If you own a short-term rental property, you know how important the tourist season is. During these months, you scramble to secure as many reservations as possible. Since the peak of tourist season in South Florida runs for a short time, it’s crucial to make the most out of the demand while it lasts.
Each month, hundreds of thousands of users search for vacation rentals on Google. If your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is strong, there’s a good chance that your potential guests have seen your property. If not, don’t worry — you can work on your website to improve your ranking.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the best SEO tips from our professional property managers.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of ensuring that a particular website appears as high as possible on the search engine results page (SERP). It is also considered as the process of ensuring that a website receives a high ranking from a search engine. A website’s position on the SERP is important because it determines whether or not it will be seen by searchers. Since 71% of searchers don’t go past page one of the results, your website must rank well.
Sounds confusing? To illustrate, try searching for “cheap vacation rentals in Miami” on Google. The search engine will direct you to a results page where you’ll find several websites. Have you ever wondered why the first website is listed first, or why the second page is listed second? It’s not random at all — the reason why they’re listed in that order is that they rely on SEO.
Hence, if you have a strong SEO strategy, your website can appear at the top of the results page. That means your potential guests will be guided to your website. They won’t have to scroll through the list or jump fifty pages forward to find you.
How can I improve the SEO for my vacation rental?
If your rental property is in a popular area like Palm Beach or Miami-Dade, you need to stand out from the competition. Using the simple SEO tips below, you can boost your vacation rental business’s ranking on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
Want to skip these steps and talk to a professional? Get in touch with the Luxury Property Care team today and we’ll help you with your SEO strategy.
#1 Identify your target audience
Who do you think would want to rent your vacation rental? Are you trying to attract solo travelers? Is your vacation rental ideal for retired couples? Once you identify your target audience, you’ll be able to apply better SEO strategies to reach them.
Don’t know your target audience? It can be determined by the type of property that you own. For instance, a cabin will attract the outdoorsy types, while a beachfront villa will attract luxury travelers. If you’ve partnered with a property management company, they can help identify your target audience.
#2 Use the right keywords
When people search for something on a search engine, they use keywords. For example, if they wanted to find a vacation rental in Miami, they would likely search using the keywords:
- Short-term vacation rental Miami
- Cheap vacation rental Miami
- Miami vacation home for rent
- Miami vacation rental with pool
Take the time to conduct comprehensive keyword research. You can use platforms such as Answer the Public or the Google Keyword Planner. Then, sprinkle these keywords around your website, specifically in your blog posts.
#3 Optimize your images
Search engines should be able to “read” the images on your website. To do this, you need to optimize your images. Here’s how:
- Keep your images below 100KB.
- Use file names that talk about your property, e.g. vacation-rental-palm-beach.jpg.
- Use keywords in the description (“alt text”), e.g. Luxurious Vacation Rental in Palm Beach.
While we’re on the topic of photos, you should also consider hiring a professional photographer to take high-resolution photos of your rental. If you use unattractive photos of your property, it won’t matter if your SEO strategy is strong — your potential guests still won’t want to stay with you!
#4 Write a relevant meta description
Notice the text underneath the title of each search result? That’s what you call the meta description. It’s a short snippet that tells people what your page is about. Writing a relevant meta description is one way of driving visitors to your page, as it “briefs” them about your business.
Ideally, the meta description should be between 150 to 160 characters. It should also include relevant keywords that describe what your website is all about. Write a meta description for all of your pages to improve your vacation rental SEO strategy.
#5 Write blog posts
Blog posts are a great way to get more people to open your website. There are thousands of topics that you can write about and resources are readily available on the internet. By writing informative blog posts, you will establish yourself as a credible business, which will result in more bookings.
Don’t forget to use keywords in your blog posts to improve your site’s SEO. Use them in the title and text, but don’t use too many of them! Search engines tend to be strict when it comes to “keyword stuffing”.
#6 Share your content on social media
SEO and social media go hand-in-hand. Whenever you create new content, such as a blog post or video, be sure to share it on social media. Use relevant keywords in your username, description, and posts.
Since you’re selling an experience, you should post photos and videos of your vacation rental. Show your guests what they can expect if they spend their summer at your property. You can also make use of user-generated content (aka photos and videos that guests take at your vacation rental).
The Bottom Line
Since the vast majority of people use the internet to search for vacation rentals, you must maintain a strong SEO strategy. Remember, even if your property is pure paradise, you still need to ensure that people can actually find it.
If you need help marketing your short-term vacation rental, feel free to contact us. The property managers at Luxury Property Care will be delighted to help drive traffic to your website in order to boost your bookings.
Call us at (561) 944 – 2992 today.