Perdido Realty Vacations Makes Big Gains with SEO Team, Wins Partner Honey Badger Award

Company Boosts Rankings, Traffic and Bookings, While Trimming Adwords Budget More Than 70%!

Perdido Realty Vacations Wins LiveRez Honey Badger Award

This month’s Partner Honey Badger Award goes to Perdido Realty Vacations. Founded in 1971, the company manages more than 125 homes and condos in Perdido Key, FL.

The company recently made the switch to LiveRez and has made some impressive gains since working with the LiveRez SEO/SEM team. They’ve moved to the front page on Google for three of their main keywords and have seen big increases in their traffic and online bookings, all while spending 73% less on Adwords.

“The first page is awesome, and it is working,” said owner Valerie Hawkins. “We are booking like crazy. It’s been a game changer for us.”

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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LiveRez SEO/SEM Manager Learns about the Future of Google Search at MozCon 2015

Sam Martin MozCon 2015LiveRez SEO/SEM Manager Sam Martin recently attended MozCon 2015 – one of the largest search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing conferences in the United States.

Moz founder Rand Fiskin is one of the world's foremost experts on SEO.

Moz founder Rand Fiskin is one of the world’s foremost experts on SEO.

While Sam brought back a ton of powerful new information, the highlight of the conference for him was the keynote presentation from Moz founder Rand Fiskin, famous industry wide for not only his powerful SEO software and uber popular White Board Friday videos, but also for his trademark mustache.

In many ways, Rand’s presentation (check it out here) was about the future of Google’s search algorithm. Although Google rarely comes out and says how it’s going to change its algorithm, Rand has done a great job in the past of anticipating and preparing for changes, thus catapulting him to one of the United States’ foremost experts on search engine optimization.

This year, Rand focused on how Google will likely move toward measuring not only the content and structure of your website, but how your website serves your visitors.

He said that in the past Google has looked mostly at the inputs – the content on your site, the structure of your site and the profile of links coming into your site. But, over the years people have tried to game this system, making it necessary for Google to continuously update its algorithm.

The whole purpose of Google search is to provide searchers with the best answer in the least amount of time. In the past, the best way to do this was to measure the site’s authority based on its back link profile and determine relevance to the query based on things like on-site content and the relevancy of linking websites.

An Emerging Algorithm Change? 

But, Rand thinks things are changing (or will change). He anticipates that Google will begin measuring the outputs of the website, if it hasn’t started already. So, what are these outputs? For Rand, outputs are metrics measuring how well your website serves its visitors. Every day Google tracks the performance of your website, measuring things like bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, etc. It also measures the click-through rate of search engine results and whether or not searchers are returning to the search results to find a better answer or if they’re going back and modifying their searches. Rand expects Google to start using a process called machine learning to detect patterns in searcher behavior and better understand how all this affects a searcher’s satisfaction with the results it returns.

The theory behind all this is that Google will use this information to determine if your website is helping searchers solve their problem. If it is, expect Google to rank your website higher. If it’s not, then expect Google to rank your website lower. Generally speaking, for vacation rental managers ranking higher in Google search results means more free organic traffic and more bookings.

How to Prepare

Are-You-Ready1

So how do you prepare for this?

Well, the good news is that the steps you would need to take to prepare for this are right in line with what you should already be doing (and what LiveRez does actively every day). Simply put, you want to make sure you are giving guests the best experience possible when they come to your website. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are travelers finding what they need when they come to your website?
  • Do you make it easy for travelers to accomplish their task (i.e. make a booking) when they hit your site?
  • Is the content on your website relevant to what potential guests are searching for?

So, what specifically do you need to worry about? Here are a few tips from Sam (via Rand).

