AT this time of year there are often a number of jobs to do around your holiday home, but have you taken a look at your website to make sure it is up to scratch?
As more and more people turn to the internet to track down a place it is vital that your site at least has the basics right to ensure you have a fighting chance of securing a booking.
So here is a list of the key points and features your site should have to make sure it is suitable for both visitors and search engines.
Make sure there is a clear link at the top of each page that allows website visitors to contact you. Also try and put location details at the foot of pages as this will help with location-based searches in search engines.
A few good photographs can have real impact, and they look so much better with people in, but at least ensure they can be seen and are not just broken links. Each pic should have an Alt Tag, which is a short descriptive line of the pic, again useful for search engine spiders.
Text in Graphics
This is one of the biggest errors I see on holiday home websites and will be a real break on the success of your site. If you have a description of your property in an image search engines can’t read it and so will not know what your site is all about – stay clear of this.
Titles on Pages
Another thing I often see is the same title on every page of a site, to check if this is the case on your own site look at what is being displayed in the blue bar across the top of your browser. Give each individual page its own title, so if you are writing about the bedrooms say so in the title.
Use of Pop Up Windows
This is not so bad when used on photographs, but try not to use this feature on any other pages. You often find it on maps and is used to allow people to print the page. But really most holiday home sites are not that big so pages will display fine when printed, and it is often impossible to save such pages in your favourites.
Write About Your Area
Search engines, and website visitors, enjoy reading pages as it gives them a good feel of both the holiday home, the local region and the people behind the site. So write a few pieces about villages close to you and most importantly a page about yourself, remember you are asking people to hand over a lot of money for a stay so it is nice to see who is receiving it.
As a rough rule of thumb one of the easiest ways to check what search engines are seeing when visiting your site is to do a right click and then slide down to View Source. This shows the make up of your page and if there are few actual sentences and paragraphs of text the search engines are going to find it difficult to index your site and point people to it.
Ultimately you can have the wizziest website with great graphics and logos, but if people can’t find it, often through search engines, then all your hard work may prove fruitless.
Please feel free to pass on any of your own tips in the comment form below.