Archives For SEO

search engine marketingFor the eighth day of MyVR Marketing Tips, your mission is to search for new places to promote your vacation rental website online.

You’ve already updated your listing on the vacation rental directories; today’s focus is broader, to include search engines and business directories.

Some key sites you’ll want to look at include:

Why should you spend time promoting your vacation rental in so many different locations? Because doing so:

  • Helps you connect with new groups of people who may or may not use other sites you’re advertising on.
  • Helps boost your website in search engine results, which give some consideration to the number of relevant external sites that point to your website.

The U.S. Travel Association says that at least 76 percent of travelers do their planning online; investing this time makes it easier for them to find you.



This post is part of our 12 Days of Vacation Rental Marketing series. Subscribe to the blog and we’ll send you an email each day with a new post.

photo credit: Danard Vincente

Yahoo 1st Page ResultRecently, I finally got around to placing my Sonoma vacation rental in Yahoo’s business listings. Now, just 2 weeks later, if you go to Yahoo! and search for “sonoma vacation rental” – there I am, first page, on the map, with a link to my Sonoma Square Cottage website.

That alone is pretty cool, but what’s even better is that I’ve gotten inquiries from this one step I took – and it was simple and free. Getting ranked on the first page of a Yahoo! search is such a great success story, that I wanted to share with everyone how I did it.

Step One: Go to Yahoo! Local and sign up.

That’s it, only one step! But the basic point is that compared to all the work you do upgrading your vacation home, maintaining listings, communicating with guests, processing payments, etc., this is pretty basic step to take. And not only will it potentially increase business, but you will improve your chances of getting ranked higher in a major search engine. Continue Reading…

MyVR WebinarIn 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. Continue Reading…

Inbound Links SEOGetting more links to your vacation rental website is critical in helping it get found organically (a.k.a. for free) in the search engines. The more inbound links your website has from higher authority sources, the more authority your own website will earn.

Essentially, there are 2 primary ways to rank higher in Google, Yahoo, and Bing. One is to optimize your website for keyword phrases potential renters might be searching for. This includes things like your website domain name (URLs), page titles, H1 headers, and your meta description. The second, and more important, is getting more inbound links to your website from high authority websites (i.e. The New York Times has a much higher authority than Bob’s Blog).

One way to measure this authority is through Google’s PageRank. It scores a web page out of 10 and it’s logarithmic, meaning it’s much harder to move your website from a 5 to a 6, than it is from a 2 to a 3. You can check out your current PageRank here. Continue Reading…

Travel Concierge on DutyI think the third most frequently asked question I get from travelers — after “What are your rates?” and “Is your vacation rental available for these dates?” — is “What activities and restaurants would you recommend near your home?”

We typically go back and forth via email, me asking them what kinds of activities they like, whether they’re traveling with children, what type of food they’re looking for, etc, etc. Basically, I become their travel concierge.

I decided it was a lot easier to just start posting my recommendations, favorite restaurants and upcoming events to my website. You can do the same and save yourself countless hours by directing travelers to your website. Plus, a local guide will also help your vacation rental website be found more easily online. Continue Reading…

Bike Riding Niche Vacation Rental TravelTravelers have a lot of options when it comes to accommodation – vacation rentals are just one of them. Getting your property to jump off a page of search results is no small feat.

What if you could position your rental in a way that maximized your efforts and did a better job of attracting your ideal renter, while possibly increasing your income? Experienced marketers advocate an approach that does just that: Niche marketing.

A niche market is a distinct group of people within a larger group of potential customers. Many consumers aren’t even aware of the rental home market yet, which makes vacation home renters a distinct group of travelers already.

However, people are always on the lookout for accommodations and destinations that meet their particular needs. That’s your opportunity. Continue Reading…

Keyword Research Word CloudLet’s be honest — search engine optimization (SEO) is time consuming and you’re often competing against companies who employ teams of experts trying to beat the competition. The good news is, there are ways to level the playing field.

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there are long-term rewards to be had because search optimization has a longer lasting effect than paid advertising. When you stop paying for ads, your listing is removed and all of the traffic and bookings that went along with it are gone too. With organic search, while it’s not as easy to earn a first page ranking (vs. buying it), once you do, it’s harder for your competition to bump you out of your position.

But first, you need to have your own vacation rental website. And while you may not become an SEO expert overnight, there’s a bunch of things you can do to improve your organic search rankings. First, I suggest you check out a few resources to get you up-to-speed on the basics of SEO. My favorites are:

Finding the Best Keywords for Your Website

Continue Reading…

You come up with a clever name for your vacation rental property and immediately jump online to buy the website domain name. But wait – someone already has! With over 100 million “.com” domains already registered, it’s tough to find a good one that hasn’t been taken already.

SEO Friendly URLsDon’t despair – there are plenty more out there, some that may even perform better than your original choice. Put on your creative hat and start exploring, but be sure to consider these tips first:

Think like a potential renter. Think about the keywords and phrases a potential renter might search for when trying to find your property. Including popular keywords directly into your domain is a strong factor in search engine optimization (SEO) and will contribute toward higher organic search rankings (the placement you don’t pay for). Continue Reading…

First, congratulations! Setting up a website for your vacation rental is one of the best things you can do to market your property. A recent survey shows that owners who utilize listing sites and a have a personal website for marketing their vacation rental have a 12% higher occupancy rate than those who solely use listing sites.

Unfortunately, the saying “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t hold much weight in the world of online marketing. Here’s a few tips to help you start generating traffic to your new vacation rental website.

Add a link on your paid listings

Add Link to Your Listing SiteIf you’re already advertising on HomeAway, VRBO, or FlipKey, add the link to your listing. It allows you to showcase additional photos and information not featured in your paid listing and adds credibility to your ad.

Add a link in your auto-responder

Auto-responders or auto-reply messages are triggered when a new inquiry is received on your listing. Because it’s important to reply promptly to new inquiries, auto-reply messages let you send valuable information to the guest when you are not available to respond personally. If you’re not using auto-responders yet, here’s why you should set up an auto-reply.

Adding a link to your website gives the potential renter more information about your property and keeps them engaged until you’ve had a chance to respond. Continue Reading…