  • Your content doesn’t just need to be good. It needs to be 10x better than what your competitors offer. The quality of your content is measured in engagement:
  • Your content needs to answer questions and solve problems (better than other pages can)
    • Is the information easy to consume?
    • Is it relevant to their needs?
    • Does it use related keywords?
    • Is the information unique or at least better than on other websites?
    • Does it help searchers fulfill their end goal? They may search for “vacation rentals in Tybee Island, GA,” but what they probably want to do is find and book a vacation rental on Tybee Island that meets all of their needs.
  • Make sure your meta titles and descriptions – the snippets Google displays for search results – are amazing. It will help you achieve higher than average click through rates (and help increase your ranking for search terms).
    • Does the meta title summarize the page?
    • Can they trust the URL?
    • Does the meta description get them interested enough to click?
  • While Google says that it doesn’t use social signals in its algorithm, pages that get more shares and social engagement generally perform better.
    • Make your content shareable on social media channels. More shares means more clicks, more traffic and more conversions (more bookings).
    • Google sees influxes in traffic, especially traffic that engages well with the page
    • If the content is good enough for people to share, that’s a sign that the content is engaging

Conclusion: Optimize for Two Algorithms 

In the end, Rand says that marketers need to optimize for two algorithms: one based on inputs (makes Google happy) and one based on outputs (makes searchers happy…which makes Google happy, too). So, don’t just build pages for search engines or just build pages for people. You need to build pages for both.

Questions for Sam 

Have more questions about LiveRez SEO/SEM manager learned at MozCon? Shoot Sam an email at SEO@LiveRez.com.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Why Vacation Rental Managers Need a Mobile Website Before April 21

Mobile Websites for Vacation Rental Managers - Infographic

Click on the image above to learn how our mobile websites have helped our vacation rental manager partners.

They’re calling it the mobile apocalypse.

In February, Google, the world’s top search engine and No. 1 trafficked site, announced a ground-breaking update to their search algorithm that will go into effect April 21, 2015. And, if you don’t have a mobile friendly website, you need to pay attention.

Google’s goal is to provide the best experience to its users. When people do a search for something on their mobile phone, they don’t just need the best results, but the best results displayed and accessible in the most convenient way. And, if you’ve ever tried to access a website that isn’t mobile friendly on your smart phone, you know how frustrating it can be.

So, while the first part of Google’s algorithm uses a variety of signals to reward relevant, quality content, the second part of the algorithm is about the presentation of this content. So, if you have great content but people are having a hard time viewing it and interacting with it, you are underserving the user. And if the goal of Google’s algorithm is to connect people to websites offering the best user experience, it makes sense for them to send people to websites that satisfy both of these goals.

This being said, on April 21 Google will start labeling websites as mobile friendly or mobile unfriendly and using this rating as signal for ranking these websites in mobile search results.

The Jist: If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, don’t expect Google to send many mobile searchers to it.

Check out this short video from LiveRez VP of Sales and Marketing Tyler Hurst to learn more.

So What’s the Big Deal?

Right now you might be asking what the fuss is all about. It’s just mobile traffic.

Well, in the last few years mobile traffic has absolutely exploded, and the experts don’t expect it to slow down any time soon. At LiveRez, over the past few years we’ve seen our property manager partners’ mobile traffic increase from as little as 5% to as high as 35 or 40%, and it goes up every year. We’ve also found that partners that have a mobile website are more than 270% more likely to get a booking when someone accesses their site on a mobile device than if they didn’t have a mobile website.

Mobile websites are no long just something nice to have, they’re now expected by your guests. And, as you can tell by its most recent update, Google now expects it too.

What Can I Do?

Well, the first thing you need to do is determine whether or not your website is mobile-friendly in Google’s eyes. And with their mobile friendly testing tool, Google’s made it extremely simple. All you need to do is enter in your URL and hit analyze. Google will let you know within seconds if your website is mobile friendly or not.

Click here to test you website >

The next step would be to implement a mobile website, if you haven’t already. LiveRez partners will have it easier than other managers. While many of our partners have already adopted mobile websites, we can help those that haven’t very quickly. Just give our professional services team a call at (800) 343-2891 Option 4.

If you’re not using LiveRez, your software or website provider might have a solution. Surprisingly, though, we’ve found that many don’t have a solution in place for their users. In that case, give us a call at (800) 343-2891 Option 1 and we’d be happy to talk with you about the benefits of our all-in-one solution. Our implementation team is the fastest and most thorough in the industry, and we can get you up and running in no time at all.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Video: 5 Strategies to Thrive in a Niche Market

Last week, we had another amazing webinar with LiveRez Director of Sales and Marketing Tyler Hurst. In the webinar, Hurst discussed five niche marketing strategies that can help you quickly grow your business.

