How to Use Colour To Increase Holiday Cottage Bookings
Here's an interesting fact: 92.6% of people say that the immediate visual impact of a website is a major influencing factor in their decision whether to book the property or not.
Colour plays a crucial part in that influence! So, is your website the right colour? If not, your holiday cottage could be losing bookings it deserves.
Read our latest blog article How to use Colour To Increase Holiday Cottage Bookings for six of the best tips for you to use when updating or redesigning your website. Feel free to add your comments related to your own experiences.
Location, Location, Location!
Last month we explained how to use the free Late Availability function. This month we draw your attention to the 'Location' function.
Every cottage on My Favourite Holiday Cottages is listed by county. But is your cottage listed under one of the many UK locations or regions that potential bookers use to find cottages in the area they want to visit?
Locations are geographical areas other than counties that are well known, e.g. Exmoor, The Lake District and Norfolk Broads. We've quite a selection and our analytics indicate the 'search by location' is frequently used by site visitors to find cottages. However, there are still quite a few properties that sit within such locations but have not added themselves to this criteria.
To find out if this is you, search through the list of locations using the 'Search for a Cottage' box on the top left of the Home page. Click on the dropdown arrow in the box below which says 'OR select a location.' This will reveal the list of locations currently set up on the site where there are cottages registered.
If your cottage sits in one of these locations, select it and click the 'Start Search Now' button. Look through the list of cottages to see if yours is featured. If it is, then job done! If it isn't, you could be missing out on bookings.
To add your cottage to a location, log in via the Owner Login button in the menu bar. (Your user name should be the e-mail address you've given us to send e-mails. If you've forgotten your password, just e-mail us to request it.)
Once logged in:
Select 'Your Properties' from the menu on the left of the site.
Select the 'Edit' button for the property you want to update.
Scroll down until you find a box entitled: 'Location (Optional)'. Click on the dropdown button and select the relevant location.
Then at the foot of the page, select the submit button.
That's all there is to it, unless while you're there you want to add any free 'Late Availability' listings - as described in the March Newsletter.
In the meantime, if you think there are other locations that should be added, by all means suggest them. We'll do a search to see how popular the search phrase is, i.e. how many times it is used by people to search for holiday properties. If it's well used, we'll add the location and will let you know in the next subsequent Newsletter. By the way, we recently added 'JURASSIC COAST' in response to a request, so if you're on or near the Dorset or East Devon coastline - add your cottage to this location and you should enjoy more visits to your website.
Home Page Improvements
We've been making a few changes to the Home Page to further improve its relevance and appeal to the thousands of potential bookers who visit it every month. Our aim has been to bring down the 'bounce rate'. For the uninitiated, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive and leave the site on the same page. Our aim is to get more visitors clicking through to further pages and looking at cottages. In all honesty, our bounce rate is relatively low, but we're always looking for improvement.
We've noted that visitors regularly click on the icons with images listing categories of holiday cottage, such as Coastal Holiday Cottages, Late Availability etc. We've made it easier for people to see these when they land on the Home page by reducing the text above the category icons. This means the Category icons start to be seen 'above the fold', removing the need to scroll down to find them.
We've also given your Members' Area a facelift with a view to making it easier to use.
You can be sure we'll be monitoring our analytics carefully to see how well the changes have worked.
How to Respond to Booking Enquiries
You'd think that responding to a booking enquiry is a matter of common sense, and, of course, it is. However, it does help to place yourself in the mind of the enquirer when drafting your response. If you spend a lot of time responding to enquiries and would like some tips to help you improve the number of bookings you get from enquiries, then your should read these two articles:
Understanding Holiday Cottage Booking Enquiries explains what is happening in the world of enquiries these days.
Booking Enquiries: A Checklist For Your Response offers a useful list of things to do and say in your response to an enquiry.
As with all our articles, we welcome responses, particularly suggestions for other useful content, to include in a response to an enquiry such as whether to respond by phone or in writing. So, please do share your thoughts!
Be Featured on Our Facebook Pages
For those yet to join the party, My Favourite Holiday Cottages has a Facebook Page geared largely towards sharing interesting or useful bits of news, ideas and information.
We tend not to use the site to 'sell' things like last minute availability offers unless for a region, but we do like to include details that make a property just that little bit unique or an example of good practice. For example, Best View Barn got a topical listing recently because their rental price includes a snow plough. Also, if we want to talk about a particular theme, we try to find a cottage that nicely illustrates it, hence the recent article on wellie boot racks.
Anyway, if you have something we can write about - especially if it comes complete with a photo (or even just the photo - we love to use good photos), then SEND IT TO US!
We'll give you a great plug with a link back to your listing on My Favourite Holiday Cottages. Just e-mail your news item to Rick.
If you've made it this far - thank you! We hope you found this Newsletter worth the read.
If there are any topics you'd like us to address in future Newsletters, just e-mail them to Rick and if we think it's an issue upon which we can offer learned advice we'll include it in a future Newsletter.
See you in May with more holiday cottage news and marketing tips!