There are millions of listings across thousands of portals all over the world, from small, location-based niches to the mammoths like Booking.com and HomeAway. And this plethora of options is a great thing for the vacation rental industry; these huge volumes are what keep customers coming back to these sites and making bookings on your properties. But in among all this noise, how do your portal listings stand out from the crowd? Everyone is jostling for top spot, or to be more visible, but how do you stand out from the completion on portal sites?
We’ve come up with a few suggestions….
Make sure your title is not packed with generic superlatives
Scan many portals and you will find hundreds of “Charming” townhouses or “Victorian” abodes, but these generic descriptions, while reading very nicely and looking good, will not get you noticed. It’s a far better strategy to focus on one primary element that makes your vacation rental unique, like a stunning view, or a secluded, suntrap garden, than simply to highlight what everyone else is highlighting. Your properties may be far better than the competition, but unless you can drive consumers to click-through and see that for themselves, they will not realize. Putting a unique Listing Title will really help you to do this.
Choose a lead image wisely
So many great listings are spoiled by a weak lead image. It’s the first point of contact for a customer; it will be the greatest driver of click throughs to the listing and is one of the major denominators that travelers will use to differentiate your properties from the competition. But choose wisely; make sure it really is the best feature. Many listings opt for a shot of the bedroom, but again, this is a popular choice so it won’t get you noticed, unless it has a really special feature. Opt for a garden or lounge with a view, anything that really brings your vacation rental into the customers’ focus.
Reviews on your portal listings
We talk about this a lot on the Kigo Blog, but once again reviews mean bookings. Portal sites are a really easy place to harvest review content from your previous guests, while harnessing the huge power of TripAdvisor through a listing with Flipkey or Holiday Lettings is a really good idea to get more reviews for your vacation rental site. But almost every portal site has the option for reviews to be left, so it’s important for you to drive previous happy guests to leave their feedback. Many portals will also allow you to add reviews from your site to the corresponding listing, and this is also a great way to drive more portal bookings.
If the portal offers the option to have your listing in multiple languages, accept it of course. But find someone through a service like Elance to do the translation properly, make sure that the correct terms are used and the dialect is appropriate, it will really help to boost conversion if the customer doesn’t have to try to decipher a listing in a mangled version of their native language. You can find out more about the value of translations here.
So here are just some suggestions for ways to stand out from the crowded marketplace of portal listings. Portals are a great way to access millions of new customers and to keep in-line with the competition. Just make sure that you follow these tips and stand out from them! If you are looking to work more closely with portals, our channel manager solution will help you save time and money on your portal connections. You can reach us at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030