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Blog Posts

7 Posts
1

You decided to launch your personal vacation rental website.  Congrats! The next step is to find the right domain name.  When you are considering purchasing a domain name for your vacation rental website, it is important to spend some time doing research. Here are few best practices that we recommend:

 

1. Think about potential keywords

 

What will a guest type into Google.com when he or she is looking for a vacation rental in your area? By including a keyword or keyword phrase in your domain name, it can help your search ranking for this keyword. Google’s Keyword Tool is a fantastic and free tool to help you find keywords related to your business and will show you the number of searches each month. When you first begin your domain name search, it helps to have 5 terms or phrases in mind that best describe the domain you're seeking.  For vacation rental websites specifically, we have found that a good equation is the following: town/city where your vacation rental is located + accommodation type like “rental, “vacation rental,” or “cabin.” 

 

2. Know the difference between Discoverable versus Brandable

 

What’s your strategy? Solely relying on traffic from search engines? Then you should use real words and phrases that people are searching for to increase your search ranking. If your marketing focus is to focus on complementing your current marketing efforts on other listing sites like HomeAway, you can come up with a brandable name that guests will remember.  Check out this listing for Ruby's Retreat Lake Tahoe on VRBO http://www.vrbo.com/241244. The owners decided to create a brand for their vacation rental. They could choose a domain name like rubysretreat.com or rubysretreatlaketahoe.com. A recent vacation rental marketing survey found 74% of people looking for vacation rentals would definitely “Google” the name of the property or the owner outside the listing environment. This means that after guests find your listing on VRBO or HomeAway, they do their own research on the web.  If you have a brand associated with your vacation rental, it is a no-brainer to have a branded personal website that shows up in these search results.  You are creating a professional image for your vacation rental and this will help generate trust between you and potential guests.

 

3. Keep it short and sweet and easy to type

 

A long domain name, apart from being difficult to type, can be difficult to remember.  You want your potential guests to be able to find your website and ultimately book your vacation rental!   One of our clients manages vacation rentals in Rio de Janeiro and Copacabana, Brazil.  He chose the simple domain name www.riobeachrentals.com.  This not only helped optimize his site to be a top result for the search “rio beach rentals,” but it also is easy to remember and clients don’t need to remember how to spell Rio De Janeiro.

 

4. Choose ”.COM”

 

The ”.com” is the most popular top-level domain and it can be hard to find one that is available. In most cases, you should favor a ”.com.”  However, if you are planning to promote your vacation rental in a specific country only you should consider a country specific domain such as “co.uk” for the United Kingdom.

 

5. Check the availability

Once you have a wish list of domain names, the next step is to check to see if your domain name is available.  Here are a few websites to help you brainstorm names: NameStation.com and LeanDomainSearch.com. If your requested domain is not available, these sites offer a list of similar names that are available. Most likely you will not get your first pick; don’t let that discourage you. You will find a great domain name to represent your vacation rentals.

 

 

About Sarah Brubaker

Sarah is Co-Founder of WebChalet.com, a software company that makes it easy for vacation rental owners and professional managers to take control of their vacation rental business and book travelers directly through their own website. Starting with a wide variety of vacation rental website templates, owners and professionals can create their own website with availability calendars, online payment processing, and a suite of marketing tools pre-built into the software. Headquartered in San Francisco, WebChalet proudly hosts websites for thousands of vacation rental properties around the world. For more information, please visit WebChalet.com.

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Kitchen drawers are a mess after every renter requiring reorganization so utensils can be found. Can't have cleaners do it, they don't have enough time between renters in high season...

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Weekly Top Articles #10

Posted by ulrich Aug 29, 2011

The weekly roundup brings you complete coverage on the top articles and tweets from the previous week relative to the vacation rental industry.

 

TripAdvisor Survey Reveals Autumn Travel Trends
Cater your vacation rental this fall and see what guests are really looking for in their vacations. TripAdvisor brings you the top three fall activities: festivals, fall foliage and wine tasting/visiting a vineyard and the top U.S. destinations for travellers this autumn.

Top Eight Things to Consider When Booking a Vacation Rental
From reading reviews to propert research to early bird planning and payment options, Flipkey offers eight excellent tips for booking your dream vacation rental. Things tips can also be used by owners and property managers to ensure that you are meeting the needs or your guests.

How to Get Business from Business Travellers
Adding a workspace, complimentary stationary, WiFi, and an early bird breakfast are just a few touches you can add to help you cater your vacation home to the needs of corporate travelers.

Guidelines on Bed Bug Control and Prevention in HUD Insured and Assisted Multifamily Housing
With the bed bug scare being posing a serious threat to the hospitality industry, it is important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your property is protected against bed bug’s. These 12 principles such as correctly identifying pests, keeping records, monitoring potential nesting areas and proper cleaning for integrated pest management will help you avoid future encounters and deal with potential pest problems in your rental home.

