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Creating Vacation Rental Listings and Websites to Market Vacation Rental Homes Online

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In part one ( Tips on How to Market Vacation Rental Homes Online ) we talked about the basics of how to market your Vacation Rental Home.
In this article you will find more details on how to create your own website and Vacation Rental Listing to successfully market your Vacation Property.

When you create your Vacation Rental listing, focus on quality photos and detailed descriptionMeta tags, keywords and title are also very important.

Most of the time, when adding a listing to Vacation Rental Directory site, you do not have control over the Meta Tags and Keywords (all explained below) of your listing page. 
However, you should know that when you list your Vacation Rental Property on VR Referrals, you CAN set your own Meta Tags and description on your Vacation Rental listing page.

Great thing about having your own website is that you are in total control of it.  But "having" a website is not enough, you still need travelers to find it!

So how do you build a website that others can find?
You can always hire someone to do it for you.  However, it is not that hard to do this yourself!  Also, even if someone builds your website, most of the time you will be the one who maintains it, adds more pictures or information to it, etc.
This article will cover tips on how to market your Vacation Rental Home online without hiring anyone.

If you are building your own site, and don’t know much about designing websites, you can find a free template for your website to choose from.  Do a quick search for “Free Website Templates” on Google (or other search engines) and choose one that fits your needs.
Now that you have a template, and are ready to create your website, here are some tips on how to build a successful Vacation Rental Website to market your Vacation Rental propertySame tips apply to both, Vacation Rental listing on directory sites and your own website.

Quality Photos
Pictures sell.  Always include quality photos of your property on your website or listing.    Photos should be clear, accurate and up to date.  Take some time with your photos.  They should not be blurry.  Take a double look at them to see if everything looks neat and clean.  No one wants to look at a living room photo that has clothes and magazines laying around
Consider adding photos of the outside view of your Vacation Rental Home taken in different seasons.  For example, if you offer rentals year round, add photos of how your Vacation Rental Home looks not just in the Summer, but also in the Spring, Winter and Fall.  This helps your potential renters envision what to expect when they get there.  It would also help to avoid travelers contacting you just to ask if you rent in the winter, because the only outside photo that you feature was taken in the summer.

- Videos featuring your Vacation Rental Property.
If you have a video featuring your Vacation Rental Home, add it to your website or your listing.  VR Referrals allows members to add unlimited number of videos to their directory listing.  Simply add the URL of your video from any website when editing your page.  Add as many videos as you'd like!!  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is a worth a million!

Keywords, Meta Tags and Titles for your website pages or Vacation Rental listings
If you do now know how to add keyword or Meta Tags, do a quick search on Google (or any search engine) and read few articles about good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices and "How to add Meta Tags to your Website". 
SEO plays a very important part of having a successful Vacation Rental Website or Listing for your property, and it's not hard to learn.  We will not get into too many details here, as you can find many useful articles just by performing a quick search.  However, we would like to cover some basics and add that it is important to "NOT overdue it".
Few basic do's and don'ts:
Do NOT add tons of keywords, do NOT repeat same keywords in Meta Tags on the same page, as this will only lower your search rank in the search engines.
Do add keywords such as "Vacation Rental", or/and "Vacation Rental Home".  Do add keywords that relate to your location, such as "Vacation Rental in Orlando" or "Luxury Poconos Cabin" etc.

- Titles of your pages (or your Vacation Rental Listing) are very important as well. 
Titles should include keywords and location.  Title should not be very long.  In general, it should be a short, few words sentence (or 2, if they are very shot).  For Example: “Cozy Vacation Rental in Orlando Florida.  Affordable getaway”.  Again, short, to the point, but filled with Keywords.

Detailed Description with plenty of Keywords relating to your Vacation Rental and it's specific location.
When writing about your rental, do include in description Keywords that you added to your Meta Tags.  Use them more than few times.  For example "Our Vacation Rental in Orlando Florida offers …” or "If you are looking for a Luxury cabin in the Poconos..." etc.
Honest description.  Always tell the truth about your property. Misrepresenting your Vacation Rental home will only lead to angry guests. You should be very clear as to what your Vacation Rental Home has to offer.  This way the renters are not surprised (in a negative way) when they get there.  Try to cover anything that you can think of to describe in details "what is" and "what is not" offered with your rental.  Not only will this help you avoid getting unnecessary phone calls or emails with questions that could have been explained on your website (or listing page), but it will also help you in case you run into unhappy guests.
We recommend that you have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page on your website.  This page should have typical questions and short answers to them.
Sit back and think from the potential guests perspective… what would be useful to add to the description or FAQ page?
With time, as you rent your Vacation Rental Home, you will keep adding more to your description and FAQ page as visitors will keep asking questions that were not covered or not clear to them.
When creating your Vacation Rental listing or website, let’s not forget that you should use standard capitalization. Do not use all capital letters for titles or description. In Internet etiquette, this is the equivalent of shouting. Potential guests do not want to be "yelled at" before they even contact you.

- Add a link to your Vacation Rental Listing on your website.  Also, if the Vacation Rental Directory site that you have your listing on allows it, add a link on your listing page to your website.  This will help search engines find your Vacation Home on both (your website and your listings).

- Consider changing your description a bit on your listings (or website)
Search engines don't like duplicate content.  Include all that's important about your Vacation Rental Home on your listings, but try to write it again, or put it in different words, instead of just simply copy/pasting your description from your website.

- Invite your prior guests to leave a review on your Vacation Rental Listing
Believe it or not, travelers do read reviews.  Some are more interested in them than others, but in general reviews from prior guests add trust in a view of potential new renters.  According to TripAdvisor nearly 80% of travelers say they are significantly more likely to book a property if they can read reviews from past guests.
If you have reviews only on your website, unless they point to actual reviews on a Vacation Rental Directory site, they might not mean too much to the visitors.  This is because website visitors know that you can edit your own website and add anything to it.

Last but certainly not least, update your website AND your Vacation Rental listings from time to time.  Updated content leads to better search engine traffic.  On VR Referrrals, each time you update your listing, we will move it up in the related categories list pages.  If you don’t update your site, it will slowly get down the list on search results.  Read more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Write even more about your Vacation Home, update on recent changes and news - Blog
In addition to connecting members with other Vacation Rental Owners, another feature that makes VR Referrals unique is that we offer an option for Vacation Rental Owners to create their own Blog.  Your Blog will have it’s unique URL address and you will be in control of how often and how much you write about your Vacation Property.  You can write about your Vacation Rental Home, update on recent changes, talk about your experience in renting, or traveling.  This is a great tool that members can use to further market their Vacation Rental Property.  Search engines love Blogs, and potential guests will like more personal and updated information about your Vacation Home.

If you are interested in one-on-one help with building your website or need more tips, please feel free to Contact Us.

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