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SEO Strategies for Vacation Rentals by Owner
Posted: February 20, 2008, 11:35 AM ET

As a vacation rental by owner it is your ultimate goal to drive as many prospects to your vacation rental as possible. Throughout this article we are going to show you different ways of marketing that will help potential guests find your rental.

If you have been an owner for awhile then you know the most effective and fastest way to get your unit on the market is to join the popular web portals. These may include VRBO, GreatRentals, Homeaway and many more. Joining the variety of portals available to you will provide your vacation rental by owner quick inquiries, that is if you set them up right. You may ask, well how do I set it up right? First, you need to take advantage of every option available to you in the different portals, after all your paying them to market your unit. Make sure you have a detailed description of your vacation rental, pictures/photo album, updated calendar and your rates, etc... Prospects want to see everything you have to offer and if you don't provide them that information in your listing, they will hit the next button to view the next rental (your competitions unit).

Now we are going to get into long term marketing known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization. These are strategies to help you get natural rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and so on. This is very important and a great way to market yourself above the competition, which will help you obtain more bookings.

The first step we suggest doing is to purchase a domain name with keywords related to your vacation rental. You can do this ativoldomains.com,which is a web-site we have developed for our clients. This is a very cost efficient way market your rental and brand yourself. What you do first is research and think of some keywords or phrases that would benefit your listing, then think a domain name with your results. You will then check to see if that domain name is available or not.

Here is how it works from start to finish. A client of ours has a vacation rental in Destin, Fl and wanted to create his own domain name to help improve his rankings. He used tools available on Google and Yahoo to research keywords that were searched a lot, however had no competition. The keyword/phrase the had the best results was "desting florida vacation house" and this is what he used as his SEO Term.

Once you have done your research and found your niche term it is time to purchase your own domain name. This particular owner purchasedhttp://www.destin-florida-vacation-house.com.As you see the term he found is used in his domain name. Search Engines give alot of weight to a page, when the URL has targeted keywords in it. Now as a member ofivacationonline,you can have your custom domain name "re-directed" to your listing. As you see that is exactly what this owner has done.

You may be wondering why are there dashes between the words of the domain. Well when the search engine is looking at your url it sees Destin Florida Vacation House. The spiders recognize those 4 words which is clearly related to the owners property. Now if you did not use the dashes, you would have "destinfloridavacationhouse". This basically looks the like a mess.

Your next goal should be working on the description/content that you have on your listing page. It is important to use the term or phrase that you researched in the desciption of your vacation rental. When you saturate your term such as "destin florida vacation house" naturally throughout your description, the search engines will you give you more weight vs someone with a rental in the same area that didn't. You will see exactly what I am talking about in the listing above. He strategically placed his term throughout his description.

The next SEO Tip for your Vacation Rental is to use your term in the page title in your listing onivacationonline.In this case the owner used Destin Florida Vacation House for the title on his unit page.

So, lets recap the strategies so far.

  • 1st - Find high searched term with little or no competition related to your rental.

  • 2nd - Use that term in your custom url, which can be purchased at http://www.ivoldomains.com/ for $8.99.

  • 3rd - Saturate your term used in your domain name throughout your description of your listing.

  • 4th - Implement your term as the title or your page. This is available to you at ivacationonline.com
This combination is a very effective way to begin obtaining those natural rankings on the search engines. However, it will take some time before you begin seeing results, but it is very important that you begin working on SEO for your Vacation Rental by Owner. We have developed a way to help you begin the process of Search Engine Optimization and are here to help. Please if you have any question regarding these strategies please contact us and we would be happy to help.

Look for more marketing strategies for your vacation rental in the future!

Joe Godar

Patent Pending Automated Online Booking System for Private Owners
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