This article was originally published on the Kigo blog on August 29th 2011

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Weekly Top Articles #6

Posted by ulrich Aug 1, 2011

The weekly roundup brings you complete coverage on the top articles and tweets from the previous week relative to the vacation rental industry.

The Pros and Cons of Moving Your Business Into the Cloud

Now that the delivery of software over the Internet is gaining more popularity, Mashable examines why it may be right for your business with benefits such as scalability and low provisioning costs.

Understanding Challenges Associated with Monitoring Location-Based Engagement Across Multiple Locations
Location-based technologies are changing both the way consumers interact with travel brands and the way companies use data. With the travel and hospitality industry using Foursquare, Facebook Places and Gowalla to maintain relationships with consumers, Rob Reed, founder and CEO of MomentFeed, explains this growing trend and where location-based technologies will be in 12 months.

The Business Traveler of Today: New Study Profiles Corporate Travelers and Their Needs While in Transit
Understanding the corporate travel demographic means knowing their budget, that staying connected is crucial and 79% of businesses feel that there is no substitute for travelling.

Ride the Buy-to-let Wave as Second Homes Reach Record Levels
With one month left of summer, holiday homes in the UK are at an all time high. More demand has led to increasing vacation rental properties and the UK ‘staycation’ market has reported a 20 %-40% increase through websites such as holidaylettings.co.uk and uniquehomestays.com.

Designing For Tomorrow
It’s hard to stay ahead of the future common practices but we can nonetheless spot trends in technology design, whether they are cyclical or emerging. Among them, keeping things casual through informal style (use of everyday language) and making people feel more connected to the human aspect of your business.

This article was originally published on the Kigo blog on July 25th 2011

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Weekly Top Articles #5

Posted by ulrich Jul 25, 2011

The weekly roundup brings you complete coverage on the top articles and tweets from the previous week relative to the vacation rental industry.

Rough guide to enhancing travel affiliate marketing – Part One of Two
How enhancing travel affiliate marketing can benefit you. Innovations in technology and consumer engagement opportunities are just a few examples of what you can do to differentiate your business in the vacation rental market.

Increase direct hotel bookings with social media
Get your property booked for summer using search engine optimization, effective guests reviews and more. These four social media tips are for hotels but can also be applied to your vacation rental.

4 Reasons Why Contests Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Want to give your guests a reward? Here are four reasons why offering contests and promotions to renters can also increase your fanbase, engage your audience and more.

How to Optimize your Website to Increase Conversions
What you can do to increase conversions on your website through optimization strategies, research, using Analytics’ funnel tracker to lower your website’s exit and bounce rates today.

50+ generation searching for new adventures
With more mobility, disposable income and a desire to expand their travel horizons, the over-50 generation of travellers may be the perfect guests for your vacation rental. Learn why you should start marketing to the over-50 generation of travellers.

As the number of older vacationers rises, so this target group acquires growing importance for the travel industry as a whole

Show Some Respect: 7 Golden Rules
Staying on trend with marketing to the 50+ generation, here are 7 quick tips you can use to effectively engage, communicate and market to the Baby Boomer generation.

This article was originally published on the Kigo blog on July 25th 2011

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Does your vacation rental property page have everything your guests are looking for? Following these tips will ensure that you make the most of out what your property has to offer.

Vacation Rental Property Page

 

1. Pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure that photos are high resolution, recent and show all angles, rooms and views of your property. This is what gives renters the most clear idea of what your property has to offer inside and out.

Property Page Pictures

 

2.The Description

Describing all amenities, features and surrounding areas and attractions makes a big difference! Renters like knowing exactly what they are paying for and often amenities and nearby attractions can be a huge selling point for guests.

Property Page Description

 

3. Pricing

Showing all weekly, nightly and weekend rates as well as seasonal prices and last minute deals lets renters know immediately if the property is right for them and within their budget. You can also include a calculated price feature so renters can see the total of their stay. This saves both parties lets of time and back and forth.

4.Maps

Having your properly displayed on a map gives owners a better idea of where your property is located in relation to the area so there won’t be any misunderstandings or surprises when guests arrive.

 

Property Page Map

 

5.Calendar

Displaying a calendar with your property shows availability and booking dates so renters can see what works for them. Place your calendar either before or after your pricing so guests don’t have to flip back and forth to compare different prices and dates.

Property Page Calendar

 

This article was originally published on the Kigo blog on July 6th 2011


1

HomeAway, any plans to support integrated posting to Craigslist.org?  Airbnb has this functionality.  Every couple weeks I receive a notification email asking if I want to post my listing to Craigslist.  I hit the submit button and a listing is generated in Craigslist that I then approve.  Works great, however, I am considering leaving Airbnb due to how they control the communication an payment process.  There process breaks all of my processes.

 

Thanks

Mike Miksis

University View House

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