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Direct Booking Vacation Rentals | Book More Guests Directly

For vacation rental owners and hosts, having a direct booking website is a fantastic investment and opportunity.

"But why do I need a direct booking website when there are OTAs like Airbnb and" you might be asking.

The solution is straightforward. There are numerous advantages to increasing your direct bookings. For example, there are no hidden commissions, stronger guest relationships, complete control over T&Cs, and many other benefits.

According to VRMintel's "The Value of Direct Bookings" report, the average booking from Airbnb is worth around $906 per reservation based on the most recent figures.

Direct bookings, on the other hand, are valued at around $1,935 (a difference of $1,029). As a result, a direct booking is worth more than twice as much as an Airbnb booking.

But how do you attract these guests who you would normally expect to arrive via the major booking platforms?

Here's a hint: it all comes down to marketing.

Marketing your vacation rental business correctly will help you establish authority, increase direct bookings, increase repeat bookings, and increase revenue to new heights.

Here are the industry best suggestions for booking directly:

Determine your target market.

Conduct thorough keyword research

Claim your Google My Business account.

Make use of guest incentives.

Build trust

Choosing the best market for your rental

Remember that not every traveller will be your rental property's target audience.

However, your rental property will be ideal for a specific market of vacationers.

As a result, identifying your target market is a critical cog in the marketing mechanism for your direct booking website.

Consider who you want to reach. Is it a family, a couple, a business traveler, or a digital nomad? Are your visitors retired, millennials, or Generation Z? Then go a step further. Is your property pet-friendly, good for walkers, or offers a one-of-a-kind experience?

Once you've identified your target market, you can tailor your direct booking website to their preferences:

"Adjusting your property amenities, as well as your website imagery and copy, to appeal to your target market, will convert far more travellers to guests than a generic offering."

How to Perform Efficient Keyword Research for Your Direct Booking Website

When it comes to creating a high-quality website, content and copy go hand in hand. So, what are your prospective customers looking for?

"Forget trying to rank for high ticket search queries like 'Paris Vacation Rentals'. The OTAs will always win. Instead, concentrate on less common keyword phrases with higher guest intent and focus, such as 'pet-friendly apartment rental in Cleveland'.

While the search volume is much lower, the chances of higher search engine ranking and booking conversion are much higher."

This is called long tail keyword research. Essentially, it is one of the primary tools used by SEO marketers to optimize websites for search engine rankings.

Before you begin writing content for your direct booking website, conduct extensive keyword research utilizing tools such as Ubersuggest, Keywords Everywhere, or if you're considering giving Youtube a try, give VidIQ a shot with your keyword research.

Don't worry; there are numerous useful and free tools available to assist you in determining average monthly search volumes across Google.

Using Google Business Profile

"Google Business Profile is a free and effective way to develop your brand and help the discerning traveller find your rental, and direct booking website, outside of the OTA gates," says Google.

You'll want to claim and verify your Google Business Profile today and optimize your listing by verifying your location, uploading high-resolution images, and remembering to include your company description, address, phone number, and amenities.

Remember to encourage reviews from your guests! Social proof is always a good idea.

Making the best use of incentives

"The three magic words: Make a commotion!" Best price guarantee, no booking fees, more flexible policies, earlier check-in, later check-out, and complimentary upgrades'

If you only use a 'Book Now' or 'Book Direct' button, you are not doing enough!

You want to highlight the actual benefits of booking direct to your website visitors in a concise manner, and you do so by making it a Big Deal!!

Customer service is also important! Let your guests know how you do this and then follow that up with a Can't Refuse reason to book.

The importance of trust in direct bookings

Converting potential guests into direct bookers will be easier if you can demonstrate your credibility and trustworthiness to your target market.

Why should a traveler choose you over well-known global brands?

Here are five tips from Damian to help bridge the trust gap between you and major OTAs like and Airbnb, giving you a better chance of generating that organic booking:

Create a trust page that explains why your guests can trust you (after all, they are the ones who are parting with their money).

Make an effort to be less anonymous! Display team photos

Display your credentials. Show off your accomplishments with your rental(s). This will also allow guests to feel like they already know and trust you. Social media can help with this factor as well. Checking out your social pages, is a visual way to allow guests to get to know you, your rental and your passion for hospitality.

When transacting in the short-term rental and vacation rental industry, trust is an extremely important factor to consider. It works in both directions!

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