The vacation rental business isn’t just about owning a property; it’s about building relationships with visitors. While hosts are looking for guests they can trust with their home, travelers themselves are looking for owners that they can confide in with their precious time, family and memories during their vacation.
They need to see signs that you’re invested in them and in their guest experience. They want to see proof that you care about them, that you’re there to help them, that there is a real human behind the booking forms and confirmation emails.
That’s why a blog is a great way to show the more “human” side of your business and really connect on a personal level.
Not only can vacation rental owners use a blog as a resource for their guests to learn about the area, but it can also help their website show up first in Google and give you something to post about on social media!
Check out the seven reasons why your vacation rental website needs a blog.
1. SHOW YOUR EXPERTISE AND BUILD AUTHORITY
You can use a blog to prove to the world that you’re not just another vacation rental on the market. Think of it as the top resource you can give potential guests so they can learn about the area and what they can do, see, eat and visit. You can also provide tips and tricks for travel, plus any extra information about your rental, giving guests all the information they need for an excellent vacation.
Your blog can become the go-to guide for people traveling to your area. And considering you know the place you’re writing about, it might be a whole lot easier than you think!
Think of the information you look for when you go on vacation. Know the best restaurants in the area? How to get to the theme parks and avoid traffic? The best places to go in the area with kids? Or with seniors? Or the coolest hiking trails in the area? Blog about it!
Use your blog to provide guests with more in-depth information about the area that they wouldn’t normally get from just browsing online, and you’ll soon become the voice of authority on what’s good in your area.
2. GAUGE INTEREST AND RECEIVE SHARES
By maintaining a blog, you give your readers and potential bookers an opportunity to share what they read with a friend. Writing funny, helpful, or entertaining articles on your blog that people will want to share with their friends is just another marketing tool for you! It’s a great way to increase your chances of people seeing your website when your readers engage with your content and pass it on to the rest of their network.
You can also share your blogs on your social media sites, such as posting it on Facebook and inserting links to your blogs your Instagram photos. It’s a great way to market your vacation rental and it will give you more exposure.
3. ANSWER FAQS
Interested guests often ask the same questions about a rental and its area. So while you’re able to answer these questions by email, you can always point them onto reading more in-depth information on your blog. Think of all the questions guests normally ask you and answer them, such as:
- Where are the nearest stores?
- What to do when it rains in the area?
- Where to find a good bakery?
Having a FAQ section will save you time in explaining the same things over again to every inquirer. It will help guests too, as they’ll know where to look first if they have a question about the rental before calling you.
4. KEEP GUESTS UP TO DATE
It’s vital that you update your blog regularly. Not only can guests use your blog to find out the latest about your rental, but it can also be a good indicator of who you are as a host too.
Update your blog according to the time of year and season. For example, if it’s winter, tailor your blog around winter activities to do in the area. Give examples of where to visit Christmas markets, where to go ice skating and sledding, and of course, where to see Santa.
For New Years Eve, you can create another blog and mention all the best places to go out for the night. Be sure to include different places catered to each person, such as a lively bar for a party night or a place for a quieter evening.
You can even publish a calendar of local events throughout the whole year, which will showcase your expertise and professionalism.
Guests who check out your blog and then notice that the last post was written years ago won’t be too impressed. Having an active blog, however, shows that your website is alive and well, working properly and is well-maintained.Producing high-quality content on a regular basis shows guests that you are and you are committed to the business.
5. GENERATE MORE BOOKINGS
According to HubSpot, the more pages a site has, the more leads it gets. Therefore the more you blog, the easier it is to up your page volume, and naturally, the more chances you will have to generate bookings.
Having a regularly updated blog increases your chances of potential guests seeing your content, which can encourage them to get in touch to ask questions, comment or send emails directly. This can eventually lead you to take more bookings for your vacation rental!
Convert bookers into lookers
6. BOOST YOUR WEBSITE’S SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a big deal when getting people to find your website, but a very easy way you can optimize your site is through having a blog.
When you have a blog, you have the chance to write about topics (or keywords) that you know your audience will be searching for online. Knowing how to optimize your blog effectively for SEO is one of the best ways to get traffic coming to your website.
Google loves fresh, relevant content, so if you have a blog and are constantly adding to it with new keywords, it will indicate to Google what your site’s focus is and increase visits from related search terms.
7. Free Advertisement
If your rental is already listed on multiple OTAs, you are aware of the additional fees you are paying for. Essentially, what’s included in these fees is the marketing the OTAs do in promoting your rental.
Whereas maintaining a blog is just another way of improving visibility and advertising your vacation rental for free. There are no additional costs in your creativity!
By having multiple blogs on different subjects, you’ll receive greater publicity. It’s a good idea to separate blogs by categories. You can start with a general introduction, with the category “about us” in which mention the history behind your home and what made you decide to share it with other people. Perhaps it’s a family-run business?
Then you can add categories such as on FAQ, things to do in the area (including by season), a calendar of local events, places to eat, more information about the rental, etc.
WHAT TO TAKE AWAY
Let your guests get to know you, connect with them on a personal level and grab their attention. Visitors will have more confidence and know that if they reserve your vacation rental, they’ll be in good hands.
People always search for stuff online, so pick a topic related to your rental or search for one online. E.g. “6 Romantic Restaurants in Chicago” or “8 Ways To Stay Cool in Orlando This Summer”, then just write about what you know! Potential guests love to read from a local’s point of view. It doesn’t have to move people to tears or win awards! Just make it useful and relevant for travelers.
Having a blog on your vacation rental website will give you more exposure overall. Don’t forget to update it regularly and to post new content. Bookings won’t suddenly happen overnight. Stay patient and allow plenty of time for reservations to come in.