How I Got My VR to Show Up 9 Times on the First Page of Google


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

  1. – Free for me, since I’m listed on their site.
  2. Flipkey – Free for me, I’m listed on Flipkey.
  3. My own Pay Per Click advertising – This costs me about $10 a month.

Organic (Free) Listings – 6

  1. Google Places Listings – My www.Flagstaff website shows up as the very TOP listing.
  2. Google Maps – If you click on the Map itself, I’m listed #1 there also.
  3. 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.
  4. VRBO – Once again, I have the Platinum Bundle so I’m usually top 5.
  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.
  6. – This one is $199 a year.
  7. Bonus – – 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)

9 First Page Listings on Google

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)

VR on Page One Google

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!

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  1. Peter Luscher says:

    Yes, but leave off the keyword “cabin” and the results are entirely different.
    As a traveler, I would never have thought to search for “cabin” when visiting Flagstaff.

    Also, you’ll find that your results will be different when you inquire when not logged on to Google or from a different location.

    A great job and awesome advice and it’s clearly paying dividends — but I’m not entirely convinced based on a quick search of Flagstaff accommodations without the “cabin” trigger-word.

    • Thanks for the comment Peter!

      I just did a search for “Flagstaff Vacation Rentals”, using the non-personalized results, and logging in from Chicago. I just got 13 listings on page one when you count the listing sites too. My personal site went from #1 on the “map listings” using Cabin to #3 using Vacation Rentals, so it did drop a bit as you would expect, but still very good. I also know that cabins is a highly searched word here locally in Phoenix, which is where a large percent of my renters come from.

      Of course, I don’t show up for every possible search term, but I do for the most important ones in terms of traffic.

      There is always more to do and learn though :) so what search terms would you use and what part of the country are you from? Thanks for the help!

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