Sunday, January 27, 2008

SEO for your Vacation Rental by Owner

Trying to drive traffic to your vacation rental by owner is the goal of every owner.

We all know that the best way to get out on the market as fast and as efficient as possible is by joining the most productive web portals that are available to you.

That being said, what can you do for the long term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization of your vacation rental. There are a few things you can do that are very reasonable in cost and can help bring natural, "free" traffic to your listing.

We spoke on the last blog about "branding" your listing and having your own personal domain name, like,

This is still a great idea and an easy way to communicate to your prospects how to get to your online booking site and listing on

What we will address here is more to do with SEO than "branding". Using you can buy a domain name for SEO reasons. After doing some research on what terms may benefit you and your listing, you can search to see if that domain is available. Here is an example of the process from start to finish.

I found a term that had a good amount of searches but was not that competitive in the market. We use tools from Yahoo and Google to establish what terms are being searched and what terms are being advertised. We decided to use " destin florida vacation house" as our SEO term.

We then take that term and create a natural amount of it into our description on our listing. You can view the listing here and read the description to see how it is used:

We also where able to buy the URL and point it to our listing on That is why when you click on the link above, you land on my listing on I also have the domain name pointing there too. These are for different reasons. I give my prospects the URL, and I created for the SEO of the listing. I use the dashes to let the search engines see what I am trying to convey to them. is not as easy read by the syders as

The other things that need to be done is the terms, "destin florida vacation house" has to be entered into the "title" of my listing on

I have also put these as the keywords on my account with and make sure I represent it in the description too. So now the combination of my URL has my search terms in it, my "title" has that term in it and my description mentions it more than once, should bring me up nicely in the search engines.

The reason this will help you is you are going after a selected term and you are showing the search engine everything it is looking for to decide if this term applies to this site. If it is in your domain, your title, your description and your keywords, the search engines have no choice but to show this page as something that this person searching must see. So you have to make sure the term applies to your listing.

This will take time. At least 30 days before you may see results. But for the cost of the domain, $9 and I also recommend the TRAFFIC BLAZER at $17 at it is a no brainer! Once I submit it thru the TRAFFIC BLAZER on and the search engines spider the site, I will start to see natural results for my terms.

The main concept on choosing a term is to find one that is searched but the competition is low. Try to optimize for "vacation rentals" is a HUGE task. Basically forget about it. Find a term that applies to your property, has some level of searches online and take the large piece of the small pie. In the search engine world, it is called "grabbing the low hanging fruit".

If I can get 10 to 30 extra clicks a month, for free, and the search they performed is a "dead" match for my property, then I will stand to increase my web presence.

Adding this to your arsenal of marketing is a great long term way to establish your business online. Please contact us at anytime for help in using this concept. Here are a few owners URLS that are now doing this:

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Domain Names for Vacation Rentals by Owner

Having a private domain name for your listing on is a great way to "brand" yourself and it will help make your business a more personal transaction between you and your guest.

We have created for this reason. You can buy a domain name here and "point" it to your listing on This will help you when you are talking to a guest or emailing them back. Here is a great example: This owner has his domain "pointing" at his listing, so it looks like his private web page. He also has it "masked" so the prospect has the URL, on the page.

With all the tools we provide on, there is no reason to send them anywhere else. Many owners are shutting down old websites and using the domains they have had for years and now pointing them to the listing on .

If you get a call from a prospect, or an email, you can respond by saying/emailing, just go to my site, and you can see my slide show, guest book, Google Map and book it online. That way the guest can easily find your listing and not have to navigate to it. Once on your site, they can view the photos, and book it now. The less "work" you give your prospect, the more likely you are to get the booking. Sending them to the site where you do the booking makes the most sense.

If you still have a regular website, consider shutting it down, saving the hosting fees and "pointing" your domain to your listing on This will not only save you money, but it should increase your bookings as they have less to navigate to book your property. If they have to find your regular site, look around, then find your listing on, there is some chance they may not make it there and not book with you. Less clicks, the better!

Buying a domain, if you have never done this is, very easy. Go to and start an account. Then search for a domain that you like. Then buy it. It is only $8.99 per domain. Try to keep it as short as possible. Try to use words that are easily spoken on the phone. They have to easily understand what you are saying and be able to type in in their computer. So the shorter the better!

Once you purchase a domain name you can add "domain forwarding" (it is free). You just copy and paste your URL on into the space that will re-direct someone when they type in your new domain name. I would also suggest the "masking" (also free) so they do not even see they are on You can add keywords too. This all helps in the search engines.

After you have your domain name you can start a FREE GOOGLE ANALYTICS account and then you can track the traffic on your site. This is a great service too! It will show you what search terms the public is using to find your site. It shows you where and how they find you. The information it provides is endless. The combination of a private domain and GOOGLE ANALYTICS is a powerful way to run your vacation rental. Just go to GOOGLE and sign up for the ANALYTICS account. Then enter your private domain name to be tracked. They will give you some code that needs to be entered into your description on your listing. You will need to use the SOURCE button on your description to enter the html code. It is invisible to you and me, but GOOGLE will pick it up and track your traffic after that is in there.

Here are a few examples of listings that are using this service:

The domains are only $8.99 a year and everything thing else we spoke about is free! We have set up the domain service to be as reasonable as possible. Try it! I think you will like having a more personal approach to your business! Let us know if we can help in any way!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Vacation Home Expo for Vacation Rentals

We are proud to announce we will be at the first of it's kinda Vacation Home TRADE SHOW in Atlanta April 11-13, 2008.

Please stop by to see us at out booth. We hope you can make the trip to be at this wonderful event.

This show will help promote vacation rentals as a great alternative to hotels when people take a vacation. More and more, people are finding that a private home or condo is the place to spend a very comfortable and affordable week on vacation. This is the first of it's kind TRADE SHOW to help promote them. will be there and we have partnered with eCom to give private owners of vacation rentals a solution to renting them by owner. With the patent pending booking software and the online credit card processing eCom provides, owners can now run a vacation rental like a pro and save the 20% to 50% a management company charges.

Having the online booking system gives the private owner the tools needed to run a successful vacation rental. With more owners being successful, that gives more options to the guest looking for a nice place to stay.

The Vacation Rental business needs this type of show to help promote our products. The more people know this is an option, the better chance we have of them staying with us. Anything an owner can do to run a better business, will benefit us all in the long run.

Consider coming to Atlanta in April. Weather you have a vacation rental and you want to see the latest and greatest there is to offer or if you need a vacation, I am sure there will be plenty of homes and condos to choose from.

See you in April!