The main objective of a Quality program is to improve the quality of a web content and sales channels online. It is an ambitious and fundamental objective for the sales success.
Our content is our main asset because it is our only way to attract customers to our properties. Speaking of the traditional trade “location” is one of the keys to success. The location is so important that it determines the prices of the rent and sales as well as influence the planning of our cities. If we look at the online model, it doesn’t matter where the business is located – the product can be sold anywhere in the world.
Everywhere in the world? That sounds great! However, it also means that you have competitors anywhere in the world. In every opportunity there is also a risk. As the vacation rental business is a global business, the competition is also global both relating to destination as well as the number of competitors. Moreover, in recent years various new models based on rental of accommodation have appeared.
The quality of the content is one of the key elements in a business. If we dig a little deeper one has to wonder why customers choose some properties over other properties. To answer this it is necessary to analyze the behaviour of our customers. So we’ve studied the process and followed a potential customer from connecting to our website until he decides to make a reservation. So we have come to the conclusion that the customer chooses a property if they have three key features (not the property but what you see on our website):
The introduction to the property is the images. The number of the images, the quality and let’s say your way artistic sense in how you present the property are all fundamental when the customer has to decide between one property or another. Customers imagine their holidays looking at pictures of our website. It is very difficult to determine whether a property is attractive or not as both personal preferences and more cultural issues are subjective, but there some basic rules to adhere to; look for a good lighting and angle. Unfortunately it is very difficult to assign a value to the artistic composition of a photo automatically. So we have given a score of 80% in relation to the number of pictures and their size in our quality system. If we make a correlation between the number of bookings and the number of images we see that the top 10 properties with most bookings all have more than 20 images.
Once we have caught the customer’s attention with the image, we now have to convince with words. This is the reason why it is important to review the descriptions of the properties. The client must understand what they can expect when spending their holiday in the property. It is not enough to make a list of the amenities of the property. We must seize the descriptions of the properties to sell their strengths and experiences that can be lived in the area. We all want to enjoy holidays. As it happens with the images, evaluating the quality of a description based on your writing style or your persuasion skills is practically impossible. But we can determine that the descriptions have a minimum of words. Descriptions with more than 200 words are our goal. Moreover, having descriptions in the native language of the clients have shown to be more efficient.
We have reached the point where the customer is convinced that he or she wants to spend their holiday in a given property, but begins to wonder if everything he or she has seen and read so far is as good as it looks. If the property has good reviews the possibility of new bookings increases exponentially. The 5 properties that was booked more in 2015 had more than one good review on our website. It is very important that the properties have good references from other guests.
There are many examples where a good property is poorly described in the content (few photos, fast and badly written descriptions leading to lack of bookings and reviews). The goal we have to have in mind when we register a property is to sell an experience. To do this we must pay attention to images, descriptions and reviews.
There are also other factors such as price, availability and the reliability of the information but they are all indirect factors and we will discuss this in a future post.
Three easy tricks to improve the Quality Score of your Holiday House:
1. Add 1 or 2 pictures to the properties that are in the limit.
If you have a property with 14 pictures you can increase its quality score significantly by adding one or two pictures more. Also If you have a property with 19 pictures, you could achieve a perfect score by adding one or two pictures more.
2. Add some sentences to your description if under 200 words.
If you have a property with a description between 189-199, you can increase the quality score of the description by adding one or two sentences.
3. Remove pictures with low resolution
For example if you have 15 pictures on a property listing, but 3 of the pictures have extremely low resolution, they will drag the quality score of the property down. Try to remove these pictures and preferably add new ones with higher resolution.
In this post we would like to highlight some elements that SHOULD always be included in the description.
We have to bear in mind that when a client looks for a holiday house, he will expect to have all the information about the property. Therefore when writing a description and publishing images of a property it is very important to keep in mind that our user does not know us, and for that reason we must convey as much information as possible to transmit confidence in what the client is buying
What should be included in the description:
Location and the surroundings:
Some of the questions that the client might ask:
Where is it located? Is it close to anything interesting? Is the beach nearby? Are the mountains nearby? How far away are the supermarkets and shops? Are there any restaurants around? Is it located in a apartment complex? Is there transport to go to the airport nearby? How far away are the hospitals and the pharmacies? What activities can we do? Any golf courses?
