Top 5 Rental Website Conversion Tactics to Boost your Bookings

Do you find your website generating a large volume of traffic but not yielding enough conversions? This is one of the many challenges many vacation rental managers face when it comes to their digital marketing success. Identifying the potential causes of failing to convert those lookers into bookers is the first step into solving this very common problem.

Can you answer these questions that as a marketer or manager should be able to answer?

Think about your online conversion rate.  If you get 1,000 visitors to your website a day, but only convert 2% that’s 20 reservations.  But what if you could increase that percentage to 10%?  That’s 80 more reservations a day you are making online.  This is why website conversion optimization is so important.  We want you to increase your traffic, but we want you to also focus on converting a higher percentage of that traffic.  That’s where the real money is.

It’s important that you have a team that knows what they are doing: where to put things, how to word things, what color to make calls to action.  What makes a person go or stop, and how to funnel traffic throughout your website.  That’s what we specialize in Conversion Focused websites.

 

The Top Conversion Tactics

Conversion Tactic #1: Make it Mobile!

It’s really important visitors can navigate your site from any mobile or desktop device.  Most people are shopping on mobile devices and make their purchases on a desktop.  This is the same with travel purchases. But mobile conversions are on the rise, so you need to be thinking about your mobile architecture and usability for mobile navigation.Incorporate marketing – people open their email, see start shopping

For 30% mobile 80% bookings come from desktop.Mobile traffic is up 200% in the past few years.

 

Conversion Tactic #2: Up Your Elements

So let’s talk about some of those elements that help funnel your traffic.  One of the most important things it to make sure your quick search is above the fold.  Use cool verbiage in your calls to action, like “Begin Your Adventure” rather than just “Start  your Search”.  Use brighter colors to call their focus for book now.

It’s online marketing’s job to get traffic to your site, but it’s usability and functionality that uses some psychology to make them book.  This is a screen shot of our booking engine.

The visitor has landed on the website and began to search.  They could be shopping around for price and availability.  We’ve incorporated urgency into our booking engine.  We show that search has only produced X amount of properties, or 82% of our inventory matching your search results is booked, reserve now, or showing that 22 people have viewed this property in the last 3 hours.  These elements show the visitor, they need to take action before their selection is gone.

Conversion Tactic #3: Make It Easy!

In order to find a property, you’ve got to have the tools to help them.  Having a refine search with popular features is necessary for your visitors to drill down and find the perfect property.  If you’re a hotel, this maybe different for you, you only have a couple room types, but making it easy for them to find those room types, pricing, and ability to book them.

Then you want to make sure you are tracking our searches.  What are your most popular arrival dates?  What is the average length of stay people are searching for?  Do you have a lot of people looking for something that is pet friendly, but only a handful of pet friendly properties.  This could open up opportunities for you to expand your inventory.  Let’s say you get a lot of people searching for 3 BR oceanfront at the <xxx> Resort, but you only have 1.  This could be an opportunity to market to owners there telling them you have the demand, but you need more supply.  Having tangible results from actual searches performed on your website could be a powerful tool to potential owners – especially with the analytics to back it up.

Conversion Tactic #4: Focus on the Booking Page

Take a look at your conversion rates from your check out pages.  This is probably one of the most important pages.  You work so hard to get a visitor there.  Obsess over this rate.  We pay so much attention to the pretty pictures and design, and you may think this is just a standard form.  It’s not.  We’ve learned from improving our clients check out pages and also from looking at what the big dogs do –

  • strip out your navigation,
  • make the form easy to fill out and fit on one page,
  • and easy to fill out on a mobile device
  • have your totals adjust as they add on or opt-out of things like travel insurance
  • make sure they know it’s secure, and make sure it’s simple.

Conversion Tactic #5: Watch the Users and Adapt

Navis is going to tell you a lot about what happens to a lead after they’ve made contact with you or booked, but if they didn’t get there –say they landed on your website and bounced or exited before booking or making contact, you have to take a look at your funnels in Google Analytics.  This is going to be going in and looking at your pages, page views, and conversions from those pages.

Say they land on your specials page, but don’t know how to execute the special.  Well it can result in an exit rather than a booking.  If you see high bounce or exit rates on your pages at any point in your funnel, you are going to want to drill down and figure out why.  You can install more tracking through Crazy Egg heat mapping or watch video clips of visitors looking at your site and what they are doing.  This going to tell if your visitors are getting lost, if they are backing out at the check out pages, or trying things that will help with conversions.  Maybe it’s a call to action, maybe your promo code field is not visible, you have to dig in and see what visitors are doing to help make changes to your funnel.