If you were unable to attend, don’t sweat. You can watch the entire webinar embedded below. And, don’t forget to like and share.

Also, don’t forget to register for one of our upcoming industry webinars. Once again, this year we’ll be offering a new addition to our vacation rental webinar series every month. You can find and register for our upcoming webinars (and watch recorded ones) at LiveRez.com/webinars.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Introducing Whiteboard Wednesday: Weekly Videos Packed with Tips and Tricks for Vacation Rental Managers

For the past few weeks here at LiveRez, we’ve been working on (and testing) a series of short videos packed with powerful marketing tips and tricks for vacation rental managers. Today, we want to highlight that new series on our blog.

Each week we’ll be bringing you a new short (think 3-5 minute) video loaded with tips, tricks and stats on certain aspects of vacation rental marketing. We’ll be posting these videos on our social media (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter….and, of course, YouTube). So, make sure to tune into these channels every Wednesday for a new video.

Here are a few of the videos we’ve produced so far. Feel free to share these with all your friends in the industry!


Niche Marketing


Long-Tail SEO


Meta Tags


Calls to Action


Guest Reviews


Images


Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Watch Now: The LiveRez Tools That Will Boost Your Bottom Line

LiveRez-Tools-WebinarLiveRez’s webinar from Nov. 19 on “The LiveRez Tools That Will Boost Your Bottom Line” is now available to watch online.

The LiveRez software is packed with a wide variety of tools to accelerate your bookings, increase your operational efficiency and ultimately boost your bottom line. And in this webinar, LiveRez Director of Sales and Marketing Tyler Hurst goes over a number of ways LiveRez helps you achieve success.

The full webinar is embedded below.

To see more LiveRez webinars and register for upcoming live webinars, make sure to check out our Webinars Page.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the most widely used software platform for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation and property management, websites with online bookings, trust accounting, CRM, housekeeping and maintenance, reporting, reviews and more. LiveRez is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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Video: 10 Staples of SEO Every Vacation Rental Website Should Employ

This week we had another amazing webinar with special guests Sam Martin and Steve Blake of LiveRez’s SEO/SEM Team. The webinar was packed with valuable tips on not only SEO, but also general website optimization and online marketing. If you attended, you probably came away with a much better understanding of search engine optimization.

If you were unable to attend, don’t sweat. You can watch the entire webinar embedded below. And, don’t forget to like and share.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Vacation Rental Marketing Efforts

google-analytics1 (1)Today’s marketing professionals know that marketing is more of a science than an art. And, everyone knows you can’t be scientific if you don’t run tests. For that reason, Google Analytics is perhaps the most powerful free tool available to marketers today.

The following blog will give vacation rental managers a general overview of how to use Google Analytics to measure (and improve) their marketing efforts. We’ve tried to make the concepts easy enough for even beginners to understand.

We’ll start by breaking down the important information Google Analytics gives you about your website and then end by giving you some guidance on how to use this information to improve your marketing efforts.

How many people are visiting my site?

You can find this information under the audience section of Google Analytics.

Watch these numbers carefully. Getting more people to your website and having them view more pages is generally a good sign and can mean more bookings. If your website traffic starts to drop, this should alert you to look closer at why the traffic could be dropping.

Unique Visitors (Now Called “Users”) – How many unique people have visited your site. Only counts each visitor once.

Visits (Now Called “Sessions”) – How many actual visits people have made to your site. Counts each visit to your site, even if it is a return visitor.

Pageviews – How many pages have been viewed. Each visit can include multiple page views. Most people will view more than one page on your website.

Audience Overview

Where are they coming from?

You can find this information under the acquisition section of Google Analytics.

These numbers are important because they show you what channels are getting visitors to your site. This will help you determine where your marketing efforts are paying off.

