10 Free Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Vacation Rental Website

Questions and Answers signpost Just having a vacation or cottage rental website isn’t going to get you visitors.  It requires a lot of work to attract people to your site, to get it seen in a Google search and encourage your potential guests to take a look.  Spending on search engine optimisation and advertising works but it affects your bottom line so it’s worth exploring methods of getting plenty of visitors for free.  Here’s 10 ideas for driving traffic to your vacation rental website.

Comment on a blog

Commenting on high traffic blogs can be very effective particularly in niche areas. Look for those that allow a link to your listing or web site URL. Read this article on How to Make My Blog for more ideas

Get active in a forum

When I first started this blog I joined Lay My Hat and started posting there. Not advertising or marketing – just contributing thoughts and adding replies to questions other people posted. This is a great way of gaining some loyal followers who will ultimately do the marketing for you. Pick out a couple of forums in a niche that is relevant to your market – perhaps they attract skiers, birdwatchers, kayakers, hikers etc., and get comfortable with the way established members post. Include a link to your site or listing in your signature but take some time to get involved before mentioning your property.

Use Twitter

This is a great method of networking with people who will then network for you. As with all other social media opportunities, don’t wade in with heavy marketing and promotion. Balance your contributions with comments on other Tweets; observations; links to great web sites or blog posts; photos of something interesting in your area etc. Make it fun for people to follow you and they will follow you back and put you on their lists, which are then followed by others……..and on and on.

Build a Facebook Page

There’s no better way of marketing for free. You can spend money if you like on a flashy custom page design but it’s not necessary. Think seriously about creating a page and not just using your personal profile, particularly if you play games. You want people to Like your page so it will spread out to their fans too, and if you have a ton of Farmville updates, you won’t be taken seriously. Here’s 10 ideas to get your page liked from Social Media Examiner

Create a Youtube video

Give your listing or web site a human side and make a Welcome video. Get in front of the camera and tell viewers why they should rent your place. Take this a step further and create a Youtube channel

Post your listing on Second Porch

Second Porch is growing and their community is beginning to really gain some traction. Post your listing on there and share it with friends on Facebook

Post to your own blog regularly

Having your own blog is a great way of driving traffic back to your web site or listing, but to get visitors in the first place you need to post regularly, and make it interesting for people to add to their RSS feeds. Take a look at Rebecca Winke’s blog about her Brigolante Apartments for an example of how to blog interesting topics.

Write a guest post

Offering to write a guest post on someone else’s blog can be a great traffic-driver as long as their blog has high traffic numbers. Most bloggers welcome guest posters so select a few to target and write a letter introducing yourself and saying why your post could be useful to them. Hey, you can write one for me!! I love publishing guest posts

Use Ezine Articles

This is a great method of getting your message out. Write short articles on events and attractions on your area(500 -750 words is a good length); use your keywords for optimization; spend some time on a signature block that has your URL, and wait for your article to by syndicated on sites that are looking for content. To check this out, Google the phrase ‘travel insurance for vacation rentals’ and you’ll find an article I wrote in 2006 on the first page. I have never promoted the article – just wrote it and posted it on Ezine Articles and they did the rest.


Don’t forget off-line promotion. Create business cards and brochures online ; get them printed by Vista Print, and distribute them. Always carry them with you – I regularly get into conversations with people in supermarket line-ups and can always steer the talk around to my cottage and give them a business card. This works as I’ve had several bookings from this method of promotion.

Windermere Lodge

Some great ideas there, but it’s worth pointing out that the value of links on blogs is reduced when the blog uses the rel=”nofollow” tag (as you do here). This is because Google won’t count that as an inbound link to your site.

WordPress 1.5 and above automatically assigns the nofollow attribute to all user-submitted links (comment data, commenter URI, etc). as it thinks this is the best way to discourage comment spam.

You may encourage more comments on your blogs if use this free plug-in


Of course you may get more spam comments too which is why the askimet plug-in is also a must.

Blimey that’s almost a guestpost 🙂

Beautiful Lac Nantel

Hi, I came across your Twitter profile and did something I rarely do – clicked the link in a tweet. Your pointers are excellent. I have used Twitter and Facebook to try and get traffic to my site, but I will definitely have to try all of the other methods you mentioned as well.

Tweet me at @lacnantel or @mic911

Rebecca Winke

Thanks so much for the mention…what a nice surprise!

How easy it is to overlook the power of the humble business card. They may be anachronistic, but how many times have I been asked for one and discovered none in my wallet!

Ezine articles is something I’ve never considered; thanks for the suggestion.


Rebecca Winke’s last blog post..Why-fi: How Can We Connect If We’re So Connected?


Great ideas as usual Heather. It’s still worth commenting on blogs even if they do not allow Google to ‘follow’ the links, since this help to raise awareness of you as a friendly commenter and brings you visitors. Thanks also for the tips on increasing fans to your Facebook page – that was a useful read

DrRichard’s last blog post..Generate HTML Character Codes Fast


Hi Heather,

that is the Canadian version of the Thompson and Morgan seed catalog. There online site is: http://www.thompsonmorgan.ca/ you can order a catalog from there.

Thanks for popping by my blog and commenting.


Gill’s last blog post..They have started to arrive……….

customized web solutions

Very informative idea.I will try this tips..Thank you so much…

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