SEO Audit for Vactaion Rentals
We received request to perform a SEO audit for an old school local directory that wants to now include vacation rentals as part of its SEO. They have asked to stay anonymous, which we have granted.
Starting with a private mode search of Google we discovered the target website, as we suspected, did not rank in the top ten, or twenty, or 100 of Google for the given search term. That phrase, "Vacation Rentals", is extremely competitive with a slew of big name advertisers such has VRBO, AirBNB, Expedia, etc. Those sites, and others, all have extensive content, back links and marketing budgets which will be hard to compete with, unless the target website has millions to invest in content expansion and advertising.
However, it's good to have goals, though we recommend they refine their goals to target hyper-local terms which will produce faster results. IE: City Name vacation rentals.
So, the audit.
From a purely technical SEO pov, the home page of the target website is severely under optimized. The 3 biggest errors are as follows:
1) The site does NOT use SSL. This is now a requirement by Google. It's an easy fix. Read this tutorial: https://www.serr.biz/blog/323-https-google-seo-tutorial.html
2) The site is NOT mobile friendly, responsive web design. This is also a must as Google has shifted their algorithm to be "mobile first". Plus, there is extensive data online about travel searchers that indicate a predominance of mobile usage. In short, travelers often search via mobile devices.
3) The home page is NOT optimized at all for the keyword phrase "Vacation Rentals", except for one link in the left navigation.
To start their SEO, the target website absolutely needs to address the above 3 items ASAP.
Additionally, they should review these additional seo elements and correct during their site redesign.
1) Use header tags properly. Be sure to include "Vacation Rentals".
2) Text to html ratio: Currently the home page only has an 8.73% ratio. Most successful sites have a ratio of 15% or more. They also need to include content related to travel / vacation rentals.
3) Missing Schema.org tags. Given the site focuses on regional business, using Schema.org tags for local business, vacation rental companies (hotels, motels, rental properties) is low hanging fruit. Also, using Schema.org tags for reviews would also greatly improve their seo.
4) Missing Open Graph and Twitter cards. Again, low hanging tech fruit which will bulk up index-able content for each page of their site.
5) Use Google Amp markup.
If the target website completes all of the above search engine optimization improvements, and then conducts a extensive content marketing campaign combined with social and a back link campaign, it is entirely possible for them to gain positioning in the search engines for their targeted phrase and variations there of. If they are going to take the time and put in the effort, they should also look to incorporate real time availability / online booking functions and property aggregators such a webrezpro.com. Expanding their content to include such data will put them in the same league, at least from a data pov, as the big players.
We hope you found this SEO Audit helpful and if you need help with your vacation (travel) seo, please do contact us. We are here to help.
Cover photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-book-business-cactus-297755/
Disclaimer: Under the fair use doctrine, we have reviewed the website in this report from a technical SEO point of view. All statements and recommendations expressed in this publication are that of Serr.biz LLC and are OPINION and NOT statements of fact.