Free Online Bookings
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but if you have an online booking function on your website (and if not, why not?), then you should be able to display its calendar and accept bookings direct from your listing on My Favourites – at no additional cost. Unlike other well-known sites, we don’t charge a commission or booking fee. It’s free. Neither do we do that other thing that most commission charging sites do, which is collect and use your guest’s booking data. As people will be booking using your own booking software, you’ll be the only person who will know who has booked. Other sites may charge you and get access to your data – but not us. We are (or have been) holiday cottage owners ourselves and know what it is like in these hard pressed times to have a site that gets you bookings and enquiries without having to pay an arm and a leg. Then you can enjoy the feeling of opening your e-mails in the morning to see how much money you made while you were asleep. Not got online booking? We can also help if you want to get a quality booking software package for your website. We recommend (because we know it well) SuperControl. It isn’t the cheapest kid on the block, but by heck, it’s pretty darned effective for marketing as well as booking management. And you can then put your calendar on My Favourites to get online bookings free of charge. What’s more, as long as you verify with SuperControl that you were referred to them by My Holiday Marketing (that’s the Company name for My Favourites), we will give you a year’s worth of Featured Favourites or a 12-month extension to your subscription. If you’d like more information on this, just e-mail us. Now there’s an incentive!
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A Money and face saving reminder…
Raise the subject of copyright licences for music and motion picture libraries and most of us will look a little sheepish and shuffle quietly off into the corner out of harm’s way. So, here’s a very gentle warning. If you keep a DVD library, or, (for those who still have them), a video library in your cottage, by rights (well, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 actually) you should invest in a DVD Concierge Licence and/or a PPL Licence. Likewise, if you keep and advertise CD and tape, or even vinyl record libraries for guest use, then you will need a PPL licence. For further information on these licences and why you need them, the Visit England website has a helpful page on its website. It ought to be fine to provide music systems that will allow for guests to plug in their iPods, iPads, Kindles for guests to play their own music. At the very least, do not advertise cd, dvd or cassette libraries as part of the rental unless you pay for a licence, but we’d recommend you stay the right side of the law rather than hide from it!
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Good Reviews = Better Bookings!
We are posting some lovely reviews on the site for cottages – keep them coming – the fresher the better. We moderate all reviews whether posted by guests or owners to ensure they only focus on their favourite things about your cottage. It’s very easy to upload a review: Just log into your members area or go to your main listing. A little plea from our hard-pressed site manager: if you could avoid sending us reviews that have already been published elsewhere online, that would be terrific, as Search Engines frown upon what they refer to as ‘Duplicate Content’.
Anyone For Pinterest?
Make your subscription deliver even greater value. We are looking for great summer photos of holiday cottages (interiors as well as exteriors) to add to our Pinterest Pages for which we are building a healthy following amongst people that like to stay in holiday cottages. Each image includes a link to your listing on My Favourites. Photos should be between 500kb- 1mb in size to ensure their quality. If numbers confuse you, if your photograph can be blown up to a full page size and still look good, then that should be OK. Just e-mail them to us. As long as they meet our quality threshold, we’ll upload them for you.
Use Search Categories To Get Noticed
Our pages for specific search categories such as ‘Cottages with Pools’ or ‘Remote Cottages’ are currently riding high on Page One of Google for relevant search phrases. To benefit from this, do ensure you have ticked all the search categories relevant to your cottage to get more page views. We may have added one or two since you first set up your advert, e.g. ‘Wi-Fi’, so you could be missing out. Go Check! It’s also worth including a reference to one or two key search categories, e.g. pet friendly, swimming pool, in your short description with a view to helping your page rank higher on Google. If you’re not sure about this, e-mail us or call Rick on 0845 680 5431 for more guidance.
Well, that would seem to be all the news and marketing advice for May. We’ll be back next month, hopefully with some news on the new My Favourites Website launch.