3 ways to improve your vacation rental website in 2019 and capture more direct bookings

Timing is critical in the vacation rental industry, especially as demand continues to grow. In fact, according to credible sources, demand for short-term rentals is predicted to increase by 59% through 2022. Each year it seems the industry moves at a faster pace and as a result, the timing has never been better to take stock of your existing website and make sure your brand and inventory are positioned to meet guest expectations.

If your website could use an upgrade for 2019, be sure to consider RealTech Webmasters. RealTech has been building beautiful websites for vacation rentals since 2001. We are a preferred partner of Barefoot and have developed many successful website integrations for vacation rental managers who utilize Barefoot software. Focused specifically on vacation rentals, we specialize in building custom websites designed to drive more direct bookings.

As you consider your plans for 2019, here are 3 ways to improve your vacation rental website and take advantage of the continued growth in demand.

  1. Make sure your website is mobile friendly

    Did you know on average, nearly two-thirds of users on a vacation rental website are using their mobile device? As this trend continues to grow, it is critical to review your website and make sure it works correctly for mobile users. Even more importantly, is your booking platform mobile friendly? Check to see if your site is mobile friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

    Did your results look something like this?

    A website that isn’t mobile-friendly can result in the following:

    • A decrease in Google search rankings
    • Low conversion rates
    • Bad user experiences

    When users have a bad experience on a rental website, they are more likely to resort to booking on a third party website where, even if they find your inventory often both the guest and the manager must pay the third party site for handling the booking.

    As industry experts, RealTech is well positioned to help you improve your website. Share your results with us from the mobile-friendly test and let us help you find the best way forward.

  2. Simplify your booking process

    Do you know how many steps it takes to check out on your current website? Many vacation rental websites have a low booking conversion rate because of a cumbersome, multi-page checkout process.

    RealTech websites take a guest to the checkout page in as little as three clicks, where they can complete a one-page checkout process. As users and guests become more familiar with making reservations online, we recommend making sure your checkout process is quick and easy for customers to complete. This step alone can double the number of direct bookings coming through a vacation rental website.

  3. Make sure your site can be found

    Is your website easy to find on Google? With 100,000+ users searching every month for vacation rental inventory, it is crucial your website shows up in search engines. We recommend your website is optimized for vacation related keywords specific to your market. One way to build your ranking presence is through regular blog posts highlighting the top things to do while visiting your area, and another idea is landing pages highlighting the most common groups of rentals you offer, such as dog friendly, beachfront, or large group rentals.

Make sure your site is optimized by checking your page title settings and header tags on your website. RealTech websites are search friendly and designed to improve rankings and visibility – if you’re not sure whether your site is up to par, let Realtech help you with a free website review.

About Drew Hines

When not meeting with clients or diving into reports, Drew enjoys watching soccer (Go Liverpool!), mountain biking, and cooking with his wife.

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