It's not difficult to create a great property rental website for your villa, gite, hotel, b&b, but some simple planning steps can really make the difference between just another website and a really fantastic site that stands out from the crowd and will improve your rental stream.
1. Choose a good domain name
We see if often, domain names such as rent-our-house-its-very-nice-but-our-domainname-is-too-long.com. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, to register a name that matches your property name or has a meaning only obvious to you, customers visiting your site will often leave then return at a later time. Unless they note down the domain, or make a bookmark, they will forget. By providing an easy to remember domain name will have a positive impact on your online business and returning customers.
2. Choose good hosting
All hosting is not the same. There are allot of factors to consider when purchasing a hosting package:- compatibility with products written for PHP+MySQL+Apache. Support, Performance, Ease of manageability.
Some providers will boast 100% uptime and 24×7 support and free software but when you look at these packages they actually mean nothing. Poor hosting makes implementing a new project a nightmare so choose wisely. Make sure you get full control of the hosting through either Plesk or Cpanel and make sure that the hosting supports all the things you will need such as PHP 5.x, IonCube Loaders and Joomla.
We recommend Siteground.com and can also provide hosting through Siteground as our partners.
3. Create an Eye Catching Design.
As they say design is everything! Well in the World Wide Web of today that is certainly true. Potential customers will sometimes ignore or leave a site immediately if the site is poorly presented. Site design is not expensive, and with full template designs under 300 euros you really can't afford not to do this important part of implementing a site. While free or stock templates will provide some good basis for creating your own site there is still no replacement for a custom design specific to your business and online presence.
4. Choose a Reservation System
You should know what you want to rent and how you want to do it by now, allowing customers to instantly reserve your properties and providing a simple and easy to use online booking software experience for them is really important to capturing your customers and getting ‘that' reservation. By choosing products such as Reservation Manager or Reservation Manager PRO pretty much all of the work is done for you, all you need to do is integrate the design with your website, add the properties, configure your payment options and that's it!
Reservation Manager and Reservation Manager PRO are easy to install and use, there is always some integration with web applications to integrate design etc. So getting the professionals to do it for you can be a smart move. Because allot of people fear the installation and configuration process, for a small fee our support team can do this for you, we can install for you configure and integrate if you wish and have several services to help in this area. Our Template design services can provide a one-stop shop for all your needs and can complete a full site within a short time.
5. What's Occurring… Know what's Happening on Your Website
Install Google Analytics, This is very simple to install and provides very useful information on who's visiting and looking at your site. It can show bounce rates, geographic information for visitors and heaps of other statistical information.
6. Get Found
So you have a great new site with flashy graphics, great new booking system, but no visitors! First tip is to make your website Search Engine Friendly (SEF), quite simply this means we need to make the site URLS (Uniform Relative Links or the address you see in your browser) easier to read.
This usually just requires a change in the Joomla Configuration. However you might want to consider more advanced SEF features. Such as SH404. This component gives your Joomla site URL's a really easy to read format in plain English (or the language of your choice). Reservation Manager PRO is shipped with an SH404 plugin that makes the Reservation Manager URL's even more friendly.
The next step is register your website in as many places as possible, many search engines have link relevance so the more places you can publish links to your site the better it will be for your search engine ranking. Sites such as www.stayseeker.com allow free registration and is regularly indexed by many search engines.
Finally submit your site to the search engines. There are many providers that can submit your site automatically to many search engines on a regular basis or you can do this yourself from each search engine.
Hope this helps!