I cannot emphasise enough how key an effective and up-to-date website is to renting your villa successfully. Even if villa companies or listing sites generate your bookings, it is always worth investing in updating or creating your own website. It allows you to have control over the latest information about your villa, from availability to news and photos. It can also provide a central reference point for your marketing channels and guests, giving you flexibility and control.
Why should I update my existing website?
Quite simply because if your website looks dated then so will the perception of your villa. Even if the listing site or villa company that generates your bookings has new photos and information, a Google search may well reveal your out-of-date site. If your website has failed to keep up with the times then the impression of your villa will be one of neglect. A fresher, attractive, informative website, designed correctly for online searches, will showcase your villa at its best and generate bookings. The more accurate the information on your website is, the more satisfied your guests will be. With happy guests come great reviews which in turn leads to more bookings.
What is the best way to create a villa website?
One way to create your own villa website is a DIY approach through a site like Squarespace or Wix. Standard templates and easy-to-follow instructions will allow you to create a decent site. Alternatively, a professional website designer can help you create a unique website with a more personal service and technical expertise.
A couple of years ago, I assisted the owner of La Meridiana with his villa marketing and had the pleasure of working alongside website designer, Helen of Kite Web Design who created his new website. I asked Helen what you should consider before embarking on updating or creating a villa website (information from 2020):
How long will it take you to complete a villa website?
We take between 4-6 weeks to complete, this depends quite a lot of when we are provided with the content for the site – photos and text. We have put up a quick site within a matter of days, but that is usually for exceptional circumstances.
How much do hosting and domain names cost and what is the best way to organise it?
We charge the following for domains and hosting packages:
£8.85 per year for a .co.uk (UK registered domain). £12.85 per year for a .com (US registered domain). Specialist domain are by quotation eg: www.thenameofmyestate.estate is £28 per year. Wordpress fast hosting with caching and SSL secure certificate is £105.00 per year. We do not charge VAT.
Is there a cost for updating my website when I have new photos or information I want to add?
Yes, we can do this for you. We are at our current hourly rate to the nearest 5 minutes. Our hourly rate currently is £70. We also can train you to edit your own site if it is something you wish to do.
How important are Google ads, SEO and social media for a villa website, what are they and can I get away with just a website? It all sounds time consuming and expensive!
All sites we build have visible text and headings so can be found on Google. You can just do a website but you will need to think about how someone will find out about your house; will you be advertising in a publication, or via a villa portal? If you need to up the visibility of your site you can use Google ads and some SEO which will help raise the visibility on search engine searches. The idea of social media is to post regularly on an interface such as Instagram (say, every two weeks) with images telling the story of your house. This will gather a following and other people will share your posts or comment on them, again raising your visibility.
Villa Marketing Free Consultation with Rachel
Please contact me for free initial consultation about your villa rental marketing. We can then talk through your options and work out a manageable plan to upgrade or create your website as part of my Villa Owner Consultancy Service.