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Holiday Home Marketing Guide

Holiday home online marketing guide – Tips to improve

The internet is without doubt the most cost effective way of promoting your holiday home and gaining new bookings and there are a variety of methods, tips and techniques to get the very best out of it.

This guide is not meant to be exhaustive, but we do hope to provide some information that will help you on your way to having a successful online holiday home marketing plan.

Using letting agents

Some people prefer to look after their holiday let property themselves whilst others are quite happy to hand the keys over to a holiday letting agent. Agents do certainly take away a lot of the time and hassle involved in lettings, however they do charge fees commensurate with this extra work. Letting fees of around 25% of the rental income is not uncommon and, over the course of a year, add up to a not inconsiderable sum of money.

Established and successful lettings agents will have long standing marketing plans in place so that they have a steady stream of enquiries from holidaymakers and so can maximise the occupancy of your holiday home.

How do the agents attract the prospective holiday makers to your property?
In the 21st century, they do what you did to find us; they use a well optimised website.

Going it alone

A good number of our clients choose to let their holiday home themselves and put a great deal of time and energy into this process. You will need to be well organised and have a ‘team’ around you who can help organise the routine tasks needed to keep the business running smoothly.

The actual management of the lettings is only one part of running a holiday lettings business, the next section will concentrate on ways of attracting prospective holidaymakers.

Promoting your holiday home business

Probably the easiest way to get started is to sign up with a good holiday lettings website. These sites are specifically designed to promote your holiday home and will generally have a large number of online visitors. You should make sure that you are allowed enough space for the text and photos you need.

Most of these services charge a fee although we have found some offering a free entry. We would recommend sticking with the established sites that have the infrastructure in place to keep their website appearing in the Google search results as well as other forms of advertising. If you also have your own website you can normally include a link so more information is available.

www.holidaylettings.co.uk is one of the more established lettings directories together with www.ownersdirect.co.uk and we have information on a special offer for our clients at the end of this guide.

Having your own website

A few years ago having your own website would have been a costly option but now there are many ways to set up a dedicated website promoting your holiday home.

Having your own site means that you are in control of the content and the overall design. You can add more text and more photos giving potential customers the information they need. You will have your own domain name which can also be used for emails giving a very professional appearance.

DIY websites

It is possible to build your own website from scratch if you have the technical expertise and time to do so. However, if you are not familiar with website design then the end result may not work properly. Browser compatibility, speed and web hosting are just some of the factors to consider.

Professionally designed websites

This option will undoubtedly provide the most professional look for your website with added functionality. However, this is a costly route and many web designers will make further charges for changes and upgrades to the site.

Specialist website builder programmes

For some time now online companies have been offering simple systems that will allow you to build a website for free or just a nominal fee. These tend to use out of date coding and do not always have the required information to allow Google to properly index and list your website. You will be restricted to using the web templates on offer which may not be suitable for a holiday home website.

Holiday Site Builder is a brand new system that allows you to build a professionally designed holiday home website online without any technical knowledge. As they only offer holiday home templates they are perfect for showing off your holiday home at its best. You will have your own unique domain name which will also be used for emails.

This is a simple, cost effective option which includes professional web site hosting and support. We have negotiated a special offer for our clients and details can be found at the very end of this guide.

Top technical tips to help your website

Google is King when it comes to online search and whilst no-one knows exactly how Google works, there are some things we do know to help improve where you appear in Google search results:

Website structure – Your website should be well designed, have a logical structure and easy for people to navigate. Links to other pages should ideally be a text link rather than using a picture or image. If possible, having a Sitemap page which includes links to all of the pages in your site will help.

Google loves content – Get the content right and provide lots of information for your visitors. Make sure you include details on local facilities, tourist attractions and things to do. Explain all of the features of your holiday home using a good amount of detail. Make sure your information is unique and never copy and paste from another website.

Google loves links – If another website links to your holiday home website then Google sees this as a ‘vote’. Your website is important enough for someone to link to. The more links you can obtain then the more Google will see your site as something that has some relevance. Google also prefers links to come from a website which is in some way relevant to yours. Ie a holiday, travel or letting related site. A link from your plumber carries little influence.

Keywords – Keywords are the words and phrases that people use when searching on Google. If your site contains these keywords then you have a better chance of appearing in the Google search results. Some relevant search phrases are:

Holiday cottages
Holiday apartments
Holiday lets
Holiday lettings
Holiday cottages cornwall
Holiday cottages devon
Holiday cottages wales
Holiday cottages Scotland
Website statistics  – It is important to know how your website is doing and how many visitors are clicking through each week or each month. Google offers a number of options to help with this including Google analytics. This is a free service which can be added to your website and offers a huge amount of information on website traffic.
For more information go to: http://www.google.com/analytics

How to get links to your website

If you are a member of any forums or social networking sites then there are many ways to link back to your own website.

  • Put a short description and a link at the bottom of all the emails you send out.
  • Ask friends, family and colleagues if they are able to link to your website.
  • Try looking on the internet for related sites who may be able to offer a link.
  • http://www.squidoo.com offers a free service where you can build a page about your holiday home website and then link back to it. Other similar services are also available.

Extra things you can do

  • Put a notice on your work notice board advertising your holiday home including the website address.
  • Leave leaflets in your holiday home for visitors to take away with them. Or maybe get some business cards printed.
  • Make sure your website address is on any paperwork, stationery and receipts that you send to people.
  • Add testimonials from happy holidaymakers to your website.

SPECIAL OFFERS

 

Holidaylettings.co.uk – This site is part of RightMove and is both in-expensive and effective. We have arranged a special offer with this site. Quote the Enhanced Wealth Limited Partner Introducer ID number: 45582 when you register, select the full annual fee option of £185+vat and they will display your online advertisement for 15 months promotion for the price of 12. More info can be found here: http://www.holidayletproperty.co.uk/holiday-home-owners/

 

HolidaySiteBuilder.com – Build your very own holiday home website online with your own domain name and email address. Lots of high quality holiday home website templates to choose from. Quote the promotion code ‘holidaylet’ when you register to save £20 on the first years price. More info can be found here www.holidaysitebuilder.com

 

  Download this guide as a pdf document here: http://www.holidayletmortgages.co.uk/holidayhomemarketingguide.htm