Tips for making your advert Search Engine Friendly

SEOMost travellers nowadays begin their holiday research online either by going directly to a website they know, or by typing what they’re looking for in to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. Therefore, as well as writing enticing copy which sells your property to travellers coming direct to, you also need to think about what these search engines are looking for; namely typical 'keywords' that people may use when searching for a holiday, such as 'villa with pool in Spain'.

HomeAway Holiday-Rentals works hard to ensure our site continually appears on the first pages of search results for relevant terms, but you can also improve your individual advert’s position in the search results by using the simple SEO ('Search Engine Optimisation') technique of adding appropriate keywords to your advert.

So firstly, how do I write enticing copy for travellers?

Three main elements of your advert on are your property headline, description and local area information.
As the property headline is one of the first things travellers see, think of this as your '20 second pitch' – i.e. the key things you would highlight to people if you had 20 seconds to sell them your property. To encourage them to click through or read on further to your description, make sure your best features and the facilities they will likely be looking for are listed first. For example, "Villa with private pool, tennis court, and near Algarve beaches".
You can then use your description to provide fuller details on all your facilities and special features. Your description should include factual details about the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, other rooms and facilities, and also 'paint a picture' of the experiences travellers can enjoy while staying there. For example “Enjoy the spectacular sea views from the covered terrace while you sip a cocktail by the pool”; not only does this set a holiday scene, it highlights three key features; the property has sea views, a covered terrace and a pool! You can also use your description to address common questions you may get from travellers such how long a walk or drive is it from the local shops, bars, beach or ski lifts etc…
Although the focus of your advert should be the property itself, it is also important to include a good amount of local information to inform travellers about everything that is on offer within easy reach of your home and further highlight why it’s such a great place to holiday. Here you should mention nearby places of interest and their distance from your home, including your local shops, restaurants and other amenities, and the nearest airports, stations or ports.

Now, what about those Search Engines?

As mentioned above, the most common SEO technique is to use keywords. These are simply the words that someone types in to a search engine to find what they are looking for.

How do I know what keywords to include?

To choose your keywords, think of the words and phrases someone might use to find your type of property, for example ‘cottage in the Cotswolds’, or ‘apartment rentals in Paris’. We recommend you choose at least four keywords and repeat them three to five times throughout your advert. The most common types of keywords are type of property (e.g. villa or apartment), destination (e.g. both the local town/resort and country) and facilities (e.g. pool)


Other types of keywords include:

Basic property details - e.g. number of bedrooms, number it sleeps
Location information – e.g. local town, village, city and airport
Facilities – e.g. pool, BBQ, roof terrace, etc…
Local amenities – e.g. famous tourist attractions and hotspots, nearby beaches
Holiday activities – e.g. golf, scuba diving, cycling, skiing

Where can I add keywords to my property advert?

On HomeAway Holiday-Rentals you can add keywords wherever you can write descriptive text, but it’s best to spread them out so your copy doesn’t sound too repetitive in any one section. 

Examples of using keywords

1) Property headline

Good examples, including location and property type:

Stunning farmhouse with private pool in Tuscany, near Florence
2 bedroom apartment with terrace and shared pool in Kato Paphos
Tranquil 3 bedroom cottage near Grasmere village, Lake District
Luxury villa in Florida with pool near golf and Disneyland

Poor examples, using few or no few keywords:

Pretty detached cottage with sea views
No 3. Fully furnished flat in the city centre
Spacious guests apartment in picturesque grounds

2) Property description

As discussed, this section is the place to describe your holiday home in detail and should be used to tell potential guests about all your facilities and special features. The example below describes both the main and unique features of the property whilst also using plenty of keywords:
“This luxurious 5 bedroom villa is located in the popular town of Albufeira on the Algarve in Portugal. The spacious living area includes a large open plan kitchen-dining room, comfortable lounge and separate TV room. Four en-suite bedrooms are located on the first floor and offer spectacular sea views, whilst the large ground floor suite has garden views and full wheelchair access. Outside, the terrace has dining furniture and a BBQ - perfect for al fresco dining on the warm Algarve evenings! The terrace leads into large gardens which feature a private swimming pool and a children's play area. Albufeira itself is packed with great restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as plenty of shops and places of historical interest. Several family friendly beaches including Gale, Falesia and Baleeira are located within an easy walk of our villa and offer fantastic water sports facilities.”      

3) Location information

The below is a good example of well-written copy that has been optimised for search engines as it is extremely informative about what is on offer locally and also contains plenty of location and holiday activity keywords:
“Located on the outskirts of Grasmere village near the market town of Ambleside, our cottage offers the perfect setting for exploring The Lake District National Park. The cottage itself sits at the bottom of the Helvellyn mountain range, making it a perfect setting for outdoor activities including hiking, climbing and mountain biking. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy water sports including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing on Lake Windermere or Derwentwater. There are also several excellent golf courses nearby. The towns of Ambleside, Windermere and Keswick are within easy reach and are great for shopping and packed with museums, art galleries and other attractions such as the Lake District National Park Visitors Centre in Windermere. Free use of the local leisure centre with swimming pool and gym is available for the duration of your stay.” 

Copyright, October 2010