8 Vacation Rental SEO Tips To Help You Grow Organic Traffic

June 17, 2023

This vacation rental SEO guide will help you optimize your vacation rental website and create successful SEO campaigns this year and beyond. Many of the same principles can be applied across all your vacation rental landing pages and blog posts, so they will be more easily found by search engine users in your target market 

It’s good to note here that creating new and optimized content on a weekly basis is critical to achieving long-term success with SEO. This is most commonly done with blogging, and we have had tremendous success lately in combining the principles outlined in this guide with well-written blog posts. For our secrets to success, consider shooting us an email and visit our contact page. We would love to provide you with a free SEO audit of your vacation rental business and learn more about you and your goals. 

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8 Vacation Rental SEO Tips to Help You Grow Organic Traffic 

For a broader introduction to search engine optimization, be sure to check out our guide to hospitality SEO. 

Step 1: Choose The Right Keywords For Effective Vacation Rental SEO

Keywords are the key to any successful vacation rental SEO campaign, but keywords are more than just phrases that your potential guests are searching in Google; they are clues to a much more important concept in SEO. This concept: search intent. Keywords and their respective SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) give us great insight into what users are looking for whenever they search certain phrases. 

 Analyzing the results on page 1 will give us a better idea of the types of web pages, and associated content users prefer to see for any given query. 


When choosing the right keywords for your vacation rental business, it is vitally important to find those keywords that perfectly intersect between what your perspective guests are looking for and what your company provides.  

Where many people make mistakes with their vacation rental SEO is selecting the wrong keywords that might not accurately represent what your company provides.

For instance, if you are a condominium complex that only offers condo rentals, targeting vacation rental keywords in your local area would not accurately satisfy search intent, in many cases. Those users might be more interested in larger vacation rentals, multiple-bedroom homes, and things that your company does not provide.

Google is smart enough to test web pages and determine which websites best provide users with precisely what they are looking for.

While researching keywords to target on your website, you want to prioritize those queries that specifically describe what your business offers. Do you have a decent selection of 7-bedroom vacation rentals in your area and find a relevant keyword that matches this intent? That would be more than enough reasoning to warrant building a landing page to target that highly specific and relevant query.

Although search queries like that might only receive 20-30 searches per month, your site is much more likely to rank for those keywords and bring in highly relevant traffic, which is more likely to convert.

When optimizing individual property pages, it is good to note that potential customers typically will not search for a particular address when looking for a property, but there are customers who know the exact complex or remember the property name that they want to stay in and will search for that over something more generic like “your city condo rentals.” Make sure you optimize individual property pages with the property name and a good description of that property. 

For example, if the rental in question is a 4-bedroom cabin in the Smoky Mountains with a hot tub, make sure that description makes it into the page title, meta description, and on the page as well! There is the potential for that page to rank for singular 4-bedroom cabin rental keywords or singular cabin rental with hot tub keywords that are location specific to the Smoky Mountains. 


There is also the potential to steal traffic away from the OTAs. When you optimize your individual property pages with their names, guests who initially booked with you through Airbnb or VRBO could do a Google search for the property name when planning their next trip. Google would much prefer to show users a local website that provides precisely what they are looking for, instead of an OTA like Airbnb or VRBO – with whom they are competing.

The main idea here is to organize your site in a user-friendly way that allows users to easily drill down into your vast inventory of vacation rentals, so they can find the type of rental they want to book. In many cases, there will be people searching for vacation rentals of a specific type, with certain amenities, in particular locations.   

Although keywords of this variety will receive far fewer searches, these terms will be much easier to rank for at the start of your SEO campaign and will drive extremely targeted traffic that is more likely to convert and book your rentals! 

For each page, you want to identify that primary keyword relevant to the page’s content and ensure you also include keyword variations that signify the same search intent. For example, cloud nine villas and cloud nine villa rentals might seem like two separate keywords, but they most definitely signal the same search intent to Google. Upon searching these queries, we find almost identical page 1 SERP results.

With relevant keywords identified and mapped out to the pages you want to use to target those keywords, it is time to optimize these pages with effective On-Page SEO. 

Step 2: Use Appropriate Page Titles 

One important signal Google and other search engines use to understand pages is the page title. This title is normally easy to edit and change (based on your website platform) and should accurately describe what users will find on that page.

The page title is what appears when you hover over a browser tab and what Google normally uses when they display your webpage in the SERPs. However, as of August 2021, Google has been rewriting page titles where they might be too long, too short, or where they think a different title would align more accurately with what the user is searching for.

According to this article from Search Engine Journal: a study found that more than 60% of all page titles are being rewritten by Google. To avoid this, it is you should follow the best practices listed below. 

Your page title should be between 50 and 70 characters and include the primary keyword and its variations – where combinations of these keywords make sense and read well. You also want your page title and main H1 tag to align as closely as possible. And again, the H1 and page title of each page should accurately describe what the user is going to find on that page. 

Each page title on your website should be unique! You do not want to duplicate page titles, as every page on your website should be different and include content that differentiates itself from every other page on your site.  

While determining how to title your page, research the SERPs! Do some Google searches in an incognito window and see titles being used for the top-ranking pages. Do most of these include a number? Do they only include the target keyword? Do they include brand names? Identify any commonalities here and do not stray too far from what Google is already ranking in their search engine. 

Step 3: Create A Good Meta Description 

The meta description appears on a Google search results page under the Page Title. Like the title, this should be an accurate description of what the user will find on this page! The meta description should, in general, follow these guidelines: 

Be under 175 characters (but not under 100 characters; take advantage of the space you have) 

Incorporate the primary keyword and at least one secondary keyword. 

