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Opportunity..... Percentage of business??
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seaturtle



Joined: 23 Jun 2015
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:00 pm    Post subject: Opportunity..... Percentage of business?? Reply with quote

Hello... I'm looking at setting up a personal website (mainly due to the fear of what little business may come from OD/HA once my current platinum subscription runs out mid next year...)

Can I ask those with websites - what percentage of bookings come directly from your website?

Is it 10/30/45% of your bookings?

Do you genuinely feel it's worthwhile having a personal website or is yours just there in internet space collecting dust?

Many thanks

Kind regards

Seaturtle
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 843
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least 50% of my bookings are as a result of a search engine search finding my property
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seaturtle



Joined: 23 Jun 2015
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zebedee that is stonkingly good. Thanks for letting me know
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nealh



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 111
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think having your own web site is pretty much essential nowadays. This year we had 73% direct or repeat bookings and 27% from OD.

A web site lets you give so much more information than a listing site does. While I can't say that thousands of people are flooding to our site, the stats show that there is a steady stream of visitors to the different pages and the bounce rate suggests that there is an element of browsing going on.

There is a time implication/cost to keeping things going. I use Wordpress so there is also the cost of hosting etc. However the costs are worth it in my mind - you get the benefit of direct bookings but more importantly it gives you (some) independence from the forever changing demands from the OTAs.
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Rosie



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 800
Location: France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely find I am getting an increasing number of bookings coming direct .... and also guests who originally find me on one of the listing sites and then head over to my website and book from there. I use Promote My Place for my website which is simple to set up and with excellent customer service. I have a referral code worth 10 off if you decide to go down this route.
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 395
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
At least 50% of my bookings are as a result of a search engine search finding my property

+1 and Rosie and nealh are correct. Also it can help if you can find a name for your website that helps to point search engines in the right direction. For example, ours is www.naturistholidays.fr and just typing naturist holidays in Google it comes on page 5, but if you type naturist holidays Port Leucate it comes up at no. 1 page 1.
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seaturtle



Joined: 23 Jun 2015
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nealh wrote:
I think having your own web site is pretty much essential nowadays. This year we had 73% direct or repeat bookings and 27% from OD.

A web site lets you give so much more information than a listing site does. While I can't say that thousands of people are flooding to our site, the stats show that there is a steady stream of visitors to the different pages and the bounce rate suggests that there is an element of browsing going on.

There is a time implication/cost to keeping things going. I use Wordpress so there is also the cost of hosting etc. However the costs are worth it in my mind - you get the benefit of direct bookings but more importantly it gives you (some) independence from the forever changing demands from the OTAs.


Bingo yes their 'forever changing demands' that's what's killing us. Thank you so much for sharing
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seaturtle



Joined: 23 Jun 2015
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosie wrote:
Definitely find I am getting an increasing number of bookings coming direct .... and also guests who originally find me on one of the listing sites and then head over to my website and book from there. I use Promote My Place for my website which is simple to set up and with excellent customer service. I have a referral code worth 10 off if you decide to go down this route.


I'll look into Promote my Place later today thanks Rosie. Just these few emails you've all kindly written have me thinking hell why didn't we do this before!?
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seaturtle



Joined: 23 Jun 2015
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oasiscouple wrote:
zebedee wrote:
At least 50% of my bookings are as a result of a search engine search finding my property

+1 and Rosie and nealh are correct. Also it can help if you can find a name for your website that helps to point search engines in the right direction. For example, ours is www.naturistholidays.fr and just typing naturist holidays in Google it comes on page 5, but if you type naturist holidays Port Leucate it comes up at no. 1 page 1.


Oasiscouple - you're quite right we'll think carefully about a name. Something like villasicily.com? I think people search the island rather than our area.... is that kind of what you're saying?
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 395
Location: Gironde and Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seaturtle wrote:
Oasiscouple - you're quite right we'll think carefully about a name. Something like villasicily.com? I think people search the island rather than our area.... is that kind of what you're saying?


Yes, exactly. And if you find the name has already been used, try alternatives to dot com. We also created a separate website in French using PMP called www.vacances-naturistes.eu because the name dot com and dot fr had already been taken so we used dot eu which was still available.
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declanja



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 508
Location: Nice France

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think websites work best for properties in rural areas or for properties that have some stand out feature. We have a one bedroomed apartment in Nice where there are thousands of properties. Ours has no exceptional stand out features apart from its owners! We had an Iowners website at the start and now a PMP one. We did have some enquires and bookings for the first few years when we ranked reasonably high on Google but have had no inquires for a few years. If you Google "holiday rentals in Nice", at least the first 5 or 6 pages are all from well funded holiday rental sites. That is where owners in areas with lesser competition can win with their websites ranking higher in searches.

We maintain our site as we used to be able to give a link to it to enquirers. This is more problematic now with the listing sites controlling what we can put in our replies. I spent some time this year updating my website to see if I could generate enquires without success. It does contain more info, photos etc so we feel it has a value even for guests to access after booking.
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nealh



Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 111
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

declanja wrote:
... so we feel it has a value even for guests to access after booking.


Yes I agree. It confirms that you are genuine, that you know the area etc.

If you have got a unique name that you use in your listing with OD, HA TA then it is a good idea to have that as your web site name. So in your listing your title might be 'Flobdobber - 3 bedroom villa in Sicily' then getting the domain 'flobdobber.com' can work to your advantage as people looking at your listing can potentially find you direct. Obviously doesn't work so well if you have something more generic that lots of other people have used.
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Stewart



Joined: 11 Jun 2011
Posts: 85
Location: Fife, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently 80% from 20% when we started four years ago with HL putting us on the map. Interestingly we have seen a steady decline from TA/HL over this period. I think they see sheer volume of choice being their killer USP (and of course having the budget to back it up). The result is a huge number of very similar (undifferentiated) properties. We will never stand out from their crowd on these sites EXCEPT by being dirt cheap. That is a race to the bottom IMO.

I also think the TA star system has had its day for holiday rentals. I would advise investing in a booking system (I use Supercontrol) so the customer journey can be completed seamlessly. I'd like to see more people having the balls to try blocking a month or two out to TA/HA et al traffic and see how they fair. Customers are more savvy than we give them credit for .
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 429
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
At least 50% of my bookings are as a result of a search engine search finding my property


Zebedee I would love to know how you achieve this. Do you mean people searching your property name after seeing it on a listing site? Or a more general search for holiday properties in your area?
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 765
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenster wrote:
zebedee wrote:
At least 50% of my bookings are as a result of a search engine search finding my property


Zebedee I would love to know how you achieve this. Do you mean people searching your property name after seeing it on a listing site? Or a more general search for holiday properties in your area?


Decent SEO would certainly help. I'm not sure if our own figures are quite as good as zebedee but certain searches e.g. villa in, rental villa in, holiday rental in (our village/town) gets us at page 1 or 2. Still behind the beasts but visible all the same. I can't claim to know how, our site provider does the background techy stuff.
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