Less than a week ago we launched one of the most daring stunts since Evel Knievel’s daredevil jumps! The Las Vegas Palazzo Paradiso Project check it out here! I designed the Palazzo website and when I did I used my secret vacation rental website template.
When I say “template” I am not talking about those cheap or free vacation rental website templates you can buy or build online. I am talking about my tested V.R. website blueprint. Its a guideline to build the perfect rental website. I designed it with the experience pulled from years of testing, trial and error and from my own blood, sweat and tears. My vacation rental website template is a pungent ingredient used within my secret success sauce. See for yourself exactly how I create top performing websites. It’s all in the sauce.
This is Jay William’s secret formula, remember where you heard about it first.
1. Home Page
The homepage is like your website welcome center and its the sales floor too. This means you’ll need to have, the right presentation to accentuate all the best highlights of your rental property and the right sales material to close the deal and get them to rent.
Your websites homepage is the most influential web page on your VR site. Its your first impression and you’re not gonna get a second shot. So, take aim and make sure you kill it the first time.
The home page sets the tone for the entire site. Its imperative you get the home page right. You only have about 5 to 7 seconds to get your visitors attention. I’ve put together a recipe that breaks down exactly how to cook up a homepage to make people want it more than mama’s home cooking.
I’ll share with you my “secret seasonings” and show you where to put all the buttons and where the calls to actions should go. I’ll even help you pinpoint what colors to use to make people react to your website. The devil is in the details and so is a proper website design. I’ll tell you the design elements required to make certain your website conversion goes off the chart, but you’ve got to be a subscriber to hear all about it (Sign up above).
2. Contact Us
Your contact us page is the second most important page on your website. Getting your “would be” guest to contact you is the next goal you want to accomplish after, you get them to stay past the first few seconds. Now, what you’ll want to do next is lead your site visitors to the contact us or booking page, but how do you do that? In the world of vacation rental marketing it’s all about conversion.
“Conversion” is the process of getting the visitor to convert from a visitor into a lead/inquiry/sale/booking but the problem is likely that your website does not currently do that! What makes the sites I build different? You ask? They’re conversion ready out of the box!
A lack of conversions costs you in lost bookings, wasted marketing dollars, what a shame! Those bookings could have been pulled in with the proper website layout and sales materials, its all about the conversion folks! As part of my Secret Sauce you’ll learn how to prepare your contact form to capture those leads it was designed to do!
Your blog is more than just a place to gossip, its a place to connect, share, communicate, lead and most importantly for owners, make money! Blogging can create an income stream!
Imagine if you had access to a newspaper where your home could be showcased in every week, month or even everyday. Wouldn’t you want to have your vacation home advertised there? Well, your blog is your online newspaper. A common misconception I’ve encountered is owners don’t believe anyone will actually read their blogs but trust me they will. Blogging executed properly is profitable.
On any given month approximately 70% of our website traffic will come in from our vacation rental marketing blog. This is where our customers find us and your blog could be where travelers find your rental property if you’re blogging every so often. One great thing about a blog is its free advertising! You should also understand that every blog you post is an investment in your V.R. business, an inexpensive one at that. Every blog you post is an opportunity to be found online and in Google. I’ll explain in more detail the best blogging practices and how to create great blogs in minutes.
4. Photos / Video / Virtual Tour
The most popular button on a travel website is the photos page. Seeing is believing! Travelers want to cut to the chase, they search websites to find photos that are usually hidden within some other web page. I suggest making it easier for them to find your property photos. Add a dedicated photo page in the website main menu. If you do, I tell ya, they will make a beeline straight to the photos page.
This minor adjustment can help keep visitors on your site longer just by making it easy for them to find what they are looking for. At the same time you can increase the chances of visitors clicking on more web pages. Typically the longer a visitor stays on your website the better your chances are of them booking. I’m going to demonstrate how to get them excited about your photos and take the next step.
5. Hot Deals
The second most clicked button is the hot deals page, thats why ya gotta have one. The deals page is a place where you can offer promotions, discounts and unload some of those off season weeks that are in less demand. If you ever have a cancellation, you can also promote those dates, you now need to fill. Using your deals page the right way can help you to activate an impulse in the brain of interested travelers and get them to react, and make a booking.
