Turn Lookers into Bookers with these Short Term Rental Website Design Tips

Turn Lookers into Bookers with these Short Term Rental Website Design Tips

Hospitality web design tips are critical to short term rental website success. Case in point: you've got the perfect holiday getaway, the extras that your guests crave, and plenty of traffic on your custom-designed vacation rental website. So why don't you have bookings? Because guests aren't reserving your rooms, of course! You need to optimise your website.

The way to convert guests online is to optimise your website until they can't help but book with you.

1. Prioritise the SEO of your short term rental website

Want to guess how many of your guests will start their travel plans with a Google search? Try 75%! For this reason, If you want to stay on top of the hotel world, then you need to start by staying on top of the keyword trends and incorporating them into your short term rental website.

Natural phrasing should now be critical to your hospitality site's overall web design, especially since many people have come to search using voice recognition.

As part of the overall marketing strategy for your short-term vacation rental website, your long-tail keywords or phrases should sound perfectly natural when you say them out loud. For example, when writing content for your short term rental website, avoid stilted language. “Guesthouse X has many lovely vistas to captivate the poetic soul” may get fewer clicks than “Stay in the Swiss Alps at Guesthouse X.”

2. Tap into the power of visuals

You need lots of good photos to convert your unsure guests into loyal repeat customers. After all, they've never stayed at your hospitality in the past. Good visuals will convince them to go out on a limb for you. HospitalityNet recommends using your visuals to tell a story about your business. This will make your guests feel more connected to you.

Remember, your guests aren't necessarily making a conscious, rational decision to choose you over Giant Hotel Chain X. They're following their heart and making that decision emotionally. With pictures, you can spark those feelings and land the booking.

Incidentally, visual social media platforms like Instagram are also great for showing guests what you've got available and how much fun they'll have at your hospitality. Make sure that all of your photographs are as high-quality as possible. For a quick primer on great room photography, check out my post on the subject!

3. Design your short term rental website for mobile

If I've said it once, I've said it ten times: mobile bookings are critical to the future of the hospitality industry. You can't ignore them. EdHotels estimates that 80% of room bookings are done on mobile these days.

If you need even better numbers, Skift has charts that clearly show that mobile bookings are outpacing the rest.

So how can you best turn lookers into bookers when those lookers are on their smartphones? GeekFlare suggests focusing your short term rental website web design on easy navigation and using icons and images to convey information. This can get your site away from that small print that's so hard to read on a smartphone.

4. Fix your navigation

Techzactly emphasises this point in its hospitality web design tips post: if your guests are confused when they try to get around, they won't book. That's why you must make your menus clear and provide a strong call to action. Booking phone numbers and buttons should always be in the customer's view.

Make sure that all the pages on you short term rental website link up correctly and that there are no broken links anywhere on your site. Also, use analytics to guide how you build your navigation menus. If you see users bouncing from a certain specific menu, then it's possible that the menu needs more work.

5. Make sure your short term rental website is lightning-fast

I've spoken before about how improving your site's speed will also improve your bounce rate. That advice continues to ring true! Don't take my word for it: take it from Torque Magazine, which rates website speed as the #1 factor in web design success.

When you look around the Internet for hospitality web design tips, you're likely to see this one come up a lot.

If you're stuck on how to start, then consider taking advice from Hosting Facts and removing plug-ins, limiting your social sharing buttons, and enabling caching. Although I strongly recommend using pictures, you should also be aware that the bigger your site, the slower it will load. Don't cram so many photos onto your homepage that it fails to load quickly enough.

If you're still looking for more ways to boost your vacation rental and short term rental website into a direct booking machine? Get in touch – or take a look at how you can double your direct bookings in the video below.


In summary…

Capture the attention of your short term rental website visitors by presenting your rental property in the best possible light. Use high-quality, professional photographs that showcase your rental's unique features and appeal.

Accompany the visuals with compelling descriptions that highlight the key selling points and benefits of staying at your property. Paint a vivid picture of guests' experience, emphasizing the comfort, amenities, and the location's attractions.

Simplify the booking process to minimize friction and maximize conversions. Ensure that your the navigation on your short term rental website is intuitive and user-friendly, allowing visitors to easily find the necessary information and proceed with the booking seamlessly.

Implement a straightforward and secure online booking system that provides clear instructions and requires minimal steps to complete the reservation. Offer multiple payment options to accommodate various preferences and provide reassurance about the security of transactions.

Leverage the power of social proof to build trust and credibility.

Display positive guest testimonials and reviews prominently on your short term rental website to reassure potential guests about the quality of their stay.

Include testimonials that highlight memorable experiences, outstanding customer service, and the overall satisfaction of previous guests. Additionally, consider integrating social media feeds or widgets that showcase real-time guest interactions and positive feedback, further strengthening your credibility.

Encourage site visitors to take immediate action by providing incentives or limited-time offers.

Consider offering discounts for early bookings or extended stays and exclusive perks such as complimentary upgrades, welcome packages, or access to local attractions. Clearly communicate these special offers on your short term rental website, creating a sense of urgency and value that motivates visitors to make a reservation promptly.

Optimising your website for mobile devices is crucial in today's mobile-driven world. Ensure your short term rental website is fully responsive and adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes, providing a user-friendly experience across smartphones and tablets.

A mobile-friendly design enhances accessibility and enables potential guests to explore your rental property and make bookings conveniently, regardless of the device they use.

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