Vacation Rentals Are Opening, Is Your Website Ready?

May 27, 2020

As vacation rentals in Florida and other beach destinations begin to open and property managers get their inventory ready for guests, it is important to take a look at your website and OTA listings to make sure everything is correct and working properly.

Here is a checklist of items to reopen your digital storefront:

Check your website

    • Crawl the site looking for broken links, broken pages. If you aren’t familiar with crawling a website, you can also physically spot-check a few of your pages to make sure they are working correctly on both a desktop and mobile device.
    • Did you turn anything off? Check with your hosting company, email provider, etc...
    • Backup your site and then start pushing updates within the CMS. If you haven’t visited the backend of your website in a while there could be quite a few updates and security patches. Consulting a website developer could be a good option here.
    • Update your property descriptions, photos, inventory and occupancy rules, pricing, making sure to highlight any improvements.
    • You are likely to have new processes, especially cleanliness guidelines. Customers will be looking for these, please make sure these guidelines are listed on your website. It is also a good idea to link to the guidelines you are following: State, CDC, WHO.
    • Are you ready to receive bookings? Perform a test booking so you know everything is working smoothly. Test your phone number, contact form.

Check your Google Listing

    • Does it say you are open? It can’t hurt to add a Google post stating you are open for business.
    • Check your property data; hours, address, website links, photos.
    • If it has been a while since you updated your Google listing this is a good time to review and add more content.
    • Check your customer reviews
      • now is a good time to make sure you have responded to all reviews.
      • Thank positive reviewers and work with negative reviewers to fix and resolve the problem.
    • Check the Google Q&A section for unanswered questions. 

OTA Checklist

    • OTAs are going through a lot of changes like you. Confirm any guidelines they might have and that you are complying with these. VRBO, Airbnb? Expedia? Google
    • Update your prices and calendars then sync with the OTAs. Consistency equals bookings.
      • Now is a good time to review length-of-stay rules. Increased flexibility can lead to increased bookings.
    • Make sure you are responsive to reviews and customer questions. This can boost your rankings.
    • Update your content. Add as much detail as you can, highlight improvements and new processes.
      • Update your photos, add quality video if you can.

What else?

  • It’s all about the data
    • This is a great time to start looking at your current data and compare it to your data from before the pandemic.
    • Check your website analytics to verify website visits are still being tracked.
    • Check your social analytics on each platform and then look to how they are integrated with your website analytics.
    • Check your traffic to your website/social channels for the last 60 days. I am sure there was a drop, but how much? This will help you determine if you need a PPC campaign to give your brand a jumpstart.
    • Check your keyword rankings. If there are changes, do your best to understand what is different. Keep in mind your competitors are opening also.

Seem like a lot? Just like your property your digital space requires regular optimization and maintenance.

White Hat SEO can help! Call (469) 730-6125