Traffic Sources – This tells you how visitors found your website. Here are the main categories of traffic sources:

  • Search engines (organic) – These are people who found your website via a search engine’s non-paid (or organic) search results. Google no longer tells you what term they were searching for.
  • Paid Search – These are people who found your website via a search engine’s paid search results. You’ll need to be participating in a program like Google Adwords to get these types of results. Google will even be able to tell you what term they were searching.
  • Website Referral – These are people who came to your website via a link on another site. Google will tell you what website they can from.
  • Direct/None – This is an open-ended category which basically means that Google couldn’t track how people found your website. There are multiple reasons for this. The person could have directly typed your website address in their browser. They came via a bookmark. They came from a secure site that strips the referrer information. They clicked on a link in an email client that strips out the referrer information.
  • Campaigns – This is generally a special type of traffic that you are driving yourself. You’ll need to use special URLs to track this type of traffic. Most email marketers will put a special code at the end of their URLs to track people who click on their links. To learn more about tracking your marketing efforts in Google Analytics, click here.

acquisition

How are they interacting with my site?

You can find these numbers in just about every section of Google Analytics. You can look at these numbers overall in the audience section, per traffic source in the acquisition section or per page in the behavior section.

These stats tell you how your website is handling visitors. Are they engaging with your website or leaving? Improving these numbers will improve the overall conversion and performance of your website.

Bounce Rate – The bounce rate of a page is the percentage of people that enter your website via that page (i.e. landed on that page) and then left your website without visiting any other pages. Generally, a high bounce is a bad thing for vacation rental websites because a traveler needs to visit more than one page to find and/or book a vacation rental property.

Exit Rate – This is similar to the bounce rate, but slightly different. This measures the rate of people that leave your website via this page. They don’t necessarily have to land on this page, but this page is the last page they visit. Pages with high exit rates are generally performing badly and should be addressed. The only exception would be a booking thank-you page which is only hit after a guest makes a booking.

Pages Per Visit – This metric shows you the average number of pages a visitor hits when they come to your website. A higher number of pages per visit is good because it means they are interacting more with your website.

bounce-exit-rates

How is all this making me money?

As a vacation rental manager, you make money when someone makes a booking. While it’s much tougher to track bookings made over the phone, it’s fairly simple to track bookings made online. The key thing you need to look for is the page a visitor is directed to after they submit their booking. On most websites, this is called a thank-you page.

You can assume that every time someone hits your thank-you page you got a new booking. So tracking how many time people hit that page is important. In marketing speak, people hitting the thank-you page is known as a conversion.

So, your first goal is to find out the URL of the thank-you page. Once you find that you can set up a goal in Google Analytics. For more information on setting up goals in Google Analytics, click here.

UPDATE: Google Analytics now has eCommerce tracking. For tracking online bookings, this is an even more powerful way to examine your performance. It tell you things like what property was booked, for how many nights and what the total rental rate was. LiveRez has already pre-installed this code on all its partners websites, but you’ll need to enable eCommerce tracking from Google Analytics. Click here to learn how.

The next thing you want to do is isolate how people got to your website and the path they took to making a booking.

1. Where did they come from? Find out the traffic source for the conversion under the Conversions > Goals > Overview (then click on “Source / Medium” in left-hand pane).

2. What path did they take to make the booking? Once you’ve set up a goal in Google Analytics, you can see the path to that goal by going to Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path. This will tell you what pages they visited before making the booking.

3. How are your channels are working together? Check this out by looking under Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels. This will show you an idea of what channels are assisting conversion. For example, let’s say the person first came to your website from a Google search. Then they came back to your website after seeing one of your re-marketing ads online and made their booking during that section. It helps you assign the booking credit to both channels. Remember, your marketing channels are always working together.

How do I use this information to improve my marketing?

As marketer, you really only have a few goals. There are lots of ways to get there, but really only a few desired outcomes:

1. Get more people to come to your website (or call / email you).

2. Get them to book one of your properties (or at least give you their information).

3. Make sure you get the best return on investment while completing steps 1 and 2.

First, let’s look at step 1. Your goal should be to get more people to your website. To do that, you want to improve the performance of your marketing efforts. So, you should always be asking yourself these questions:

  • Am I utilizing all the channels possible to get my brand and my properties in front of potential guests?
  • Can I improve the efficiency of any of my current marketing channels?
  • Where should I be spending my marketing budget and where should I be focusing my marketing efforts to best increase my ROI.

