Launching 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!
Whether you use Google (by far the most-used search engine), Bing or Yahoo, search engines find new web pages through sitemaps — the index pages for individual websites (created automatically if you have a MyVR website!) — and links that point back to those pages.
There is no specific “waiting period” for having your site start showing up in search results, but there are things you can do to move the process along more quickly.
How to flag your new site for Google to find
In "How to Get Google to Index Your New Website & Blog Quickly,” a KISSmetrics blog post, Kristi Hines explains eight tactics you can use to tell search bots that there’s a new site they need to pay attention to.
Her top tip? “The best way to ensure that your new content is discovered quickly is simply by sharing it on social media networks through status updates, especially on Google+.”
Social media can make a big difference — not just for a new site but on an ongoing basis. In a blog post last year, we looked at the impact social media has on your search rank.
It’s not surprising that Google+, Google’s own social network, tops the list of factors that can impact where you show up in search results. However, it’s worth noting that Facebook is a close second.
What else can you do to help people discover your rental? Check out our top tips for getting your vacation rental to rank higher on Google.