Update Advice for your Adverts
Assuming you’re lucky enough to have an hour or two to kill over the next fortnight, spend one of them updating your listing on My Favourites. This will help you get the maximum exposure to the huge surge in potential bookers visiting the site over the next few months. Follow these recommendations before the surge begins. While we spend the whole year planning and implementing updates for My Favourites (after all, it is our day-job!), we know that you probably already have a day job and don’t have the time to regularly review all your adverts all the time. However, to ensure you get maximum value for money from your subscription, spending half an hour once a year updating your listing can pay dividends – even just one additional booking would justify the time. When the novelty of playing with your presents has worn off, escape from the left-over turkey and chocolates and invest around 30-minutes updating your listing on My Favourite Holiday Cottages Here it is then: All the things you can do to increase the number of potential bookers, looking at your listing, to click through to your own website and enquire from there.
Add Reviews and Testimonials
These can be very influential – as I’m sure you’ll know. Guests can now upload their review of your property. It’s a review with a difference – we invite them to write about all the positive aspects of your property. We’ve seen the reputation of too many wonderful cottages undermined by malicious or false reviews to want to allow this to happen on our watch. So, give guests the link to your page on My Favourites and ask them to submit their review. We moderate it. If it is in line with the site’s policy of encouraging guests to focus on their favourite things about your cottage, then we publish it. If we have any concerns, we’ll contact you first to check it is genuine and you’re OK for it to be uploaded. You can also upload testimonials yourself that guests have sent to you or left in your Visitors Book after their stay. We’ve noticed that owners who do take advantage of the Review and Testimonial options have enjoyed an increase in the number of click throughs to their property. To upload testimonials: 1. Log in to your Member’s Area NB: In case you can’t remember it, your user name will be the e-mail address you used when registering. If you can’t recall your password – just click the request password link. 2. Scroll down to the Reviews & Testimonials section and click on the ‘Add/Remove Guest Testimonials’ link and add the testimonial. You will need to add the guest’s name and date of stay (without this, a testimonial lacks authenticity). 3. If a guest has supplied one, you can even upload a relevant photo to accompany the testimonial.
Update your photos
Just as influential are images. Good quality images work wonders, which is why we give you the opportunity to upload up to 19 images. There’s a growing tendency for potential bookers to feel that if images of rooms are missing, it’s because you’re trying to hide something. So, if you’re not using all 19 image slots available to you, add some more. As well as interior and exterior shots, include some of the location. For those who want to do this seriously, e-mail us or call us on 0845 680 5431 for a free ‘Photoshoot Guidelines’ which sets out how to get the best pictures possible of your property. By the way, we can do the photoshoot too! Assuming you’ve got some great images, we’ve noticed a definite trend between the number of images featured and click-throughs to your site, so it's a worthwhile exercise!
To ensure you’re found more frequently in searches, we have added some new locations over the year, e.g. The Gower Peninsula and The Jurassic Coast. So, if your cottage isn’t already listed under a Location, check to see if there is one that would be relevant. Let us know if there’s an obvious and recognised location that we are missing.
Add an Availability Calendar
Do you have a calendar on your own site which you keep up to date? If so, did you know that you can arrange for this calendar to be displayed on your listing? Use this feature and every time you update your own calendar it will automatically update on your My Favourites advert.
Boost Your Profile to Catch a Booker’s Attention
Astute owners boost the number of visitors to their website by having their listing promoted as a Featured or County Favourite. January to March is naturally a particularly popular time! Featured Favourite Cottages are listed on the Home and Advanced Search pages of the site. County Favourites appear on the County Search page. They ensure that your property will catch the eye of potential bookers even before they’ve begun a full search. A Featured Favourite is £20+VAT for one month. To ensure they work for you, we limit the number of properties for any month to just 20 guaranteeing your listing will regularly enjoy top billing. Just click on the ‘Update Availability Calendar’ link in your Members Area to start.
Give Your Cottage A Stunning New Website For 2014
We are aware that there are two times during the year when your are likely to consider a fresh website design. One is in January with a new season ahead waiting to be filled. The other is around March – May when some owners looking at a still empty calendar feel that they need to do something better than spending more money on adverts. Most of you will know by now that we specialise in designing websites for holiday cottages. We understand how a booker acts when they look at a website, what they are looking for and what gives them the reassurance they need to book with ease and confidence. Check out the website advice articles in our blog pages on the My Holiday Marketing Website. We don’t advertise the service a great deal to be honest, largely because we do so well from word of mouth referrals. However, as it is the season of goodwill, if you’d like us to review your website to see how it could be made more appealing to bookers (and search engines), then contact us. We’ll look at the site then give you a call and share our views on the strengths and weaknesses of your existing site, as well as what you might like to do to make it more effective: All completely free of charge. We’ll also let you know how much it would be to have a site designed to your needs and specifications. If you’ve been using the same site, largely unchanged for four or more years, then you really should be considering a fresh design. Just contact Rick or Harry on 0845 680 5431 or e-mail us and we’ll have a look at your site and get straight back to you with some helpful suggestions. NB: We'll begin our review with what you're doing correctly!
Have A Good One!
That’s it for December and 2013. It’s been a good year, but we’ve got big plans to make it an even better one for you in 2014. Have a lovely Christmas and New Year. Rick, Harry, Ed, Jason, Amanda and Amanda (there are two of us!), Charlie, Jack and Andy