More than likely, you’ve been to at least one website that made you think, “Wow, this is awesome!” But you’ve also been to a lot more that were just frustrating. A booking website is one of your vacation rental business’s most valuable marketing assets. It is a lot more than logos and colours. Website branding for vacation rentals is more than aesthetics; the same is true for your vacation rental website.
A vacation rental website must feel like an original extension of the DNA of your brand. If it doesn’t, it will always feel like an afterthought to your prospects: your customers. Strong website branding impacts all aspects of your business, including brand awareness, sales, and marketing. Here, you can find the essentials to consider when planning for robust website branding for your vacation rental.
Table of Contents
1. Set A Clear-Cut Goal for Your Vacation Rental Website
Ideally, your website needs to have a clear goal and purpose from the outset. When it comes to branding your website, ask yourself the following questions: Why are we building this website? What will make our website stand out from our competitors? After visiting our website, what are we hoping our audience will do? Who are our target audience?
The website goals can include:
- Answering frequently asked questions,
- Driving leads for the sales team,
- Getting direct bookings, which are commission-free,
- Collecting email addresses to build your online community
- Showcasing guest testimonials and reviews,
- Sharing product updates and company announcements.
No matter how many goals you define for your website, you must seek specific strategies to help pull off each plan.
2. Create Branded Visuals for Your Vacation Rental Website
Now that you’ve outlined your website goals, it’s time to think about the website structure and layout. Website visuals are a way to build recognition of your brand image. Every visual element on your site should touch back to how you want your audience to perceive your brand.
An Ideal Website Template
With a content management system like WordPress, you’ll probably need to pick a website template or theme if you’re developing your website from scratch. It’s important to think about all the capabilities, pages, and functions you need for your site.
As part of these sites, you can also find design “bundles” that include fonts, icons, and illustrations for holidays and seasonal changes, which help you stay on-brand during those times.
A One-of-a-Kind Logo
Logos are the face of your brand. Because of this, your logo plays a prominent role in determining your website’s overall aesthetic style. There is a sense of honour, trust, pride, excellence, and integrity associated with it.
Be creative when it comes to the shape and colour of your logo. Depending on the colour of your brand, customers may perceive it differently. Yellow, for example, is youthful, energetic, and bold, while green tends to be associated with nature. On the other hand, a black-and-white colour palette comes across as sophisticated and timeless.
Once you have a logo, place it on your website’s homepage. We recommend placing it in the top left corner of each web page.
Valuable Visual Assets
You recognise Airbnb or Vrbo just by looking at their logo, right? A well-branded website contributes to brand recognition and recall. It would be best if you aimed for the same top-of-mind benefit regarding your website graphics and marketing materials.
Among these are your site’s logo, infographics, colour schemes, and high-quality images and illustrations. Your visual assets represent your brand. Your brand message should be conveyed without using words.
For instance, Airbnb’s homepage is filled with brilliant, high-quality images of their properties – projecting their mission to create a world where people can ‘belong anywhere.’
A Well-Thought-Out Layout
Your vacation rental layout and structure are a more subtle way to teach your audience about your properties. That’s why your website shall shine most in visuals. Therefore, choose a website layout that accommodates large photos and prioritises visual elements.
Remember to keep your website clear, with plenty of white space. Make sure the website has a streamlined navigation bar that facilitates user flow. A cluttered or unintuitive layout will make your potential guests leave your website immediately.
Some standard pages to include when planning for your website layout are Homepage, About page, Property or Service Page, FAQ page and Contact page. Other website components are Header, Footer, Navigation, Buttons, Fonts and typography.
3. Write Branded Text for Your Vacation Rental Website
You’ve learnt how to brand your vacation rental website visually. So, let’s talk about your brand language now. The way your brand speaks – your words, sentence structure, voice, and tone – establishes its personality. Whether you are writing CTAs, headings, or lengthy blog posts, your brand voice should be woven into every piece of text on your website.
