Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Do you wonder why your vacation rental website does not appear on top of Google search results? You may need to improve your ranking using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

SEO is a methodology of strategies, techniques, and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website. A good SEO will help you obtaining a high-ranking placement on the results page of a search engine like Google. 

We published a guide that will help you improve your SEO ranking. The guide is available in PDF format at this link.

We also created several blog posts:

Here some basic SEO tips for your website:

Domain

Your domain name is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. If you choose the yearly or bi-yearly Lodgify subscription plan, you can register a free domain. See how to register a new domain. In case you had a website before, don't forget to redirect your URLs to keep your Google ranking. If you previously had a different domain and don't want to lose your Google ranking, we recommend to keep the domain live and connect an additional domain to your website in order to be able to redirect the URLs.

Register your website in Google Search Console

Once you have a custom domain connected to your website, verify the ownership of your website in the Google Search Console which allows you to monitor and maintain your website's presence and optimize its performance in the Google search listings.

Submit your sitemap to Google

When you have successfully verified your website in Google Search Console, submit your sitemap to Google. A sitemap is an XML file that contains a list of all of your website’s pages to tell Google and other search engines about how your site content is organized.

Metadata

The Metadata is a combination of Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions, and each of the pages on your website should contain them. Meta Keywords are words that define the purpose of the website, and Meta Descriptions are short text paragraphs that appear in the search results underneath your website link they briefly explain the content of the website.
💡 Note: To change the Metadata for an individual rentals page on a multi-rental website, you need to follow the steps described in this article to reach the page settings.  

To add or amend the metadata: 

  1. Go to your Main Menu in the top left corner and select Websites
  2. In the Pages tab, go to the sidebar menu and hover the mouse over the page you want to edit. Then click the little wheel icon.2019-10-15_1054.png
  3. Now you can add your Meta Keywords (the best 5-6 Keywords), and your Meta Description (relevant and natural description of the page and business using 2-3 keywords if possible) for each of the pages of your website, then click Save. UberSuggest is a great free tool to help you define your Keywords.

💡 Note: Your Meta Description will show on the search engine results page underneath the title.2018-04-16_1318.png

💡 Note: you may have published your website in other languages. Remember to add and tailor your metadata for all the website languages that you have published. Also, we recommend resubmitting your sitemap to Google once you have all your keywords set up.

Change your page titles

Title tags tell your visitor what each page on your site is about in a clear, concise manner. Each page of your website should contain a unique title and a Primary Keyword. 

Example 1: Page Title - Primary Keyword | Brand Name ➡️ Gallery - Vacation Rentals Maui | Aloha Beach House

Example 2: Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name ➡️ Vacation Rentals Maui - Luxury Beach Apartment | Aloha Beach House

💡 Note: Don't forget to add the actual symbols (- and |) in the title to help structure it.

To add or amend the title:

  1. Go to your Main Menu in the top left corner and select Websites
  2. In the Pages tab, go to the sidebar menu and hover the mouse over the page you want to edit. Then click the little wheel icon.
    💡 Note: To change the page title for an individual rentals page on a multi-rental website, you need to follow the steps described in this article to reach the page settings.  
  3. 2019-10-15_1054.png
  4. Now add your Title and link text for each of the pages of your website, then click Save.
    💡 Note: When changing the Title of your page, the Link Text will automatically update. Don’t forget to change this back if you want the link text to remain as it was (e.g. Home, Gallery, etc.).

💡 Note: Your titles will appear like this in search results.2018-04-16_1252.png

💡 Note: you may have published your website in other languages. Remember to add and tailor your titles for all the website languages that you have published.

Use headings in your content

Headings, also known as H tags help Google to identify and read the content of a webpage. The H1 is the most important header, so it’s a good idea to use your targeted keywords in the H1. It’s also essential to remember there should only be one H1 per page and it should contain a Primary Keyword. H2 can be used as subheadings and should contain Secondary Keywords. 

To add headings to your pages:

  1. Go to your Main Menu in the top left corner and select Websites
  2. Choose the website you want to amend, click Edit, and select Pages.
  3. In the Pages tab, go to your homepage or custom page, click Add new widget, and select Heading.2019-10-15_1101.png
  4. Now decide on the size of the heading (Big = H1, Medium = H2, Small = H3), type in the title, and Save.

💡 Note: You can also insert a heading and respective keyword inside a Content Widget by using the Formatting button and selecting a Header.2018-04-16_1314.png

Use alt tags for your pictures

Alt tags are HTML attributes applied to an image and provide a text alternative for search engines. So using alt tags for your images can positively impact your SEO as they help search engines understand what an image is about. Also, the text of the alt tag appears inside the image container in cases when the image cannot be displayed.

To use alt tags on your Lodgify website, follow these steps:

  • For photos in your Rental Gallery the alt tag is the name of the picture, so make sure you give each image a proper name ideally using keywords. To change the names of the pictures you can do so in the section Photos.2019-10-15_1109.png
  • For images placed in a Content Widget, we recommend adding the alt tag manually. To do so, upload the image in the content widget and then click on the HTML code brackets <>. Now edit the code to add both the alt attribute and the title attribute to your image.
    💡 Note: The alt attribute will tell search engines what the image is about. The title attribute sets what shows up on the image if hovered.

    Example: alt="Patio" title="Perfect outdoor wedding venue"
    Your code should now look like this:Screenshot_11-18-2020_10.00.39.png
    Then save and publish, so on your website, the alt title will appear when hovering the mouse over the picture.Screenshot_11-18-2020_10.02.18.png

💡 Note: Images in your slideshow widgets and image widgets don't have alt tags but they should still always have a proper name as this one will be displayed if the picture doesn't load correctly.

Free tools

Enhance your web visibility using free and powerful tools: 

  • LinkBuilding. Add links from local business web pages to your vacation rental site. Ask them to return the favor and increase your web visibility.  
  • A blog helps you showing further information and include crucial keywords that may attract more visitors to your website. Learn how to add a blog page to your website.    
  • Create social media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, and give your followers the opportunity to share your website on their pages.
  • Add badges and certificates (e.g. Airbnb Superhost badge, etc.) to your homepage to build credibility and trust. 

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