Thinking about going on a new vacation but you can’t decide between a hotel and a vacation rental? Well, there is a huge change that is going to make a significant impact on the vacation rental market as well as the way you choose where to stay and for how long.
Travelers often weigh the options between staying in a hotel or renting someone’s home for the time they are in the area. Both has its pros and cons, based on the person traveling and spending the money for the play to stay.
However, now Google has made the decision making even easier; by adding vacation rentals to the hotel search function.
Previously when you searched “hotels” on google, it would bring up choices of the names of hotels and only really giving the customer the option to choose from a corporate hotel listing. Now things are looking up for the people that rather choose vacation rentals for their resting spot.
Traditionally, in order to view vacation rentals, one would have to look at third party spots especially if they are looking for a wider variety of selection. Now Google has made it as easy as clicking the “vacation rentals” link. When clicking that link, the search changes from hotels to listing vacation rentals instead.
This will enhance the vacation rental experience from both ends. People looking for a spot to stay now have an easier route by simply checking google, which is the tool they most likely were used for hotel searches previously. As for people looking to rent their homes, they now have an easier way to find potential prospect as Google is picking up the interested or looking customer for them.
The page even gives you details such as rates, and “accommodation type” which allows you to browse vacation rentals of all types.
This new push seems to be available to everyone, however still limited to some destinations. Google could be testing the waters with this or simply rolling it out to a new specific area as time goes on.
From now on, the vacation industry will be shaken up, as potential travelers now have more information to use when considering their next place to call “home” for the length of their trip.
Get More Reviews For Your Property Management Company
Everybody knows reviews are the key to success in this sharing economy and we all want them. In this guide we will show you strategies to obtain reviews for online directories like Yelp, or Google Business and even for your properties.
There are several companies that focus their business on helping companies build and manage their reviews. Companies such as ReviewInc and Grade.US are great examples of companies who specialize in review management.
ReviewInc has four different tiers of membership that you can choose from: Monitoring, Premium, Enterprise, and Agency. Monitoring is your basic level of membership for only $39, but you are limited to 6 features. If you are going to go purchase a membership from ReviewInc we recommend going with at least the Premium membership, so you can have access to more of the customizable features that ReviewInc offers. If you are a larger business you should consider getting the Enterprise, or Agency level of membership, which will allow you to integrate as many sites as you want and include many more features to help you manage your reviews.
Grade.US is another fantastic review management company that offers a variety of different features to help you get the most out of your reviews. Grade.US can help your company with: reviews acquisition, review request campaigns, review monitoring/aggregation, review marketing and review reporting. If you aren’t already paying attention to these things you should highly consider working with Grade.US, or another company that can help you re-focus and get the most out of your reviews.
There are also many Vacation Rental Software companies who are developing reputation solutions to configure email triggers to auto send mid-stay and post checkout – something that looks similar to this:
One of the easiest ways to acquire new reviews is to utilize the guests who are staying at your properties. If someone is having a great stay at your property you want to capitalize on his or her happiness and prompt them to leave a review right then and there, instead of waiting until they get home and sending them an email. The way you can do this is by leaving review cards on every property’s nightstand. The most efficient way to do this is by making it a daily routine for your cleaning staff to leave these review cards on every nightstand. In order to increase the chances of your guests seeing the review cards you should also leave them on the dining room tables and bars in every unit. This way you have review cards in 3 different places in every unit, which triples your chances of your guests leaving reviews. An example of what one of these cards might look like is:
What If A Guest Has A Bad Stay?
There is nothing worse than a bad review. If only there was a way to filter these out… Psst, there is, kind of. Say a guest staying in one of your units has a bad stay and finds your review card on the nightstands. The link on the review card will take your guests to a review pre-qualification page that looks like:
If an unhappy guest chooses thumbs down it will take them to another page where they can voice their frustrations – instead of allowing them to leave a bad review on your website it will send an email directly to you, so you can be the one to hear about it and diffuse the situation.
On the contrary, if they had a good stay it will direct them to a page where they can select a directory to drop a review. You can even add distribution channels like VRBO, and make the user select the unit they stayed in.
2nd step after selecting VRBO from the options above.
By creating a flow you can start to build reviews for specific directories and even units to increase the number of good reviews about your management company.
It All Helps
Reviews are king, especially good reviews. They will help SEO, distribution channel reservations, referral reservations, and even increase inventory because owners will see good reviews and be more inclined to work with you.
A recent Google study on Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) revealed that an impressive 67 percent of all polled adult smartphone users want to view local advertisements that are customized by city and ZIP code. This statistic provides valuable insight into the mindset of the online consumer by showing that Local SEO is imperative to the success of any business that relies on local leads. As a vacation rental property manager, it is your job to promote your rental properties to an awaiting online audience. In this vein, you must be well-versed on proven Local SEO tactics if you want to attract more guests to your rental unit, while simultaneously increasing the number of bookings that you achieve in a year.
