You know you need a website to market your holiday rental, but how do you go about deciding what content to include? What information is really important to entice those potential guests? Here’s a simple guide to creating a compelling website, to help promote your holiday rental and maximise your bookings.
Create a Dynamic Property Description
Perhaps the most important content on the entire website is the property description. This should be appealing, yet short and to the point. It’s not that difficult – honestly. Put your mind into that of a potential guest, or even better think about how you go about looking for accommodation. Do you take the time to scroll through lines and lines of text? Probably not and neither do your customers. Begin by writing down everything there is to know about your holiday rental, then edit it to focus on the main selling points, getting rid of everything that’s not adding any real value. Enhance the positives, if a room is small use the word cosy, if your property is isolated you could use the word secluded to add a romantic feel. Make it easy for your website visitors to scan the page for information, by using headings to break up the page, highlighting important information by making it bold and using bulleted lists were appropriate.
Key points to remember are:
- Edit your work, remove anything that isn’t essential
- Check for mistakes in grammar and/or spelling (spell check isn’t always 100% accurate)
- Keep your text concise
- Accentuate the positives
- Use headings to break up the page
- Highlight important information
- Use bullet points where appropriate
Let Photos do the Talking
Your website needs to be attractive as well as informative and photos can help with both these things. Your potential guests want to get a good idea of what to expect before they book, so make sure your pictures provide that. It’s advisable to show both internal and external shots, but do so wisely. Find the angles that are most complementary e.g. perhaps the back of the property looks better than the front. Make sure all images are high quality and have good lighting. It’s important to use a good quality camera, so that you can take shots in a high resolution. Finally, don’t forget to add descriptions to each of the images when you put them on your website, to let potential guests know exactly what they’re looking at.
Don’t Forget the Local Area
The local area is as important as the holiday property itself, since most people will want to know what there is to do when they get there. When adding content to your website include plenty of information on ‘Things to do’ with photos where possible. If your holiday rental is near world class vineyards, add this to your website, if there is a wide range of water sports activities nearby, let people know about them, if there’s a wonderful night market in the local village, write about it! The more information you give, the more your guests will visualise themselves on holiday there, and the more enticing your holiday rental will become.
Rental Rates, Availability & Contact Details
People want to know how much it’s going to cost to rent your accommodation, whether it’s available for the time period they are interested in and how to get in contact with you, so that they can ask questions or book their stay. Your Rates page should be as detailed and transparent as possible with any additional costs clearly stated. This page is also a good place to include any special offers you might be running. You might want to think about how you can generate more interest for low season, or those weeks when bookings are slim on the ground e.g. offer 3 nights for the price of 2. An Availability Calendar is the simplest way of telling potential guests whether your holiday rental is available for the time they want to stay, but make sure you keep it up to date. The Enquiries page should detail all methods of communication that holiday makers can use to contact you. Some people prefer booking on the phone while others may prefer email, so add all of your contact information, including phone numbers, email and even Skype or Instant Messenger, if you use them. Don’t be afraid to highlight your preferred method of contact if you have one.
Keep Your Website Fresh
Updating your content throughout the year is a simple and free way to attract search engine traffic and encourage new and repeat bookings. By simply adding local events to your website as and when they approach, you have the ability to attract more holiday makers, some of which may not have previously considered your accommodation. Perhaps the Tour de France is passing by your Gite or you own a villa in Valencia and the Tomatina Tomato Fight festival is in a few weeks. Or perhaps an art exhibition showcasing work from some of the world’s most renowned artists is in a nearby town. Including information for these events is a great way to keep your website fresh and Google loves fresh content.