Google is far and away the most used search engine, so we work hard to help your advert appear in search results. But when a listing contains copied text, it doesn’t stand a chance: Google removes it from their search results and bookings take a nosedive.
When you’ve taken the time to take great photos of your property, why skimp on your description? When owners copy and paste descriptions into their adverts from other websites, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Here’s why copied text is bad for business and bookings:
Whether your descriptions have been copied from somewhere on the internet (such as a tourism site) or they’ve been taken from another advert on Holiday Lettings, copied text is against our terms and conditions. We hope it doesn’t come to this, but if an advert infringes intellectual property rights, we may have to remove it from the site.
If Google receives complaints of copied text or detects the use of duplicate content, they’ll remove it from any searches. Travellers can’t book what they can’t find. It’s easy to find duplicate content by putting it in inverted commas and doing a simple Google search.
Copying descriptions is tantamount to stealing. What’s more, when a sentence here and a paragraph there has been copied, the overall effect is a description that doesn’t sound right and could set alarm bells ringing for travellers.
If you’re setting your advert up in a hurry, here are some top tips on writing descriptions that travellers will love and that won’t land you in hot water:
Go to your local tourist information centre and pick up some leaflets. Use these to find out what there is to do in the local area and describe the attractions in your own words.
Do your research. If you’ve found some info on the web about places to visit nearby, there’s no harm in using it, but you need to paraphrase it so it’s in your own words. Just copying and pasting isn’t allowed.
Cover the main points and come back to it later. You don’t have to have a finished advert from the outset. You can edit your descriptions at any time, so don’t worry if you haven’t got time to write lots of information to start with. It’s more important that whatever you do write is original and in your own words.
Use your photos and reviews for inspiration. Sometimes guest reviews will mention local things to do that you might have missed. You can use these as inspiration for your descriptions by logging in and going to Properties > Update description or Properties > Update location info.
Social networking is a simple (and free!) way of increasing your online presence and making other internet users aware of what you have to offer.
Twitter and Facebook are the most well known of the social networks with Google+ growing in popularity. Not only are they a great place to engage with friends and family, they also form the perfect opportunity to build a network or community of like-minded people around your holiday home and holiday offerings.
What’s more, promoting your home on social networks increases your presence on the web so any guests Googling your home are likely to find your Twitter feed or Facebook profile. Guests can contact you via social networks if they want to make a booking and also leave comments about their stay.
Google+ is one of the fastest growing social networks. It’s a fantastic way to connect with people and promote your home by posting updates about what’s going on in your local area, any new features added to your home and pictures to show it off.
You can post comments, photos and videos so there are lots of ways to engage with holidaymakers when using Google+.
Set up a Google+ business page. As with Facebook, Google+ has pages that are especially for businesses. You can create a page here: http://www.google.com/+/business/ Having a Google+ for business page not only increases your visibility within the list of search results when holidaymakers are previewing your home, it also gives you a preview of your Google+ page on the right hand side of the results. It may take some time to achieve this and you’ll need to post regularly, but it’s worth the extra exposure. Try Googling ‘Holiday Lettings’ and see our Google+ page preview on the right hand side.
Making the most of Google+ Circles. Google+ allows you to connect with different circles of people. You could keep previous holidaymakers in one circle and potential guests in another. That way, you can target some of your posts to suit that particular group. Find out more about Google+ Circles: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/circles/
Stay in the loop. When you use Google+ people can respond to the posts and updates you have added to your stream. Other users can comment and you can reply to these too. The more you work at sharing and connecting with people, the better the results will be.
Potential holidaymakers may be looking at your posts, even if that wasn’t their intention when they started following you, so grab every opportunity to talk about your what you’re offering.
Stay connected to keep people interested. Post every day if possible and update potential guests on what’s going on in your area. Maybe it’s great weather for visiting the beach – take a photo and upload it to show this off. If you’ve made some improvements to your home, such as adding new furniture or have redecorated one of the rooms, post a picture.