A Catchy Tagline
Even though not every business has a tagline, taglines are a great way to highlight your brand’s personality or values. Think about Zeevou’s “Freedom to Grow” – the catchy tagline highlights the brand, conveying the company’s values, connecting customers to the brand and encouraging them to think about it in their decision-making process.
Brands can incorporate taglines into their logos or include them on their business cards and websites. A great place to put the tagline on your website is the homepage so that users see it as soon as they enter your site.
Authentic Brand Story
Your story is a straightforward, concise narrative about your hospitality business; it explains the reason behind your business’s foundation and its vision for the future.
When crafting your brand story, make sure it is consistent with the personality of your vacation rental business. This will help explain your mission, purpose, and values.
You can place your brand story on the About page of your website. Feel free to occasionally refer to your story wherever relevant in your blog posts, social media pages, and marketing materials.
Insightful Blog Posts
Globally, 70 million new posts are published monthly, and 42% of the web is built on WordPress. Blogging continues to be a key component of online marketing strategies as of 2023.
A recent survey reveals that, out of all the content marketing modes out there, 90% of businesses used blogs to help market their brands in 2022.
Typically, a blog post addresses searchable questions. It is indexed on Google so that it might be the first point of contact between your hospitality business and a potential guest.
Guests will benefit from reading the posts, and blogs can also help websites rank higher in search engine results. Furthermore, effective long-form content strengthens your brand’s authority in the industry. It builds brand awareness and brings in organic traffic.
- Compelling Website Copy
Your website copy should reflect your brand voice. This includes your website’s headers, general website copy, calls-to-action, navigation bar headings, landing pages, and FAQs.
Even microcopy – those tiny, hardly noticeable elements of web copy – can drastically alter a brand’s voice and customer relationships.
All of your customer interactions, from long, involved blog posts to small, teeny website copy, make a difference in their perception of your brand.
Keeping your website branding tone consistent across all your written content will make your vacation rental brand more powerful.
4. Build A Branded Website for Your Vacation Rental
The online world is the best place to let your brand shine. Remember that it will still be wise to follow your basic branding guidelines. Nevertheless, you can consider your vacation rental website a virtual playground for your brand.
Not only will it be a fun place to work with your brand, but it will also be one of the first places guests see your brand. Why not introduce them to something professional and aesthetically pleasing?
Decide if you want to use a vacation rental website builder or hire a designer and developer. Hosts can choose how their website will be designed and must choose what works best for them.
Vacation Rental Website Builder
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to create a website for your vacation rental. The trick is to find a good website builder with great pricing, features to help you find the one that matches your needs, budget, and style.
There are a number of vacation rental software solutions that include a vacation rental website builder in their packages.
A good vacation rental website builder can automatically complete most of the branding requirements for hosts. This means that hosts do not need any prior coding experience or other technical know-how.
5. Offer Great User Experience
Great user experience may sound like a cliché. Still, there’s no better way to describe the impact of a friction-less interaction that a short-term rental website visitor can experience when landing on your website.
To help deliver a valuable and meaningful user experience on your website, pay particular attention to the following tips (as described in Peter Morville’s Honeycomb Model):
Useful: Aim for original website content that fulfils a user’s need.
Usable: Aim for the website to be easy to use.
Desirable: Evoke emotions in your design elements.
Findable: It should be effortless for the user to look for specific content.
Credible: Your website content should be able to gain the trust of users and visitors.
Valuable: Users must want or need to use your product.
Accessible: People with disabilities and limitations should be able to use and access your website.
Website personalisation is one of the best practices that brands across various industries can try to deliver a great UX – User Experience. For example, once they land on your website, intuitive properties or destination recommendations will make them feel that your website is specifically tailored to their needs and preferences.
Now that you’ve learnt about the essentials of successful website branding for your vacation rental, you can go from clueless to confident in your website branding initiatives.
To summarise, set a clear-cut goal at the beginning. From there, roll out with a well-thought-out layout, great user experience, strategic content, and a unique colour palette that resonates with your audience.
If you’d like to step up your website branding game and make a great first impression, sign up for Zeevou and let us design the perfect website for your vacation rental business.