As your organic traffic grows, your need to rely only on booking sites for reservations decreases. But growing organic traffic is not always easy. By following these steps, you will become aware of what pages on your short-term rental website need fixing.
In our last post, How to Optimize your Vacation Rental Website’s On-Page SEO, Part 1, we discussed the basics of on-page SEO and explained how to add the correct keywords using on-page SEO best practices.
Today, we are going to discuss on-page SEO best practices and give you step-by-step instructions on how you can run your free on-page SEO analysis!
If you would like a full debrief on SEO specifically for short-term rental property managers, download the free MyVR SEO eBook by clicking the button below.
On-page SEO markup best practices
In part one of this post, we reviewed how to set up your page titles and descriptions for your homepage and other subpages on your website. Recall our metadata definition:
“Metadata is all the information about a page that you send to a search engine that isn’t visible to your visitors.
So, it’s also a good idea to start using SEO best practices for other pages too. While some pages (“About us” page, “Contact” page, etc.) likely won’t drive lots of organic traffic, you can still easily set up the needed on-page SEO on these pages. An example of where it could really pay dividends is if you have a “Things-to-do” page on your website; that page can rank for different keywords than your homepage and drive organic traffic too.
Here’s a quick example from the travel blog Crazy Family Adventure. They wrote a guide of “things-to-do” in Glacier National Park that ranks for 1,600+ keywords and gets an estimated 1,300 visitors per month
Additionally, when you have more than one property page on your website, it’s important to set up all property pages with the correct on-page SEO markup. Guests may search in Google for the names, locations or features of separate properties; you’ll want them to be easy to find.
The good news is that on MyVR websites, this important SEO markup has been automatically put in place for each property, based upon the property’s data. It’s easy to adjust this if needed, but the foundational work has been done for you.
Running your free on-page SEO analysis
We also recommend using a tool like Screaming Frog. You can easily take a snapshot of your website pages to:
- Find any broken links on your website that may cause guests to get frustrated.
- View your pages like Google does: title tags, content, meta descriptions and heading tags.
- Identify images that are too large and slow down your website.
- Surface any crawling issues or problems.
- Show which pages have the most internal links & so much more!
You can download the free version of Screaming Frog which lets you crawl up to 500 pages at a time – more than enough for almost every vacation rental website.
Download Screaming Frog
Starting your website crawl using Screaming Frog is very easy. The Screaming Frog interface is below. Use the top navigation to make sure that you have have selected Spider from the Mode dropdown. And, then enter your domain name.
Open Screaming Frog, locate the Mode dropdown; under Mode, select Spider
Paste in your domain and review results
For the average sized website, this process usually takes less than 5 minutes. Once the crawl is complete, you will see your on-page SEO data.
Here you can review the title and meta description (Title 1 and Meta Description 1 in the screenshot above) for issues.
As is often the case, the meta description is the same across each of this website’s pages. Without unique and enticing meta descriptions, your website isn’t as likely to get clicked on from the search results (or even rank well in the first place).
You can create a custom meta description for each page of your website to help improve the chances a guest will click on this website in the search results.
Screaming Frog can also find all sorts of technical website issues and report them to you for free. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good overview of common issues found:
- Broken page URLs (404/not found pages)
- Duplicate page titles
- Duplicate page headings
- Too long or too short page titles
- Too long or too short meta descriptions
- Images that are too large (over 100kb) to load quickly
- Internal link redirects
If you want to dive even deeper, there are more in-depth guides that can take your website to the next level. Screaming Frog can also provide a snapshot of how the page will look in Google.com in the SERP Preview area.
You can adjust your title tag and meta description within this interface, but note it is only a preview tool and not actually updating your website.
After following our two-part, step-by-step tutorial you should have an understanding of the basic concepts and components of on-page SEO, why it matters, how to troubleshoot your short-term rental website’s on-page SEO, and how to seamlessly implement targeted keywords into your metadata. Congratulations! That’s an awful lot in a short period of time!