While there’s no doubt that building a cleaner website will bring your vacation rentals more traffic, either with a vacation rental website template or a custom website design, a definitive characteristic will be the engaging content you build out for it.
Sell Awesome Experiences, Not Just Available Nights
It is essential to go above and beyond the decade-old description you had on your HomeAway listing. Guests expect more from the brands they book with. Especially as a boutique business that is trying to champion over major players in online travel bookings — your brand’s unique story separates you from your competition.
Don’t think it’s possible to compete? Take a look at Caravan, a boutique hotel for “tiny houses” in Portland, OR, who gets 100% of its bookings through the website they built on OneRooftop. Caravan, among many brands who work with OneRooftop — from single property owners to larger property managers — have all taken time to build out websites their guests want to engage with.
In another article on content marketing for vacation rentals, we mentioned that the best content marketers in the world say the best approach to building a website is spend a year just building content.
That’s when many small businesses say, “Woah… I don’t know about that…”
It’s not as difficult as you think. To help get you started, we built out this list of 101 page ideas for your vacation rental website.
Creating a Local’s Guide
Ranking for competitive keywords in Google is tricky (and often expensive). But being a smaller business can actually be an asset. This Whiteboard Friday from Moz goes over ways you can plan a keyword strategy and content marketing plan based around less competitive keywords. They even use a few examples from the travel industry!
You are an expert of your destination. When guests arrive, they of course ask what things to do while in town. And over the years, you’ve probably had some quick answers to fire back. Adding this content to your website is a huge opportunity to engage your guests and improve your SEO.
You Many of these how to guides would also work great for a blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can use OneRooftop’s “Local Info” page.
- Best Restaurants
- Best Happy Hours
- Local Hikes
- Dog-Friendly Trails
- Nearby Parks
- Ski Trails for Beginners
- Ski Trails for Advanced Skiers
- Breakfast Spots You Must Try
- Bachelorette Party Recommendations
- Bachelor Party Recommendations
- Family-Friendly Activities
- Recommended Day Trips
- Day Spas
- Fishing Spots Only Locals Know
- Gyms and Yoga Studios
- Live Music
- Personal reviews of local museums
- Shopping & Grocery Stores
- Nearby Churches, Mosques, and Temples
- Summer Guide
- Autumn Guide
- Winter Guide
- Spring Guide
- Full List of Summer Festivals
- Favorite Vineyards
Recipes for Any Occasion
What’s more interesting: saying your kitchen has an oven — or giving your guests a whole list of ideas of things they could bake in your oven? Or let me ask the question better. Which option sells an experience?
Come up with experiences to advertise the kitchen amenities you have. Make a list of recipes that guests could make with appliances, kitchenware and spices you have in your kitchen.
Create a page using the “blank page” template. This is where you write down the recipe and cooking instructions. If you’re really fancy, add in photos too.
You can then create a “Local Info” page with the Recipe Name and a short description. Link to that original recipe. Before you know it you’ll have a full recipe book available to your guests.
To get you started, I’ve made a list of recipes that require certain amenities you may offer. Warning: this might make you really hungry.
- Southwest-style Stuffed Peppers
- Use Rice Cooker to Make Any Side Dish
- Matt Burger on the Grill (or, “[Your Name] Burger on the Grill”)
- Deep-fried chicken
- Chicken curry
- Pork dumplings with garlic dipping sauce
- Cast iron seared steak
- Crock Pot Gumbo
- Homemade Pasta
- Seafood Boil
- Fresh Tossed Salad
- Microwave Baked Potato with Lemon Pepper
- Pour-over Coffee in a Chemex Maker
- Homemade whip cream in the kitchenaid
- Fresh buttery croissants
- Camp fire s’mores
- Blueberry Pie
Educating Guests on Your Home and Business
I really dislike longwinded FAQs. The idea behind Frequently Asked Questions is that I can quickly breeze through them.
That said — I also dislike when the answer to a frequently asked question is too vague. Some questions require more information.
Take a look at your FAQs and see if you’re rambling a bit. Then ask yourself — is all this extra stuff necessary? If not, as a rule of building web content, cut it. If it is necessary but you can trim it down, try to do that. You can create a new page for guests to read more thoroughly, and then simply link to it from your FAQs.
