The key to more bookers? Attract more lookers. Thankfully, there are several smart ways to market your vacation rental to generate more views. Some strategies are even free, like social media marketing, email marketing, and search engine optimization.
Then, there are ways you can pay to advertise your short-term rental. One of the most effective paid marketing methods is pay-per-click advertising, otherwise known as PPC. How can you use vacation rental PPC to get in front of more potential guests, leading to more bookings? Our Vacasa PPC and search engine marketing team breaks it down. Let’s take a closer look.
Vacasa Senior SEM Manager
Vacasa Senior SEM Specialist
In the simplest terms, pay-per-click advertising is how it sounds—you pay each time someone clicks on your ads. These ads can be displayed in numerous places, such as a Google search results page (SERP), on Instagram or Facebook, or even on a local newsite.
According to Robyn and Ally, here’s what your success relies on:
The biggest benefit of them all—more eyes on your vacation rental. PPC helps to place your ad at the top of search engine result pages or other websites with a ton of traffic. “This means standing out from the competition and getting in front of potential new guests,” Robyn says.
Since PPC ad campaigns are all built online, you can track clicks, impressions, and even conversions from those ads in real-time. You can then pivot and quickly adjust copy or your budgets to get even better results.
With PPC, you set your maximum budget and how much you’re willing to spend on specific keywords (some keywords are more expensive than others). This helps avoid overspending and wasting any precious marketing dollars.
No static ads here. “You can adjust your PPC ad campaigns, or scale up or down, very quickly,” says Robyn. “This strategy is adaptable and can be customized for different audiences, different times of the year, or different marketing messages.”
It’ll take some planning to get up and running with your first PPC campaign. Let’s break down the process here.
Specify a goal. Do you want to drive more traffic to your vacation rental listing? Or, get at least 10 new bookings during a slow period? “Setting a specific goal will help you decide on the right strategy, keywords, targeting, and more—not to mention help gauge success,” Ally says.
Where do you want your ads to show up? There are several places online where you can place your PPC ads, each with its own options for targeting specific audiences. Here are some of the top ad platforms to choose from:
By far the most popular form of PPC, Google Ads allows you to create ads that will be displayed on top of the SERP when someone Googles your keywords. This way, Google shows your vacation rental to people searching for exactly what you offer, such as ‘Lake Michigan cottage in Saugatuck’.
Here, you can place your pay-per-click ads on the Bing and Yahoo search engines and other partner sites. It’s comparable to Google Ads, with similar bidding and targeting options.
These ads will be placed on Facebook and Instagram, with Meta allowing you to dig deep into demographics. For instance, you can target your ad to women over 40, who live less than 3 hours away, who like kayaking, paddleboarding, and being out in nature—an ideal guest for your lakefront cabin.
Ideal when you’re marketing to business travelers, LinkedIn Ads allow you to target specific industries, company sizes, and job titles.
How much do you want to spend daily or weekly on clicks? You can set a bid for each keyword that you use. PPC ads allow you to lower or increase your budget whenever you’d like based on your results.
“Keywords are the foundation of your PPC success—so expect to spend some time on this step,” Robyn suggests. When selecting keywords, think about what an actual guest would search for. Where is your vacation home located? What amenities do you offer? What attractions are nearby? The goal: Choose keywords that have enough search volume, along with a low cost per click.
Keywords can look like this:
Need help with keywords? A highly recommended tool is Google Keyword Planner, where you’ll find click prices, search volumes,, and suggestions for new keywords based on the ones you already have.
Harness the power of demographics that platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Ads offer. “For instance, with Facebook Ads you can target a lookalike audience—consisting of users who have similar characteristics as your previous guests,” Ally explains. In Google and Bing, you can narrow in on demographics like age, gender, and even household income.
Highlight your vacation home’s unique features and amenities. Also, make sure to have a clear call-to-action to drive people to click on your ad.
After someone clicks on your ad, where do you want them to go? Ideally, your ads should link directly to a specific page on your vacation rental website or your Airbnb or Vrbo listing page.
Release your ads to the world and start seeing how many people are clicking.
Thanks to real-time results, you’ll be able to quickly gauge whether your ads are working or not. Robyn suggests checking in every week to monitor your ad campaigns and make improvements, such as adjusting the copy, target audience, or bids. “All of these changes help to optimize your campaign,” she says.
“For instance, you can allocate even more of your budget to the keywords and ads that are doing well. Then, nix or modify the underperformers.”
Track your results to see if you’re hitting the mark and achieving the goals you started with. Are you getting the views and the bookings that you aimed for? If not, continue to tweak and adjust your ads to see what sticks.
Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.
If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.
Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.