If you’re wanting to be listing site free then building a holiday home website will be top of your to-do list.
It’s arguably the most important tool in your go-it-alone marketing toolbox.
Your website is your chance to showcase your holiday rental to your potential guests; your way. It’s a place to take bookings and to build relationships.
It’s where you’ll inform guests about your area and convince them exactly why they should holiday with you.
Via your website you get total control over not only how it looks but how it works. You set the booking rules, the terms and conditions, the contact details.
It’s important to get it right, so it sells for you. And to get it right, from the start.
Before you jump in to building a holiday home website, here are 3 myths to dispel:
Working with a website designer is my only option
You can build a website yourself. Yes you can!
I can understand why you’d employ the services of a web designer, although it’s an expensive option. You tell yourself that you’re not techie minded and you wouldn’t know where to start. I get this, but I built my website before I considered myself a techie person (not sure if I do now actually). Building a website does not involve coding or anything scary. Look online and you’ll find tutorials and step-by-step online programs to help.
Going forward, you’ll want to regularly update your website. When you’re involved from the start, editing your website becomes a whole lot easier and cheaper.
I’ve worked with designers before and they’re brilliant at what they do. But do they know what we need our holiday home’s website to do? Ok they know how to make a website look great and even how to make it all singing and all dancing. But you don’t need these swanky features.
Some of the best holiday home websites are the simplest; with 5 main pages, quality images and carefully written copy.
I don’t need professional images
This is the myth you tell yourself that people visiting your website will be more interested in what you have to say and your prices than your images. Wrong!
Images sell! And using poor quality images will turn visitors away. They won’t bother looking at your availability or reading more if they don’t like what they see.
So often I see badly lit images or ones taken too far away. Or images so small you have to squint to see what the picture is all about. You’re selling the lifestyle that a week’s holiday with you will provide. Stage your rooms with props such as a bottle of wine and wine glasses on the terrace, before the photographer visits.
Investing in some professional images will reap rewards ten-fold. You’ll use them daily in your social media too.
My budget is small so I’ll go for the cheapest option
This is the opposite to spending £1000s with a web designer. It can be a mistake going for the cheapest option too; a false economy in the long run.
You will need to buy your domain name eg www.honeycottage.co.uk. This costs as little as £5 a year. Make sure you buy that and you own it. Allowing a third party to do this for you for free (if you build your website with them) takes away your ownership. You need the freedom to move that domain name to a hosting company of your choice in the future.
I always recommend a WordPress site (approx £90 a year to host). It has all the functionality you need long term, from day one. No need once your website is up and running, to pay to add on a blog page or to add an SEO (search engine optimisation) package which is crucial to getting your website found. They come free with WordPress.
And when it comes to hosting, a cheaper option is for example to opt for www.honeycottage.weebly.com, or www.honeycottage.wix.com. But how professional do those web names look? Much better to spend that bit extra and convert the extension to a .com or.co.uk so you have www.honeycottage.co.uk or www.honeycottage.com
Whatever option you choose, when building your holiday home’s website think long term. Don’t opt for the quickest fix or the cheapest solution as you may well regret this long term. Give the right impression with your quality images and targetted copy. And importantly stay in control. It’s your website – you need to boss it!
Building a holiday home website
Here’s one website building program I would recommend as I’ve used it myself and Naomi is on hand to help guide you. The perfect mix of learning on the job yet having your hand held too! And I’m there to help you form a holiday rental perspective, via Naomi’s Facebook group. Get two experts for the price of one!
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