Better listings = better bookings
If you’re a vacation rental property manager, you know that online listings are the easiest way for consumers to find vacation rentals. You’re probably familiar with the experience: a traveler goes to an OTA website, types in a destination, selects their dates, and–voilà–a list of possible properties appear! And hopefully, in those hundreds or thousands of search results, your property receives a coveted click.
Of course, there are a few things you can do to make your listing more click-worthy on a third-party OTA website.
1. Tell a story with your photos
Photos are the first thing a traveler’s eye goes to when they look at a page of search results. It makes sense that improving your photos can also improve your clickthrough and conversion rates.
Not only should your photos be technically good, they should also tell a good story. You want your photos to inspire travelers to imagine themselves spending a day in it. Here are some things to try:
- Give travelers a walkthrough of the property, starting with the outside and moving through each room.
- Use pictures to show a “day in the life” of a vacation at the property. Start in the bedrooms, move into the kitchen and living areas, and then show any outdoor or entertainment spaces.
- Place images of your most compelling features first, like the recently remodeled kitchen or sparkling pool.
- Add images of any relevant, compelling surrounding areas. This could include landmarks, historical sites, beaches, or trendy parts of town nearby.
2. Write better headlines
You have an average of eight seconds–eight!–to grab a traveler’s attention before they move on to other listings. Readable, compelling headlines can make the most of those eight seconds. The trick is to know what to say–and what not to say.
What to include in a headline:
- The property’s best, unique features. Some examples include: outdoor kitchens, stunning views, ski-in/ski-out access, a stunning master suite, and a private pool.
- Nearby attractions or amenities. If the property is five minutes from Disneyworld or a quick walk to the Las Vegas strip, say so!
- The type of traveler who would like the property. Include if your property is great for a guy’s getaway, pet-friendly, or perfect for families in the headline. This is a fantastic way to help a traveler start imagining themselves in your property.
What to leave out:
- Bedroom and bathroom count. This information shows up right under the headline in search results and on the individual listing page. Why waste the space in your headline?
- How many the property sleeps. Again, this information shows up right under the headline in search results.
- Excessive punctuation. Extra exclamation points won’t improve your headline but will take up characters. You’re better off beefing up your descriptive words with those characters!
3. Make sure your description has new information
While you want to make sure interested travelers get critical information before they book, there’s no need to hit them over the head with the same sentence over and over again. There’s no need to remind them how many bedrooms or bathrooms there are–that information can all be found in other places on the page.
Here are some best practices for property descriptions:
- Highlight the amenities and experiences that make your property special. Flaunt the chef’s kitchen, private pool, or excellent sunset views!
- Limit your descriptions to about 1,000 characters to keep things mobile-friendly!
- Description too long? Check out Hemingwayapp.com.
- Description too short? Read your positive reviews and see if there’s a common thread. If many reviewers said they loved the easy access to the ski slopes, make sure to add that into your description!
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