Final Converting Thoughts

“Beautiful websites don’t generate leads”. There are a ton of fantastic web designers out there that can create a great and beautiful website, but they may not be centered around conversions. We like to call those websites “All flash and no cash”. When you go with ICND,  you are choosing a company that has researched and implemented the elements that will help you increase you conversion rates.

ICND scored VRM Intel’s 2016 Best New Vacation Rental Website!

 

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The news is in! VRM Intel has selected its Best New Vacation Rental website for 2016. VRM asks the industry professionals to submit their favorite vacation rental company management website that have launched in the past 12 months to compete for the best. There were several deciding factors that went into judging the best pages. Does the site promote your brand, the destination, and the homes in a professional way? Is the website responsive with great quality photos, descriptions and amenities? Is it easy for the consumers to refine their searches to find the right set of homes, and can you sort the searches in a logical way based on prices, bedrooms, and occupancy? How do you rank in google, and how easy it is for guests to sign up for your deals, promotions, or newsletters? In addition, will the website load fast on a computer, tablet and cell phone. InterCoastal Net Designs came in 1st with www.topsail-realty.com and 5th with www.oregonbeachvacations.com.

Ranked #1- Topsail-Realty.com

Topsail-Realty.com met quite a few of those deciding factors and more. As soon as you land on the page you see a high quality montage of the Topsail area in the header video and featured properties on the homepage

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Additionally, it features quick call outs to popular search pages.

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Interactive display for homeowner acquisition that leads to a professionally done property management page!

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Topsail Realty also features a quick search that lets the consumers select quick options like, high internet, dog friendly, and smart homes. The refined search allows for visitors to drill down their search results by area, location, amenities, beds, baths, and price range and also sort by number of beds, occupancy, or alphabetical order. In addition, search results allow property manager to pin properties to the top that need more attention.It contains urgency features which shows the number of people interested (viewed) the property

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The calendar doesn’t allow you to check dates to arrive that would be outside booking parameters (must call to book partial stays).  This results in less error and confusion for the customer.

Property detail pages were decorated with a split cost calculator, social media shares, request more info forms, reviews Q&A, calendar block out dates,  and a break down of pricing – combines total, but ability to see details of charges.

The booking page is optimized with the ability to add on add-ons at the checkout.

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Ranked #5- OregonBeachVacations.com

Oregon Beach Vacations came in at 5th place. The header is decorated with a beautiful enticing picture of the local area. We made it easy to help the consumers refine their search to find the right set of homes with the property detail page. It includes the sticky availability search & custom calendar to select availability

 

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In addition, the search results were refined to include urgency features, to let the consumers know how popular the property is, and the percentage of properties already booked. We also made it easy for the consumers to see the ratings of their destinations and the overall reviews of the company

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Vacation rental agencies choose us, because we create websites that both impress and boost your presence with the industry, all while working within various budgets. We will take care of all the details—customer service is what we do best—so you can focus on your organization—what you do best. We design your website to be responsive and mobile. We have a team that keeps up with the latest industry news, so you don’t have to!

InterCoastal Net Designs set the design standard for vacation realty websites. Our commitment to excellence in design and usability, keeps us at the top of our industry and a step ahead of our competitors. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn about building a custom website for your company.

 

 

We are headed to the Streamline Summit!

 

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We are excited to say that some of the ICND crew will be headed to the Streamline Summit starting September 28th – 30th. Like always we will be discussing trending topics in the website development and digital marketing world. We will also be highlighting some of our business automation tools that help streamline process and improve profitability.

 

Overall, we are so excited to give back to the industry and to help others achieve their business goals. We will see you at the Summit!

InterCoastal Net Designs Offers Part II for VRMA [Webinar]

 

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Last April, InterCoastal Net Designs was offered a speaking engagement at VRMA Eastern Regional Seminars in Atlanta, GA. Our very own, April Burns, delightfully informed attendees, the tricks of the Facebook trade when it comes to increasing engagement. The reception was overwhelming.  Many learned important caveats about the role social media plays in their business. And here’s the best part: They asked us to do it again.

Tune-in on Thursday, August 25 to the VRMA webinar “Get More Engagement Through Social Media With Your Team – Part II”. Starring April Burns and ICND social media specialist, Dan Sever, for an informative and fun outline of what your business can do to increase web traffic through social outlets. Starting at 1PM EST, this one hour session will cover:

  • Social Analytics
  • Attracting more potential guests
  • Reputation management
  • Facebook Ads

Back with brand new “April’s Action Items”, attendees can expect more key takeaways to help boost their online conversions. To register for this webinar, Visit Here

Facebook Live : Successful Business Tactics

 

 

Facebook Live

 

Are you looking to improve your social media engagement? Live streaming may be your key. Last year, apps like snapchat and periscope grew in rapid popularity. Other brands started to jump on the live streaming bandwagon. Facebook has now integrated this feature. You can integrate this into your vacation rental marketing plan and stay ahead of your competition.

