Website update. Stethoscope on laptop keyboardTop tips to get your holiday let website in great shape for the New Year

With the busiest months now behind us are you ready for a January rush of bookings? Here’re some helpful tips to make sure that your website is doing your holiday home and destination justice.

Is all of your website content up to date?

Now is an opportune time to review your holiday let website. Make sure it’s up to date and saying everything you need it to.

  • Do you have all of your unique selling points covered?
  • Have any new additions to your holiday home been mentioned and promoted?
  • Are you using bullet points to quickly highlight what your visitors will be getting?

Learn from what’s working well

If you have Google Analytics, consider looking at which are your most popular pages.

  • Why are they the most popular?
  • Do they give you an insight into what people are looking for when visiting your website and property?
  • Do they give you ideas for building upon the current information with even more?

Promoting your destination

Remember that up to date content doesn’t stop with your holiday home. Your visitors are likely to spend a good deal of their time away from your cottage.

  • Do you have up to date information on where they could be spending their time?
  • Have you spoken with local attractions to gain a link as a local accommodation provider?
  • Have you got information on season opening times?
  • Is there information on how long it takes to get there and how easy it is to find?
  • The more information you have on the local area the more likely a visitor will be attracted to stay.

Make a content plan and consider scheduling your activity

Whilst fresh, regular and relevant content is becoming increasingly important to Google, the biggest problem for most holiday homeowners is finding the time to create it.

During the summer months, when every minute is precious and often fraught with activity, time is not often available to be penning regular blog posts.

Take the time you have in the winter to put a plan in place and to create some great content for your website visitors.

Most content management systems such as WordPress will allow you to schedule when this goes onto your website, leaving you with fresh content all year round, without having to spend all year writing and publishing it.

Update your photography and make sure it does you justice

If a picture speaks a thousand words, are the photos on your website saying the right ones about your holiday cottage?

Remember that when someone is visiting your holiday home they want to have the best possible impression of where it is they’re staying. Out of date, old or poor photography can leave your marketing in tatters so ensure that the latest and best available to you are on display.

Use the visitor book to your advantage

Many holiday homes will have a guest book where visitors can leave comments. Increasingly owners encourage those staying to leave reviews on popular websites such as Tripadvisor.

If those that stay in your holiday home shout about how great it is then ensure these testimonials are prominently displayed across your website. Ensure that they are also up to date!

Is your holiday let website up to speed with current technology?

The average life cycle of a business website is said to be three to four years and you can see why; ten years ago the world hadn’t heard of an iPad! 18.9% of the global population will own a tablet within two years; 42% already have a smart phone.

It’s essential that your website not only keeps up to date with technology but also with other holiday homes. If others are taking advantage of the 52% of internet traffic that now comes from smart phones, should you be too?

Secure your holiday let website with SSL

Short for ‘Secure Socket Layer’, an SSL Certificate is something that you as a website owner buy (usually from your website hosting provider) and then install on your site.

Its purpose is to encrypt the information passed between you and your visitor, and visa versa, therefore making this information secure and unable to be hacked or intercepted.

The cost of an SSL Certificate for your holiday let website can vary from £20 a year up to £150, depending on the needs of your site and your website developer should be able to point you toward the most effective and appropriate for your needs.

Update your holiday let website Copyright

With the dawn of 2020 will come a new copyright number to be displayed on your website. Often forgotten, this small number at the bottom of most sites will need to be updated from 2019 to 2020.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home, call us on 01237 429444.

 

2 replies
  1. Rick Bond
    Rick Bond says:

    A very useful and timely article thanks.

    Other things to consider (given that you’ve got nothing better to do other than to invest time in getting more bookings) include considering a professional photoshoot of your cottage, especially if you’ve been doing some decorating or furniture buying since you took the ones currently in use. Professional photos can make a huge difference to the number of enquiries you’ll receive and winter is a good time to do interiors. There is less light flare coming through windows which means the view through a window is less likely to be blank white.

    Also, ensure your website has a ‘terms and Conditions of Use’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ statements – usually to be found as a link in your site’s footer. Search engines like to see these documents as they consider them to be an essential component of a trustworthy site – as do your site’s visitors. If you want sample templates of either, I’d be happy to supply them.

    Finally, it’s always worth spending a little time testing every link you can find on your site (especially if you have a links page). You’d be surprised at how many have ‘broken’. Broken links (or ‘404 errors’ to use the jargon) will see your site losing ranking position against your competitors, so should be weeded out as quickly as possible. Either see if the link has changed (which happens if someone redesigns their website and creates a new ‘address’ for a particular page) or the site has simply closed down.

    I hope this will be of interest!

    Rick

    Reply

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