Picture this: you own a lot – and we’re talking a lot – of beautiful cottages by the sea, in the forest, or right by a lake shore. You’re proud of the accommodations you can provide, and they’re not only beautiful to behold, but also comfortable to stay in, with the bonus of Wi-Fi – or lack thereof, if your guests want to get away from the world for a bit!
Naturally, you want to encourage these guests to not only stay at your lodgings, but to also come back time and again, whether it’s for a personal retreat or a giant company-paid getaway. So how do you get those guests? Simple – with a website. Here’s how a website for your company can lead to more booking and rental sales for your cottages.
1: Have a Website in the First Place!
Printed materials these days may help slightly – perhaps your rentals are located on Vancouver Island, and you have BC Ferries’s help in displaying brochures? – but they only go so far in today’s world and nowadays are less cost-effective in marketing, especially if you’re a smaller company and don’t have that big of a budget. Not only can a website be more cost-effective, but it can also be distributed on several devices, not just a desktop computer, thus increasing exposure and interest.
Think about those guests on the go who may want to stop for the night and are rushed to find a place to stay, especially if they previously booked accommodations elsewhere only for the plans to fall through. They may not be near a desktop computer, so they check their smartphone to find what they need. Bearing this example in mind it’s a great idea to host and own a mobile website in addition to your desktop one. It will help gain more traffic for those last-minute reservations.
2: Great Visuals
The best accommodations websites I’ve seen include lots of beautiful photography, especially the natural landscapes. A few of these websites include video footage and are more than proud to feature their visuals as cover photos on their social media accounts. We’re sure your cottages’ views have something special to offer to would-be visitors, so get out your camera and show the world what you’ve got!
3: Ease of Access
By this we mean the visitor’s ability to book a cottage for rental online. How easy is it book a cottage rental on your website, if you have one already? If the answer you can think of is “anything but easy,” it’s time for a redesign. Gravity forms such as those you see on WordPress are an excellent means of booking accommodations online. You should also make it obvious to customers that signing up for a cottage is something they can do right away, as opposed to leaving a CTA at the very bottom. Pop-up features on your front landing page should also be something worth considering, so long as it’s not too intrusive to the user experience.
Nothing says “This is a great place to be!” more than receiving glowing testimonials about your cottages. Feature these testimonials on both your website and social media. Video will also be your biggest asset when it comes to gathering testimonials. It can reveal how much they’re enjoying the accommodations, as well as provide some valuable insight as to how they use them. You can also create and post videos on YouTube and your social media of events taking place at the cottages; perhaps weddings or honeymoons are something you can accommodate for?
5: A Strong Brand
Anyone can put up a website about cottage rentals these days, which is why you need to strengthen your company’s brand to stand out from the other cottage rentals down the road. Figure out what it is about your rentals that are different from other would-be rentals. These questions would be worth answering:
- Do your rentals offer great views for a cheaper price?
- Do they offer luxurious amenities that your competition doesn’t?
- Are there additional services your guests wouldn’t be aware of right away?
- Is Wi-Fi access an important feature for your guests, or are they looking for a complete escape from technology?
- Do you offer enough space for giant retreats where lots of guests can stay, or do they offer more of a private getaway for one to two people in paradise?
- Are any of your accommodations pet-friendly?
Once you’re done considering the above questions and answering them, you’ll have figured out better how to market and develop your rental company’s brand. Add a logo to help it stand out and you’re good to start!
If you’re not sure where to even start with these tips, we can help. Our professionals at V3 Media specialize in website development, from improving your current brand to assisting with making the content and overall design beautiful. If your accommodations website isn’t getting the traffic it deserves, give us a shout.