Archives For Search Engine Optimization

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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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…

More than 7 in 10 travelers do their travel planning online according to Google, and if someone is looking for a vacation rental in your neighborhood, you want your property to show up at the top of the list.

"Search!", a photo from Flickr by Jeffrey Beall. Used under a Creative Commons license.Getting to page one of search results takes ongoing, dedicated work — and in travel hotspots, competition for those top places is fierce. Some of this work, called search engine optimization (SEO), is out of your hands. For example, attracting links from reputable websites indicates to search engines that your website is trustworthy, too; getting those links takes time and effort, with no guarantee that they will ever come.

Improving your search results doesn’t exclusively rely on other people, however. There are things you can do to make your website more search engine friendly — called on-page optimization — that are straightforward and completely within your control. Continue Reading…


How do I get my vacation rental website to rank on Google? I get asked this question a lot so let me help break it down for you.

This is a visual map of the Internet. See that huge dot in the middle? That’s Google. And, this one is Wikipedia. And, this one is Craigslist. They have hundreds of thousands of links pointing to them from all over the web so it’s easy for the search engine crawlers to find them. 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…

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

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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…