Blog - holiday accommodation website - cottage painting

With so many people researching and booking holidays online, your holiday accommodation website needs to be as spick and span as your sheets. Stand out from the competition with these tips.

1. Use friendly, normal language in your content

Imagine you’re chatting to someone on the phone. For example ‘2 to 6 people’ not ‘persons’. Need an example? Check out my content for Cherrygarth Cottages.

2. How many people can sleep in a family room or holiday cottage?

Do you give the exact bed configuration? A description such as ‘A double bed, single bed and sofa bed’ may sway someone who knows their children will never get to sleep if they have to share.

3. Do you have a photo gallery for each room type or cottage?

Include the view, bathroom and beds. If you don’t, they’ll just scour TripAdvisor instead. I highly recommend Olivia Brabbs Photography if you want professional, polished photos to show off your property in its best light.

4. Are your Special Offers on your home page?

It’s strange how some holiday accommodation sites have their Special Offers tucked away. Make sure they are in the front window of your website.

5. Do you use bold or italics?

Don’t! Both are difficult to read for those with visual impairments or who have dyslexia. Italics in particular look quite old-fashioned. Headers are a brilliant Google-friendly alternative.

6. Do you have disabled access online too?

It’s great if you have wheelchair-accessible holiday accommodation. But does your website pass disability standards? Check with your website designer that it passes WAI AA compatibility at the very least. Otherwise you could miss out on business.

Holiday cottages web content - local area7. Have you a Frequently Asked Questions page?

Imagine you’re answering someone on the phone. What do people ask? Some questions could be:

  • Can I bring my dog?
  • Can we park right next to the cottage?
  • Where are the nearest shops?
  • Do you have hairdryers?

“Well they can call me to ask any questions. I don’t need a FAQs page.”

If your customer is in another time zone or an open-plan office planning their escape on company time, a conversation may be impossible.

When I worked for First Choice Holidays in Gatwick, the highest number of complaints came from the last-minuters who had not researched their holiday. The more information you give, the more reassured your potential guest will be. Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust.

8. Make sure you tailor the metadata for each page

Metadata is the ‘invisible indexing’ Google and other search engines use to help work out how relevant your page is to a search. You can change the metadata on every web page. For example if you want to highlight the disabled facilities in a certain cottage, then add ‘disabled’ to the metadata for its page.

9. Have a great rating on TripAdvisor?

Then link to it! Your users will probably search for you on there anyway. Linking shows you are proud of your reviews.

10. If you have negative TripAdvisor reviews, don’t panic

If someone is negative, use your right to reply to say:

 "We are so sorry to hear about this. We will talk to the staff/mend the lampshade/fix the heating as soon as possible"


"We are so sorry to hear about this. Please email us at X so we can investigate further".

Readers will work out if someone is being a diva in their demands and will respect your restraint. Trying to justify yourself will just make you sound petty. I once picked a different apartment because the owner was so livid to be awarded four stars instead of five. No one wants to book with Mr. Angry.

Want to sign up with TripAdvisor so you can reply? Check out their How to add  Management Responses page.

For some charming Tripadvisor examples from Buckden in the Yorkshire Dales, take a look at the replies by Dalegarth Holiday Cottages.

See? Just a few tweaks and you’re ready. Here’s to that ‘No Vacancies’ sign going up soon.

P.S. Please could you leave out some decaffeinated teabags too? And at least four of those little milk cartons. Thanks!

Need a fresh pair of eyes?

If you can’t see the wood for the trees, I can sort out your web content for you. Just get in touch.