This is an article by guest blogger Paula Ross, Managing Director of HolidayCottageCompare.com, one of the marketing websites SuperControl integrates with.
Research conducted by www.HolidayCottageCompare.com in 2011 showed that the majority of people who book a holiday cottage do so less than once a year.
Given it’s not a habitual activity for the average holiday maker, it’s therefore all the more important that their user journey is as straightforward as possible.And that’s something we’re unashamedly passionate about.
We also asked holiday makers what they most liked about booking online – and the most popular answer was that “it’s easier to search a website than a brochure”.
So like it or not, the internet is the way forward.
From our research, we have compiled a list of 3 of the most important elements – many of which may seem very obvious –which we believe are critical to you securing that booking:
Good quality photos
The adage that a picture paints a thousand words may be old – but it’s true! In our experience, it’s the first thing a holiday maker looks for and if it’s a badly taken shot, in poor light, with the ironing board left up (and we’ve seen this!) then it’s likely to see them click elsewhere.
It really does pay to take a good photo – the equivalent of a tempting ‘serving suggestion’ for food – which shows off your property in the best possible light and should immediately convey to the holiday maker what they can expect from a week away in your cottage.
For those holiday makers who already like what they’ve seen in your photos, the copy is the next thing that should sell them that break away.And it needs to be so much more than the basic ‘3 bedrooms, sleeps 6’.
Consider what makes your property really stand out from the rest. List all the attributes you can think of – the features – but also take the time to point out their resulting benefits. So if the feature is a single storey cottage, then a benefit is that it might suit those with impaired mobility.
Local information is increasingly important to holiday makers. Is there a restaurant nearby? Or something for the kids to do when it rains? Consider the profile of your average guest and tailor this information accordingly.
Online booking with real time pricing & availability
Having spent several hours searching for the perfect holiday cottage, we believe there is nothing more irritating for a holiday maker than being directed to ‘phone Bob after 7pm to check availability’ alongside an estimate of the rental charge – only to find that their chosen cottage has already been let.
Online booking resolves this and allows a holiday maker to book at a time that suits them. As a third party portal, we only take property listings with online booking, real time availability and pricing because we genuinely believe it offers the best possible experience for the user.
To sum it up, time is something we’re all short of. And that includes holiday makers.So it might be worth finding just ten minutes to look afresh at your own site in the eyes of a holiday maker.
What are your first impressions?How easy is it to find any given property? And, most importantly, how can you make improvements that will ultimately secure you that hard won booking?
This article was written by HolidayCottageCompare.com.We make finding your perfect holiday cottage simpler and faster.