Chances are you know the local area around your holiday rental better than most.
Perhaps you live there, or you’ve spent a lot of time holidaying there.
Well, did you know that you can use this local knowledge to drive traffic to your website?
By creating a comprehensive local area guide on the website itself.
If done right, this can massively boost your SEO rankings and social shares – therefore increasing traffic to your site.
Let’s face it, information about your accommodation is not going to appeal to everyone. For example, some people won’t be looking for self-catering accommodation and for others the capacity may not be right for their group size. On the other hand, information about the local area should appeal to anybody interested in travel. Granted, not all of these people will be looking to make a reservation with you, but some of them may have their own websites and be interested in linking to your content, if you are providing valuable information about the local area.
And if you don’t know by now, every link from a quality website acts as a vote in the eyes of Google. The more votes you get, the higher your website will appear in search results for related keywords. (For a more in-depth look at link building, take a look at our Link Building for Holiday Rental Websites article).
And for others who don’t link to it, they may think it’s such a good resource that they share it via social media instead. Getting your content in-front of a larger audience.
In addition to encouraging sharing, in-depth content like this has a couple of secondary benefits:
- It lets Google know what your geographical focus is – which means that your website will be more likely to appear in search results organically for searches related to that area.
- It presents you as an authority for that location – which creates trust with your target market, and again, makes it more likely that your content will be linked to and shared.
So now you know the benefits, how do you go about creating this great local area guide that people will want to link to and share?
Start by considering everything there is to see and do in the local area, even if it’s not necessarily something you’d be interested in yourself. Remember the Number One rule – always write content with your target market in mind.
Things to consider:
- Things to do in the immediate town, including the top bars and restaurants
- Attractions within walking distance, or a short drive
- Attractions slightly further afield
- Activities nearby
- Activities further afield
- Target market specific information – things to do for families, couples, adults, children
- Niche specific information – walkers, cyclists, winter sports, water sports, dog-friendly walks and amenities, etc.
And any others you can think of.
Then once you’ve gathered all that relevant details, you have two options:
- Create one lengthy page outlining all the information
- Create individual, topic-specific sub-pages
The latter option is really only recommended if you have a lot of useful recommendations for each sub-page. For example, family-orientated attractions and things to do.
By narrowing in on the content for each page, your text will naturally be more specific to that topic, and thereby more targeted to the relevant audience which works well for SEO.
But to reiterate, for this to benefit your website in terms of SEO, you need plenty of great content rather than lots of pages with thin-content.
If you’re not sure, stick to creating one quality page packed full of useful and relevant information. You can always expand out to multiple pages at a later date.
A couple of tips when writing the content …
- Don’t just write one sentence about a place or attraction and include a link to their site – that’s not really providing the comprehensive guide that will help drive traffic to your website. Instead, write a short but detailed summary to give your readers good knowledge without needing to leave your site. If you’re unsure what to write, get inspiration from their website, and use it to help you write your own unique description.
- Include personal recommendations – personal recommendations add a lot of value for your readers, so include your top bars, restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions, and explain what’s great about them.
Making your guide the best it can be, will take a little time and effort, but eventually you’ll have created a valuable, useful resource for anyone holidaying in that area, which you can pass on to potential guests too. And once it’s finished you will reap the rewards many times over.
But don’t stop there.
Once you’ve created your guide it’s unlikely that the links and shares will come naturally, you need to promote it.
The first and easiest thing to do is share it on any marketing channels that you’re already using, such as social media and your email list.
The second, and most important thing to do, is find relevant websites that may be interested in linking to it by doing some searching on Google. Think local and general here. For example, general travel blogs, as well as any websites specific to travel and tourism in the area.
Create a list, then contact them.
When emailing these websites, be sure to include the link to your guide and explain how it would benefit them to link to it. For example:
For general travel blogs, you could say that you have created a comprehensive guide to [insert area] and you think it could be of great interest to their audience. If they think so too you would love it if they could share it.
For local bars, restaurants and attractions, you can tell them they have been recommended in your guide and that you are actively promoting their business to your guests. You would really appreciate a link from their website to yours.
For maximum SEO benefit the links you get should be one-way, not reciprocal. The reason for this is that reciprocal links don’t really work anymore, because in the past people abused the system with link exchange schemes. Google sees it as you essentially doing each other a favour, rather than linking because of the value each site brings.
But this shouldn’t stop you asking the local businesses to link to your guide. It’s natural to have these links and won’t do any harm provided you are getting one-way links too.
Just remember, you must be offering a valuable resource in the first place. If not, the chances of them agreeing to link to it are slim.
The more effort you put in to the content and its promotion, the more traffic you’ll receive.