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Vacation Rental Website SEO: 5 Proven Tips to Boost Your Ranking

As the world begins to open back up from COVID-19 pandemic closures, it’s an exciting time for those who own vacation rental properties. People are itching to get away for a while, which is why experts predict that vacation rental revenue will grow by 19.3% in 2021, reaching more than $15 billion. The way to get your site ranking higher is through SEO. Here are five key vacation rental website SEO tips for you.

Here’s another figure that should get vacation rental owners excited: 79% of vacation rental sales are expected to take place online by 2025.

Vacation Rental Website SEO

Why does that matter? Because you can use your vacation rental website to get a piece of the growing revenue pie. However, actually generating sales with your website takes some work. 

Your site needs to rank well in search engines if you hope to attract new business.

There’s no better time than now to get started. 

1. Target the Right Keywords

Like SEO for all kinds of businesses, vacation rental SEO starts with keywords. These are the words you want your site to rank for, meaning your site appears at the top of the results when someone types them into Google.

Most website owners have a basic understanding of keywords and how they fit into SEO, but you might be surprised to find out how many vacation rental websites are targeting the wrong keywords. It’s a balancing act: you need to target keywords that could generate new business, but these keywords need to be attainable ranking goals.

When you’re competing with Expedia, Airbnb and similar travel giants with massive, authoritative websites, you have relatively little chance of outranking them for “vacation rentals” or a similarly large and generic keyword. So, where can you beat them? Try localizing.

If you own a vacation rental that has a stunning view of Lake Superior, for example, try identifying keywords that are specific to your particular offering. That might be something like, “Lake Superior vacation rentals” or, “lakefront cabins on Lake Superior.”

2. Revamp Your Meta Titles and Descriptions

If you’re not already familiar with meta titles and descriptions, you are missing a big opportunity to improve both your SEO and click-through rate from search engines. These are the titles and descriptions that appear for each result on search engine results pages.

Many vacation rental sites will structure their meta titles like this automatically: “[Page Title | [Name of Vacation Rental Brand].” That is decent, but don’t you think it could be more exciting? It certainly could be, so make it a little more descriptive of the value your vacation rental offers. 

Here’s where the SEO part comes in: make sure your keyword is included in your meta title. The same rules apply to your meta descriptions: include your keyword, and give readers a reason to click your site in the search results.

Google reads both meta titles and descriptions, and when your target keywords are in those fields, you can get a nice boost to your SEO efforts. 

Internal linking is probably the most undervalued SEO factor in the vacation rental industry. Most site owners would like to build their websites, create content and be done, but that’s not how you get ahead in a competitive field like this. 

You can give yourself an edge by paying attention to your internal linking. These are non-menu links in your content that point to other pages on your site. Part of the way Google understands which pages on your site are important (and therefore worthy of ranking well) is by “reading” internal links.

With that in mind, every new blog post you publish should have a couple of internal links that point to the most important pages on your site: your homepage, listings and contact page. But make sure your links always make sense to readers, and choose appropriate anchor text

4. Review Your Heading Tags

Every piece of content you publish on your vacation rental site should contain heading tags (H-tags). These are basically section headings, but search engines give them extra importance. What’s in your H-tags will help determine which keywords your content will rank for.

You should only have one H1 per page. Consider this the title of the content. You can have as many H2s, H3s, H4s, H5s and H6s as you like, as long as they are appropriate for the subject matter and are nested under each other in descending order. H2s should be under H1s, H3s should be under H2s and so on.

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Backlinks are links on other sites that point to your vacation rental website. Having these links can improve traffic to your site, but the main SEO benefit actually comes from Google seeing these links. That’s because Google thinks of backlinks kind of like votes for your site. If other sites are linking to yours, your site must be pretty good.

Getting backlinks can be difficult. First, you have to find reputable, authoritative sites related to travel or your specific location. Then, you have to convince them to link to your site.

One common method is guest posting. This is the process of writing an article that will be published on another site. You include a link to your website, and the owner of the other site leaves the link in the content to thank you for your contribution. Vacation rental owners have a lot of opportunities to do this. There are tons of travel sites out there, and you are a local expert on travel in your area. You can write about things to do in your area, travel concerns or any topic related to your area of expertise.

Better Search Engine Ranking = Better Business

The formula is simple: if you adopt best practices and improve your vacation rental website, business will follow. SEO marks the door, motivating people to get off at your site as they’re surfing the web. As more people are looking to get away, improving SEO is the best way for your business to be their first choice.

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