For any types of business, having a website these days is a must. Why? It’s simple. Your customers are online. For the record, almost 80% of our clients who book our villas come from the internet. That should not come as a surprise, I guess. If you are reading this article right now, it means you are online.
Benefits of Having a Website
Having a dedicated website for your villa is like having a business card or portfolio that is available to access 24/7, seven days a week, for anyone needing it. Not only people can look through a more detailed information about your villa, but will also be able to contact you directly when necessary.
When you decide to build a website, you must have a name for your villa prepared. With that name, you should be able to come up with a logo and start the branding process. Your promotional materials including villa description, photos, videos, and virtual tour, should integrate well with your logo, which is the base of your brand. When people can identify you by name or logo, then you’ve done branding. Learn the fundamental of branding from entrepreneur.com.
Marketing & Advertising
When you have a website, it’s easier to market and advertise your villa. To begin with, you can do the basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization), for people to find you on Google or any search engines when they search for your name or keyphrases related to your villa. You can start to blog or write about the destination where your villa is, and provide valuable travel tips and information for potential clients to read. You can create as many social media accounts and connect it to your website, which will allow you to gain followers and reach out to more potential customers worldwide. These strategies are free. However, if you have a budget, there are paid advertising available where you can gain instant result such as Google AdWords, Bing & Yahoo PPC. Social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedin also have their paid advertising platform where you can target customers by country, age, gender, profession, and interests. For more information about paid advertising, visit this page.
Having a website will allow you as a villa owner to communicate well with your clients and build a long-lasting relationship. Existing customers and potential future customers will be able to find you and contact you quickly. Promptly responding back to them is, of course, essential for building a good relationship with them. Also, clients can leave reviews about your villa and their experience during their stay or provide feedback to better your services, or the villa itself.
Increase Bookings / Sales
If your website is accessible, with complete information, it can lead to more potential visits, which could mean more bookings for your villa. Driving more traffic to your website is not that difficult. You can achieve this by continually posting fresh quality content on your site, and always updating your social media accounts. Keep your followers and fans engaged, and connect with them on a regular basis.
What Information to Put on Your Villa Website
Write as much information about the villa detail including the land plot where and how it’s built, the number of bedrooms, exterior and interior design, facilities and amenities. Create a separate page for each section of the villa such as the living room, dining room, kitchen, pool area, spa room, cinema room, gym, and each bedroom. Be as detailed as possible. Include what’s in each section – whether it has TV, DVD, bathtub, the kind of shower, the size of the bed, etc.
Do not forget to incorporate professional, attractive images of the villa into the website. People browsing the internet are visual and are always scanning the web focusing more on the pictures or videos. Make sure the visuals represent your villa well. You may also include a 360 virtual tour, to give your clients a more accurate look at the villa and its surrounding.
Lastly, but never the least is the floor plan. The floor plan is a vital reference that your clients can use to give them a precise representation of the villa dimensions and its rooms. To learn more, read our post on the importance of floor plans.
Colors & Design Approach
Colors and design are all a matter of preference. You can use the same theme color that your villa has, or you can decide to go with a dark theme or light theme. Whatever your approach will be, always keep the design clean. Avoid the clutter, and make sure the relevant villa information are readily available at the first glance.
DIY Web Design
In the past, for you to create or build a website, you have to learn how to code first. But this is not the case anymore. These days, there are many DIY website builders available that will no longer require any programming or coding skills at all. You simply have to drag and drop and click here and there. Some of the popular website builders are Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and Jimdo.
Some advantages come with DIY website builders, but they also have its limitations. One example is the design customization may be limited. Your website will be on a shared hosting, may have no backup, and may load slow.
Another DIY option is to use Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla, that will allow you to use a ready-made template, and customize it, according to your requirement. This approach may require a more advanced knowledge of terms in the CMS (not necessarily coding experience).
Hire a Professional
If you do not want to go through the hassle of researching and planning the content, design, and website layout, which will take a lot of time, you can hire a professional to do it for you. Other that the benefit of saving you time, you are also sure to get the design you want or need. Whether you will hire a freelancer or a company specializing in a luxury villa rental marketing, be clear about your expectations. You may ask a few mock up designs or previous projects they’ve done before proceeding. But the most efficient way of hiring anyone to do your villa website and marketing materials, is to ask from other villa owners who have done it before. Go to our Villa Owners Guide for more tips.
Featured image: Villa Katrani Koh Samui