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january 2013 Newsletter

Online Bookings

We noticed a healthy increase in the percentage of online bookings coming through from owners’ websites. That’s good news for those MFHC subscribers with an online booking option, as our aim is to drive potential bookers to your website and encourage them to book from there. As one of our subscribers told us, “I’m away in January so cannot answer the phone to enquirers, but with and my online booking facility and plenty of visitors to my site, I’m not losing any bookings.” If you haven’t got an online booking function on your website, you may wish to consider it. If you’d like further information on this subject, we’d be happy to offer some advice. Ask here about online booking facilities.

Marketing Thoughts: Instagram – more than just a pretty picture?

This month, we've been taking a look into the world of Instagram. If you haven't already heard of it, Instagram is a popular photo-sharing app that you can use if you have a Smartphone. Anyone using the app can add filters to give their images a vintage retro look. The 'Instagrammed' photos really do have something special about them, and could well be worth using to promote your property. Have a read through our article to see how one owner from Cornwall is using them. We’d also love to hear from other owners about how they use Instagram. So, do add comments onto the blog post about what you enjoy about using Instagram.

Advice required: Ironing solutions. Are there any?

We recently had a message in from an owner in Anglesey about that all-important element of holiday cottages maintenance – ironing (we can hear the groans from here). She wanted to know if anyone knew of any genuine non-iron bedding that could be bought. Although it does certainly take a long time to do, especially on changeover days when there is so much else to organise, it does help to make a huge first impression from guests. If wrinkle-free sheets don’t exist, are they any quick methods of ironing or useful gadgets you use to save time? Alternatively, does anyone not iron because visitors don't actually notice? Let us know and we’ll publish responses in our blog. E-mail your views and tips into us and once we receive enough collective information to form a useful article we will put it into a blog post for everyone to read.

Discounting Your Holiday Cottage - Blog Article

While we’re on the subject of blogging, Rick has published his third article on the subject of discounting your rentals. 6 Tips to Better Holiday Cottage Discounting considers things to take into account to ensure you don’t give away more than you need in getting bookings through discounting your prices.

MFHC Site Updates

During December and the early part of January we spent time improving the optimisation of the MFHC site to help maintain its steady climb up the search engine rankings. It’s rather like a massive spring-cleaning exercise, mending or removing broken links, taking out or re-writing duplicate text, adjusting meta titles and descriptions and lots of other jargon-related tasks.

To-date, the number of visitors to the MFHC site is more than double that enjoyed in January 2012, and we’ve still a week of January to go. We’re now working on improving the Members area, making it easier for you to update text, images or add a Late Availability listing or Featured or County Favourite upgrade. 

We have also improved search results pages. They now show 20 properties per page, which means they load much faster. The order in which cottages are displayed is automatically changed every two hours to ensure that everyone regularly enjoys time in the limelight at the top of page one.

We're always spending time each month developing the site, so if you have any thoughts and feedback as to how My Favourite Holiday Cottages could work better for you (and potential bookers) then whizz them to us for our attention or call us on 01598 710631. We welcome all opportunities to listen to and learn from owners – so do get in touch. We’ll reward any great suggestions we implement with a free Featured Favourite listing.

With best wishes for 2013.

Rick and the My Favourite Holiday Cottages Team