It is no secret that the online world has taken over as the go-to source for finding information on pretty much anything. This is especially true when it comes to finding vacation rental properties. In order to stay ahead of the competition and attract as many guests as possible, it is crucial that your short term or vacation rental property is optimized for the search engines.
The first step is to make sure your vacation rental website is up to par. This means having quality content that is keyword rich and informative. It also needs to be visually appealing and easy to navigate. If your website looks like it was created in the early 2000s, chances are potential guests will click right on by and book with a competitor or even book on Airbnb or Vrbo.
Once your vacation rental website is up to snuff, it’s time to start thinking about your short term rental SEO strategy. This is where things can get a bit tricky and where most property owners make the biggest mistakes.
There are a lot of myths out there about how to optimize your site for search engines. But with a little help from us, you’ll be on your way to ranking at the top of the search engine results pages in no time.
In this guide, we are going to cover everything you need to know about short term rental search engine optimization so that you can get started today.
What is Short Term Rental SEO?
Short term rental SEO is the process of optimizing your vacation rental property’s website for the search engines. This is done through a variety of methods such as keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building.
The goal of short term rental SEO is to increase your visibility in the search results for relevant keywords related to your property. For example, if someone is searching for “vacation rentals in Florida”, you want your property to show up as one of the top results.
Why is Short Term Rental SEO Important?
Short term rental SEO is important because it is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website. And as we all know, traffic = guests.
The problem is that most short term vacation rental owners don’t invest the time or money necessary to properly optimize their website. As a result, they are forced to rely on other methods of vacation rental marketing such as online travel agencies or listing sites.
While there is nothing wrong with using these other methods, it should not be your only source of traffic. The reality is that they are becoming less and less effective as more and more properties join the fray.
Not to mention, they can be quite expensive. So why not put your money towards something that will actually produce results?
Short term rental SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your property. And if done correctly, it can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal.
How to Optimize Your Short Term Rental Property for SEO
Now that we’ve gone over why short term rental SEO is so important, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually do it.
There are a number of different methods you can use to optimize your website for the search engines. But before we get into that, there are a few things you need to do first.
1. Pick the Right Keywords
The first step is to choose the right keywords. These are the words and phrases that potential guests will use when they are searching for a vacation rental property like yours.
For example, if you have a condo in Miami, some relevant keywords might be “Miami vacation rentals” or “Miami Beach condos for rent”.
There are a few things you want to keep in mind when choosing keywords:
- Relevancy: The keyword should be relevant to your property. For example, if you have a condo in Miami, there’s no point in targeting the keyword “vacation rentals in Orlando”.
- Searcher Intent: You want to choose keywords that reflect the searcher’s intent. In other words, you want to choose keywords that people are actually searching for when they are looking to book a vacation rental.
- Competition: You want to choose keywords that you can realistically rank for. There’s no point in targeting a keyword like “vacation rentals” if there are millions of other properties competing for that same keyword.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer can be helpful in finding the right keywords.
2. Optimize Your Website Content
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to start optimizing your website content. This is where you want to use those keywords to help improve your website’s visibility in the search results.
There are a few different places you can use keywords on your website:
- Title Tags: The title tag is the text that appears in the search results for your page. This is one of the most important places to use keywords as it will help your page stand out from the rest.
- Meta Descriptions: The meta description is the short blurb of text that appears under your title tag in the search results. This is another great place to use keywords, as it gives you an opportunity to persuade potential guests to click on your listing.
- Headings and Subheadings: Using keywords in headings and subheadings helps break up your content and make it easier to read. It also helps Google understand what your page is about.
- Page Content: Using keywords throughout the body of your page helps Google understand what your page is about and can also help improve your click-through rate.
3. Optimize Your Images
One often overlooked area of SEO is image optimization. This is the process of optimizing your images to help improve your website’s visibility in the search results.
There are a few things you want to keep in mind when optimizing your images:
- File Names: When saving your images, be sure to use keywords in the file name. For example, if you have an image of a Miami beachfront condo, you might save it as “Miami-beachfront-condo.jpg”.
- Alt Text: The alt text is the text that appears when an image can’t be displayed. This is a great place to use long tail keywords, as it gives you another opportunity to tell Google what your image is about.
