Making the most of your holiday cottage advertisement
Thank you for registering with Last Minute/ Big Cottages.
We think you will find your advertisement very easy to set up, but we are always here to help if you have any problems
To help you make the most of your listing, we have put together a few tips for writing your advert.
Before you start it is always a good idea to make a list of your 'unique selling points', it might be your great location, quirky decor, fabulous view or the age of your property. Whatever it is, aim to make sure the qualities that make your property a great place to stay are clearly spelled out in your finished advertisement.
We all know that a picture can do a lot of the 'talking' in an advertisement. It might be obvious, but it is worth spending some time choosing your best photos. We need photos in jpeg format, at least 640 pixels wide, so that they can enlarge when clicked upon.
Choose your first picture carefully, as this will appear on your summary text listing. This has to entice visitors to find out more!
Make sure you have good quality photos, with a mix of exterior and interior shots. If either are missing, people can suspect one of 'hiding something'.
If you have a picture of one of your 'unique selling points' such as a garden or a great view, it is a good idea to make this appear higher up the advertisement.
We offer 20 pictures per advertisement - try put up as many images as you can. Use picture captions - try and 'set the scene'.. "Lovely, spacious gardens" is better than 'outside space'.
Please make sure you use unique text in your main description and summary listing. Please do NOT just copy from your website. Google looks harshly on repeated text and it can affect page ranking. Obviously you can relay the same information, but please use synonyms and different word order.
THE 'SUMMARY' TEXT.
This is just as important as your main description - maybe even more so! Visitors will scan the summary listings to find something that takes their fancy. What you put here can convince a potential client to go to your main listing, your availability calendar or even straight to your website. Make sure you convey all the best points about your property! This field is limited to 330 characters.
Length - If the text is too brief it can look as if you can't be bothered to enthuse about your property and if you can't be bothered, then why should people want to come! One doesn't need to write much, but if you are enthusiastic about your property, then people are more likely to respond in kind.
Of course too much text can be off putting as well. Use the 'preview' facility and check out how your advertisement looks aesthetically - it will help you decide if you have the appropriate amount of text.
Tone - writing in an approachable, chatty way can only help people react positively to an advertisement.
Try and paint a picture of the kind of holiday people can have in your property - engage vistors' imagination, help them imagine themselves in your property. It really can help persuade people to book.
Ensure you describe what is available in the property; number of bedrooms, living space, kitchen facilities, bathrooms and outside space.
Describing the local area can also help attract visitors. It is best to assume that people know very little about the area and what it can offer. A good description means that people don't need to leave your advertisement to browse for information about the locality.
Near a great local pub or restaurant? Then do mention this too!
CHOOSE YOUR ICONS CAREFULLY
The icons tell visitor more about the facilities your property offers. Please make sure that they accurately reflect what is available. If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact us.
To use the 'near a beach' icon your property needs to be within 3 miles of a beach or the coast.
Let us know if you are in or within 3 miles of a National Park.
Eco House or Green Tourism Rated: If you choose to advertise your property as eco friendly, please give some indication as to your 'green credentials' in your main description. If you have a 'Green Tourism' award this can be shown on your advertisement.
Let us know about any awards you have. We can add the award icons to your listing.
APPEAR ON OUR HOME PAGE
Our featured properties appear on our home page, 3 at a time, and change each time a new visitor comes to the site. With between 2,000 and 6,000 visitors each day your property will appear many times a day and this can provide useful extra exposure. For an extra payment of just £30.00 + VAT per annum your property can appear on this rota.
We also actively use social media and our LMC blog daily to help promote individual properties and we encourage our advertisers to keep in contact and let us know if they need extra help with a promotion. We can't promise to always publicise every promotion as we have a lot of properties on our books, but we love to hear from you.
Social media is a great way of keeping websites high in Google rankings. Please like us on Facebook and Google+, we will be delighted to reciprocate.
If you are advertising on Last Minute Cottages then don't forget the Next 6 weeks and Special Offers fields.
These are both found under 'Edit Availability and Next 6 Weeks' at the top of the login page.
LATE AVAILABILITY COTTAGE OFFERS
The home page date search is one of THE most popular searches on the Last Minute Cottages site. If you have availability, make sure your property appears!
If we synchronise with the calendar on your own webpage*, relax - you don't have to do anything. If you have vacancies they will automatically appear in this search.
Otherwise, to appear in this search you MUST make sure your vacancies appear in these calendars. You can find them via the 'Click here to edit your LMC Availability Calendar' link on your administration page once your advertisement has been set live.
Properties with any availability within the two weeks of the current date will also appear in the 'Very Last Minute Cottages' section on the home page. The cottages change each time a new visitor arrives at the home page. Click refresh to see! If you forget to update, the calendars will be removed from the date search (to reappear once you have updated). The calendars will remain visible on your listing. You will be sent an automatic email reminder as a prompt.
*We can synchronise our calendars with the following availability calendars:
Anytime Booking, Availability Calendar, Bookalet, Bookster, Freetobook, Google Calendars, Holiday Bookings Online, Holiday Rental Management, Holiday Live Booking, Homeaway, Independent Cottages, Inn Style, Owners Direct, Scrumpy, Supercontrol.
You will find that you get a much higher throughput of visitors to your listing if you keep some late availability dates showing on the site at all times. These appear as a 'Special Offers' link in the summary listing text, when visitors retrieve their list of suitable venues. These help entice visitors to find out more!
Thank you again for registering with Last Minute and Big Cottages. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or concerns.