Maximise the potential of your advert

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Maximise the potential of your advert

To get the most from your advert on, take a step into the shoes of a holidaymaker and see things from their point of view.

Think punchy and informative, enticing and unique, well written and with a great gallery. Not easy when you know your home so well and you're trying to sell it to others! As the owner of your holiday home you know your property's unique selling points (USPs) and your advert is your chance to really show them off. Get holidaymakers excited about your property and they'll be more likely to make an enquiry.

So, to help you take that step back, see things with a fresh perspective and make sure you've got the basics covered, use these tips to keep ahead of the game and make your advert shine.

  • Choose your words wisely when writing your Home Summary. You’re limited to around 30 words here - this is the text that appears in the search results - so it’s really important to summarise the best aspects of your home and local area. Consider your target audience and tailor the description to suit: show what makes your property special, highlight those USPs in a short, punchy style and incorporate keywords to give you a search engine boost.

  • Your first photo should be the best as it appears next to your Home Summary text in the search results page. This picture needs to be eye-catching and draw the holidaymakers towards your advert. Pictures of USPs such as a pool, roof terrace or sea view work well but keep it relevant to your home. Those sea views will look much more appealing if your garden is also in shot.

  • Look at your advert within the search results and see if your eye is drawn to it when scrolling though the properties. See which one jumps out from the page. If everyone else has a picture of the pool you might be better off showing a beautifully dressed bedroom.

  • Your Home Description is the first text holidaymakers read when they view your advert. Now you can really start to describe the type of holiday you are offering in detail and elaborate on the points you touched on in the Home Summary. You don't need to list every facility (there's plenty of room for that further down the advert). When describing your property, be as honest as possible without underselling it - if you think the views from the balcony are breathtaking, then say so! Try to avoid words such as ‘nice’ and ‘luxury’ as they can be very subjective.

  • You have 24 photos and captions to play with so be sure to take full advantage! Don't use the panoramic slots for interior photos unless you're a pro; these are designed to show off local views and landscapes. Remember that your photos can be viewed in HD giving your potential guests an even better view of your property so keep the quality top notch.

  • Make sure that your first four photographs are the most impressive as these are the pictures that appear on your main advert page and will encourage holidaymakers to click though and see the rest of your gallery. Choose ones which show off different aspects of your property and highlight USPs. People assume that the property will have a bathroom so, unless yours is something special, use the slots for photos that exude a holiday spirit.

  • Use the captions to point out your property's USPs and to get people in the holiday mood. Rather than simply writing "Terrace", for example, why not "Start the day with breakfast in the sun".

  • Tick the relevant check boxes so that your advert shows up applicable searches. People often refine their search according to facilities and activities nearby, so you want to be sure you’re included.

  • Use the interactive map on your advert so that holidaymakers can get a much better idea of where they could be going. If your property is near the sea, use the zoom level to your advantage and get the coastline in the scene. You can add an interactive map in Area details.

  • Tailor your region and area descriptions to suit your target audience. If you're looking to attract families then mention child-friendly activities and trips out; if it's more of a rural, romantic retreat then suggest walks and activities that would appeal.

  • You know the area best, so take this chance to share your knowledge of the local area and recommend any specific places of interest, local restaurants and activities to enjoy when visiting your home. Holidaymakers will really appreciate the personal touch. Suggesting something a bit different that you don’t always find in the tour guides may just give you the edge over your competition!

  • Reviews from your previous guests are one of the best ways to encourage future guests to make an enquiry and could make all the difference when securing a booking. That extra testimonial could persuade a holidaymaker to book your home over another so get collecting! You can ask your happy guests to write a review for you through your 'Reviews' page in your account. Want to know more about collecting reviews? Here's more info.

  • Keep your pricing structure simple and easy to follow. Keep the table as short as possible and group time periods together giving them a name for easy reference. Eg. ‘Summer’ or ‘High season’. The easier to understand the better.

  • Take some time out to look at what other people with similar properties in your area are charging to make sure your tariff remains competitive . Have a look at more pricing advice we've compiled for you.

  • Make your photos and advert seasonal: snow, warm fires and winter activities when taking bookings for winter; terraces and swimming pools for summer bookings.

Author: Kate, Advert Performance Advisor

Date: July 2011