• Wendy Bixby

Blow the Dust Off Your Vrog

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

Your what?

Your vacation rental blog. Your... vrog.

As a vacation rental copywriter, I look at dozens of VRM websites every day. Without a doubt, the one thing I come across the most is the dusty, forgotten blog page.

The poor thing.

It was last updated in 2017 by Debbie in Accounting. She wrote about the pizza place that her family went to over the weekend. The pizza place got a rave review. The blog got zero hits. And then it fell quietly into the dark recesses of the site. And your mind.

If you want to generate more traffic and more direct bookings from your website— and what vacation rental manager doesn’t want that?— you have to resurrect that blog page. The new Google core updates spell out the importance of creating high-quality content and creating it often.

There are two main reasons why vacation rental management companies need to blog.

First, you need to boost your SEO.

Your search engine optimization. A group of super-fancy words for a very simple thing.

High-quality, well-researched and shared content is the single best way to rank on Google— full stop. As a vacation rental manager with an online booking platform, you should want your website to rank high on Google searches more than anything.

Did you know that a staggering 97% of potential guests do not search past page one when deciding where they’re next staying? 97%! That number always floors me. So, yeah, you wanna get your page up to page one— and pronto.

The fastest and best way to do this? Start writing weekly, long-form blog posts. They should be at least 1,000+ words. They should be well-written, entertaining and informative. Set aside a few hours a week for this or outsource it to a copywriter. Yes, it's that important.

Don’t overcomplicate the SEO. It’s not as daunting as you think.

Say you're based in Cape Cod and you want to rank for the keyword phrase of “Cape Cod vacation rental.” This means that when someone types in “Cape Cod vacation rental” into their Google search bar, you want your website to appear near the top. To do this, mention that keyword phrase in your article about 7 or 8 times. You’ll be surprised at how easy this is, especially for a talented copywriter. The key to getting SEO to work for you? Consistency. Post weekly. And post well.

Second, you need to establish trust.

The one thing that potential guests are looking for the most— besides the private pool— is trust. They want to know that they are booking with a company that knows it’s stuff, has been around a while, and will provide them the home and vacation they have been looking for.

Establish that coveted trust with your blog.

A great blog reads like an information-packed travel brochure. With well- placed SEO and consistency, your website will also rank in other guest-related Google searches like “best restaurants” or “best beaches.” No matter what your guests are searching for, they are going to find your friendly, helpful website. And they are going to book with you. Regular blogging lifts you above the noise and makes you a beacon to potential guests who are researching your vacation destination.

As a vacation rental manager, these two factors— SEO and establishing trust— will yank your website up to the front pages quickly. And when that happens, your direct bookings will skyrocket.

But remember: quality, keywords, and consistency. Blog weekly and share your posts on social media. If you don't have a dedicated marketing department, consider outsourcing to a copywriter— like moi. Or delegate to a staff member who is willing to learn the craft. Here are some basic tools to help you get started. And some topic ideas for inspiration.

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