In a blog about reviews I presented an infographic that shows how important vacation rental reviews are to travelers. In this study it sheds light on how many travelers will not book your vacation rental if there aren’t proper reviews. Nobody can sell your vacation rental to other travelers better than your past guests. Your past guests are your salespeople, use them! Your reviews are powerful in so many ways and can be leveraged throughout the entire site. I’ll dedicate a post just for reviews and show you how to take full advantage of the reviews on your vacation rental website.
7. Villa Page
Here is where you tell them all about your vacation rental, villa, cottage, cabin or bed and breakfast. You can tell them about the accommodations, amenities, facilities and nearby points of interest. This is the stuff they need to know about the property, how you present this information is what is important. I’ll share a few tricks to get your website visitors to stay longer without boring them to death with all the details. I’ll coach you on how to get visitors to click onto the next website button.
8. About Us
In your about us page it’s your time to tell your story. Everyone has a story and if you’ve watched my video the 3 E’s of VR marketing you understand how strong your story can be. Tell travelers about you, your husband, wife kids etc. Tell them why you all love this place you’ve bought as your second home. Let them know how much you enjoy it.
This page will help to create a connection with you and your guests. The about us page helps to bring down the guard of your prospects by building trust and making booking easier. They won’t book with you if they don’t trust you and they can only trust you, when they get to know you!
Here is where you can help sell the sizzle of a vacation. You do want to get your clients excited about their vacation, right? Sure you do! Seeing the “things to do” with their own eyes, will help send excitement signals to the brain and build anticipation making it easier for you to make the booking. We should always promote an experience, not just some house to rent. There are a few tools you’ll need, to land this just right to get the website visitors to “feel” your presentation. Your website should be the next best thing to being there. I’ll teach you how to use your attractions page to make your vacation rental more attractive.
You’re competing with everybody including hotels, motels, villas, cabins and maybe all inclusive resorts and everybody’s got a gimmick. They all have something they use to convince travelers to book with them instead of you! Maybe its their private spa, onsite facilities or room service that helps build value for their brand. Now, how about you? Do you have something you use to convince vacationers that your vacation rental is the place to be? Even if you have a home with very limited amenities you can create some.
You can offer a limo service, that can take your guests for a night out on the town, or pick them up and drop them off at the airport. I’ve already done the research for you. I’ve put together a list of services you can offer your guests. You can offer these amazing services without having to lift a finger to provide them, sounds easier now, doesn’t it. The services page can make a single vacation rental stand out from even the most luxurious hotel giants on the block.
Most owners add very little detail on their vacation property website especially when it comes to their rental rates. I would like to see owners use their websites as sales tools by explaining the costs associated with renting their property. If you offer a monthly rate advertise it here. If you or your property manager offer rental services such as pool heat, early check ins, late checkouts you can make extra $$$ and make your guests happier. You can read a little about that here On your rates page you’re now talking money and how you present your rental cost and it’s value is of the utmost importance. If you want to outperform others in your market present pricing properly. Of course I’m gonna show you how.
The availability page or booking calendar page is a very popular menu to have on a website. The only time I would not recommend putting a calendar page on your website is if you have the means of renting more than one property. Owners often leave out the calendar from their vacation rental websites, so they get guests to inquire (otherwise they won’t) and steer them into another property that is available. Click on this link to see how owners make more money using this vacation rental marketing strategy
If you don’t want to get calls from travelers for dates you have already booked then add the calendar to your site. I find the calendar page an important one because when travelers are looking at your booking calendar they are already sold.
They are past the point of “if” I want to rent it, its more like “can” I rent it. I help owners design a vacation rental website to take travelers from point “a to point z” and “z” being the “contact us” form on their websites. I’ll show you how to move potential renters from the calendar to the contact us page using tested conversion strategies.
There is more to come! Sign up for our free newsletter. If you’d like a free and powerful calendar that helps you make bookings I created one for you. You can get it here > Free Booking Calendar For Vacation Rentals
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