6 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2012 12:34 PM by amyg RSS

    Tips for writing/updating your heading?

    Active Contributor

      On our island, every VR has a name and we have always had the name of our house lead our HA and VRBO headings.  However, we suddenly wondered -  is this a plus or just a waste of space?  Only returning renters would identify our house by the name, so should we use our allowed characters to say something else about the house and leave the name for use in a photo caption?


      What do you all think?  And what have you found to be important to say in your heading?

        • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
          sophie Senior Contributor



          I have often thought about this issue also because I too, have a small name for each of my properties.  They are 8 letters long. I would say that if it doesn't take up the entire title, it should be fine. I like the idea of branding your product. I have a lot of people comment on my names and they remember them.  Even if they don't book this year, they might remember the name and book next year because the name stuck in their head.


          I like to put in the heading, the # of people it sleeps and how many bedrooms. If someone is looking for a 4 bedroom but I only have a 2 bedroom, it doesn't waste their time by clicking on the property.


          I also change my title quite often and this is where your property "name" could always be the consistent. Even though you could change the entire title, it will still be the "waterfall", "ocean" "Oyster' house. (my names inserted).


          There are some properties in my area that still have the original title from 5 years ago! One of them says "JUST LISTED" and there is a typo in some other wording! 5 years and they haven't changed it!

          • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
            tyann Contributor

            I always keep the name of our house in the headline, then use the remaining characters to highlight sought after amenities that we offer. I don't put the number of bedrooms or how many we sleep in that space since VRBO and HomeAway both put the bedrooms, baths, and sleeps just under the headline automatically.


            When looking through listings as a traveler, it is overwhelming with so many similar titles, all proclaiming the lowest rate or have a last minute opening or have the best reviews or view in the area. Even though I bookmark each property that I am interested in, it is quite a bit easier to remember a name associated with a property.


            This is what works for me.


            Tyann Marcink

            Nature's Retreat and Canyon Retreat | Vacation Home in Branson

            Website Design and Photography | Marcink Designs

              • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
                anja Senior Contributor

                To:  OP stjvilla:

                I do not include my house name in the headline of my ads, for example on VRBO or other sites I advertise on.   People who've been to my place might remember the name of the cottage...might not. Branding is good... but search behaviour is different. So, I do not rely on my house's name to bring me other prospects via ads or via Google. {I always ask people how they found me and most tell me they "googled" certain terms...usually my location + vacation cottage.   So, I  rely on searched terms for my location and use that for "headlines".  I'm, not an expert on SEO ...it's a time consuming and challenging activity....but I do SEO my website and try to stay on top...Google can drive anyone crazy.   When searching for a rental cottage on my island:....I appear  "above the fold" on Google's first page for my website and my ads follow.

              • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
                Active Contributor

                I remember this same discussion about a year ago. What I remember was that one owner said that he had names for several of his properties. He got to wondering if it helped him or not. He sent emails to people who had rented his properties and asked if they would search for the property by the property’s name the next time that they wanted to rent. And this is why I remember the discussion….not a one could tell him the name of the house they stayed in. They all said that they would type in the town and look for the picture of the place they had stayed.  Each of us has to decide what to put in the title of our rentals. Some will make up names, some will not, but what I learned from this is the importance of photos over the importance of a name.  Hope I did not muddy the water over to name or not to name. ..that is the question.

                • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
                  kiawahcottage Active Contributor

                  Hi Stj,


                  I use something totally different from most of my competition and I think it works pretty well.  "Oceanwoods. The Best Location On Kiawah! Find Out Why!"  Oceanwoods is my neighborhood and my intro tells them why my cottage is one of the best available. Almost eveyone else gives the address and or description.



                    • Re: Tips for writing/updating your heading?
                      amyg Active Contributor

                      I'm no expert, but I've done a fair bit of writing and marketing so I'll share what's worked for me.  Property headlines are the most valuable real estate you have on any listing site.  If your listing's heading is not compelling enough to draw someone in to click on it, your headline is your weakest link.  It won't matter one hoot if you have great photos, copy and fantastic rates if no one clicks through.


                      I've always recommended to not use the headline for the property name because those characters could be used for something far more important to the traveler.  You need to think like potential guests--they want features and benefits that match their needs/wants.  If I put "TreeHouse Hideaway" in my headline/title, I've used up 18 characters that could have said something much more valuable to the traveler:  "WiFi-Hot Tub-Jacuz..." would fit in the same space.


                      I agree that you do not need to put number of beds/baths in your headline, but if you have 3 bedrooms and all are King BRs, I would defintely say "3 King BRs" in title.  Three couples traveling together would be thrilled to know that they don't have to flip a coin to see who gets the 1 King BR and the others get the Queen BRs.


                      Another tip I like to share is that the most visually distinct part of your headline is the last few words.  When you scan down the listings, it's the tail end of each listing that sticks out because there's white space (negative space) at the end.  So the last thing in your headline should actually be one of the most important aspects of your listing.  It could be "April $135/night" or "Pets OK" or "WiFi".  Whatever you choose to put there gets extra visibility by virtue of its location, so think twice about what might be most interesting to potential guests.


                      Another option is Paul's style of headline, where you don't give them any specifics about the property, but instead use a clever statement or question to get them to click through.  I have personally never tried this style of a headline, but it's used repeatedly in online advertising.  Just look at all the banner ads The challenge with this sort of headline is that you really need to be good with words to create interest/desire.  I would not recommend this for most owners, but if you are in a location with lots of competition and everyone's headlines sound the same...this might be a great alternative. 


                      Finally, if you can...put a call to action or urgency in your headline (like Paul's "Find Out Why!")  Phrases like "Booking Fast" or "New Photos!" or "July 7-17 Now Open" may encourage a click thru.


                      Good luck and remember to review your headline/listing title every month to make sure it's not out of date and look for opportunities to freshen it up when needed (new season, announce improvements, specials, cancellations, etc.)  Make your headline work for you!