There are some misconceptions floating around the vacation rental industry when it comes to choosing a strong domain name. We want to help you learn about these misconceptions so that you can get more bookings.
When you decide it’s time to build a vacation rental website for your business, you’ll want to make sure you’ve built a strong brand name. Your brand tells a story about your business. That brand becomes your website’s domain name.
Strategic vacation rental marketing
Like a custom logo design, your domain name goes on everything. Think about marketing materials like pamphlets and business cards. Also, think of your email marketing, your gmail signature, your Facebook and Instagram, online advertising, offline ads. There are so many ways for people to find your vacation rental website to book. I think when a lot of businesses are planning to buy a domain name there is one thing on their mind…
Choosing a domain name for your vacation rental is planning for the long haul. This includes SEO (a marathon) but also your brand. The truth is, that tiny little line of text is can sometimes hurt creativity. The combination of “vacation rental” + your city has been very widely used.
For now, we’d like to set aside old school SEO strategies. Instead, at the end of this article we’ll actually have more freedom to choose a great, brandable vacation rental website. (And yes, more bookings.)
1. Be sensible with keywords.
Give people a picture of your business, and keywords will likely be a part of that picture.
Research by Moz shows that since about 2010, domain names with exact keyword matches have gone down in performance. It’s not that keywords don’t matter for search (they do) but more than anything, people want a brand. Rand Fishkin, SEO guru and founder of Moz, says to be “sensible” about your inclusion of keywords.
With the 100,000+ domain names already registered, it’s possible your first choice will be taken already. Don’t despair if you can’t get “MiamiVacationRentals.com”! With a little creativity, you can really set the hook to drawn in guests. Notice the difference between
Which one is easier to say?
2. Hold the hyphens
Or rather, throw ’em out!
Hyphens make bad domain names seem ok. Why? People choose hyphens because a domain name is probably too long or complicated. It could also mean that someone is using the domain name without hyphens, and that’s an even bigger problem. People forget that the hyphens are there.
Picture it this way. Whatever money you’ve spent on marketing is at risk if people don’t remember the hyphens.
If you have a hyphenated domain name, take some time to rethink your options by breaking the mold.
Take www.guestspaces.com. Kevin and Varsha Kapadia are building an outstanding property management brand in Austin, TX. They chose an awesome domain name. It’s a real brand and it screams modern hospitality.
3. Does that mean… what you think it means?
Everything in a domain name will run together. You can get some serious (and hilarious) unintended names. Think of how sometimes there are words inside of words. Or words between two words. Or if you use an acronym… Basically, you want to avoid confusion.
I’m going to make up some domain names:
I could go on longer but I think I’ll just leave you with this:
4. No need to be clever (with the domain)
This is a tricky one. Because while a clever name is unique, it may be hard to say. Or it may not be a real word so people don’t know how to spell it.
That said, I think there are some awesome clever domain names for OneRooftop users. People like jingles, they like to be engaged. We have a client in Hawaii with a terrific domain name: www.dreambigisland.com. Don’t you love it?
But wait. When choosing a name for your property, I absolutely love the clever branding. A couple favorites are Casa Roja, Mickey’s Hideout, Beachy Keen, and The Beachcomber. In case you missed Matt Landau’s post about branding your property, it is a must read.
5. The word “The”
Where to look for domain names
OneRooftop highly recommends searching for domain names on GoDaddy. It’s user friendly, easy to search. Domain names at GoDaddy usually just cost $10 per year. If you’re having trouble thinking up domain names, we think Lean Domain Search is a useful planning tool.
Pssst. Your vacation rental website deserves a dot-com domain name.
Once you’ve got your website up, a domain name chosen, and your content all ready to go, you’re ready to start marketing and booking guests.
Need to get more bookings?
OneRooftop sends out weekly vacation rental marketing tips. You can sign up for our newsletter (over on the right) to see how you can get more bookings through your website. Power your brand too with OneRooftop’s easy-to-use vacation rental website builder and booking tools.