We should try to answer all those questions, as you have all the information and the clients expect to have it available for them. If there any interesting place nearby, it is good to mention it, as it will be an added value to the property. If we know that there are companies that organize activities (for example excursions, family adventure activities, water parks etc.) it could be good to mention it as well.
It is also very important to list how many rooms the property has and show images of them.
Bedrooms: The number of beds in the bedrooms – are they double or single beds? Is there a sofabed? It is important to list the total number of beds in the property so that the client can make an informed decision.
Living room: Is the dining room in the living room? Is there a sofabed? Is there a television? Is there a dining table? If yes, for how many people?
Bathroom: How many bathrooms does the property have? Is it shower only or bathtub? Any of the bathrooms that are en-suite?
Kitchen: Is there an oven? Does it contain everything: Pots, pans, plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, table cloth? Is the fridge large or small?
Terrace: Is there a terrace? If yes, from which room do you access the terrace? Is there any furniture on the terrace (table and chairs)? Does it have views to the sea, the mountain, the street, the town etc.?
Air-condition: Is there air-condition? Are there fans? Is it central air-condition or only in some rooms? If there are fans, are they ceiling-fans or stand alone? Is there heating? Does the property have a chimney?
Garden and pool: Does the property have a garden and/or private pool? Does the property have a shared garden and/or pool? Are there any shared areas for the children? Is there a shared gym?
Pets: Are pets allowed? Is there any restrictions with regards to the pets allowed?
Stairs: Are there any stairs to climb inside or outside the property? How many floors is the property?
Is the water and electricity included in the price?
Cleaning facilities: Is there any cleaning service provided? Is this included in the price?
Is the property suitable for people with disabilities? Does a wheelchair fit?
Is there any extra costs to mention? Beach service, welcome basket etc.?
The first impression exerts a strong influence on the purchase decision of the customer. It is essential to achieve the desired “love” at first sight. A good idea is to imagine that your property has been selected to be displayed in an interior design magazine.It is important that the property has a neutral design: try to depersonalize the properties, which appear more spacious and choose some details that complement the various rooms.
We have found you some examples on how this can be achieved. Please see below:
Use the external views of the property. Try to create a look that invites the guest to see themselves there. This effect can be achieved by using decorative elements, such as plants, candles and even wine bottle with glasses.
Show the bedroom as a nice place to rest. You can make the bed looks comfortable by using throws, bed cover, pillows and cushions. You can also put bath towels or a tray with breakfast at the foot of the bed.
Use small details to make the customer imagine themselves there, and choose the property. Make the most out of the property….
The secret of writing a great description is to put your guests in a holiday frame of mind – that way they won’t be able to resist booking with you.
Most of us have a lot of preconceived notions about what a property listing is supposed to look like. We’ve all browsed through plenty of other listings before and we’ve subconsciously told ourselves,“Well… I guess that’s what my listing is supposed to look like too.” If you really want to rent out your property, it doesn’t need to look like other listings.
The first sentence
The first sentence of a listing gets right to the point of what the property is all about. The idea is to immediately inform the readers of what they’re looking at. At this step you have to simply answer the reader’s most pressing initial question “What am I looking at?” and to giving him a reason to keep reading.
Narrative description of the features
This is where the real fun begins. Here we need to split our description into two sections:
1. Describe the primary features of the property, such as:
- Number of Bedrooms/Bathrooms
- Square Footage of the Building
- Size of the Property
- Extras,Pool, Patio, Yard, Deck, Fireplace, etc.
- Any Recent Updates or Renovations, e.g. – windows, doors, appliances
- Any Unique Characteristics, e.g. – scenic overlook, basketball court, lakeview ect.
2. Describe the property in a compelling and inspiring way
Words can do an AMAZING job of selling properties . So don’t lose sight of the fact that your words can be extremely powerful when used correctly and this is your opportunity to use them to your advantage.
Below we give you some tips of what you description should and shouldn’t include:
Your description should:
- Include what makes you different. What sets your place apart from the competition? A sea view, wood burner, Jacuzzi and garden are all worth mentioning.
