What inspires you? What captures your attention when you visit a website so that you explore every page? Perhaps it's the eye-catching design or photos that get your initial interest, but it's the words that will spark the desire to read more.
When you write for your website or blog it's important to pay close attention to the way you present your content. You want the search engines to find your site, and for people searching for specific features, to see your cottage right at the top of a search. It's probably true that many people will type in the term ‘cottage rentals' to start with, but they soon become frustrated by the huge number of sites they are presented with. So, they will begin to refine their search – let's say to ‘cottage rental with hot tub', or ‘how to find a cottage with a sandy beach'. These are called long-tail searches and are becoming used more frequently by renters.
Think for a moment about how you do research on the web. If you wanted to buy a hot tub for your cottage and simply typed in ‘hot tub' in your Google search, you would be presented with thousands of hot tub suppliers around the world. Not a lot of good if you want to find a local dealer. A more useful search term might be ‘hot tub supplier Ontario', or more specifically, ‘find a hot tub supplier in Orillia, Ontario'.
What does this all mean to you? Well, getting a website developed and online is only a part of the process of getting your vacation rental seen by the people looking for a cottage to rent. Successful online marketing requires you to create excellent content, use keywords that people are searching for, and attract links to your site. Just listing the features of your cottage and the rental rates you are going to charge may not be enough to get visitors interested in your listing. Think about all the other things they may want to know about the property, the location, and the attractions of your area. It's through doing this that you can not only increase your inquiries but also promote other products or services on your site.
There's a nice series of tutorials over at Copy Blogger that give a more detailed overview of the things you should be thinking of when developing your site.
When I started out, I particularly liked Ken Evoy's book, Make Your Words Sell. This is an in-depth book on every aspect of using words to persuade visitors to your site to book your cottage. Don't underestimate this aspect of your website. When competition is fierce, you need to find that edge; that way of making potential clients become paying customers. Ken's easy to read ebook helps even the most underconfident writer create magnetic copy that will attract new renters.