Is Your Marketing Content Hurting Your Search Results...

...And Burying Your Listing?

There are hundreds of thousands of holiday accommodations in Australia advertised on the internet. In order to get found amongst all the competition, accommodation owners and hoteliers often list their rooms on many different websites. The fact is, that in this effort to maximise their property's exposure, accommodation owners often work against themselves by committing one of the biggest no-no's of internet marketing content writing: copying.
Is Your Marekting Content Hurting Your Search Results

A search engine's primary purpose is to direct people to the most relevant content based on their search query. If two pages have identical content, a search engine will choose only one page to show and often bury the second page at the end of the search results. What's more is that copied, duplicate or non-original content is frowned upon by search engines and entire sites can be penalised in search results for having duplicate content.

If you have copied your own content across a few websites or listings in an effort to save time and get the listings up quickly, don't worry, it can be fixed. Listed below are a few free tools you can use to identify and fix duplicate content followed by some content writing Do's and Don'ts for your accommodation:

How To Tell If Your Content Has Been Duplicated

To tell if you have duplicate content across your own website, use Google's Webmaster Tools (assuming you're already registered with Webmaster Tools; if not, it's free to register your website). Once you're logged in, go to Diagnostics and select HTML Suggestions. This page will tell you if there are any issues with the content found on your site.

To tell if any of your pages have been copied elsewhere on the internet, use Copyscape. Simply enter the URL of the page that you would like to search for copies of and click Go. Copyscape will return a list of all pages across the internet that contain the same or highly similar content to the page you searched on.

Now most likely some of the pages in the list returned by Copyscape will be your own listing on the various property listing websites you subscribe to. If that is the case, go through each page in the list and change the content according to the Content Writing Do's listed below.

Run Copyscape again after you've finished making your chances to make sure that the content is no longer identified as duplicate. You will want to go through this process for each page of your main website to check for duplicate content across the web.

Content Writing Do's

  • Change at least one in every 10 to 15 words of your text when posting on a new site. This will change the content enough so that it is not seen as duplicate content by the search engines.

  • Include keywords targeted to your audience. For example, use keywords such as "affordable", "beachside", "relaxing", "pet-friendly" or "luxury" - whatever is appropriate for your target clientele. Switch the keywords up slightly from one page or listing to the next; consult a thesaurus for ideas.

  • Remember to include calls to action in your description such as "Call now to book!" and slightly change the call on each new site.

  • Rewrite your property's descriptions and features to the target audience or focus of the website you are listing on. For example, Stayz focuses on the premium holiday rental property market whereas RentAHome targets corporate, city-based apartments and holiday homes while TakeABreak goes after the regional and coastal holiday homes, caravans and camping destinations. Think then about the types of holiday seekers that are searching on these sites and what they might be looking for to help you write your accommodation's description to suit their needs.

  • Revisit and update your descriptions to keep them fresh. Search engines tend to shy away from stale content in favour of fresh, new content so that searchers are receiving the "latest" information. Update your content as often as you practically can.

Content Writing Don'ts

  • Write your marketing material once and copy it to every new website you list your accommodation with.

  • Stuff your content with an unnatural amount of keywords. Write your content for humans, not computers.

By making slight, targeted changes to your accommodation's description each time you list on a new holiday property listing website, you maximise your opportunities to rank higher and be seen more often in search results. This means greater exposure for your holiday accommodation and the better the chance you'll be booked solid year 'round!

For more information on other common causes of duplicate content and how to avoid it, check out this great Wikipedia article on Duplicate Content.

Good luck!

Christopher Van Eenoo
Australian Holiday Property Marketing Online © 2008 - 2015

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