In the past few weeks, Google has consistently revealed a range of new rich results. Among these new changes, they have now introduced another feature that can give property managers and short-term vacation owners an edge in getting their vacation rental listings an extra boost on Google.
On December 4, 2023, Google unveiled the Vacation Rental structured data. If your website showcases vacation rentals, incorporating this fresh, structured data markup can significantly improve the visibility of your listings on the search engine results page (SERP).
In this article, we’ll overview the most important aspects you should be aware of as a non-technical stakeholder and how this could be used to improve your website’s SEO. This will be particularly valuable for smaller websites that aren’t using the big feeds like Rentals United and Guesty to get their listings shown via Google VR.
What is Schema Markup, and Why Does it Matter?
Schema markup is code added to websites to provide search engines with detailed content information, enabling improved understanding and presentation in search results.
It utilizes a standardized vocabulary from schema.org, enhancing the visibility of rich snippets or results that include additional information beyond traditional titles and descriptions.
Whether you know it or not, you interact with schema markup (aka structured data) in SERPs constantly; some examples of schema markup you likely have seen all the time while using Google include:
- Product Schema Markup:
- Displays product information such as name, brand, price, and availability, along with product ratings.
- FAQ Schema Markup:
- Displays frequently asked questions and their answers directly in search results, improving user engagement.
- Review Schema Markup:
- Showcases reviews and ratings for a product, service, or business, giving users an overview of its reputation.
A Brief Background of Vacation Rental Listings in Search
Before this update, Google’s search engine result page (SERP) already included an advanced search function for vacation rentals. For instance, when searching for ‘vacation rentals Portland,’ users might see rich results like the one below featuring rental prices and basic filtering options.
The recent expansion in visual representation signifies a notable shift, as this feature wasn’t previously accessible through structured data, and even if structured data was integrated, appearing in the enhanced feature wasn’t assured.
With Google now supporting vacation rental structured data, users have more control over how their vacation rentals appear in search results. While Google historically relied on an XML feed method (still suitable for larger partners managing multiple domains and brands), the adoption of structured data offers a simpler and more adaptable approach.
What Does the New Google Vacation Rental Schema Markup Do Exactly?
The new vacation rental rich results provide the capability to apply schema markup to your pages. This assists Google in better understanding your website’s pages and determining whether your vacation listings should be featured in Google Search rich results. It also specifies the data it can utilize to enhance its search results. Google might display information such as location, pricing, images, reviews, ratings, and additional details.
In short, if you add vacation rental schema to your vacation rental listing pages, you have a better chance of gaining more visibility on relevant queries as well as gaining more SERP real estate with rich results as opposed to just having organic results appear on Google. This added visibility can positively impact both your impressions and click-through rate for vacation rental listings which can lead to more bookings.
Eligibility Criteria For Vacation Rental Schema
Now that you know what vacation rental schema is and why it’s advantageous for your vacation rental properties pages, we’ll dive into how to know if you are eligible to add structured data. To list vacation rentals on Google, you must first fall into one of the following categories:
- A registered property management business with a direct booking website.
- You are already listed on a booking website integrated with vacation rentals on Google.
Google defines a “vacation rental property” as a furnished space private to the guest, accepting short-term, overnight reservations, which is managed and cleaned between stays. It’s also notable they do not allow these groups to use vacation rental schema to appear in rich results currently:
- Individual homeowners
- Peer-to-peer rentals
- Individual rooms
- Partial homes
Who Can Provide Vacation Rental Listings to Google?
There are three main groups that can provide vacation rental listings to Google:
- Connectivity partners (e.g., Guesty, Rentals United)
- Rental Partners (i.e property managers and rental businesses)
- Online travel agencies
One of the novel benefits of the vacation rental schema is that smaller websites can now use vacation rental schema without having to use one of the big connectivity partners to generate a data feed.
Google wrote in their announcement that, “Vacation rental partners can now implement structured data markup in their site’s pages to be eligible for this rich result. The existing feed method remains a good option for large partners and those with many domains and brands. We recommend the markup option for smaller partners including property managers who prefer a simpler setup and maintenance.”
Getting the Help You Need for Implementing Vacation Rental Structured Data
If you are a property manager or short-term rental owner, understanding and implementing schema markup on your own website may be challenging, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the benefits of leveraging vacation rental schema for your properties.
Especially if you aren’t already utilizing Google’s connectivity partners to get your vacation rental listings in rich results, implementing vacation rental structured data can be a game changer to get more eyes and clicks from Google search.
Magnetic Strategy is your go-to solution, simplifying the process to ensure increased visibility for your vacation rental listings. Reach out if you are ready to make the most of this opportunity to enhance your online presence and improve your search performance.
Get in touch with our team to get started. Call 623-226-8518 or contact us online today.