You read that correctly. 9 times. On. Page. One.
Many VR owner’s dream of getting one vacation rental listing on page 1. How about 9 times? Well, it’s part of my “Haystack Strategy.”
Do you want to be the Needle or the Hay?
Your VR is like a Needle in the vast Hay of the internet if you are only listed on one or two sites. I would prefer to be the Hay where it’s impossible to NOT find me. Read below to see how the Haystack Strategy works.
Yes to be fair, 6 of the 9 are due to me being on the 4 largest Listing sites. However, this is yet another reason to list with the big boys. They get all the search engine traffic. For more read my post on “Why it’s smart to overpay for VR Marketing.”
Let’s break down those 9 links:
Paid listings – 3
- VacationRentals.com – Free for me, since I’m listed on their site.
- Flipkey – Free for me, I’m listed on Flipkey.
- My own Pay Per Click advertising – This costs me about $10 a month.
Organic (Free) Listings – 6
- Google Places Listings – My www.Flagstaff RentalCabin.com website shows up as the very TOP listing.
- Google Maps – If you click on the Map itself, I’m listed #1 there also.
- HomeAway – Since I’m Platinum level with HA, I’m usually one of the top 5 listings, so virtually everyone who clicks on this link sees my Cabin. If I was down at number 145 of 205 Cabins, this listing wouldn’t be nearly as valuable.
- VRBO – Once again, I have the Platinum Bundle so I’m usually top 5.
- FlipKey – Listing is Free on FlipKey when you sign up here. I do pay a 3% per booking fee, but that’s just over the normal credit card fee, so it’s virtually free to list here.
- VacationRentals.com – This one is $199 a year.
- Bonus – Craigslist.org – If I want to post here for free, it’s the 10th time I would show up on page one.
If you happen to be searching for a Cabin in Flagstaff, it’s almost impossible not to stumble across my vacation home…multiple times! Oh, and no it doesn’t really matter what search term you use, I show up for the majority of them.
Here is the top half of the search for “Flagstaff Cabins”: (Click on Screenshot to enlarge)
The green arrows represent links directly to my website, and the red arrows to listing sites I’m on.
Here is the bottom half of page 1: (the first link is a repeat the bottom link above)
This shows the importance of owning your own website, and knowing how to get it to rank. If it’s not showing up highly in the search rankings, it’s not going to bring you many leads. In fact my own site is my #1 source of leads beating out all the listing sites. That said, I still think listing on the major sites is worth the expense & is the easiest way to get bookings immediately. Getting a website to rank can take time & money especially if you don’t know the process (which could be a future blog post or ebook.)
Do you know of any other creative ways to show up on page 1 of Google? Let me know in the comments below!