Google Jumps into the STVR Game
As with many trendy industries today, Google tends to try to find a way to make its mark, and it looks like the vacation rental industry is no different. Google has just announced that they will begin pulling vacation rentals from major listing sites to appear in search results alongside hotels. The company’s move to play an active role in the vacation rental industry only helps to reaffirm that alternative accommodations are a true force.
“Google took the next step in its own vacation rental and apartments business, giving it special treatment with a four-pack display of rates, photos, reviews, and a map within Google search—and placement above other travel companies’ organic results.”
-“Google Elevates Vacation Rentals With Hotel-Like Treatment in Search.” Dennis Schaal
This brings good news and important reminders. This is what we do and what we recommend to our homeowners:
1) Name your vacation rental.
A branded vacation rental performs far better than a generic “2 BR Condo in the Historic District.” It’s easier for guests to find, easier for guests to remember when they go to book, and, in turn, easier for guests to recall as they think back on their stay in your rental- and to remember when they go to re-book. A name will stand out in Google searches. A generic title will be grouped with hundreds of others with the same title.
2) Get your vacation rental listed with Google business.
This is a process and takes about 3 weeks, but the result is that your rental, name and place will appear on Google maps – thus helping guests with directions and serving as free marketing. It also can help emergency first-responders find the property if necessary.
3) List on multiple listing sites.
Google isn’t pulling vacation rentals from AirBnB or small property management sites. They are pulling from VRBO, Vacasa, Expedia, Red Awning, Hotels.com, Rentals United, and more. So you want to make sure your property is on those sites. More specifcally, while Google claims the results they populate in their vacation rental searches are purely organic, they do receive compensation when a user clicks on properties listed through VRBO, Vacasa, or Hotels.com, where Google has a partnership. Listings from those sites also tend to populate above the truly "organic," unpaid listing engines. Either way, we are still in the early days of vacation rental industry and we will continue to see changes. Don’t put all your eggs in any one basket.
To learn more about how to make your property stand out among the other listings, give us a call at 912-527-6253 (or just send us a message in the chat box here on the website). We’re always happy to talk over the phone or get together for coffee and talk about ways you can maximize your vacation rental.