Tyler Fleck 07/24/2020

2020 has been a difficult year for travel. With markets across the world closing their doors until life reaches a semblance of normalcy, property managers and vacation rental owners everywhere have seen a drop in revenue unlike any in recent memory. These struggles have led to many questions, chief among them being, “When will we get back to business as usual?”Fortunately, though the world continues its painfully slow journey back to “normalcy,” now is the time for property managers to set the groundwork and experience a bit of a silver lining that may make the rest of 2020 a bit more palatable. This journey, surprisingly enough, starts with a online marketing campaign. Here are some of the top reasons that now is the perfect time to invest in SEO, PPC, and other digital marketing services!

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In Open Markets: Don’t Get Left Behind

Though much of the world is on pause, many markets are starting to open for business. This means two things: One, you’re missing out on lucrative bookings; and two, your competitors are more than likely starting up their marketing campaigns and leaving you in the dust.

Though there are continued signs of pandemic throughout the US, travel is currently booming in open markets. Even hot spots such as Florida and Arizona are seeing record demand as home-weary travelers do everything they can to leave the confines of their quarantine and experience the world. In other words, there is a massive influx of guests clamoring for a place to stay, meaning you are missing out if you haven’t increased your marketing budget.

Year over Year Organic Revenue from a Florida Area Client – Since June 1
Data from Google Analytics

Furthermore, though there are literally hundreds of signals that Google uses to determine ranking on their search engine, a consistently updated site is one of the most crucial. Thus, if you have stopped generating content, updating meta tags, and acquiring links – while your competition continues (or starts) to do so – your ranking will stagnate, theirs will flourish, and they will reap the benefits of one of the highest demand travel periods in recent memory. Don’t let your competitors continue widening the gap between you and them; it’s only going to get more difficult from here on out!

In Closed Markets: Get a Leg Up on the Competition

If your market isn’t open yet, quarantining your online marketing budget may seem like the obvious choice. After all, what’s the point of spending money to market properties that you can’t rent out? If you find your purse strings tightened, the answer to that question may indeed be to sit tight. However, if you have the capital, now is the perfect time to invest in SEO.

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The reason for this is quite simple. All of your competitors will have the same instinct you had the moment the pandemic became reality: Batten down the hatches, close down the marketing budget, and wait until this all blows over. The side effect of this is that the travel SEO marketplace now has a fraction of the competition that it did previously, as most smaller local companies will not only cease updating their SEO campaigns – which can lead to the aforementioned ranking stagnation – but also see a decrease in conversion rate. If you have a savvy SEO team running your campaign, this can open the door to incredible ranking increases, which will be extremely lucrative when your market finally starts to return to normalcy! And this isn’t just a theory; over 80% of Bizcor’s SEO clients have seen massive increases in keyword ranking since March of this year. The other 20%? All clients that paused their budget and elected to wait until markets started booming once more. Currently, it’s easier than ever to improve organic ranking in the vacation rental industry. All you need to do is get the right team to take advantage!

Keyword Improvements over Last 90 Days from California Area Client – SEO account was never paused
Data from SEMRush

Missing Opportunities for Long-Term Rentals and Work from Home Guests

Do you offer homes in a top drive-to destination? If so, even if your market isn’t exactly booming right now, opening your marketing budget may lead to revenue from unexpected sources! Chief among these sources are the growing numbers of work-from-home employees. With many offices switching to remote systems until the pandemic is over, employees everywhere are itching to leave their home – even if they can’t get the time off. Fortunately, this new era of remote work has made it easier than ever before for professionals to take long vacations while taking their work with them! This opens a whole new world of possibilities, and a potentially lucrative revenue source.

Of course, a normal digital marketing campaign will not be sufficient to attract this type of guest. To properly tap this market, it’s important to adjust your message to make sure you are appealing to their needs. Advertise your cleaning services, high-speed internet, comfortable work areas, and availability of longer stays to ensure your homes are perfect for the remote work atmosphere. Though the return may not be as much as the traditional travel marketplace, this creative way of digital marketing can help hold you over while you build SEO ranking and wait until life returns to normal. It’s just going to take a little bit of focusing and tweaking to coax those extra bookings out of the woodwork!

Travel Rubber Band Effect is Real – Get in on the Action

The bottom line is, even with the pandemic, travel demand is nearly at an all-time high right now because of the itch to leave home. Many of Bizcor’s clients in Florida, Arizona, Gulf Shores, and other open markets are seeing as much as 200% increases in organic traffic compared to last year since June 1, with even more impressive ecommerce gains as previously cancelled vacations get rescheduled. In fact, many of our hardest hit markets – such as 30A and Destin – are currently seeing full year over year improvements, even factoring in the major drop off that occurred in March, April, and May.

Year over Year Organic Traffic Increase since January 1 for Florida Area Client
Data from Google Analytics

In other words, the rubber band effect is real, and you need to take advantage of it – whether your market is open now or not! Use this time to start up your Paid Search, SEO, and email marketing services so you can be put in the perfect position to dominate your market and make up for revenue lost. If you wait too long, it may be too late!