Why You Need A Website For Your Accommodation

I am often asked by accommodation owners if it's worth the trouble to set up a website of their own to advertise their accommodation.
Why You Need A Website For Your Accommodation
With the hundreds of accommodation listing sites out there, I can understand why the question is being asked. The accommodation listing sites make it easy to get your accommodation up on the internet quickly and showing alongside other listings where guests are already searching. Furthermore, some of the bigger listing sites have a huge budget for marketing to guests on and off-line, including print and television.

So if it's so easy, guests are already searching there and someone else is spending money to find you more guests, why bother with your own website? Even though the accommodation listing sites offer so many benefits, having your own website can have advantages too.

Advantages Of Having Your Own Website

Here are some of the top reasons you should have your own website for your accommodation:

  • Having your own site shows a level of professionalism that your competition may not have.

  • Having your own site helps potential guests to trust you before they book with you. Many guests will find an accommodation listing on Stayz or FlipKey and then search for the accommodation’s own site to double check that the accommodation is real.

  • You can use Google AdWords to bring targeted guests to your own website. If you set your bid limit high enough on the right keywords, your ad could be displayed on Google Page 1, even though your website might not rank high enough in natural search results to show on Page 1.

  • You can point existing and prospective guests back to your website for further information after phone or email enquiries.

  • You can include your website link, and brand, in your stationary and signatures. Again, this sets you above the rest looks very professional.

  • You can earn income on your website by selling ad space to local retailers or by including affiliate links throughout your site.

  • You have complete control over how your property is portrayed. You can create a “feel” for the accommodation that you can’t do with someone else’s listing site.

  • You don’t pay anyone a listing or booking fee.

What To Do With Multiple Properties?

If you have more than one accommodation, you could feature both on one website. This is an effective way to cross sell if one accommodation is booked. If you're more adventurous, you could also build a website for each accommodation and have each website link back to one another. This will improve your search engine rankings by establishing backlinks for each site.

Getting to Page 1 of Google Search Results

One of the questions that inevitably follows "Should I have my own website?" is "Why bother having a website if I can't get it to Page 1 on Google?". Just because getting to Page 1 may be difficult, it doesn't mean that it can't be done and it certainly doesn't mean that having your own website is a waste of time.

Although getting to Page 1 in Google's search results will involve consistent SEO effort, one approach would be to include fresh (travel or region related) articles regularly on your website. Google loves fresh, helpful, user-oriented content. You could also write articles and submit them to other sites that point back to your website. This is great off-page optimisation.

Another tip to getting on Google Page 1 is to optimise your Google Business or Places listing. Map results always show on Page 1 and above most other search results. There aren’t a lot of people doing this yet, so it represents an opportunity for your accommodation to feature above the rest.

Accommodation listing sites should form just one pillar of your marketing strategy, while a dedicated website, that you control, should form another pillar. Use your own website as another part of your total marketing strategy to maximise your accommodation's exposure on the internet. If you do decide to go with your own website, there are tons of resources and links in the reader only resources section that you can use to get your website off the ground quickly and cheaply.

Good luck!

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

If you found this article useful, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed

blog comments powered by Disqus