- Image Size: Large images can slow down your website, so be sure to keep your image sizes small. You can use a tool like Photoshop or an online service like TinyPNG to optimize your images.
4. Add Supplementary Pages
Another great way to improve your website’s SEO is to add supplementary pages. These are pages that are not directly related to your vacation rental property, but can help give your website more context and authority.
Some examples of supplementary pages you might want to consider adding are:
- A page about the local area: This could be a page about the attractions in the area, the best restaurants, or things to do on a rainy day.
- A resources page: This could be a page with links to local vacation rental business, transportation options, or activity ideas.
- A blog: This could be a blog about your property or the local area. You can use this to share helpful tips, stories, or photos with potential guests.
5. Build Links
One of the most important ranking factors for SEO is links. Links are basically votes from other websites telling Google that your website is relevant and trustworthy.
There are a few different ways to build links:
- Guest blogging: This is when you write an article for another website in exchange for a link back to your website. This is a great way to get high-quality links from websites in your vacation rental industry.
- Directory listings: This is when you list your website in online directories. This is a good way to get links from vacation rental companies websites that are not in your industry.
- Social media: This is when you share your content on social media websites and include links back to your own website. This is a good way to generate traffic to your website and can also lead to links if your content is shared by others.
When building links, make sure to:
- Use high-quality websites: This means websites that are relevant to your vacation rental industry and have a high Domain Authority.
- Use keyword-rich anchor text: This is the text that is used to link to your website. Using keywords in your anchor text can help improve your website’s ranking for those keywords.
- Get links from a variety of sources: This means websites, social media, directories, etc.
- Monitor your progress: This allows you to see which link building strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
6. Monitor Your Progress
Once you’ve implemented some or all of these SEO tips, it’s important to monitor your progress to see how your efforts are paying off. You can do this by keeping an eye on your website’s traffic and rankings in the search results.
Different tools you can use to track your progress, such as:
- Google Analytics: This is a free tool from Google that allows you to track your website’s traffic.
- Google Search Console: This is a free tool from Google that allows you to track your website’s ranking in the search results.
- Moz: This is a paid tool that allows you to track your website’s traffic, ranking, and link building progress.
7. Hire an SEO Expert
If you don’t have the time or resources to implement these SEO tips yourself, you can always hire an SEO expert to help you out. An SEO expert can help you with everything from keyword research to link building.
While choosing the SEO expert, you should consider the following things:
- Their past experience: When looking at an SEO expert’s website, be sure to check out their case studies or testimonials to see what kind of results they’ve been able to achieve for other clients.
- Their process: Be sure to ask an SEO expert about their process and how they plan on helping you achieve your goals.
- Their transparency: Be sure to ask an SEO expert if they will provide you with monthly reports so you can track your progress.
How to Get the Most Out of Short Term and Vacation Rental SEO?
SEO can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it’s important to remember that it’s an ongoing effort. SEO is not something that you do once and then forget about. It’s important to continuously monitor your progress and make changes as needed.
However, if you consider the following things, you can get the most out of your vacation rental SEO efforts:
1. Set realistic goals: Before you start implementing any SEO strategies, it’s important to set realistic goals. This will help you measure your success and determine whether or not your efforts are paying off.
2. Do your research: Be sure to do your research before implementing any SEO strategies. This will help you avoid making common mistakes that can hurt your website’s ranking.
3. Be patient: SEO is not a quick fix. It can take months or even years to see results. Be patient and don’t give up if you don’t see immediate results.
4. Monitor your progress: It’s important to monitor your progress so you can see which SEO strategies are working and which ones aren’t. This will help you adjust your vacation rental marketing strategy as needed.
5. Hire an expert: If you don’t have the time or resources to implement these SEO tips yourself, you can always hire an SEO expert to help you out.
By following these tips, you can get the most out of your vacation rental SEO efforts and improve your website’s ranking in the search results as well as get more direct bookings.
SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, but by following these tips, you can improve your website’s visibility in the search results and attract more potential guests to your vacation rental property.
If you’re looking for help with your short term or vacation rental SEO, see if your business qualifies to work with Syed Digital by clicking here.