Facebook lets you broadcast in real time. You don’t need fancy equipment, no hours of editing the material, and the live video option is built right into Facebook. The need for extra apps is gone. Just open the Facebook home page of your Profile or Page, click on the “status” button at the top, and choose the Live video icon.

Live streaming is all about connecting and interacting with your audience. It creates a personal presence that traditional videos don’t convey. It gives your customers a behind the scenes look on how beautiful your properties are and the amenities that make your properties special. You can tease your customers with how beautiful the weather is, or new properties that will be available to rent soon.

Customer service is an integral part of any business. Chances are, you get emailed and asked the same questions over and over. It is very important to answer every single question, even if it has been repeated several times.
For example, you can live stream a FAQ session. When you are finished it creates an archive that you can share with your customers and customer service team alike, so everyone is on the same page.

Below, are some tips of how you can utilize Facebook Live:

•Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time.Show the fans what they are missing by showcasing the scenic aspects of your area.

•Poll the audience : ask them what they like about your company and what you can improve upon. This is your chance to assess your strengths and weaknesses
•Asks viewers to subscribe to live notifications

•Say hello to commenters! Respond to their comments live!

•Share a success story

With Facebook live, you have the potential to reach everyone who follows you on Facebook. Give your customers the live experience, and show them who you really are! You can instantly respond to their comments, and see their reactions.

RezFest 2015, Come See ICND in Las Vegas

 

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In just a few short weeks, ICND will be heading to Red Rock, Las Vegas for the RezFest 2015  conference, held by HomeAway®.  As a HomeAway® approved web developer that has integrated with their  software for over 10 years, we’re excited to get the chance to participate as a Gold Sponsor.  Our team will be giving a presentation on Website Conversion tips and tricks as well as a lunch round table engagement concerning things you should take into consideration when you’re looking to update your website.

Website Conversion Rate Optimization – Turning Lookers into Bookers

On Wednesday October 7th, at 2:30pm come get to know the ICND team. You’ll leave the 30-minute presentation with a wealth of knowledge concerning Website Conversion Rate Optimization and Usability. For this session, we will review and pinpoint real world examples of components and features in a website that can help turn more viewers into guests and book more rentals. Website usability can greatly impact your website’s conversion rates. With the newfound knowledge you’ll take away from our session, you can begin making a true difference to your website’s conversion funnel immediately.

  • Find out what key components leads to the best conversion rates
  • Learn how to improve guest experience through the use of our Guest Portal
  • Keep track of leads and their search habits through our Lead Tracker
  • Respond to every lead automatically (even when you’re sleeping) with our OTA Auto Responder

Check out the RezFest website to sign up and save this event to your schedule.

ICND: Boost Revenue with These Website Redesign Tips & Discussion 

| Table 34 | Discussion Led By Brandon Sauls

Whether you are new comer or long-time user to HomeAway Software, there are certain ways you need your website to perform and interact with your API. ICND will lead an interactive Q&A to help you understand what both the API and custom programming can do in order for you to bring your business rules and marketing online. You ask questions and we’ll provide our experience and best practices. We’ll provide a take-home-guide of the “Top 10 Most Important Tips” to consider when building your website and integrating with a HomeAway®API.

Everyone is welcome, no matter if you are a long-time customer of Escapia and looking to upgrade your site, upgrading from Property Plus to v12, or a brand-new HomeAway®customer, you will get to know what the API is, what it can do, and the best practices for integrating. We’ll discuss promo codes, offering flexible dates (in search), most popular amenities, and what to use for quick search versus refined search.  We will also talk about dynamic pricing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), property enhancement, travel-insurance, bundling fees, and so much more.

If you are considering a new site, just launched, or are in the midst of rebuilding – you simply have to join us in this open, round-table discussion.

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Periscope for Vacation Rental Managers

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Periscope is the newest addition to the property manager’s tool bag. Use Twitter’s new live streaming app to market your properties instantly. Personalized videos increase the visibility of available rentals and allow you to connect with vacationers around the world.

