What are the benefits of having your own website?

I have heard that having your own website is really beneficial but I am not sure. I use Airbnb which charges 3% . If I take payments companies charge roughly 3% but I don’t get the marketing/SEO benefit nor the insurance guarantee or verified person etc. It seems riskier to take bookings from your own site. Thoughts?

Some hosts have their own website.

There are no generics on this.

If you understand how to market your own website and it is well designed with content highlighting key benefits and you know how to optimise it to drive traffic from your target audience, then it can work and compliment your offer on Airbnb.

Thank you. Driving traffic to my website might be the biggest challenge. My Airbnb guests would be the first thought and FB friends.

Some benefits of having your own vacation rental website:

  • You can take direct bookings and avoid fees
  • With some vacation rental software, such as Lodgify, you can combine the website with an integrated channel manager, making it possible to take bookings from multiple channels in addition to direct bookings.
  • Drive traffic to your site by creating a Facebook page, get it listed on local area guides, and write SEO optimized texts and articles.

What percentage of your bookings come from your website @Jan_J ?

@Helsi I guess we get around 10-20 % direct bookings, mostly from guests who have found our vacation rental on sites like booking.com and then looks up our website after. Some guests are contacting me directly and asks if they get a lower price, which is possible as most of the vacation rental sites take up to 25% commission on every booking.

That’s great! How do you verify them?

Hi Jan – I’m interested in making a very simple website for vrbo guests who are googling for a specific listing in the attempt to avoid fees. Unlike Air guests, Vrbo users seem accustomed to signing lease agreements and are comfortable with mailing checks for deposits and full payment.

What is the lowest monthly price I could pay to do this? I don’t mind off-setting some fees for guests but I have to account for the cost of setting up and maintaining a website. I don’t instant book so it’s not a problem for me to input these bookings manually into my Air calendar and since I plan on accepting checks as payment, I don’t need CC processing.

@YYCgal - they book and pay with a credit card on my website. Direct bookers are also required to fill inn their name, address, phone number and passport number, and then we check it the details upon arrival.

1 Like

Do you use Stripe.com?

Hi @Jan_J

Then that’s not direct. Direct means they found your site through organic Google searches not through third party referrals.

I am using Wix Hotels and are not satisfied with them. Looking for someone else.

Post No 5 now… and I think you are officially a spammer!

I deleted his account just now.

I’m resurrecting this thread because it is exactly the question I want to ask. It is not clear to me what are the benefits of having your own website.

How do guests find you? When I do a regular google search for places to stay in my city, I only get pages and pages of links to all the usual booking sites.

Is it simply a case of having the same listing name across all sites and then hoping that someone will search separately for that? So you both avoid fees?

I will be very grateful for any advice or information (only with emojis, I’m afraid :smile:)

Webbery person and host here. :slight_smile:

Having your own website might get you guests but unless you’re good at regular blogging, have plenty of social media followers and have a good grasp of how search engines work, then you could be disappointed. A pretty tall order for most hosts, I think.

BUT … having your own site can save you lots of time by featuring the questions your guests ask you:

Recommendations for local restaurants
Sights that are must-see
House manual and rules
Check out expectations

Loads more. If you see it as a tool of your trade then it’s a huge bonus when you get a booking from your site. :slight_smile:

1 Like

The benefits to having your own website are huge, but they do require a significant amount of work over the long term, so if you decide to commit to a website, you should be conscious of this long-term commitment in advance.

Most of what you do on the website builds up to give you visibility on the internet. This is how your potential guests will find you.

In addition to the comment from @jaquo above, I would add that you need to consider finding a good website to start off with. Unless the website has been constructed well, you’ll find yourself in bother further down the line, no matter how much effort you put into blogging and social media work and linking. So look for for a web company that will make your site for you with a great reputation.

There are a number of things that you need to consider when you’re choosing a website builder or web designed, and if you need any information on that, then I would be happy to give you some guidance.

One aspect that hasn’t been mentioned yet are backlinks and internal links. Back links are when a different website links to your site. Google will rank you higher if good quality companies link to you. There is a lot to say about writing content in your blog, however I would add that one point that often gets missed is internal linking, where one great blog post links to another relevant blog post which may be of interest to your readers. Again Google likes this. :grinning: