Welcome to the June 2012 Newsletter from My Favourite Holiday Cottages
Hello everyone and welcome to this months newsletter!
We’d also like to welcome the new property owners that have signed up to My Favourite Holiday Cottages since our last newsletter which means we’re now close to reaching 600 properties on the site. We’ve reached that stage in our growth where we are now being joined by owners who have found us in the No.1 slot on Google when searching for a site on which to advertise properties. For the newbies - and those happy to be reminded - as well as our newsletter you can also keep up to date with holiday property news and information on our Facebook and Twitter and Blog pages.
We’re hearing from many sources that it’s been a tough year for bookings, so if you still have any availability for July you can advertise it for free in our Late Availability section. Just log into your account and select the Late Availability tab in the side menu bar. We’ve found that the listings getting the best response tend to be those that list a discount or incentive.
Holiday Cottage Visitors Directory
Our latest blog post was all about the information packs owners leave for their guests. Poor and out of date information in these packs can really frustrate guests, so it's essential that these are kept up to date. Full details are on the blog post here.
Information packs are also an incredibly useful way of working with local businesses. If there is a particular restaurant or tourist attraction that you'd like to recommend, see if they have any vouchers you could put into the pack. Better still, if you can obtain or create a PDF of the voucher you can e-mail it to your guests as an advance welcome gift. If you can include the name of your property on the voucher, it means you'll be at the forefront of local business owners minds if tourists ask about local accommodation.
As ever, we’re incredibly keen on owners using the best possible photographs to advertise their properties. Great images create the best emotional response from potential guests, making them much more likely to book a property - so if you have any new photos feel free to upload them on your listing. Again, we do see that listings with good quality photos attract a higher number of click throughs or enquiries.
If you have a gap in bookings over the next few weeks, why not use it as an opportunity to take some great summer photos of your property – inside and out. Equally, go get some quintessential summer photos of scenic locations and places to visit around your property to spice up your location page. Just make sure some blue sky is included! The best times are early mornings and evenings when the quality of light adds an appealing quality. We provide a professional holiday cottage photoshoot service and have developed a useful checklist outlining the things you can do to prepare your cottage or home prior to taking photos. If you’d like us to e-mail you a copy, just ask! Email email@example.com
Did you know that as well as Facebook and Twitter you can also find us on LinkedIn, where we have a number of discussions about marketing your holiday property? If you're registered with LinkedIn you find our group here.
Holiday Cottage Focus Groups
We're always incredibly keen to hear from owners about how we can make improvements for My Favourite Holiday Cottages and My Favourite Holiday Marketing. We've recently been running a series of focus groups in North Devon to get feedback on ways to improve our services for owners. They have been incredibly useful – not just for us, but for the participants as well.
We're also planning focus groups around the West Country so if you'd like to come along full details are here. The sessions are very convivial, with owners enjoying the opportunity to get together and share experiences or pick up some useful tips such as:
- The importance of optimising your website for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- What owners love (and loath) when it comes to online newsletters.
- Why 2012 has been a strange year so far when it comes to bookings.
- The ‘new essentials’: items that have moved from being a luxury to a standard facility that people increasingly expect to find.
On My Favourite Holiday Cottages,
New Festivals: We've had a brilliant range of festivals sign up to our Festival Cottages section which are listed below. If you know any holiday cottages in the areas mentioned blow then feel free to recommend us and if they sign up we'll give you a free month on our Featured Favourites section to attract even more visitors to your site. Our newest festivals are:
- The Cheltenham Festivals of Jazz, Literature, Music, and Science.
- Priston Festival near Bath.
- The Summer Nights Film Festival is happening across Derbyshire.
- Shrewsbury Folk Festival in Shropshire.
- Wirksworth Festival in Derbyshire.
Top Tip: A note on ‘Duplicate Content’:
When you're making a listing on an online directory or advert site, do you often copy and paste the text directly from your own website? If so, did you know that you could be actually harming your site by using duplicate content?
If multiple websites are all displaying exactly the same information search engines such as Google have a hard time trying to identify which website should appear as the best result for a query. If search engines end up choosing an old advert over your website you could be losing out on bookings and enquiries.
How do you fix this? Simple, with any listing you write make sure it's written differently to what you have written on your website. If you've made this mistake on My Favourites then don't worry! Just login to your account and make some editions to your listing and search engines won't see any more duplicate content.
As always, we're always keen to hear back on any comments, queries and recommendations that you have and we hope you have enjoyable June.