Provide a valuable, compelling reason for why someone should visit the page. Meta descriptions can be a determining factor in whether a user selects your webpage or another page that is closely-ranked within the SERP.  

You also want to ensure you include these keywords in a conversational format; try not to just cram in keywords for the sake of listing them. 

Step 4: Create A Keyword Driven URL & URL Hierarchy 


The URL slug is also a fantastic spot to place your target keyword. Especially with landing pages, you also want to ensure you’re building out a logical URL structure that makes your website easier to navigate by users and easier to understand by search engine crawlers.

Take our own website, for instance. The URL slug for this page is /blog/vacation-rental-seo/ – we are clearly targeting vacation rental SEO with this URL and the rest of our on-page optimization efforts.

For our landing pages, we do the same thing and try to organize all our pages in a way that makes sense. For instance: with our vacation rental digital marketing page, we have made sure to include a variation of the keyword in the URL /vacation-rental/marketing/ and made it a child of the more general, Vacation Rental Marketing page.

The very same concepts can be used for your vacation rental pages. Find more general vacation rentals in {your location} keywords, target those with your all-rentals page, include the keyword within the URL, and make sure any additional vacation rental landing pages that are created in the future become a child of that page.  

Learn More About Vacation Rental Digital Marketing

Step 5: Correctly Using Heading Tags 

Heading tags and the text used inside them are also important signals Google and other search engines use to better understand what the user will find on any given webpage.  

As stated earlier, the H1 tag contained on every page should closely match the page title used (to avoid Google rewriting the title) and clearly describe to Google precisely what any user will find on that page.

You want to avoid using multiple H1s on each page and follow a logical heading structure, using subsequent H2’s as subheadings, with smaller H3s and H4s below those subheadings when necessary.  

Each heading is a wonderful place to include your primary keyword and variations of that keyword, without negatively affecting the readability of the page, of course.

Similar to the page title and main H1, each subheading should accurately describe whatever content is included below them. And that leads us to the next step in effective On-Page vacation rental SEO. Awesome content! 

Step 6: Develop The BEST Vacation Rental Content for Your User 

In the hyper-user-centric age of the internet, phenomenal content is KING. Who is currently ranking on page 1, and how can your content provide more, high-quality, and highly relevant information than those search results? 

This should be your focus as you intend to rank your website higher on Google. What relevant questions are users asking regarding the topic you are covering with each page? What related content might you want to cover on other pages that Google has identified as important? 

The first SERP (Search Engine Results Page) holds the answer to a lot of these questions. Utilize the “People Also Ask” section to gather a list of questions users are searching for and ensure your site covers those!

Also, use the “Related searches” section at the bottom of the page to uncover related topics that your website should also cover with additional pages/posts. 

All these practices directly apply to improving your vacation rental SEO. How can you use your property descriptions to accurately describe to Google (and the user) all the awesome amenities that prospective guests will enjoy while staying in your vacation rental? How can your local area-guide content answer questions that travelers and vacationers are asking as they visit your location?

Answer as many relevant questions as possible and cover those related topics, and Google will be much more likely to recommend your website to more searchers. 

Step 7: Using Internal Links For Optimal Vacation Rental SEO 

Internal links are another important signal Google uses to better understand all the web pages on your vacation rental website and how they relate to one another.

When Googlebot unleashes an army of spiders to discover, crawl, and then index each page on your site, it uses internal links to find those pages and the anchor text within those links as signals to better understand what the user will find on each page. 

Your local area-guide content and blog posts are perfect places to internally link to your individual vacation rentals and vacation rental category landing pages.  

Do you have a blog post covering pet-friendly activities in the local area? Link to your pet-friendly rentals page and even highlight a particular pet-friendly rental that guests would love to stay in! 

As you think of ways to add internal links to your content, you want to avoid some common errors. Avoid internal linking to other pages using the primary keyword that you’re targeting on the current page. Remember, this anchor text is a signal Google uses to understand what users will find on that page. We don’t want to confuse search engines by pointing to multiple pages with the exact same text.

Use a mix of anchor texts within those links where many links contain the primary keyword targeted on the page you are linking to, while also using more general “learn more here” and similar phrases. 

Learn About Vacation Rental Website Design

Step 8: Using Images, Infographics & Video 

As search engines evolve over time, they are quickly discovering ways to better serve information to their users. A lot of that evolution has moved toward prioritizing more efficient and unique ways of delivering said information. 

What does this mean for your vacation rental business? It means utilizing beautiful images of your properties, unique infographics, and informative videos where you can! If you want to truly stand out in the SERPs, ensure your overall content marketing strategy and vacation rental pages contain high-quality images and unique graphics and videos.

How can these digital assets best serve your users and provide them with the information they will not find anywhere else? Consider creating detailed maps of your properties if most of them are contained within similar neighborhoods/areas.

Or utilize existing videos that your brand has recorded highlighting the luxury features of your properties, and local attractions guests can enjoy within the local area.

The sky is the limit here! And now more than ever, it is clear search engines prioritize those sites that more efficiently deliver information to their users via digital assets! 

Boost Your Vacation Rental SEO This Year & Beyond 

We hope you have enjoyed our guide on vacation rental SEO and will use these tips in the future to outrank your competition in search engines and drive more, high-quality, highly relevant traffic to your website.  

If you would like to learn more about how Q4Launch can do just that and more for your business, reach out today for a discovery call! We would love to uncover your business goals and provide a free audit of your current vacation rental SEO performance with suggestions and strategies to outrank your competitors this year and beyond.

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