Welcome to the July 2012 Newsletter from My Favourite Holiday Cottages
Hello everyone and welcome to July's newsletter.
With the recent bad weather affecting the tourism industry you probably don’t need us to tell you that gaining those all important summer bookings is becoming increasingly difficult as people decide to stay at home or look abroad for their holidays.
So, alongside to updates to My Favourites we've been writing and posting some articles for your benefit. Topically, we begin with wet weather articles on keeping your guests entertained on rainy days, following these up with marketing mistakes to avoid and the importance of Google Analytics – all with a view to helping you attract more bookings during the rest of this season.
Rain, Rain, Go Away….
Rick recently posted an article on the excellent Lay My Hat Forum about what would make the perfect rainy day pack of activities. As well as being an excellent forum for holiday property owner information, why not read Rick’s post and add your suggestions? Here’s the link: http://www.laymyhat.com/ The aim is to collect and share as many ideas as possible. If it’s going to rain you’re much better off in a holiday property than a hotel as you can do far more indoors (and make more noise). We’re going way beyond board games and jigsaws here; until you’ve tried these games for example, you’ll have no idea how much Paper Dart Olympics or Balloon Baseball can contribute to a fun-filled family holiday until you’ve tried them. We'd love it if you could contribute with your ideas and we will summarise the best suggestions into a new blog post.
Games Consoles in Cottages:
Continuing the above theme, most of you will have worked out by now that including a games console in a property can be an excellent way to keep children entertained when it's soggy outside. Although many parents choose a property to escape from technology, many more don’t! Games consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 can also be a fantastic source of evening entertainment for the whole family. You can have a read up on their advantages and disadvantages here. For example, although cordless handsets are popular, they depend upon batteries – which someone has to replace - and are more likely to ‘walk’ than those with cables. You can vote for which is the most popular console to place in your property on our Facebook Poll here (Not having a games console at all is also an option!)
The Top 4 Marketing Mistakes:
Being in the holiday cottage industry we see an awful lot of holiday cottage websites. We see some real gems, but many could be so much better. It’s difficult telling people that their sites are losing them bookings, which is probably why so many continue to exist. It’s like trying to tell someone politely that their children are letting them down. You just can’t! So we've put together a list of the top 4 marketing mistakes people make on their holiday property websites. Read carefully and see if you can spot something that applies to you – don’t shoot the messenger please – but feel free to ask us for further advice! And if you have any of your own tips add them onto the comments at the bottom of the article.
Alongside our monthly statistics emails we encourage everyone on our site to sign up to Google Analytics, using it to discover ways to improve traffic to your site, or see which directory sites work for you. As well as being a fantastic tool to monitor your other marketing activities, we've written a quick blog post to explain how to set up Google Analytics, and how to check where your website’s traffic is coming from.
On My Favourite Holiday Cottages…
We reached the 600 Cottage Mark at the end of June! A huge thank you to everyone has registered with us. Cottage No. 600 was the beautiful Haven at Pennyland Farm on the Mull of Kintyre.
We also recently raised our prices (we hate it when people say ‘revised’ as it only means one thing, and we’d rather be honest, so we say ‘raised’). From July 16th, the price for a single listing on My Favourites is now £48. We've now implemented a new sliding scale so that in essence the more cottages you add the cheaper each listing becomes. If you want to add any additional cottages you may have you can see the full list of prices on our List a Cottage Page.
It’s probably appropriate at this juncture to mention site traffic figures. Earlier in the year when prices were £35 a year, My Favourite Holiday Cottages enjoyed around 8,000 unique visitors a month. We’re now getting twice that, having begun to achieve more Google no.1, Page 1 slots – and with more about to appear the number of visitors to our pages will continue to grow.
Our Featured Favourite prices have also increased to £20/month but our offer of buy 5 get 1 free still applies. If you are thinking about including your cottage on Featured Favourites in the future, sign up now as we only have a limited number of slots left of the start of 2013.
My Holiday Marketing:
We have another website which sets out all our services available to holiday property owners to help them achieve higher occupancy levels. It’s called My Holiday Marketing.We’ve just completely revamped it. The new site provides a wealth of detail about who we are and what we do, and we also have a few new services such as our 'Internet Advertising Plans' 'Internet Advertising Plans'. We welcome feedback, so please have a look around the site and let us know what you think.
Folk Weekend: Oxford has also signed up, so if you can recommend us a holiday cottage in the Oxford area which signs up, we'll give you a free Featured Favourite listing for a whole month.
Our Festival Cottages search function is growing in popularity –with the click throughs from a Festival’s own website to their My Favourite page which will feature your cottage if you’re in their catchment area averaging about 200 a week. Send us contact details about a Festival near you that runs for 2 or more nights and we’ll invite them to come on board and help promote your cottage.
As always if you'd like us to write a blog post about something you'd like to know more about, or would just like to contact us about any of our other services then feel free to contact us on 0845 6805431. We hope you all have a good start to the summer holidays.