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Top Vacation Rental Website Design Tips

Developing a vacation rental website is a good first step to becoming independent and creating more revenue for your rental business.

When designing your site you gotta maximize the results from that website, after all, that’s the reason you spent your time and money creating it.

While most web companies and website builders focus on making “nice looking” sites, we have a conversion-first approach to creating a vacation rental website.

I’m sharing several of my conversion techniques that our team uses when building websites.

We use my list of 154 checkpoints as a web design guide. They’re my absolute best practices that maximize the inquiries and results generated for our clients.

In this post, I’m sharing 10 of them with you. Apply these tips and watch your results immediately improve!

1. Forms On EVERY Page Of Your Website!

A website isn’t like a brochure where people flip from cover to cover and go through your pages in a sequential order.

A traveler might land on your reviews page after searching for reviews related to your property’s location.

They may find your site through a blog post you’ve written. The point is, you want visitors to ask you a question right from the page they’re on.

For this reason, you’ll want to have a form on every page of your website.

OK, maybe you have a form on your contact page, that’s important, BUT if a traveler has to search for your contact us page, in essence, you’ve created a “wall” that travelers have to climb (click) to reach you.

Does your vacation rental blog have a contact form accessible from each post? If not, this is a lost opportunity!

You want to remove every obstacle, reduce friction and make it super easy for visitors to reach you from any area of your website.

If you don’t have a contact form on every page of your current vacation rental website, you’re losing booking opportunities.

Now you know!

2. Ask A Question –

Why ask a question? Questions require an answer! They make people answer your question in their mind.

Near your contact form, you want to ask visitors a question. The goal here is to get them to stop – and think for a second.

If you ask the right questions and are strategic in their placement, you’ll get more visitors to convert into prospects.

Questions are important for the sales process and generating leads. Let’s see how that works…

3. Calls To Action –

After placing a question like “Have Questions?” near your inquiry form, follow it up with a call to action like “Ask Us.” The result is – more people will fill in your contact form.

contact_form_for_vacation_rental_website_designThis technique makes you appear more approachable. A visitor might think to themselves;  “I do have a question… let me ask them.” Once they fill in your form, it’s up to you to nurture that lead into a booking.

You should use calls to action throughout your site because when people search online they’re often on autopilot.

They’re clicking around, reading and looking at different elements of your site. They’ve likely visited several sites during their search and won’t know what to do next on your website.

If you don’t tell visitors exactly what to do they’ll end up in limbo, leaving your website empty-handed, just because you didn’t ask them to take an action before exiting.

Tell visitors to Get In Touch, Book Now, Like or View More. Carefully consider the goal, verbiage, and placement of your calls to action.

You’ll see results almost instantly just by using the 3 tips we’ve discussed so far.

4. Above The Fold –

website design above the fold content marketing tips

The term above the fold refers to the content that’s shown on the screen without visitors having to scroll down to view more information on your website.

You want your lead form and a call to action to appear “above the fold!”

5. Phone Number Placement –

Placing your phone number on your website makes you appear more trustworthy.

Your phone number needs to be visible. I recommend placing your phone in the upper right-hand corner of your website with a call to action like “Call Us.”

phone number vacation rental website design placement

Since more people use mobile devices today than desktop, make sure your phone number is clickable, so people on mobile devices can call you just by clicking on your phone number.

6. Contrasting Colors –


Colors should be used to make your calls to action and lead forms stand out by using contrasting colors. An easy way to know if you’re using contrasting colors correctly is to first, ask yourself, are the colors I’m using hot or cold?

For example, if your website’s background is yellow (a hot color), you may want to use a cold color for your call to action buttons like green or blue.

While green is a great color, I often use hot colors for calls to action.  I want visitors eyes to be drawn to my calls to action quickly. I’ve found red and orange does that extremely well. Below is an example of a hot and cold color contrast.

7. About Us Page –

write an about us page for vacation rental business

An about us page is an important part of the conversion formula I use when developing a vacation rental website.

An about us page will help you establish trust, create a connection and build rapport with visitors, significantly improving the chances of travelers reaching out to you.

I wrote a guide to help you create a gold standard about us page that will dazzle your guests.

8. Menus –

Look at a website as being a presentation. Imagine yourself presenting your vacation rental business in front of a large group of people.

Consider how you would lay your website out in terms of a powerpoint presentation, doing so will give you a better idea of how your website menus should be organized.

You would normally start out a presentation by introducing yourself, it would be rude not to – right? This is why I implore you to craft a stellar about us page.

There are menus (and the content within those pages) that will lead up to the showing of your vacation rentals, then the other menus should reinforce the product like reviews.

For example, your homepage is the sizzle and helps build up to the property presentation. It’s a preview of what’s to come. I recommend following the homepage with an about us page then the property page(s).

Example: Home – > About – > Rentals ->  Reviews – > Blog – >  Deals – > Contact (This is just an example)

Your pages may be different but if you consider how you will present them in the order of a presentation, you will nail this one. The idea is to create a natural flow.

9. Emotional Imagery –

attarction photos images for vacation rental website business

People are driven by emotions. If they aren’t excited about what you’re offering they’ll move on. You’ve got to grab their attention and draw them in emotionally.

By using exciting imagery that evokes emotion, you will get guests excited about taking that trip. This is why I recommend images of people partaking in activities and photos of local attractions.

Professional photos of people lounging in a beach chair, plunging off an ocean cliff, zipping down a zip line or bike riding on a trail will help people to envision themselves enjoying these activities.

Their excitement will bubble and make them want to reach out to you –  turning a visitor into an inquiry!

Remember, emotions make people act!

10. Optimize For Your Niche (SEO) –

seo search optimization for vacation rental website conversion

While SEO is a broad subject, we’re gonna narrow down today’s advice to how SEO can help you improve your conversion.

It’s critical that you optimize your website if you want visitors to find you online. However, you want to optimize your site with keywords that are hyper-focused to your specific property offerings.

Use keywords that bring in customers that are looking to book a property like yours. If your property is located in a resort or popular community, you want to leverage those keywords in your meta tags.

If your property has desirable amenities like a pool, jacuzzi or game room, you should consider using these longtail keywords to drive in travelers who are looking for these amenities or resort locations.

When a traveler lands on your website by searching for a specific community and or amenities and finds your home, they’re much more likely to convert from a visitor to an inquiry.

Want more of my trade secrets – I’ve got some amazing tips coming up next… Be sure to join our free rental marketing newsletter and get my upcoming list of 10 top website conversion tips that will blow the roof off of your vacation rental bookings!

Leave a comment or ask a question below and I will reply!


  • Kurt says:

    Can’t wait to put these to work! Bravo Jay! I thought I had read somewhere that you shouldn’t use photos with people in them?

    • Jay William says:

      @Kurt I’m not sure what it was that you read but they may have suggesting that you don’t use amateur photos of your family or friends in the property. If you watch every TV commercial or travel magazine they use people in the photos. These people are often happy, smiling and enjoying themselves. This translates to the customer and they feel that and what to often experience it themselves. Boring photos of our rental properties just won’t translate the joy like these types of images can!

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