Archives For Marketing

People are often surprised when I say they need to stop stressing out about search engine optimization (SEO) because it may not even be right for their vacation rental marketing strategy. It’s true that MyVR offers powerful vacation rental property management software, and it’s true that websites are one of the key features. But there are plenty of very good reasons to have a website even if SEO isn’t a core part of your strategy.

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For many larger, professional property managers, SEO isn’t just a good idea–it’s a necessary piece of their long-term strategy to diversify and take control of their business. However, the SEO decision for most smaller “mom-and-pop” owners is not so clear.

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"Oak Terrace Preserve's Walkable Neighborhoods" on Flickr by North Charleston (CC BY-SA 2.0)Referrals are a common way for businesses to grow, and rent-by-owners (RBOs) aren’t any different; you likely already know that word-of-mouth marketing from happy guests can be one of your most powerful assets.

But what about referrals from other businesses — and other vacation rental owners in particular. Is it weird to get referrals from your competitors, or is it a potential source for new bookings that you’ve overlooked?

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Fish with big eyesLaunching a new website for your vacation rental business is an exciting event…that can quickly deflate when nothing seems to happen. Where are the website visitors? Where are the new bookings?

Like building a business, generating web traffic takes time; over time, there are a lot of different ways you can improve your search engine optimization (SEO) — where you show up in search results — and make it easier for people to find you.

But for now, you just need your site to show up! Continue Reading…

A lot of Facebook Page owners ignore the rules, but if you’ve been trying to keep your vacation rental Page on the straight and narrow, there’s good news: recent changes to Facebook’s Page guidelines have made this prime piece of screen real estate a lot more useful.

In the past, cover photos were rather restricted. For example, photos couldn’t include a lot of text or any promotional information (including contact details), references to Facebook features (such as the Like button), and calls to action were strictly verboten.

The rules have changed

There’s still one important rule when it comes to your Facebook cover photo: text must be limited to 20 percent of the image or less. But beyond that, you now have a lot more flexibility.  Continue Reading…

"Lightbulb!" by Matthew Wynn on flickr (CC BY 2.0)Looking for new ways to promote your vacation rental and attract more bookings? Here’s a recap of some of the ideas we’ve shared on our blog this past year.

Get the best ‘bang for your buck’

In 10 Minute Marketing, our presentation from this year’s HomeAway Summit, Markus Nordvik and I highlighted 15 different ideas — some basic, and some a little outside the norm — that we think can deliver medium-to-high impact with minimal time commitment. Some of these ideas are included below, but check out our presentation for the full list…

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"Start Here" by Robert Kilman on flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)You’ve decided that turning your second home into a vacation rental is the right move for you.

Now what?

Getting your first reservation on the calendar is an exciting time, but — as you probably figured out while you were deciding to rent your property — there are things you need to do before you can throw your doors open.

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"Slow Time in Wrist Watch on Dry Leaf" by epSos.de on flickr (CC BY 2.0)When renters are constantly coming and going, it’s easy to push non-urgent administrative tasks to the side for “later”.

If your vacation rental slows down between Labor Day and ski season, “later” is here! The shoulder season is the perfect time to catch up and start laying groundwork for next quarter.

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"Facebook Beachfront" by mkhmarketing on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)This summer, Facebook has rolled out a number of marketing tools that can help expand your reach and attract new people to your vacation rental – without paid advertising.

Graph Search and hashtags have the potential to drive people to your Facebook Page through relevant information that’s being shared on the network.

A third feature that just launched – the ability to embed Facebook posts onto other websites – means that, especially if you have your own website, you can draw people into your Facebook content without them ever leaving your site. Continue Reading…

You have your vacation rental website, Facebook Page, listings on several different sites — and feedback from different people on each one. Your new challenge is to bring reviews from all these disparate sites and link them all together.

Why copy-and-paste is not the answer

Copying a review from a site and adding it to your own website is the easy solution, but it’s not necessarily the most legal option. Your safest bet is to always contact the reviewer directly to get their permission.

Online copyright can be confusing or subjective at the best of times, not least because different websites have different terms and conditions.

HomeAway.com, for example, holds a non-exclusive license over user-generated content on its site — which includes your property information as well as any submitted reviews.

As interpreted by ezine WritersWeekly, a non-exclusive license means “the reviewer can publish their review at any other site they choose and they can also give permission to someone else…to re-publish their review.”

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