As a vacation rental owner or manager, you know how important it is to get your property in front of as many people as possible. There are a number of elements involved with maximizing your property’s online visibility. And while steps like putting your property on vacation rental listing sites are important, you may be overlooking one crucial marketing strategy: local search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines are now focusing more on providing optimal results for local searches. So, if your vacation rental doesn’t show up in local search results, you might be missing out on a significant number of bookings.
Local SEO in a Nutshell
With local SEO, you are able to put your vacation property right in front of those guests who are looking to stay in your destination. This makes it an incredibly effective technique for targeting the perfect audience: those who are actively researching their vacation plans. When your property’s website has been properly optimized for local search, it will come up at the top of the search results page (even preceding the organic search results). This top position goes a long way in attracting guests and maximizing your rental revenue.
Local Search is Here to Stay
If you’ve ever searched for businesses in a certain area using Google, you’ve seen that the first three results show up on a map and are then listed below. As we mentioned, search engines strive to give you the best results. Their algorithms have determined that these top results match your query the best. And considering the facts that about half of all Google searches are local searches and that the majority of internet users (86%) use Google maps to find a business’ location, it’s easy to see the value of optimizing for these types of searches. Internet users have changed the way search engines perform, so businesses need to change their optimization strategies in turn.
With a good local SEO strategy in place, this increases your potential for conversions. When guests see that your vacation rental has a strong local presence online, this leads them to assume that you’re one of the top businesses in that area. It also increases your brand’s trustworthiness. Guests are far more likely to book with companies that they view as credible and as authorities. As local SEO puts your business right in front of those who are actively interested in taking a vacation, it ensures that you’re reaching those who are most likely to book a stay with you.
Two of the many benefits of optimizing your local strategy are that it’s not only affordable but it’s cost-effective as well. Many local directory sites don’t cost anything but they offer a significant amount of exposure. Keep in mind, though, that while you won’t need to spend a lot of money to increase your property’s online exposure, you will need to spend time on the process. This is a fair trade off, however, as you’re able to expand your online reach without emptying your wallet.
An Investment Worthy of Your Time
The vacation rental industry has become increasingly more competitive in recent years. The steps and effort you put toward your local SEO will not only help your rental stand out online, but it will give you an advantage over your competitors. Solid local strategies are not cost prohibitive. So with time, you’ll enjoy a worthwhile return on investment. Your business will grow as will your revenues. If local search engine optimization isn’t among your current marketing strategies, it’s time you add it.
Quick Guide to Getting Started
One of the most important first steps you should take is ensuring that your vacation rental’s name, address, and phone number are visible on every page of your website. Then, make sure you have a Google My Business listing set up. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s quite easy to claim and complete your listing. A presence on Google My Business makes it more likely that your property will appear in local results and Google Maps.
Then, you’ll want to take a look at your local listings. While there are a number of online services that make this process easy, we recommend Moz Local. It provides users with a good amount of valuable information and highlights which of your listings are complete, incomplete, or inaccurate. If you find listings with incorrect information, make it a priority to fix these. It’s important that all your listings have the same name, address, and phone number. Next, take the time to build out any incomplete listings.
These are just a couple things that can help you get started with the process. If you have questions or would like to know how VR Marketers can help with your local strategy, give us a call at (720) 336-3939.