For vacation home owners it is very important that their property ad on a vacation rental ad listing website appears on the first page of the search results. Because travelers ideally do not go beyond the second page, it becomes even more important for owners to work on their ads meticulously to find a place on the first page of the search results.
But before we go on to what you can do, let’s take a look at how travelers search for properties in TripVillas.com. Before a traveler searches for an accommodation he has decided on a destination he would like to go for his next vacation. Let’s assume that I would like to go to ‘Phuket’ for a vacation. Ideally after opening the website I will search for properties in Phuket by entering the destination’s name on the search box which will give me the list of the properties in Phuket.
Based on these results let’s see why one property is appearing on the first page and another on the last page.
THE HEADLINE: Use words that clearly depict your holiday home and its major selling points. You could describe your property type (e.g., villa, condo, apartment, houseboat, etc.), location type (e.g., beachfront, lakefront, etc.), and amenities (e.g., HDTV, Jacuzzi, swimming pool, etc). Using these keywords not only helps to catch the eye of potential guests, but also helps your listing show up higher on the results pages of TripVillas and also that of search engines like Google and Yahoo.
For instance, the headline of the property that appears on the first page of the search results for ‘Phuket’ is: ‘Gorgeous amenity-filled villa with private pool, Andaman Sea views.’ This is a good headline because it tells the traveler where it is situated, what are the amenities that are being offered and also the property type.
Now take a look at the property appearing at the last page of the search results. The headline says: ‘Phuket Villas – Satisfying and Relaxing Vacation.’ From the headline we get to know very little about the property.
THE DESCRIPTION: The right description of your property will ensure that your property appears on the top of the search results. First of all, it always pays to be descriptive. Describe your home in such a way that helps travelers to imagine staying there. Write about your major amenities, history of the property, specific information on the bedroom(s) and bed setup, suitability for certain groups of travelers, unique selling points, property type and size, etc. Also capitalize keywords for emphasis. Always describe your property first before describing the area where your property is situated. Compare the description of a listing appearing on the top of the search results on TripVillas with that appearing on the last page of the same search results.
The one appearing on the last page (see image above) says nothing about the property. I will not be surprised if no travelers are booking at all.
Now look at the description of the listing appearing on the first page (see image above). He has described his property, the amenities and at last about the location. Although it still has scope to make it even better, but nevertheless it has covered most of the points which a traveler is ideally looking for.
Meanwhile I would recommend owners to update this information from time to time. Updating it regularly increases the chances of your listing appearing on the top of search results of both TripVillas and search engines like Google and Yahoo.
IMAGES: It is a basic necessity. Because sorting of properties in search results is based on the number of images attached with a property, you can perhaps imagine where you would end up without images. Moreover even travelers shun such listings and hardly open them. See for yourself why the property with 13 images is appearing on the top of the search results while the one with no images of the property is languishing at the last page.
AVAILABILITY CALENDAR: Similar to the logic used by search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing; updated pages automatically appear on the first pages of the search results in TripVillas too. It is the very same reason why webpages that are not updated for a long time keep slipping on the ranking and ends up on the last search result pages. Updating your calendar is thus a simplest way to update you listing and thus moving higher up in the rankings.
REVIEWS OF YOUR PROPERTY: We all have to agree that ‘Content is King’ – it’s a cliché, but true. Vacation rental listing websites like search engines thus give great importance to the content of your listing. More the relevant content, more chances of the keywords for your vacation home being used and thus more chances of getting a good ranking. Reviews can be the best way to increase relevant content of your listing. So if you haven’t made this a part of your marketing campaign then you are losing out on several counts. Start encouraging your past guests to write a review on your property and go higher up on the search result rankings.