January 21, 2020
SEO for Vacation Rentals
As a vacation rental property manager, your job is to increase exposure for your properties and your brand. One key technique is to optimize your online content, including listings, blog posts, social media posts, and websites, for search.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a technique in which you create unique content that is search engine “friendly,” by including keywords and phrases that help your content get recognized and ranked by the engines.
When properly used, SEO can help your pages rank closer to the top of results pages, increase your visibility, and help potential guests find you earlier in their research process.
Here are seven questions and answers as to the why, how, and importance of SEO.
1. SEO seems difficult and tedious, is it worth my time?
ABSOLUTELY! Over 64 million travelers use the internet to find, research, and book vacations. SEO is not only worth your time; it is imperative if you want a piece of the pie. While it may seem tedious and difficult, if you want to get found online and grow your business, it is necessary.
2. Can I compete with the Big Boys?
It depends. If you are willing to rewrite your content and optimize your online material, then yes, you can compete. While you might not have the advertising budget of an Airbnb or VRBO, SEO is a cost-effective way to directly compete in the market, without spending thousands on advertising.
3. Will I see results quickly?
It depends. After you have optimized your content and organized your navigation, run some Google ads and post on social media to let potential visitors know. This can create a quick spike in traffic. As the search engines crawl through your site, over time you will see a steady increase in traffic if you continue to update your content regularly.
4. Why am I not ranking?
There can be several reasons. First, it does take time for the search engines to catalog new content. It can also mean a few other things, like:
• Too much competition for the same keywords.
• Your website isn’t properly optimized.
• You have inappropriate or spammy content which is negatively impacting SEO.
Many factors contribute to effective SEO. These include providing unique, valuable content and adding the appropriate image tags, titles, descriptions, headings, fresh blog posts, and detailed web pages. Take a methodical approach and give it time.
5. What are keywords and how do I use them?
Keywords are the words and phrases a potential guest would type into a search engine to find a business like yours. Use variations to rank more often. For example, if you would like to rank for “Miami vacation” variations might include “vacation home in Miami, Miami family vacation, Florida’s Gold Coast, Miami travel tips, etc. Include relevant phrases on webpages and in blog and social media posts to rank higher.
6. What is “content” and how does it affect SEO?
Content includes your homepage, listings, blog posts, headlines, title pages, meta descriptions, images and more. Every piece of content you post should be optimized for search using keywords and phrases.
7. Does local SEO matter?
Yes. Today more searchers are seeking information on mobile devices. Google’s latest algorithm, Pigeon, takes local ranking signals into account, as well as helping them to determine distance when assigning rankings. To help optimize for local search, create a Google+ business page.
You can have the most beautiful properties being promoted on your perfectly designed website, but if you can’t get found, it doesn’t matter. SEO is one of the best ways to get found online. It will take a little time and effort, but the payoff can be increased brand awareness, fewer empty units, and more profit.