If you have your own website for promoting your listings and for direct booking, may I ask what platform you used to create and host it?
Actually, I’m interested too @RebeccaF. I have already searched the applicable threads but would appreciate any of the moment advice as something like website building seems to change quite quickly.
@Helsi . As I mentioned, I’ve already done the searches!
And would welcome anyone with any new or more recent advice.
Thanks @Helsi , but it doesn’t seem you have anything to contribute to the question.
No, I never said that. Or anything like that. I’m not sure why you think that but at least it explains your post. Thanks!!
What is rude is you suggesting I’ve been rude when you haven’t read my posts and clearly don’t understand them and are also clogging up a post but not helping with the OP’s question.
Related to this I have one question: even if you have your own website, no matter what platform, how do you advertise it on Airbnb? There is no way to put a link on Airbnb. I actually made a video (on youtube) with my house, so that people can tour it virtually, not only look at pics, but if I put the link it is XXXXXXX immediately. There is no way that I know to link an ABB listing to an external url. If you know one, please let me know. So if this can’t be accomplished I see no purpose in having a separate link because it wont show up in searches. How will people find you? Unless you pay $$$ to Google for ads or something. Or to whatever platform you chose for seo.
Although likely not allowed I often see pics of the sign on the property, which usually includes a phone number, website or some other way to contact direct. I have even seen blatant pics of nothing but a business card! And occasionally I see these type pics as the cover photo!
My plan is that I’ll continue to use Airbnb. But I also want the option of booking people directly through my own site.
I plan to use social media (mainly Facebook) to connect with people, and then I’ll direct those I’m interested in having as direct-booked guests to my website. At least at the outset.
A multi-pronged approach seems best to me. While Airbnb has been very valuable for us, I don’t want to depend on it.
As resident hosts, we don’t have the options of all the possible platforms. But this can help us diversify a bit. We’ve already branched out to one other site. We may add BDC at some point, too.
And no, @adrienne12, I don’t believe you can publicize your own website on Airbnb.
@Helsi, I searched but didn’t find anything helpful regarding what platform to use.
I built my site for free using vacationsoup.com
I use ownerres for a booking engine
I use google adwords to promote it.
Usually I get at least one booking a month direct, but it is getting better, 75% of my December bookings are direct, although this is unusual I hope it keeps up.
I am about 16 months in on this I think.
Thank you, @RiverRock. Good info.
It’s important to get your own URL. You don’t want some websitebuilder[dot]com/yourlisting thing. URLs are cheap, you can buy them from GoDaddy.
You need the URL to be something you can easily say without any slashes or whatever.
Once you’ve bought your URL, GoDaddy can also arrange hosting for you. They will try to sell you all sorts of other stuff along the way, none of which you need.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to access your control panel and easily add Wordpress. WP sites can be as simple or as complex as you like. One thing they are good for though is search engine presence. If you’re creating your own site, the marketing of it ought to be considered first and foremost - design, colours, even content can come later once you’ve got the marketing and promotion sorted out.
There’s no need to pay for search results. Create an informative site with information about your listing and the local area. Best of all, have a regular blog where you update the content of the site. (Every week, every month or whatever - the regularity of updates is more important than the time gap).
Promote your website via social media, tagging local influencers (such as a tourist authority).
Hello! We originally used Wix to get our site up and running but I didn’t like their booking engine. The site worked well and got more results than I expected. I just took it down to change hosting, and leave Wix. I’m giving HTML a try when it is rebooted (getting my full nerd-cape in action) but I have a buildout on WordPress waiting in the wings should I stall out on the HTML.
Join your local visitor bureau or tourist info center. Print rack cards (Vistaprint does great rack cards at a very reasonable price) to put in their card racks, and get a listing on their web site with a link to your web site.
Go to TripAdvisor and get a listing that has a link to your website. If guests give you good reviews on Air ask them by text message to also review your place on TripAdvisor, which unlike Yelp, has real and honest reviews.
My tour business web site used to get about 50% of hits from TripAdvisor (because I have high ratings) and 20% from the visitor’s bureau. When I started paying extra for the top banner of the visitor’s bureau “tours” page it changed to 50% visitor’s bureau, 20% TripAdvisor. It didn’t help that TripAdvisor now places the businesses that book with their Viator online booking system ahead of the highest rated places on their pages for each locality and I don’t use it.
If I was going to choose one place to promote a B&B and your rental is mid to high end, I would choose the local visitors bureau and pay for some extra promotion on their site. That premium placement pays for itself many times over for my tours.
For my tour business, I used Squarespace and registered the domain name through them. It has a variety of templates and styles, so all you have to do it choose a template for a free trial and add your content to see what it will look like.
As for third party booking systems, the one I use for my tours doesn’t work well for booking rooms or homes for short term rental, so my experience with booking systems isn’t relevant.
For accepting deposits I use Square because it allows me to invoice clients by email with a link to Square’s payment system.
Your website looks great. Thanks for sharing the info.
Excellent info in your posts, @NordlingHouse. Thank you.
Seriously? Most folks I know in the hospitality industry hate TA with a passion, mainly because of the number of fake reviews. Just the same as it is easy to purchase positive TA reviews, it is also simple to purchase negative reviews. There is a whole industry built around false reviews as TA do not have any restrictions on who can review, and about where.
I use free to book as my channel manager. I have their widget on my website. It syncs well with Airbnb.
Excellent choice, a good Glasgow company who have a solid reputation. I know a few folk who also use them and a few years ago I also set up and integrated their web sites with F2B.
Haven’t heard any negatives about them, so far!
Of course there isn’t any way to put a link to a private website on Airbnb. Why would they want to give you a way to book guests directly, bypassing them getting their service fees?