Optimize (SEO) your vacation rental for search engines

I have been working on SEO for our Destin Condo Rental at Pelican Beach Resort website for a few years, and I did well. You will find a lot of articles on web about optimizing your web page, let me summarize the main bullets before giving some additional advice:

The obvious

  • Build SEO and user friendly pages, and customize your URL to include keywords in the permalink inline with your goal
  • Create a blog and keep it rich with new articles , and also update the older articles. Give outbound links to credible sites
  • Your pages should have decent amount of text, and more pages you have, better it is. Images are important for human, but image caption matters for search engines. Therefore, make sure you add captions to your images
  • You should use your keywords in Meta Title of the page, and also in the content of the page with <h1> fonts. Use a Meta Description up to 160 chars to explain what your page is about. Use only 1 <h1> title on your page, but do not under estimate usage of h2, h3 and h4 titles
  • You must have backlinks from reputable pages. It is told that only ‘follow’ type links count, however I think even ‘nofollow’ links show how frequent your web site is talked about. Do not go to gray or black hat SEO to buy junks of spammy links. Choose a few quality sites intended for your business and write unique articles with rich content.
  • You must also link your pages to each other preferably 1-2 times from each page. This is called on site SEO and tells more to engines about navigating in your site.
  • Use social media like Facebook, Yelp and Google+ to create posts linking to your blog or page. Subscribe to Facebook groups or add posts to Google+ communities about your business.
  • Add your business to Google Business and ask your guests to review it
  • Use Rich Snippets on you website. Especially the ones for Local Business, FAQ and Events.
  • Pagespeed is very important, especially for mobile sites. It is a criteria for Google to rank you higher. And if your pages are fast enough, you will have lower bounce rates. Test your website at Pagespeed and GTMetrix, they are both free. Try to implement their suggestions and minimize the load on your site. Do not use too many plugins, or do not use a Wix site.
SEO for Vacation Rentals

And here are the bonus items from me

  • Use http://moz.com trial to see what issues you have on your site (trial is for 30 days). Also use https://moz.com/link-explorer/ to find backlinks. Identify a competitor and analyze who gives links to their site
  • Use https://monitorbacklinks.com trial for 30 days again to see backlink quality, and your competitor’s links. Check the ratings of those domains as well as their spam score. The better rating, lower score, the better the web page is
  • Study competitor links, go to those sites and find out how you can put your links like they did
  • http://Activerain.com is a good venue to subscribe and write blogs like this and link to your page (real estate). You need to pay annual subscription, but for me it was worth
  • https://www.helpareporter.com/ is a journalism site, you can subscribe free and follow-up the daily emails you get from journalists looking for information on different topics. If something is good fit for your business, write them to have an article on the web
  • There are a lot of blog registries where you can sign-up your blog, and get a link back. Most of them are now charging $4-5 to put your blog in but I may be worth doing that. Ex. https://www.blogarama.com . Here is an article.
  • Prepare a site at https://sites.google.com/ , put your business information, power points, documents, excels with links in it. Stuff it up with a lot of material like you use it often.
  • http://fiverr.com is a place where people do quick projects for you. Search it and try to find good professionals who would put your articles in good rated pages and blogs (like 5-10, not in hundreds). Write 10 unique articles with keywords in it, try not to use an article multiple times in different sites
  • Again in Fiverr, find people who do 100-150 citations in business directories, they can create your business quickly in many business portal
  • Houfy is a free vacation rental listing. Not much exposure but it is a good backlink option (although they give nofollow links). Tripz.com is another listing site where you can link your listing to your domain.

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