What Is an SEO Citation, and How Can It Help You Lease Out Vacation Property Rentals?
Implementing a Local SEO campaign will require you to learn about citations. Citations are often defined as the number of times that your business name or address is mentioned on other websites (Business Fingerprint). It is important to note that unlike links, citations don’t have to include a link to your website or contact information.
You can find local citations in a number of places, including:
- Local business directories
- Local government websites
- Other local websites, such as the Chamber of Commerce pages
Citations have become increasingly important to Local SEO efforts, since they are so prevalent within the digital world. In fact, citations are now a key component in the SEO ranking algorithms for both Google and Bing. The following characteristics of citations contribute to their growing importance:
- Citations show that a local business or business professional, such as a vacation property manager is well-established.
- Citations provide well-indexed portals.
- Through citations, search engines’ robot.txt probes can more easily search for and index a website.
- Search engines can use citations to confirm that a business or professional is exactly as is advertised.
- Citations help to catalog vital business or professional contact information.
With all these characteristics in mind, it is important to note that citations are particularly important in highly competitive fields, such as vacation rental properties. Through the proper methods, you can use citations to improve your SEO rankings, reach a larger number of future guests, and increase the number of bookings on your vacation rental property.
How to Increase SEO Ranking Via Citations
Citations are designed to broaden the visibility of your Property Management Company. As you increase the number of citations for your business, you want to remember that high-quality, authoritative citations are far more powerful, and they can easily improve Local SEO results. In short, through Local SEO efforts, you want to ensure that future guests find your properties before they find one of your competitors’. With the help of these three tips, you can and should increase the effectiveness of your local SEO campaign via citations:
1.Use data aggregators to effectively create additional citations. A data aggregator is designed to compile unique indexes for businesses throughout the United States. The most popular data aggregators are: Acxiom, Neustar, Factual and Infogroup. If you want to create additional, and effective, citations for your local SEO campaign, then you need to ensure that these data aggregators have gathered your business data, i.e., name, address and contact information. Once your business data has been gathered, the various data aggregators will be able to license or syndicate the data to local search engines, which means that your business will receive a positive endorsement, as well as valuable SEO-enhancing citations.
2.Make your citations easy to find by local search engines. Did you know that search engines will crawl the Internet in search of citations to validate each and every business? That’s right; for your citations to be effective, they need to showcase the correct business information within all indexes. For example, your business information should be correctly listed on websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and Foursquare to further expand the reach of your business name, while simultaneously building trust in your vacation rental property management business. By correctly listing your business information in multiple places, you can increase your presence on local search engines, while simultaneously increasing confidence and authentic algorithmic scores, which will further boost your SEO ratings. The more that people trust your business name, the more likely they are to find your website, and the more likely they are to book a stay in one of your vacation rentals.
3.Don’t forget to have your business listed on multiple local blogs & directories. Local sites are a fantastic place to have your business name listed. Remember that the beauty of a citation is that your business doesn’t have to be linked to your website. Instead, you simply need to get your name out there. As a local vacation rental property manager, you will want to ensure that your name is associated with popular local websites searches, such as [insert your city] best places to vacation . Popular local sites are not only well-indexed by search engines, but they are highly associated with many of the key local SEO keywords that you will be targeting to attract future guests to your vacation rentals. Leverage the power of local sites today and start your citation campaign off on the right foot. Some solid examples are:
oLocal directories (chamber of commerce)
oPopular local blogs
oLocal news outlet websites
The Bottom Line: Citations Are a Vital Part of Your Local SEO Efforts
Just as backlinks play a vital role in creating trust for your SEO efforts, citations also play a vital role in local SEO campaigns. With this in mind, a citation is only as good as it is accurate. Whether you choose to set up your local SEO efforts on Google or Bing, make sure that you implement a targeted approach. You want to ensure that your citations are found on different local search listings, as well as on review sites. From Yelp to Trip Advisor, countless opportunities exist for you to implement a strategic citation campaign.
Above all, make sure that your citations are uniform, accurate and increase trust levels in your business or professional real estate and property management services. You want people to have a positive name-association experience when they use a local search to find your vacation property management services. With the help of a strategic Local SEO campaign that is influenced by citations, you can and will achieve a positive name association that will help you attract more guests and increase the number of bookings for your vacation rental properties.
Bonus Info! Popular Citations & Shortcuts to Citation Building
oYext.com citation directory syndication tool. Get listed on 55+ citations and auto-update or fix inaccurate citations on the web with a few clicks. This isn’t the end-all-be-all tool, but will save you hours. Plus you can monitor reviews from one spot too!
oBBB – Yes signup for this if you can.
oLocal chamber of commerce. You need to sign up for this if you plan to be serious.
oBecome a member of the VRMA or other vacation rental manager associations. Many times they have directories on the web.