How A Successful Holiday Home / Self Catering Property Website Works
If you own a holiday home or self catering property, we know there are a lot of things that have to be in place to ensure it all runs smoothly. Firstly, you have to ensure the property has all the right legal stuff/certification in place. Secondly, you have to ensure the property is maintained and cleaned. Thirdly, it has to be marketed properly to the right target audience – either via advertising or by being listed on some of the large circulation booking sites. Fourthly, you have to have your own website that you own, so you are totally independent should the goalposts change with any third party directory or booking website you are currently relying on.
In our experience, most people aren’t that technical and need objective advice and practical help to ensure their website is set up properly and doing all the basics correctly.
We also realise that some of you with existing website KNOW that it is missing the mark, or that you are missing a trick or two, yet think it is a complex thing to have to get sorted, so they keep putting it off.
It really isn’t. We specialise in either setting up new websites or restructuring and migrating existing ones. It normally takes a few days to a week to action everything properly, and create a dynamic, aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate website with a strong call to action, and then a few more weeks before you start getting properly indexed by Google and other engines.
Whilst every property and/or website is unique or different, These key fundamentals are common to all and are essential for running a successful self-catering property or holiday lodge website. It’s all about customer confidence and reassurance.
Key Fundamentals For Potential Guests:
- The website has to be optimised properly so it is easy to find with relevant search terms on Google and other engines.
- The website has to be responsive and mobile friendly so it delivers content properly on all types of computer or device.
- The website has to have an SSL certificate so it is encrypted and secure (ie it starts with https: ).
- The website itself needs to look great aesthetically with immediate impact whilst being clean looking and easy – and logical – to navigate.
- The website content itself needs to be well written and informative, covering the overall property and facilities, things to do in the area, answers to FAQs, location map, directions, access to reviews from other guests – and to know how they can contact the owner if they have any queries.
- The site should also feature good quality images, either individually placed or in slideshows and galleries.
- The site should include a strong call to action – including being able to check availability and either contact you or to book online there and then.
The Call To Action
The entire process from finding your site to looking at it leads to this moment!
We understand that some of you like to handle bookings “manually” and simply ask guests to pay you by bank transfer, so at the very least this means including an enquiry form for people to complete.
If you direct people towards a third party booking site at this stage, you are basically paying commission for a booking you have already got! It’s fine paying out 20% commission for a booking that you wouldn’t have got otherwise (ie the found you because of their website), but why pay this for people who find you direct, or for repeat bookings – especially if you are also paying to advertise your site yourself.
The best option is to integrate a system like Bookalet. You pay a low annual fee and it handles the entire availability and booking side of your business for you. You pay a nominal transaction fee for each booking and it synchs with other third part booking systems you currently work with to avoid double bookings. You can manually block dates off and have total control over rates and other factors.
It’s also important for the guest to know what happens next – from confirmation of their booking through to what they can expect upon arrival. People like to be reassured – and made to feel special!
Website Set Up & Migration: From £750 plus VAT.
Website Hosting (inc SSL Certificate, GDPR, hosting with unlimited pages, content management): £39 plus VAT pm (or £395 plus VAT pa).
Bookalet (optional): £119 plus VAT pa, paid direct to Bookalet).
Advanced Site Marketing Set Up (inc keyword research, Google Ads set up, initial link building, social media set up (if relevant): From £350 plus VAT. Please note this is optional but recommended.
You pay us when your site is “live” and you are happy!
What Happens Next
If you don’t already have a domain we’ll discuss the best options for you and will register the domain for you. If you already have a domain and a website, we will build a new site for you on our servers, and then when you are happy and ready for the new website to go “live”, you either provide us with login details to your domain panel and we make the necessary DNS changes for you, or we provide you with instructions and you action these changes yourself, including cancelling any web hosting service you currently have in place. You can either continue to renew the domain name with your current supplier, and simply use our web hosting service – or we can transfer the domain to our control panel and manage/renew it for you.
You will need a mailbox @yourdomain. It is far more professional to use a mailbox associated with your domain than to use your default Gmail, AOL, Hotmail or BT type address. If you don’t already have a mailbox associated with your domain set up – ie stay@yourdomain -, we can set this up for you as part of your website hosting package.
In addition to handling the initial set up and migration, we show you how to manage your own website and booking amends – or can co-manage this for you. We know how important it is to have access to “hands on” ongoing support from people who understand your business and who are keen to help.
Contact Us for a “No Obligation” chat on 01526 352919 or complete our enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.