- About Company History
- What to Bring
- House Rules
- Press Page
- Arrival Instructions
- Staff Bios
- Car Rentals and Supported Airlines
- Cancellation Policy Overview
- Payment Policy Overview
- Local Road Conditions
- Beach Access
- How to Book a Home / “Do You Accept Credit Cards or Checks?”
- Town Map
- Services Overview (Chef, Massage, Groceries, and more!)
- Rules for Crossing Border into Canada
- Ferry schedules
- List your property
- More Reviews & Testimonials
- Contact In Case of Emergency
- Why You Only Rent Saturday-to-Saturday
- Hosting Private Events
- Wedding Venue Pricing and Conditions
Plant Vacation Ideas with How-to Guides
Go to your website. (Actually. Open a new tab and look at it.) Ask yourself this question: Is it memorable?
Travel research shows that travelers spend upwards of 8 hours planning their trips. They will often look at 30 websites. To make your website memorable, maybe you’ll update the design, switch to a new template, or swap out some photos.
But you should also go deeper. Ask yourself if your website plants vacation ideas. Maybe they didn’t realize they could get certified to drive a jet ski. Maybe they just want to get out of the city but are on the fence about a weekend trip.
People love how-to guides. They learn that they could do something they didn’t know how to do before. For vacation rental marketers, this is a powerful conversation to start. It gets guests thinking about their trip while staying at the home you’re trying to rent out.
I came up with a list of 10 things I’d like to learn how to do — or have stayed at a vacation rental and been befuddled in the face of it (I’m looking at those high tech TVs). The possibilities are endless once you get started though.
- How to make “staying in” while out of town even better
- Using the Pool
- Learn how to describe beer (or wine)
- Hot tub instructions
- Guidelines for jet ski license in your town
- Scuba Certified Instructions
- Identifying local birds
- Turning on the TV and using entertainment center
- Billiards games for groups of 2, 3, 4+
- Maintaining Green Egg grill’s temperature
- How to Use Fire Place
Packaging your brand online is easy to get started on. But ongoing engagement — this takes some more determination.
Video marketing was once a unique feature some brands had. Nowadays though it’s considered the bare bones. It’s fundamental. Travelers want to know what your brand is all about. Video is a simple way for people to catch on to your brand’s buzz. Whether you host your video on YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia, you can add it to a beautiful video gallery in seconds.
While some things like video house tours may seem like the obvious route, I’d encourage you to think about other metrics for engagement. Just remember, it isn’t just your house people are booking when they find your website. There are plenty of houses to choose from.
Guests are booking your brand.
So while you are adding videos, take some advice from Alex Honeysett at The Muse. Before making a video, write down why you are making the video. Is it to show off a new way to book? Will it help guests plan their vacation? Does the video cast your brand in a new light, making it more appealing than another brand?
As you make the video, return to your intention.
- Golf Course Drone Tour
- 3D Tour of Home
- How to cast a flyfishing rod
- Get interviewed!
- Nature Documentaries You Directed
- Tour of Your Cottage
- About Your Town
- Standing up on a surf board
- Go Pro Tour of the Ski Slopes
- Basic steps for salsa dancing
Drag-and-Drop Photo Galleries
OneRooftop’s website builder makes it easy to show off photos. When you first get started, you probably added photos to your property slideshow. This is a necessary starting place.
And for years, people built pages on OneRooftop with slideshows. But if you start with a blank page, you can easily drag photos from your desktop and drop them right on the page.
What you get is a page that’s easy to make and is attractive to guests.
- 10 Reasons Your Boat is Awesome
- A day on the lake
- The sailing knots you need to know
- Improving your golf stroke form
- Seeing [your town] in a day
- Picking the right golf course
- Which beach is best for your vacation?
- Biggest Fish Catches (and most enthusiastic small fish catches)
- Zip lining
The page where your guests book online is a major part of the guest experience. In e-commerce, your page layouts are essential to modern customer service.
Customized search tags can make it easier for guest to find available properties that match the experience they want.
- Ski-in / Ski-out lodging
- By city or neighborhood
- Seasonal ski leases
- Platinum Collections
- By bedroom count
- Pet-friendly rentals
- Waterfront properties
Start Selling Experiences on Your Website
OneRooftop’s vacation rental website builder makes it easy to show off your properties and get direct bookings.
Learn how you can start marketing your vacation rental website.