By combining the power of social networking and the advantages of video marketing, Periscope offers a new way for you to grow your management business without investing capital. In fact, the app is free. You can download it now and start streaming live videos using any Android device or Apple iOS product. Highlight your entire rental portfolio or a preferred property that’s new or under rented.

Periscope was introduced in March 2015, so you can be an early adopter and achieve greater success during this vacation season. Video streaming is the newest way to rent more units, increase the visibility of available properties and reach your target audience wherever it is. If you’re ready to harness the power of21st century technology and grow your vacation rental business, here a few marketing ideas to get you started.

Four Ideas for Using Periscope

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1. Marketing New Properties

With Periscope, you can show your Twitter followers new listings as soon as they hit your desk. You can market the property during a live tour and follow that up with a second video that highlights the amenities, surroundings and local neighborhood. Live videos create a competitive environment where vacationers are motivated to rent new properties quickly. Increased demand can boost rental income.

2. Giving Private Tours

Whether you have clients in Omaha or Osaka, you can showcase any local property instantly with a private Periscope video. Recipients don’t need the Periscope app because public and private streams can be viewed via Twitter. Videos can be streamed instantly or replayed within 24 hours even if your client is halfway around the world. You can walk, talk, record and stream at the same time. You can also interact with viewers and respond to questions or comments.

 

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3. Boosting Rental Performance and Revenue

The ability to reach your target audience wherever and whenever is a great skill. When a property is going unrented during tricky end-of-season or off-season dates, this advantage is priceless. Periscope makes it easy for property managers and real estate agents to promote special offers, short-notice deals and individual properties. If a renter backs out at the last minute or if you need to fill a slow weekend, Periscope can help you connect with the ideal renter.

4. Simplifying Schedules and Keeping Clients Happy

It’s never been this easy to connect with vacationers and property owners at the same time while keeping folks on both sides of the rental equation happy. Renters can view virtual tours and find the ideal property quickly. If a property is fully booked for the season, you can let everyone know with a short comment. On the other hand, you can keep clients current on rental details and inventory availability. Open lines of communication increase client satisfaction and can earn you valuable word-of-mouth referrals.

Maximizing the capabilities of a free app is the definition of creative marketing. Unleash your originality, and release your resourcefulness. To get your vacation properties seen by more renters, start Scoping today.

Padre Getaways Redesigns Vacation Rental Website

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Hello, South Padre Island.

Padre Getaways, based in sunny South Padre Island, TX, recently launched a redesigned website with team ICND. Integrating with RMS, we were able to seamlessly integrate their property management software into our new booking engine platform. Padre has also opted for our LeadTracker software, a critical element to running their leads through a trusted software system that gets more bookings. Before, Padre Getaways offered limited ability to book online, but with their new integration in place, you now can effortlessly book Padre Getaway’s full inventory of vacation rentals. With our SEO team working with the team at Padre Getaways, we’re eager to see amazing results from their organic traffic and pay per click budgets too.

We met up with Padre Getaways at VRMA Annual in San Diego late last year, and we were thrilled to meet their needs on the latest website design. With great new design elements like a new featured property widget on the homepage, an image-heavy design that emphasizes great photography and a conversion centric design, Padre Getaways is looking forward to finishing their summer strong.

Would you like to learn more about our vacation rental website designs? Contact us today to get a free quote on our website designs that’ll get you looking just as good as Padre Getaways.

Beachwalker Rentals Launches A Redesigned Website & Booking Engine

Beachwalker Rentals   Kiawah Island Vacation Rentals and Seabrook Island Vacation Rentals

We here at Intercoastal Net Designs want to thank everyone who was involved with the successful launch of Beachwalker Rentals! Along the way we were able to develop some new methods for our custom-built booking engine, based on Beachwalkers’ complex rate rules requirements. When working with us on a custom vacation rental website, we’re able to tackle complex rate requirements and give you exactly what you’re looking for. We added some nice CMS features for our base CMS product, as well as an expanded promo and specials capabilities for the front end that provide an amazing user experience.

For over thirty years, Beachwalker Rentals has provided families and groups with memorable vacation rentals throughout Kiawah Island. With a brand new website, Beachwalker Rentals continues to make strides within the vacation market in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

We’re excited to see the reactions of the guests of Beachwalker when they enter the newly redesigned website. If you’re looking for your own vacation rental website experience, contact us today.

Booe Realty Launches Redesigned Website

Plenty has changed here, for the better, at ICND this quarter. As we’ve been busily creating and launching several websites, our team has been hard at work creating new custom modules for vacation rental firms. One of the newest sites in which we’ve utilized this customization was Booe Realty. Continue reading “Booe Realty Launches Redesigned Website”