Vacation rental distribution sites, such as HomeAway, FlipKey and Airbnb, spend a significant amount of time and money testing and optimizing the design of their listing pages to increase property-specific conversion rates, while vacation rental management companies spend relatively little time and effort developing their own property pages.
With all the resources online marketing sites put into creating listing pages optimized for conversion, what can property managers learn from their research?
Here is a HomeAway listing page next to a Florida property manager’s property page.
What the competition is doing
Airbnb, HomeAway and Flipkey have made major changes to their listing pages and ranking algorithms in 2014 with the single goal of getting guests to the cash register faster.
Earlier this month, Airbnb redesigned their listing pages making the following changes:
- Made calendars easier to read
- Replaced the multi-tab layout with a one-screen layout
- Added a neighborhood guide with images
- Included a map with property-specific recommendations for attractions, restaurants and shopping.
Last week, HomeAway announced it is launching a Listing Quality Scorecard for property listings this quarter. “We believe one of the factors impacting our traffic growth is the ongoing quality initiatives aimed at reducing the number of visits required to secure a booking,” said Brian Sharples, CEO at HomeAway.
TripAdvisor’s FlipKey revamped their property pages, adding the following:
- A “what’s nearby” feature
- Specified bathroom and bedding types
- Numbered dining and seating capacity
- Made more amenities searchable.
- Added more search parameters, such as “suitable for children,” elevators and “retired” amenities.
The ranking algorithms implemented by these sites are founded on components which have been proven to lead to higher booking conversion rates.
Here are some ranking factors for the distribution channels:
By Amy Hinote