Driving more visitors to your website...
To get more people to go to your website (or make an enquiry) we've now ‘animated’ the right hand sidebar. If you look at a listing the sidebar with links to your site will now follow you down the page. This provides visitors with a clear call to action alongside your essential details, regardless of where they are on the listing, so even more people should be able to click through to your website.
We have a flurry of new festivals sign up recently. Added to the Festival Cottages page, we now have Ireby Festival near Keswick, Ryedale Folk Festival and Beverley Folk Festival in Yorkshire, alongside Ludlow Open and Ludlow Festival in Shropshire. We also have finalising the details of festivals in Penzance and Northumberland, so we will reveal the details of these in the next newsletter. If you know of any cottages in any of these areas who would like more bookings during the festival and throughout the rest of the year then let us know. Each festival carries a link on their website to their Festival Cottages page on My Favourites giving them wider exposure to people looking for self catering properties in the area.
Based on feedback from owners, we have now included a 'Wifi' tick box in our Advance Search Options. We're finding that more and more people are looking for properties with internet access if they need to work on holiday. Equally, other bookers are intentionally looking for properties without internet access to provide an escape from modern life, so the search will really help bookers make the correct choice. If your property has Wifi please login to your account and tick the 'Wifi' box under the edit section of each property to update your listing. When you do this, or make any other alterations to your listing, it will automatically be moved to the top of any listing search in which it appears.
Our partnership with Essential Magazine has been going incredibly well, but we're now on the look out for 4 more holiday cottages that could be used as a competition prize for September - December 2012.
All you have to do is offer your cottage for a 3 night stay, outside of school holidays, and your cottage could feature in the magazine. Essentials has a monthly readership of over 182,000 so you could really boost the profile of your property and help boost your winter bookings. If you are interested in taking part please email email@example.com.
It's well known how important using sites such as Facebook and Twitter are in marketing holiday cottages. Our pages have been very quiet lately as we've been planning a new exciting initiative to really promote My Favourites to the wider world.
We will soon be re-launching our Facebook and Twitter pages aimed at potential bookers which is expected to draw even more traffic to the website, as well as expanding our blog and social media pages for owners too. In the meantime we have also added 'Social Share' buttons onto each property listing page. These are a great addition to the site as at the click of a button people can share a cottages details with their friends, increasing traffic and hopefully bookings to your property. We will keep you posted when the new pages are up and ready so we hope you will become fans and friends once they have launched.
Staying top of the Search
Did you know that by logging into your listing and updating anything on it will automatically put you at the top of any search results you feature in? By keeping your listing fresh and up to date it can really help people to find your listing and click through to your website. (Note: you can only do this once a week). We have noticed that those properties at higher up in a search list get more click throughs than those at the bottom.
Good photography = Good Bookings
We've also noticed a strong correlation between listings with good photographs and an increase in their click through and enquiry rates. If you have some new photos for 2012, feel free to upload them. Each listing can have up to 20 photos, and once you've added your photos your listing will be placed at the top of any search results that you might feature in. If you’re getting lots of click throughs to your site which do not appear to be converting to bookings, you might want to consider whether you can improve its appeal. People make an emotional decision first and then justify that decision using logical information. So, beautiful, appealing photos first – text second!
Top Tip of the month: Garden Preparation
While on the theme of excellent photography, seasonal photographs can really add something to a website. With the daffodils out in time for Easter it may also be worthwhile heading out into the garden to take some images for advertising your property for next Spring. With everything coming into bloom, it's also important to get your garden into shape for the summer months. Planting colour-coordinated pots is a fantastic way to bring some colour into your garden. When it comes to taking photographs during the summer they can also be moved around to get the best possible shots.
'As always we always appreciate your feedback about how we could make the website better so please feel free to get in touch by either emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning us on 01271 342143. We’ll reward any good ideas that we then put into action with a free listing in our popular ‘Featured Favourites’ section on the Home page.'