Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Keywords and phrases are the words entered in to search engines by people looking to find accommodation like yours. As an example, someone looking for holiday accommodation in Spain that has a pool may enter the search term (that is, the keywords): “Spanish villa with pool”.
Why is this important?
Defining the keywords relevant to your holiday accommodation means that you can market it more effectively by creating content focused towards your target audience.
NOTE: Many people do not take the time they really should to work out which keywords they should target their website to. It underpins everything else going forward.
Targeting your audience
Think about your holiday rental property and the types of people it will be suitable for and who you want to attract. As an example, a three bedroom villa with a pool may be particularly suitable for families whereas a one bed apartment in the South of France will be more suitable for singles or couples. With this in mind, your next step is to build a keyword list.
So, how do you build a keyword list?
Luckily there are free tools available that will help you build a list of keywords relevant to your holiday rental website. The best place to go is Google itself:
Google are now encouraging users to create an ad campaign and enter billing information before using the tool, but as long as you don’t run an active campaign you should not be charged.
Once you’re in, you’ll have access to the keyword planner by clicking on the Tools menu then Keyword Planner.
If you do go beyond this stage, don’t worry. You can always set your campaign to be paused, and you won’t get charged.
Once in, Google will give you two options and where possible we suggest using both.
By Word or Phrase
first you can type in a few words that you think might be relevant in the left hand box labelled word or phrase;
then fill in the verification box and hit search;
this will return 100 possible related words;
you can then select all the words that are relevant by hitting the checkbox on the left or each word;
next hit the download button at the top of first column;
save this for later use.
And / or you can enter in a website address – this can also be a competitor’s website:
enter the domain name starting http://www. ….
fill in the verification box and hit search;
this will return 100 possible related words based upon the website you entered;
you can then select all the words that are relevant by selecting the checkbox on the left or each word;
hit the download button at the top of first column;
you can then save this file for use later or add it to other list that you have already created.
This should give you a huge list of keywords which you can then filter through to find the best words to use for your holiday rental website.
Choosing the best keywords
Google gives you a lot of information about those keywords. It tells you how competitive they are and also how many people are using those words to search each month.
You will see small bar graphs against each keyword – the greener the bar, the more competitive that keyword it is.
A rule of thumb is the shorter the keyword, the higher the competition and the higher the volume of traffic.
So a short keyword such as “Spain” will have a huge amount of traffic and be very competitive. A longer keyword such as “Spanish villa with pool” will be less competitive but have less traffic.
The key to success is to find a few less competitive keywords that will add up to a reasonable amount of traffic.
And here is why…
The longer keywords (also called long tail keywords) tend to be more specific and the more specific keywords tend to convert into enquiries and bookings, because the person searching already has a good idea of what they are looking for.
Choose your keywords
use the lists you have created to focus on 3 to 5 longer term keywords;
choose words that have around 500 – 1000 searches per month.
choose the words that are most relevant to your holiday accommodation, but where there is not too much competition.
What to do next with the keywords
Now you’ve got your keywords, you should use them to craft your website and social media content and use them to tell Google what your site is about.
For more from Google about Keywords, check out their article: What Are People Searching For?