To truly develop your brand requires building direct bookings. It’s critical for a vacation rental property management company to maintain a professional looking website, and all of your marketing efforts should work in alignment to drive traffic to your branded site. Here are five best practices you can use to accomplish the goal of driving direct bookings.
Your website should define your brand, allow guests to make inquiries, offer value to drive conversions, and answer questions your guests have. Here are key elements to include on your website to help accomplish your goal:
- Professional photography
- Well-written unit descriptions
- Location information
- Key factors—price and offers
- User reviews
- Online booking capabilities
- Speed and accessibility
- Functionality across all devices
One of the most important marketing assets you have is the email list of prospects who inquire about your properties and your former guests. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build long-term relationships with guests.
- Build your subscriber list
- Encourage readers to engage
- Make it personal
- Keep your email out of spam folders
- Make sure your emails are clean and crisp
- Include links and calls to action
- Make it easy to unsubscribe
- Make email mobile friendly
Social Media Marketing
When properly utilized, channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn can be great sources for adding names to your email list, driving traffic to your website, and increasing direct bookings.
- Have a plan
- Determine which platforms suit you
- Get to know your target audience
- Market your properties via social media
- Use photos, videos, and graphics
- Prioritize quality over quantity
- Work with the right tools
- Follow conversations and respond
Use paid search (i.e. Adwords) to promote special events and offers, book slow rental periods, or drive traffic to your website. Unlike the low- or no-cost options, you will need to establish a budget first.
- Understand how PPC works
- Have defined conversion goals
- Select your PPC channel
- Perform detailed keyword research
- Determine your PPC budget
- Create compelling ad copy
- Make sure your landing pages are relevant
- Continue to test and optimize
It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
- Identify your target keywords/keyword phrases
- Perfect your on-page optimization
- Develop your content strategy
- Attract high-quality links
- Monitor performance
- Continue to optimize your SEO efforts
Acting on and implementing these five best practices can help you to build an effective marketing strategy and drive direct bookings for your properties. Most of these best practices can be accomplished for low or no cost and a small commitment of your time. The result, whether you choose to do it yourself or hire staff or third-party contractors, will be to drive direct booking and increase your revenues!
For more details and to read the full-length article, visit partner. xplorie.com/direct-bookings
What about listing on a 3rd party site that for the past 18 years have supported the VRM industry and allow travelers to Book Direct?
We also optimize your property pages so month after month and year after year your property pages get better and better indexed across the search engines.
High quality links – every property page has links back to your website that are sending you (traffic) qualified travelers – search engines love that.
Still family owned and operated, so there are no CEO’s and upper management that are making millions off your hard work
We are here to serve – your business