There’s a lot of discussion about whether you should have your own vacation rental website, and many owners happily rent with a listing alone. However, in areas where there is a lot of competition, being able to send incoming traffic to your own web site, deliver additional content, create new pages and be in total control of the site can be the key to more reservations. When it comes to managing more than one property, it’s even more important.
My guest in this episode is Sarah Brubaker from Web Chalet which is a full service vacation rental software company. Sarah is passionate about the connection between good design and a solid marketing strategy to create a full functional website that can equally serve an individual owner or a rental management company with multiple properties. She shares a lot of information on the best way to approach the development of your site, and cites a really successful small agency that has built their brand with a great site.
We also discussed how important it is to be mobile responsive and explored what that actually means and why companies like CNN actually have two separate websites – one that looks great on a larger screen and another for mobile phones and tablets. Do you need to do this or can it be done in a simpler way? In fact, most vacation rental website and software companies include a mobile version in their package and that is something worth checking before you commit your money.
This is what we covered:
- Sarahs love of vacation rentals as an accommodation choice for her family
- The importance of setting goals for your website – why you need to plan what you want well in advance
- Selecting a domain name
- How one company created their brand & how it works for them
- Why content is so important and the what makes your website stand out from the crowd
- The value of including local information
- The impact of an About us page and personalised content
- What mobile responsiveness is and how to ensure your site can be seen on every device
- How using analytics can save you money
- Trying out small differences on your site using A/B testing (check the link to find out what this is)
And the sites we mentioned:
Lake Arrowhead Vacation Rentals local information
Google Analytics – it’s free