an email sent to the traveler to request payment. This way you can still process payments digitally through HomeAway, but also track activity through your website.
You recommended Facebook and Pinterest to promote my vacation rental. Can you help me get started?
Definitely! I know social media marketing can feel daunting at first, especially if you’re not very familiar with social networks for personal use. You can download my free e-Book, the Vacation Rental Owners Guide to Facebook Marketing and check out the recent post to our blog on getting started with Pinterest.
Can I use HomeAway’s calendar, but not their Book It Now function?
Yes, using the HomeAway calendar system, HomeAway Connect, is separate from the HomeAway booking engine, called Reservation Manager. Book It Now is a feature of the Reservation Manager in which travelers submit a paid reservation request from your listing and you can confirm that listing within 24 hours. You can use the free calendar without having to use Book It Now and some sites, including MyVR, integrate directly with the calendar.