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7 Tips for Making Vacation Rental Website First Impressions Count

The homepage on your vacation rental website often provides web visitors with their all-important first impression of your rental property business. According to a Missouri University of Science and Technology study that used eye-tracking software, it takes just 2.6 seconds for a person's eyes to focus on a specific element of the web page.

"We know first impressions are very important," said Hong Sheng, an assistant professor of business and information technology at Missouri S&T. "As more people use the Internet to search for information, a user's first impressions of a website can determine whether he or she forms a favorable or unfavorable view of that organization."

To back up that claim, a survey by found that 58 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a business if their website expectations are met. Further, the study showed that approximately 60 percent would likely: check out the business' website and social media to find out more about the business; recommend the business to family and friends; visit the physical store or office; and learn what other customers have to say about the business.

7 Tips for Making Vacation Rental Website First Impressions Count

Beautiful, optimized and responsive website designs integrate with Kigo property management software.

How to Make Your Vacation Rental Website Attract Visitors

How can you make your vacation property website a go-to destination? Here are some tips that will enhance your marketing efforts to best effect:

1) Make it speedy

A research study conducted by Microsoft showed that, thanks to technology, humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. No one likes slow pages. Online travel booking customers have little patience and hundreds of other website booking options, so make sure your site stands out with fast loading content they enjoy using. Beyond fast loading pages, website visitors also need to quickly find the vacation suites you offer from the homepage without any distracting subpages, complicated menus or boring lists.

2) Make it eye-catching

A HubSpot Web Designers Blog article stated, "Our brains process imagery 60,000 times faster than we do words. When we see something, we immediately generate some sort of emotion or response, a response that is formulated quicker with graphics. This is why it is so vitally important for any website owner to dedicate the necessary time and effort to present the best first impression they possibly can."

The article also explains that photos trigger emotion much more than text and that our decisions to buy are swayed by the emotion evoked. So vacation rental managers should use photos not just of rooms and beds but the property and area to help trigger the feeling of happiness and of the freedom felt when escaping from a boring routine.

3) Put your best foot forward

As you are designing a website that converts, understand that people generally process a website in a "Z" style pattern.

Your most desirable properties should be prominently displayed on your site near the top of the webpage. Consider carefully the way you position less desirable properties to maximize their potential as well.

4) Provide easy navigation.

Web viewers have little interest in muddling around on your site to find important information. Make it obvious where such information can be found. Ease of navigation encourages visitors to stay and explore for a bit, increasing the likelihood of converting to a renter.

5) Make availability calendars inviting

7 Tips for Making Vacation Rental Website First Impressions Count

Kigo's availability calendars are easy to see and easy to use.

While you might imagine that your availability calendar is a fairly straight-forward design decision, there are actually a number of ways to use it to encourage interaction. For example, the color, font, and positioning of your availability calendar can impact how many viewers actually book with you.

6) Display contact information prominently

Though an increasing number of bookings take place completely online, there are still a number of guests who prefer to receive information via more personal means, such as by phone or email. Providing contact information for your properties encourages guests to reach out with additional questions or to book over the phone.

7 Tips for Making Vacation Rental Website First Impressions Count

Responsive design of vacation rental websites ensures a good user experience from all devices.

7) Make your vacation rental website responsive

Take full advantage of the growing customer trend of mobile device usage to make your website a go-to destination. Responsive design ensures that visitors will have a great user experience regardless of what device they use to access your site. Kigo website templates are built for mobile with responsive design!

The Bottom Line

Your vacation rental website is one of the best tools in your property marketing kit. Use it wisely by ensuring that the design is appealing, engaging, and optimized to produce the best results. Include high-quality visuals, fast-loading pages, easy navigation, and responsive design to wow your audience and prompt them to interact with your site.

Mastering the details of web design is not a simple task. The good news is, Kigo can help. We can provide gorgeous vacation rental websites that will perform well and help your business grow. Our high-converting, mobile responsive sites integrate seamlessly with our vacation rental booking and management software. This is a great way to take your vacation rental business to new levels of success.

From marketing to branding, your website plays a key role in your business. For even more helpful information, download our ebook: Creative Marketing Tips for Vacation Rental Owners.


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