How to Leverage Holiday SEO for Your Vacation Rental Business
- November 9, 2021|
- Mike Archer|
The holiday season is here. It starts with Halloween. Then you have Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and, finally, Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of chances for good cheer, gift-giving and some much-needed time away from work.
For vacation rental managers, fall launches a peak season. You’re likely expecting a bump in bookings from holiday travelers and those who opt for a Christmas getaway instead of a big meal with the in-laws. But you can — and should — do more to capitalize on the holidays. It’s called holiday SEO.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about seasonal marketing, and get some fresh ideas that can boost your bookings.
What is Holiday SEO?
You may hear it called holiday SEO or seasonal SEO, but both terms are describing the same thing: SEO that is meant to increase the number of visitors to your website from search engines during a specific time period.
For holiday SEO, that time period is any holiday season, with late October to mid-February being the most popular. For seasonal SEO, the time period is any particular season of the year. In the vacation rental industry, seasonal SEO might zero in on summer for beach-side rentals or winter for ski lodges.
Holiday and seasonal SEO strategies are really the same strategies you would use for SEO in general — but with a holiday- or season-specific flair.
How Seasonal SEO Can Boost Vacation Rental Bookings
Why should you care about holiday SEO? Because it can boost bookings at your vacation rental properties. Here’s how it works:
- You invest time into seasonal content marketing and holiday SEO on your website.
- You see your search rankings for seasonal or holiday-related keywords increase.
- With higher rankings for relevant seasonal keywords, you see your website traffic increase.
- Getting more visitors to your website means you have a higher chance of getting more phone calls and online bookings for holiday getaways.
- Your bookings increase.
5 Seasonal Marketing Ideas to Boost Your SEO
How holiday SEO works to increase bookings is relatively simple, but actually implementing seasonal SEO strategies on your vacation rental website can be somewhat more complex. Here are some seasonal SEO and marketing ideas to get you started.
1. Optimize Existing Content for Holidays or Seasons
If you are already doing at least some SEO for your vacation rental website, you are probably familiar with the blog posts and landing pages that are driving the most search traffic to the site. These high-performing pages present you with an opportunity to capitalize on seasonal or holiday trends.
All it takes is a little tweaking to optimize these pieces of content to better fit the upcoming holiday or season change.
For example, if you have a blog post on your site with the title, “5 Romantic Restaurants in Helen, Georgia,” and it performs relatively well, you might have a perfect opportunity to optimize that blog post for those seeking a Valentine’s Day getaway in your area.
You would do that by changing the text of the blog post — as well as the meta title and description — to include instances of “Valentine’s Day,” “best restaurants for Valentine’s Day” and any other valuable keywords related to the holiday. Then, when people start searching for Valentine’s Day getaways in your area, they are more likely to find your content and, ultimately, book with you.
Note: This is a solid strategy, but remember to not change the URL of the page, because that could impact rankings.
2. Create New Content to Target Seasonal Keywords
Optimizing your existing content is a great way to get started with holiday SEO, but it’s equally important to create new content as part of your seasonal strategy. When you’re trying to come up with topics to blog about to boost your seasonal SEO, you should always start with keywords.
What are people searching for that has to do with the holidays and traveling in your area?
These keywords are what you should blog about. To find good seasonal keywords, you will want to do more than just guess. Many SEO tools will allow you to plug in keywords or competitors’ websites to see metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty. The good ones often cost some money, but they are usually worth it if you plan to do your own SEO over the long term.
3. Change Your Visuals
This is a simple change, but it can have a bigger impact than you might think: change the photos on your homepage, blog posts, landing pages and social media profiles to put visitors in the holiday spirit.
The vacation rental industry is a visual one. People often need to see photos of their destination before they will shell out the money to book a vacation rental there. You already have photos on your website, but ask yourself whether they’re right for the season.
For instance, if you currently have photos of hills near your property bathed in bright sun and covered in green grass, that’s great for summer. But when winter hits and the ski fanatics start looking for places to stay, they’re going to want to see snow on those hills. Give them what they want to see by switching up your photos for the season.
4. Time Your Seasonal SEO Right
Timing is everything for holiday SEO. That’s why you need to get your timing exactly right by creating a content calendar and making your SEO changes at least a few weeks before you want people to see them in search results.
Really, the content calendar is a good idea year-round. This is simply a calendar that shows when you plan to publish blog posts, landing pages and other kinds of content on your website. This can help you keep track of when you should publish, for example, a post about five reasons to visit your area over the Christmas holiday break.
For the SEO optimizations — meaning the changes to existing content, adjusted meta titles and descriptions and new seasonal content — you need to remember that SEO is a long-term game. New content can take a few weeks to enter Google’s index and start showing up in search results. In other words, don’t publish your content about reasons to visit your area over the Thanksgiving break the day before the Thanksgiving break — publish it at least a month before that time.
The nice thing is you can keep updating the same seasonal pages each year, without creating new pages each year, and keep building traffic to those existing holiday pages. Over time they will become stronger and more authoritative.
5. Get Social for the Season
Social media is one of your most important seasonal content marketing tools. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Google My Business are where a lot of bookings begin because people spend a ton of time on these platforms. If they see your holiday or seasonal content on social media, they’re more likely to click through to your site and, eventually, book a stay.
So, share your seasonal content on social media strategically. Share repurposed and new blog posts, holiday tips and similar seasonal content well before the season or holiday begins, and share it often. Give yourself as much holiday season visibility as possible.
The Season’s Hottest Gift: Holiday SEO from Magnetic Strategy
Seasonal SEO is worth the time, money and effort it takes, but to see the benefits, you have to do it right. That means you have to find time in your busy schedule to write new content, optimize your website, find and upload new photos and much more.But there’s another way: give yourself the gift of holiday SEO by working with the trusted team at Magnetic Strategy.
With more than 25 years of SEO experience and over 100 happy clients, we have the skills to help you capitalize on seasonal and holiday trends to drive your occupancy rate to new heights. To get started, contact us online or call 623-226-8518.
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