Do you want to know what question I get asked ALL the time?
It's vacation rental owners asking how they can get noticed in a market with a lot of competition.
My answer? Update your headline!
This is one of the most important parts of your listing, yet all too often, I see hosts just not quite getting it all the way right.
Your headline is one of the most important pieces of your listing because it is what's going to draw them into click on your listing to learn more.
But why is a headline so important?
I've been in marketing for over a decade and the headline is ALWAYS one of the most important elements.
I mean, if you think about it, what makes you click on a promotional email?
It's the subject line: the headline of the email.
Or, if you're on a news website, what makes you click on a particular article?
It's the headline.
If you're on YouTube, and you're browsing maybe how to content, what makes you click and watch that video?
You got it. Most likely... it's going to be the headline!
Without an intriguing headline to get someone to click, you don't have an opportunity to continue the story.
The same applies with a vacation rental listing headline.
It is so important to make sure that your headline is drawing in the potential guests.
I believe this topic is so important that I have made it the very first video that I ever put on my Fully Booked Consulting YouTube channel.
For a full tutorial on how to update your headline, check out my blog post 'How to Write an Airbnb & VRBO Headline That Gets CLICKED'.
This post takes that training one step further and is a mini-audit on a real life listing. I'm going to audit this particular listing, and let you know my recommendations, and how I would change this listing if it were my own listing.
For this listing, I am on HomeAway so you can see that this headline is going to be a little longer than Airbnb. On VRBO & HomeAway, we can have up to 80 characters and on Airbnb you can have up to 50.
You can see this headline reads: 'Enjoy The Sunsets In The Soothing Spa At the Waters Edge'.
Right off the bat, I see a few areas of opportunity here:
Opportunity #1: Remove all caps.
The very first one is that this is in all caps. I always recommend that the headline is not in all caps, and that you only use caps as a way to emphasize a particular word if needed.
Opportunity #2: Focus on ideal guest.
The current headline is fairly generic so there's an opportunity to call out the type of guest that is best suited for their home.
By knowing the ideal guest and what appeals to them, I recommend also including amenities that this ideal guest is looking for.
In this example, there's an opportunity to be more specific about the home itself and include amenities in addition to the spa.
Opportunity #3: Break up text with special characters.
I also see that there's an opportunity to break up this headline a little bit with special characters.
Special characters help break the text up and make the headline look more appealing.
It also helps set your headline apart from the others listed with you in the listing site feeds.
Let's take a look at a few updated headline examples I would recommend testing...
I have three examples here as I always recommend that you test quite a few, especially in that first year (side note: I tested 20 different headlines in my first year!).
Headline Option #1:
The hot tub that she was referring to as the soothing spa is her key amenity and one of the main reasons that guests book her place so we want to keep the focus on that amenity.
However, it's important to use the word that more people refer to it by so I updated it from spa to hot tub.
I also know that this home appeals to couples, so I wanted to zone in on that particular audience as well.
In this option, we are focusing on talking to the couples, and those that are looking for the getaway, and then really making sure that it's obvious we're talking about a private hot tub, and it overlooks the lake.
Headline Option #2:
In option #2, you can see I've used an emoji here with a heart to experiment with the use of symbols.
Those are great to test out and really help your listing stand out in the feed, because they're not used quite as often as some of the other different symbols out there.
Headline Option #3:
In option #3, you can see that I'm playing with the use of symbols again by using those tildes as a way to break up the space.
I know that her view, and the fact that she is so close to the water, is a unique amenity and feature at this area, so I have zoned in on these features along with the hot tub.
If you are looking to update and test out some new headlines for your OTA listing, start with about three new headlines.
Let each one run for about two weeks before you switch it out and pay attention to the amount of interest you get with each one.
I hope that was helpful to see a real life example on how to update a headline.
Remember, I also have that full headline tutorial for a deeper dive on this topic.
If you are new to this industry and you really want to hit the ground running with your vacation rental. be sure to grab my free marketing guide.
It is called The Vacation Rental Marketing Roadmap, and you can grab that in the link below.
By grabbing this guide, you'll also be the first to know when I launch my brand new program next month which is ALL about optimizing your listing for maximum success!
Be sure to grab your free marketing guide here!