You’ve done your due diligence and created a solid vacation rental content strategy. You’ve spent long nights on your laptop, waiting for inspiration to strike. You’ve tweeted, pinned, shared and shouted your content from a mountaintop.
And your potential guests still aren’t reading.
It’s not uncommon. According to Moz’s Dan Petrovic, only 16% of readers will actually, well, read an entire piece of content given to them.
But all hope’s not lost. Through painstaking research and experimentation, Petrovic has figured out why our readers stop reading, and how we can get our information in front of them anyway.
We’ve taken what he’s said on how to write for the most readers and adapted it to offer you tips on getting your vacation rental content read by as many potential guests as possible.
Make it easy to find answers.
One of the top reasons website visitors don’t take in any given content from top to bottom? They scan instead.
But this isn’t necessarily bad news for vacation rental owners and managers. In order to get bookings, you don’t need your visitors to read your entire site all the way through. You just need to provide them with whatever information they need to make a decision, and to do so before you lose their attention.
For listing descriptions, this means putting your bed and bath count in the first paragraph ( and maybe even the headline). It also means identifying your key selling points and mentioning them swiftly. For some, “3 bedrooms,” “swimming pool” and “walk to the beach” is all it takes to book. Make sure these details are readily available to them before they search elsewhere.
For webpage content or blog posts, it means having a good reason that readers should invest their time, and stating it up front. Will this blog post tell them the best spots to get a pizza during their stay? Will this “about us” page tell them why guests consistently rate you better than your competition? Establish a thesis, state it and stick to it. Then, structure your content with subheadings and easily digestible sections that make it possible to glean information quickly.
Cover the spectrum.
On the flip side, some of your readers crave details. If you don’t go deep, you risk leaving with them impression that you’ve wasted their time.
In his talk, Petrovic mentions the age-old journalist standby: the inverted pyramid format. There’s a reason why this method has stood the test of time: by including the most pertinent information up top, then diving into intricate details at the end, you satisfy the skimmers’ need for instant gratification while also offering the invested readers what they crave.
That means you can keep your home’s history, your smaller amenities and even your linen’s thread count in your copy – but save it for the end.
Make a connection.
Your copy isn’t just for dishing out details. It’s also a place for you to win guests over with your personality and level of care. If you can make your reader feel as if you’re reaching out to them personally, you have a far better shot at earning their trust and time.
But before you can be yourself, you need to figure out who exactly you are. Are you all about unforgettable experiences for adventurers, or curated luxury stays for high-end clientele? Hone in on this, because if you try to be something you’re not, you’ll end up losing the trust of anyone who stumbles across your content.
Once you’ve created a brand, use it to develop a voice that’s engaging. To make guests read your vacation rental content, you’ll want it to feel more like a personal chat than a chapter of a textbook. Keep it conversational, and keep it genuine.
In our free Friday webinar, we’ll dig deeper on how to keep your guests engaged in your vacation rental content. Join us to learn more and for the opportunity to have your vacation rental content critiqued live!