5 years, 8 months ago
In this inaugural feature of marketing tips for HouseTrip hosts, Simon Dance, our Director of Search Engine Optimisation, shares an actionable tip to help drive even more bookings to your holiday rental. It’s surprisingly simple, but surprisingly effective.
“With all the noise from online and offline advertising, social media and volatility in the search engine landscape, there’s an obvious but forgotten truth to driving bookings online: alleviate customer anxiety.
I studied tourism, have spoken with many hosts, run a successful holiday rental myself, and I’ve also spoken at a number of SEO conferences across Europe. I talk about looking beyond search engines as a means to generate traffic, and instead view search engines as an avenue to connect with customers; by helping them discover information and answers to questions they’re asking and typing into Google.
It sounds simple… but put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Can it help them if you create additional content on your website (for instance, should you add an FAQ section?) Are the photographs of a high enough standard/resolution to help customers make an informed decision? Can customers quickly and easily find your contact details? Are your prices up to date? Does the website or holiday home listing look professional? Are you selling your holiday rental’s best features?
As with any major search engine, and indeed with HouseTrip itself, we work hard to ‘surface’ the very best holiday rentals, and we recognise the intangibility of the travel ‘product’ we sell often many weeks and months in advance and only after a long flight or ferry or drive. With this in mind, solving anxiety and helping to reassure as well as excite your customers before their trip is critical to secure even more bookings, earn more positive word of mouth and reviews and recommendations.
If we talk specifically about search engine marketing, Google et al. are on the same mission to organise the world’s information and show the most relevant, the most authoritative and the most trustworthy results to customers.
This shift in thinking, to focus on customers and not keywords, will only serve you well and bring you into alignment with where search engines are heading.