Google analytics can help by showing you where traffic to your website is coming from and how much of that traffic is converting to bookings. With this information, you can easily determine where your marketing efforts are improving (or where they need improvement), and you can also easily determine your return on investment for each one of your marketing channels.

Next, let’s look at step 2. This deals with how well your website is performing. At this point, you’ve got the traffic to your website. Now you need to make sure your website is converting as much of that traffic as possible to bookings. You can use bounce rates to judge the performance of your landing pages, and exit rates to find pages on your website that may be making your visitors leave. And, you can use pages per visit as a gauge of how engaged your visitors are. As you begin to identify and fix problems on your website, you’ll start to see more of your traffic converting to bookings.

Need Help?

If you’re a vacation rental manager that needs help with your marketing efforts, give us a call at (800) 343-2891. LiveRez offers both the technology and the hands-on services you need to improve your marketing. And, we have years of experience and results to back it up.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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7 Reasons to Diversify Your Vacation Rental Marketing

diversify marketing

Diversifying your marketing efforts can protect the financial independence of your company and help you increase your ROI.

Just like investing, it pays to diversity your marketing efforts. Many professional managers are stuck in the rut of just posting their properties on advertising sites and relying solely on those channels for bookings. But, as we’ll outline in this post, there are multiple benefits to diversifying your marketing efforts – so you’re not held hostage to one or two channels for your financial success.

But, before we take a look at why diversifying your marketing will help, let’s define what we mean by diversification. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to say that diversification is being active on multiple marketing channels – channels not being just listing sites, but any way in which you can reach potential guests. Channels encompass advertising sites, but also include things like SEO, email marketing, Adwords, Adsense Remarketing, social media, blogging, public relations, print advertising, and local partnership and affiliations, among others.

So now that we have defined diversification, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why diversification is good when it comes to marketing.

Financial Independence / Leverage

The problem with relying solely on one or two channels for marketing is that you have no leverage when the channel costs increase. This is especially relevant to short-term marketing strategy channels like advertising sites, which only produce revenue while you are paying for them.

Realize this: If you get all of your bookings from one channel and that channel become more expensive, you are virtually forced to pay more. Plus, as a middle man, your owners are also expecting continual returns on their investment, so that puts even more pressure on you to get results, locking you in to channels and forcing you to increase your costs. And, when you pay more for marketing and don’t get greater returns, it cuts into your commissions and lowers your profits.

Simply put, you need alternatives. And you have to realize that some of those alternative you can’t just turn on at a moment’s notice; rather, they have to be built over time.

Market Changes

Everything changes. 60 years ago, print advertising was the bread and butter of most marketing departments. 30 years ago, TV and radio were the top dog. Nowadays, internet marketing is king. But, even internet marketing has changed dramatically in just the past few years.

You need to be prepared for the effectiveness of every single one of your marketing channels to either increase or decrease as consumer trends change. Developing multiple marketing channels is one way to weather that change. It gives you time to adjust to the change in one channel, because you are supported by your other channels. In some cases, you may even need to be prepared to stop using a channel altogether because it doesn’t provide enough return on investment.

Reaching Different Customer Types

Your potential guests will vary in their shopping behaviors. Older guests will certainly find you through different means than your younger guests. International guests different than domestic guests. Men different than women. High income different than low income. The best way to be successful in marketing is to understand where your potential customers are and be in all those places.

Return on Investment

If you’re only using one type of channel, how can you compare your ROI? You simple can’t, because there is nothing to compare it to.  Using multiple channels gives you perspective on which of your channels is performing better, especially how that channel’s ROI is changing over time. Sometimes, ROI goes up and down seasonally, or is different for different customer types. If you don’t invest in different marketing channels, you won’t have that type of data to draw from.

The Cross-Pollination Effect

One great thing about having multiple marketing channels is seeing how they all work together. For example, how are your blogging efforts affecting your SEO rankings? How are advertising inquiries fueling your email marketing lists? How is traffic from all channels fueling your Adsense Remarketing efforts?

