It’s amazing how the vacation rental industry has become so dependent on online travel agencies. There’s nothing wrong with OTA’s but let’s face it, it results in extra
It’s no surprise that 2021 was a spectacular
I’ve seen it more than I like. It eats at me. Annoys me. It even makes me internally “eye roll”. But yet, the dark cloud surrounding SEO triggers fear in website owners, especially
One of the most common questions from companies in the vacation rental space I get asked time and time again is in regard to blogs. How should they be written? What’s standard practice? How many should
You can call us “techy”, or maybe even “nerdy” or “geeky”, but any way you slice it, we have digital marketing inside jokes that really only make sense to us marketers.
Your Google My Business posts will now be featured in local search results- if you have any.
As more and more users are choosing to use their phones for basic browsing instead of a traditional computer, mobile SERPs (search engine result pages) are more important than ever. That’s why so many successful businesses hire a digital marketing company that understands Google’s ever-changing ranking algorithm.
Google My Business allows business owners to determine how, or if, their business is displayed in Google Maps, Knowledge Graphs and Organic Search. There’s also an option for business owners to create posts and share information about their business.
The four main types of posts are:
- What’s new posts A post regarding general information about your company that can include a photo/video link and a CTA button.
- Event posts – These posts require a title as well as a start/end date and time. These posts can also include a photo/video, CTA button, and other information.
- Offer posts – Allow business owners to share deals or promotions offered by their business. These posts automatically have a “view offer” CTA button added to them, but may also include a photo/video, terms and conditions, coupon codes, links and more.
- Product posts – Share details about a specific product offered by your business. These posts must include a title and photo/video, but can also include a CTA button and other information.
=&1=& Posts can be up to 1,500 characters, but Google says that the ideal length is 150-300 characters. So keep it simple!
For more information about Google My Business Posts, check out the official Google guide.
It’s important to note that the Post tab only displays on mobile searches at the time of writing this post. Here is the desktop result for the same search as above:
Will creating Posts help me rank better?
It’s tough to know for sure. According to a Search Engine Land case study from 2017, Google My Business Posts are “low-impact, low-effort tasks” that are best utilized when combined “with other tasks to help improve Local SEO for a small business.”
The same study showed that Google My Business Posts had a “mild” impact on rankings. Now that Google is putting more attention on Posts, they could play a larger role in the future.
As email marketing professionals, we know the value of a great active list to send to. After all, if you’re not collecting new email addresses, then how are you growing your email database over time?
At ICND, we’ve spent lots of time working on the tactical part of email marketing messages: what’s the best time to send, what segment do we send the message to and what do we include to generate the most clicks? But, at the end of the day, email lists with more members get more clicks.
In short, bigger (lists) are always better (for your traffic and bookings).
With that in mind, we set out to help a client reach their email marketing goals — encourage more bookings, drive action and get more traffic to their website. At first, we added our typical email strategy: tracking capture points, optimizing copy and CTAs and creating urgency to sign up for this client’s newsletter.
It worked — we were gaining new email addresses but sadly also losing email addresses too. For every few emails we added to the list, one may unsubscribe during the next marketing message we sent.
Let me be honest — the list growth for this client was fairly stagnant.
Armed with this information, we set out to help grow their list with a plan designed to garner more attention, signups and results.
Enter The Email Popup Modal
If you’ve been on any e-commerce website or blog over the past few years, you’ve probably seen the trend of email popups dominating your screen. Large, in your face modals are all the rage. As we’ve learned, there is a good reason for that: They work.
In Spring of 2015, we added a popup modal for our client located in a popular beach destination along the South Carolina coast. The popup modal didn’t just come up on first page load but instead had a careful set of rules set before it would show to the potential guest.
- The modal only shows after the guest has viewed three pages
However, there are other low volume, low competition keywords that you should want to rank well for within Google and Bing. Those keywords being: Your Property Name.
If you brand your properties with short, easy to remember names, you’ll want to make sure you capture anyone who’s looking for that rental in Google. For example, the Flamingo House in Holden Beach is rented by Brunswickland Realty. This house is unique in its design and color and generates a fair amount of people looking specifically to stay in it during the busy booking season.
When searching in Google for this, your guest may use the house name followed by the area like so: “Flamingo House Holden Beach”. Here, Brunswickland Realty is doing a great job! The URL for the property ranks at the top of the page with organic search, Google has generated a Knowledge Graph snippet for the query and is showing reviews and business information.
How To Outrank The Big Listing Sites
The primary reason that you want your property pages to rank well in Google Search is to not bleed branded traffic into the big listing websites. If a guest is searching for your homes, don’t let them get distracted! If you’re not careful, you can find your searches for rental properties that you manage falling into the large web traffic bucket that is VRBO/HomeAway/Flipkey/Airbnb.
Why is this a big deal? Well, while the big listing sites can drive you a lot of traffic and bookings, they also aren’t always looking out for your best interests. Getting a potential guest onto VRBO.com for your area means that you’re now competing with dozens of other properties, managers and price points. Simply put, it is also easy for your guests to leave the property listing and get distracted and book elsewhere. With changes coming in 2016, your guest isn’t served well either (traveler fee, anyone?).
To best outrank big listing website, keep the following tips in mind when designing your website layout:
Best Practices For URLs
Ideally, you want short URLs that show the name of the property in the “slug” portion of the URL. Let’s look at a few examples. In some recent website launches, we’ve also tweaked some of our URLs to include the area, view or neighborhood in the URL as well. On larger websites (think: 250+ properties), this is a solid option to organize your property pages in a logical fashion.
Create SEO-Friendly Title Tags
Next up is the most important on-page SEO factor: title tags. Simply put, title tags are the most important element that we can work on from the SEO end to help improve rankings for these property pages.
Typically all of our title tags for property pages are generated based on the name of the rental business, the format the client wants to see in search results and the property name. It’s usually a formula of all three elements that allows for us to setup this title tag templates.
For three days, we took the stage, vendor showcase (and some bars too) to have the most fun and education possible. I think it’s safe to say that everything we set out to do was accomplished.
Representing our team at VRMA was President Brandon Sauls, Sales Director Vanessa Humes, Sales Rep April Burns and yours truly (Conrad O’Connell, Director Of Digital Marketing). Arriving on Saturday, we were able to carve out some time to get our booth setup dialed in before the rush.
Let’s face it, there’s one word we’re all sick and tired of hearing:
Mobile, mobile, mobile.
It’s a topic we haven’t been able to get away from since responsive web design came back in vogue a few years ago.
Well, today I’m here to tell you that responsive design is great — but it’s a foregone conclusion nowadays that your website is mobile-friendly. As your guests become increasingly mobile-savvy, they’re booking more and more with their mobile phones – making the following studies incredibly pertinent to your business, now and into the future.
Let’s dig into the data.