Ok, so you’ve built a great looking website to showcase your holiday rental, you’ve chosen the best keywords to target and you’ve included them in the relevant areas of your website, so that Google knows what your site is about. Now what?
You need to get some links pointing to your website from other high quality, relevant websites. Why would you want to do that?
- Each link back to your site counts as a vote in the eyes of Google. Simply put, the more relevant votes you have, the better your site will rank.
- Each link has the potential to send direct traffic to your website.
So how do you attract links?
The first step in encouraging people to link to your website is to create interesting and unique content that they will want to link to. This will allow you to pick up a few links naturally over time, but in order to stay ahead of the competition you’ll probably need to use a few of the techniques below to give your link prospects a nudge.
Link building techniques
There are literally hundreds of different ways to build links back to your holiday rental website. Our advice is to pick 3 or 4 of the techniques below and use those for a few months, then as you become more adept and comfortable, mix things up and try some of the others.
There are some ground rules to bear in mind when using any of the techniques:
- It’s important that the links you build come from high quality sites.
- Links should be built gradually, over time. This is not a one-time activity.
- Link text should be varied i.e. don’t use the same phrase for all your links.
- Links need to come from a variety of linking techniques.
- Link building needs to look natural.
Ask owners of related websites
Use Google to find websites related to your holiday properties destination, such as tourist information websites and websites for local attractions. Send them an email asking if they would be willing to link to your website. Often these types of websites are happy to list holiday rental accommodation in the local area.
Check out the competition
Sites that rank highly for the same keywords you want to appear for will have been building links for a while. You can get a feel for the types and number of links they have using one of the online tools below:
Enter the URL of the site you want to analyse and have a look at the incoming links. You can use this to get an idea of who is linking to your competition so you can contact those sites and get them to link to you as well.
Use Google to search for relevant directories and listing sites in the country or region that your holiday rental property is located. Use your chosen keywords, but add the word “directory” on the end and have a look at some of the sites that come up. Any free sites within the first 3 pages that allow you to add a link to your website could be worth joining, providing it is relatively quick to add the details of your holiday rental.
Content writing is a great way to get good quality, relevant links back to your website. Writing and submitting useful and informative articles to blogs that accept guest posts is one of the best ways to:
- increase links;
- increase traffic;
- boost your credibility as an expert.
Write 300 – 500 words of content around a given topic, theme or keyword. These might be:
- a list of things to do in the local area
- a review of a local attraction
- a location guide
- tips for other holiday rental owners
If you’re not much of a writer yourself you could just do the research, gather all the info together, and outsource the writing to a copywriter.
But first you will need to do a bit of searching on Google to find quality travel related sites that accept guest posts. It’s even better if they cover the specific area your property is in.
To find sites that accept guest writers use Google to search for relevant blogs using keyword + “guest post”, or keyword + “write for us”.
For example if your property is in Spain you could use the following keywords to find sites – spain” ,”spanish”, “spanish holidays”.
So your search terms would look something like this:
Spain “guest blog”
Spanish “guest blog”
spanish holidays “guest blog”
Spain “write for us”
Spanish “write for us”
spanish holidays “write for us”
Remember to include the quotation marks.
Make a list of the sites you find that are relevant and accept guest posts.
You can also join a guest blog community such as myblogguest.com and “advertise” that you are willing to write content around your topic for other sites. Here are some other guest blog networks.
Once you have a list of sites that accept guest posts you need to create some excellent content that they will be willing to share.
Make sure all content you write is unique – it takes a bit of time and effort – but if you don’t do this your efforts will be wasted.
You should be allowed to include a link back to your site in the article, either in an “About the Author” section or inline with the text.
Here is an example ‘About the author’ section:
“Joan Smith is the owner of Valderama – a spanish villa with pool that is available year round for rentals. Aimed specifically at golfing tours, we are only 2 minutes from the major PGA golf course. Visit the site to find out more http://www.mygolfvillawebsite.com
The bits in bold should be links back to your website. You’ll need to add in some HTML code to make the links work.
If you are prepared to commit the time to updating a blog on a regular basis, starting a blog about the area where your holiday rental is situated is a great way to attract links. It can also be very enjoyable! People are far more likely to link to a specific article on your blog than the home page of your website (assuming they find what you have written of interest). Google also loves fresh content and therefore loves blogs, since they are generally updated on a regular basis.
Participate in Holiday Rental Forums and any forums related to the country/ region your holiday property is located. Most forums allow you to post a link on your profile and in your signature. Participation is the key here. Just signing up and creating profile links is not going to get you very far. Besides, you’ll probably find a lot of useful information on other aspects of renting your holiday property, so you’ll get a lot more out of it than a few links.
Some of the more popular Holiday Rental Forums include:
When including a link in your signature it’s best to include the full URL or the name of the website, rather than stuff the text with your keywords.
Use Google to find holiday rental blogs and blogs related to your holiday rental destination and get involved by commenting on the posts. Don’t simply post comments saying “thanks for the great content” in the hope that the comment will be included with your link. Add value where possible and try to build a relationship with the blogger, so that they may eventually add a link to your website of their own accord.
When commenting on blogs it’s best to use your real name as the link back to your website.
Setup a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your holiday rental,including a link to your website in the profiles. Post ‘status updates’ and ‘tweets’ on a regular basis, with information related to your destination or the holiday rentals industry in general, whilst at the same time building your follower numbers. Gradually more and more people will be notified about your content and some of those people will share it with others. If you have a blog, make sure you share your blog posts on Twitter and Facebook too.
Use a site like Animoto to create a professional looking video showcasing your holiday rental. Add it to video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. This will get you a few links, especially if people find your video interesting enough to share. Don’t forget to add it to your website too, to showcase your holiday rental to potential guests.
As you can see, there are many ways to continually attract links to your website. It takes a fair bit of time and effort to see results and you really need to make this part of your monthly activity. Over time you’ll see that you are getting more traffic to your holiday rental website, which should result in more enquiries and bookings. Eventually you will become less reliant on listing sites for your bookings (although we would always recommend advertising on one or two of the better listing sites for your area, as part of a well balanced marketing strategy).
In the next article, we will show you how you can measure the success of your marketing efforts to see what’s working and what’s not.