Marketing generally follows the rule of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Your marketing channels don’t just sit in different rooms and not talk to each other. They interact with each other and increase each other’s effectiveness.

Testing

Having multiple marketing channels gives you more room for testing new ideas. If you only had one marketing channel, you wouldn’t want to take chances with it, because it would be your sole earner. Having multiple marketing channels gives you a platform to test the effectiveness of different messages across different mediums and across different demographics. And, after a while, you’ll start testing new channels and adding to your marketing arsenal.

Equity

One of the most important things about having multiple marketing channels is that it allows you to focus on both short-term and long-term strategies while you build equity from your marketing efforts. What we mean by equity is marketing that continues to work when you are no longer paying for it or at least not dedicating as many resources to it. Some short-term strategies can get you great results immediately, but as soon as you stop investing in them, they stop producing revenue for you. Other channels that may take longer to development (like SEO) will continue to produce revenue for you even if you slow your investment in them.

Think of building equity as building your brand. As your brand grows, you become less reliant on marketing. Marketing is really the act of getting your product or service in the mind of your potential customers. Once you’ve built a home in their mind, everything gets easier. When you start to generate brand recognition, you’ll have people come straight to you. And, when people come straight to you, you both save money AND are far less reliant on any specific channel. And, when you decrease your reliance on any one channel, you can focus more on the channels that provide the best ROI (so you can earn more profits).

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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The Danger of Buying and Renting Back Links for SEO Purposes

SEO Danger

Never contract with an SEO company that buys or rents back links. If Google catches you, it could send you to the end of the line.

One of the primary ways that Google ranks your vacation rental website is based on how many links from other websites are pointing back to your website.

When Google first came on the scene, this philosophy helped make their search results more relevant. Google believed the quality and quantity of links pointing back to any website helped determine the legitimacy of that website. Basically, they viewed links as a vote for the quality of your website. The more votes you had, the more legitimate your website was.

The quality and quantity of these links, along with their relevance to the keywords people were searching, helped Google decide how they should rank websites in various search results.

But, as more people began to understand how the Google algorithm operated and realized how important it was to rank high within Google search results, they started practicing link building – that is, finding ways to increase the amount of links that point back to your website.

Done the right way, link building can help your rankings. But, done poorly, link building can now actually hurt your rankings. In the past months and years, Google has released new updates to its algorithm that actually punish certain link building schemes. They view these schemes as methods by which people try to game the system.

The Dangers

But despite these new updates, there are still many third-party SEO services that engage in these now outdated link building schemes. Some will guarantee you a certain amount of back links. Others will outright sell you back links or rent you back links.

Because of this you need to be very careful about who you contract for SEO services. Make sure they are building links the right way, and not simply buying or renting links, or participating in some elaborate link sharing scheme. These practices can sometimes have positive results in the short term, but when Google catches on, it generally severely punishes websites engaging in this type of link building.

As a general rule, you should NEVER buy or rent back links.

If you don’t believe us. Here it is, straight from Google’s Matt Cutts, who heads up the company’s Webspam team:

How to Know if You’ve Been Penalized

A good indication that you’ve been penalized is an immediate and significant drop in your search engine rankings. But, when Google penalizes your site, they generally notify you through a program called Google Webmaster Tools.

If you have Google Webmaster Tools set up, you’ll see a warning like the one below under “Search Traffic” (left-hand column) and then “Manual Actions” (collapsible menu item).

Manual Actions Warning

SEO Done Right

If you’re a LiveRez partner and looking for someone who you can trust to run your SEO and SEM efforts the right way, check out our in-house SEO service. Our SEO team always has your long-term best interests in mind and will never cut corners in their SEO tactics. To learn more about our SEO program, call Juston Clarkston at (208) 639-6121 or email J.Clarkston@LiveRez.com.

Learn More About LiveRez
LiveRez is the fastest growing vacation rental software provider for professional vacation rental managers. The company’s cloud-based, end-to-end platform offers fully integrated solutions for reservation management, trust accounting and online marketing, with high-ranking, high-conversion dynamic websites and an extensive affiliate marketing program. The company is a proud Gold Sponsor of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA).

Visit LiveRez.com to learn more:

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