- Appeal to your target audience. For example, if you’ve got a 6 bedroom villa that’s perfect for families, talk about how good your place is for families and why.
- Focus on the type of holiday you’re offering. For example, if you’ve got a ski apartment in the Alps, make sure your description mentions some of the skiing facilities.
- Write a little about the location. If you’ve got beautiful beaches nearby, mention them. Attractions such as theme parks, museums and restaurants are also worth including.
- Check your spelling and grammar. If travellers can see that you’ve taken care with this, they’ll be more confident that you’ll take good care of their holiday too.
Your description shouldn’t:
- Have too detailed description of the layout of the house and room dimensions. Remember that you’re selling a holiday experience (although your product is a holiday house).
- Contain too much general info such as T&Cs, directions on how to get to the property or check-in/check-out information.
- Be more than a few paragraphs. If you write too much in your main description, your reader is likely to skim through the text and USPs that you might have mentioned further down.
Closing statement & call to action
This is where you wrap it up and tell your readers what to do. Don’t be afraid to transmit the sense of urgency and remind them of the very real possibility that this is the last chance they’ll ever have to rent this property.
When writing a good content suitable for SEO, we have to keep a few concepts in mind.
The keywords: They are a combination of words we put into Google to search for something . Google tracks the keywords within our content of the website, in order to offer the results that best matches the search of the user. For example a user searches the following in Google ” Holiday home in Tuscany ” . Google will show the pages in order of importance, that best matches the search.
The criteria that define that ranking, depends, as explained before, are the SEO on-page or the SEO off-page. Among many factors, one of the most important, is to provide relevant content, and for that reason the keywords should be present in our content for Google to identify them and show our content (and therefore our product ) in the first results.
Now that we know about the keywords, the next step is to select the keywords that should be included in the description. This is done by analysing how the users search for us. We have this analysis more or less done, so we will move on to the next recommendation:
Our products are holiday houses, so it is very important to include this concept several times in our content: Holiday houses, holiday apartments, holiday villas….
On the other hand the destination of the properties is also very important, so please include where in the description: holiday house in Italy, holiday apartment in Costa Blanca, Spain, villa close to the beaches of Costa del Sol, Spain…
These are examples of some of the keywords, and as you can see it is important to combine the concept holiday house or similar to the destination to form the keyword. The are several combinations, but it is good to keep in mind to think: What would a potential client search for if looking for a holiday house? Another thing to keep in mind is that the characteristic should be included in our keyword features of the house such as: Villa with private pool, pet friendly, villa in front of the sea.
When selecting the keywords it is important to think of what we would like highlight in the content (usually a maximum of four keywords per description should used) and to ensure that those keywords are part of the content naturally.
The following is a description for a property in Marbella, Spain.
The keywords used are the following:
- holiday house in Marbella, Spain
- holiday house with sea views
- golf course
- pet friendly
The description would be like this:
Beautiful holiday house in Marbella, Spain, 180m2 with four bedrooms; two double, one twin and one single. Large and bright living room with sofa bed with access to terrace, fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms and garage. This holiday house with sea view from the terrace is perfect for a holiday with the whole family, as it is pet friendly. It is situated five minutes walking from the beach and only ten minutes drive to the nearest golf course. The holiday house sleeps 10 people and your pets are welcome as well. It is located in a fantastic urbanization in Marbella with communal gardens and swimming pool.
At just 5 minutes distance you’ll find supermarkets and shops, as well as the promenade. The holiday house is located near bus stops, and it is easy to move through the province of Malaga and the airport. You can also find numerous companies with activities for family and water parks only 20 minutes by car or bus, and golf courses are only a 10 minutes drive away. If you want a great family holiday in Marbella this holiday home with sea view will be perfect for you.
It is fully equipped:
- 2 double beds
- 3 single beds
- 1 sofa bed
- Bathroom towels
- Garage for one car
- Terrace with table for 10 people and with a sea view.
- Kitchen equipped with oven and all the menaje necessary
- Central air-condition
- Shared garden and pool
- Close to golf course
- Pet friendly
It is very important that the images reflect the description,and it is key to keep the description and the images up-to-date at all time.