A new way to compare visitor traffic on vacation rentals web sites

March 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
There are literally hundreds of vacation rental sites that you can use to advertise your vacation rental property, varying from large, well established sites, to smaller sites that focus on a particular geography or niche market. However, with so many sites to choose from, what vacation rental web sites will bring enquiries and bookings for your particular vacation rental property?

Most vacation rental sites don’t publish statistics on visitor numbers and hence assessing visitor number to a particular site is difficult. However, traffic estimates can be made based upon statistical samples. Two useful resources are Alexa.com, which ranks sites based upon the estimated traffic, and trafficestimate.com, which estimates the number of visitors to a web site in the last 30 days.

However, estimating the overall number of visitors to a vacation rental web site is not enough. Although the overall number of visitors that a vacation rental site gets is important, what’s more important is the number of visitors will view your listing on that site.

Compare Owner Holiday Rentals ( http://www.compareownerholidayrentals.com) has published a method that allows you to compare the traffic on different vacation rental sites. Using estimates of visitors per month from trafficestimate.com, combined with the number of properties listed on each vacation rental site, you can calculate the average number of visitors that each property listed on the vacation rental site will receive.

“Some people tend to assume that the larger sites will automatically guarantee more viewings and hence more enquiries and bookings for your vacation rental property,” said Kevin Graham, Managing Director of Compare Owner Holiday Rentals. “However, if the number of listings on a vacation rental site is large, the average number of visitors that view each listing can actually be relatively small.”

Compare Owner Holiday Rentals selected 10 of the leading vacation rental sites to test out the methodology. The results varied from a high of 113 visitors /month on a1vacations, to a low of 27 visitors/month on both VRBO and Vacationrentals.

“This method is just one indicator you should look at when evaluating a vacation rental site,” said Graham.

There are a large number of factors that influence whether visitors to a particular vacation rental web site will view your vacation rental, then make an enquiry and finally confirm a booking. These include factors that the vacation rental web site controls, (such as the type of visitors it attracts and how easy it is to generate multiple enquiries without a lot of re-keying), factors that the vacation rental owner controls (such as the pricing and attractiveness of your listing), and some shared factors (such as the number of similar “competing” properties and their placing in the vacation rental site searches).

“However, all else being equal, vacation rental web sites with higher average visitors per listing are likely to generate more enquiries than those with lower average visitor numbers. This is certainly a factor you should consider when evaluating a particular vacation rental web site” said Graham.