In ‘The 2014 Traveller’s Road to Decision’ study commissioned by Google, a large percentage of leisure travellers (57%) and business travellers (64%) used search engines to start their travel and booking process.
With more people using search engines to find listings, major booking platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com are investing money into search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, for greater visibility and high rankings.
Meanwhile, smaller businesses that advertise listings on their own booking sites rely on search engine optimisation (SEO) to boost listings. By improving SEO, webpages will appear higher up in searches, enabling more people to visit this website and potentially book properties to stay in.
Here are some SEO tools to boost your website towards the front page of search engines:
Keywords are the words people type into a search engine to get the search result they’re looking for. For property listings, keywords help people search for a particular type of accommodation in a certain area.
There are two branches for people to search for your property: branded and non-branded search.
Branded search is when people search for your brand directly. With a strong brand presence, your brand name can be used as a keyword. Try to avoid keyword stuffing – in this case, overusing your brand name – your ranking will drop significantly as a result.
Non-branded search is when people search for a place to stay using a specific phrase. While it may be tempting, avoid highly competitive and generic search terms like ‘hotel in New York’ as this will bring up so many search results.
Long-tail keywords dominate most of the searches on search engines. According to Carloseo, over 70% of all search engine traffic is made up of long-tail keywords.
Using more specific and descriptive keyword phrases related to your property will lead to users finding your listing through their long-tail search. They will likely look further and eventually make a booking on your site.
By using keyword analysis as part of your SEO strategy, your listing will appear higher in search engine result pages (SERPS) for keyword phrases related to your property.
While a meta title is a short title that is less than 65 characters, a meta description describes the content of a page to a search engine.
With a concise meta title and lengthy meta description, search engines use this metadata to understand the information on a page and rank it in relevant search results.
If users are searching for specific information related to your webpage, the meta title and description will appear in their search engine results. By looking at a preview, users can look further into your property listing for more information.
Alongside keywords, meta titles and descriptions are essential to boosting your SEO efforts for your booking website. With search engines displaying your pages as accurately as possible, it will appear higher up in search results where a larger audience will be exposed to your property listings.
There are two types of links that can be included in your website: external and internal links.
External links are links pointing to pages outside your website (i.e. on a different domain).
The best way to include external links is by referring to nearby attractions, places to eat and interesting activities that visitors might like to do while they’re staying at your property.
Even links to interesting content relating to your area can be a great incentive for potential guests to come and visit. With external links, link to reputable sites and check that the links work.
Internal links are links pointing to pages on your website (i.e. on the same domain).
Users can click on an internal link to find out more about a particular property listing or look at other listings on your website.
The differing roles of external and internal links mean that internal links are encouraged while external links should be used sparingly, only when necessary.
Internal linking will improve SEO because users will remain on the property listing page for longer which will reduce bounce rate, but also visit other pages with different listings on your site before moving on.
With any property, it is essential to include high-quality images of all the different rooms, outdoor areas and views so that potential guests can see what the property has to offer.
When including photos and videos of your property, tagging media with alternative text can improve SEO by helping search engines find your webpage through each media description.
By incorporating keywords into your alt text, your site becomes more relevant for search engines when it comes to booking short-term rentals.
Our final word
Improving the SEO of your short-term rental booking website will lead to more traffic towards your listings, increasing your chances of converting potential visitors into guests.
It is worth noting that search engines are focused on providing users with accurate and relevant results pages that satisfy their web searches.
So with search engines continually tweaking their algorithms to suit people’s searches, constantly updating and evolving your SEO strategy will help your website reach a large online audience.
Providing a good experience through your website and rentals, will increase visibility and help you grow your ranking on search engine results pages.
Want more advice about managing your short-term rental? Speak to our team of experts at Keey today for more information!