10 Tips For Writing Tantalizing Listing Titles

Jun 16, 2016 | Marketing

TripAdvisor has partnered with VillaMarketers.com, an industry leading vacation rental marketing service, to bring our homeowners and property managers expert-level tips on how to run your rental like a true business. Below, Villa Marketers CEO Jay William explains how to write the perfect listing title, and why it’s so important.

How’s Your Listing Title Performing?

Once you’ve set up your listing on TripAdvisor Rentals, you’re part of a website that sees over 340 million travelers per month seeking the perfect accommodation for their trip.

Exciting, right? But to truly rake in the bookings, you need to make sure your listing is top-notch. That means professional photos, a helpful property description, updating your calendar, setting rates and – the main focus of this segment – writing a captivating listing title.

Your listing title might be the single most influential piece of written content in your vacation rental listing. Your choice of title will weigh heavily on whether your property page gets clicked by travelers or not. It’s a pretty big deal.

How’s your title performing?

Together with TripAdvisor, we’ve created a 10-step guide to help you craft tempting titles that encourage more travelers to engage with your listings.

1. Write The Title Last

“Extract the best pieces of your description and infuse them within your listing title.”

When drafting up your vacation rental description, don’t start out by writing the listing title! Since the title of your listing is the first thing travelers will read about your property, it would behoove you to leave it for last. Your title is your first impression, so we’ll want to get it just right.

You should start by spelling out all of the benefits of renting your property in a cleverly crafted property description. Once that’s off your checklist, you’ll be more familiar with the marketing direction and the promotional phrasing. Next, use your description as a reference to draw inspiration from and help you write your title.

Ask yourself: “What are the best marketing nuggets in the description?”

Extract the best pieces of your description and infuse them within your listing title. When you place them in your title, put them in the order of what’s most important to the traveler. This will give you the biggest initial impact.

2. Take Your Time

When creating your title, it’s not uncommon for people to spend an hour or more preparing the perfect combination of words for their property listing. Give it the time it deserves.

3. Work On Your “One-Two Punch”

A super strong headline coupled together with an eye-popping lead photo will create a hard-landing, one-two marketing punch. You want to create a synergy between the words in the title and the lead photograph you’ll use. This will help to captivate travelers and draw them into your listing.

4. Scrutinize Every Word

“Omit filler words and compress what you want to say.”

The title area of your vacation rental listing is an extremely valuable piece of online real estate. Since the title has to be short and sweet, make the most of every character allowed. Have you analyzed your titles lately? Are there any words that do not need to be there? Omit filler words and compress what you want to say into the least amount of words possible. Every word should hold weight in the message. If it doesn’t – get rid of it!

5. Avoid Empty Adjectives

The use of empty adjectives is a mistake I see happening too often in titles. You should avoid using words like beautiful, spectacular and magnificent. These are examples of generic adjectives that take up valuable ad space in your precious title. These empty words do not paint the full picture for the traveler. When you say something is “beautiful” you aren’t explaining the beauty. Travelers almost always ignore these type of words because they’re overused, abused and too vague. Keep them out of your title.

6. Use Descriptive Words

“Remember that people think in pictures, not in words or numbers.”

If you tell me the food at a restaurant is “good” I know that you liked it. If you tell me the salad was crisp and fresh, the pepper-steak was spicy and the mustard on the burger was pungent, I might have a better idea if I’d like it too. What separates extraordinary travel content from the ordinary is in the details – the descriptive details.

Remember that people think in pictures, not in words or numbers. Use descriptive words in your title to evoke their senses and paint them a visual picture through your words. A tip to accomplish this within your titles is to use a descriptive word before the feature or benefit your property is offering. Read on and I’ll show you an example.

7. Deliver Your USP In The Title

Your USP are your Unique Selling Points, or Unique Selling Proposition. They are your marketing differentiators. Leveraged correctly, your USPs will separate your property from the others in the marketplace. A rule of thumb to writing tempting titles is to include three to five Unique Selling Points within your listing title.

Here Are Some Examples:

  • Beachy Chic Cottage, Ocean Views, Long Sunsets, 25 Steps to Water
  • Private Cabin, Near Lake, Fishing Pier, Free Golf Cart, (Sleeps 14)
  • Eiffel Tower Penthouse Views, Large Terrace, Near Downtown Shops

I’ve underline the adjectives and phrases used to describe the USP that follows. A powerful listing title consists of strong USP’s and descriptive adjectives that highlight the benefits.

8. Compare

Write at least three listing titles about your property (the more the better) and make them all different. The idea is to create a few variations to compare. Once you’ve got those, put them side by side and evaluate them. You should judge them not by how pretty they sound but by the impact you experience when they’re read.

Does it quickly grab your attention? Does it make you feel something? Does it make you visualize a scene? Does it make you want to click it and see more?

Ask your family, friends or colleagues to review them and tell you which is the most powerful. Then eliminate them one by one until you’re left with “the one.” You should then take your listing title and compare it to others in the marketplace. How does it stack up to other high-performing listings? (TripAdvisor Rentals showcases each property’s review count, average rating and any recent bookings.)

9. Test Your Titles

It’s important to tweak and test your titles. If they’re performing well you should see increases and consistency in inquiries and listing views within your dashboard. If not, it’s time to tweak the title.

Some owners have seen good results by changing their titles to reflect seasons, events and special offers. However, testing is the best way to determine what works best for you.

10. Be Different

“Be that purple cow!”

If I could only give you one piece of advice, it would be: be different. Have you ever read the The Purple Cow by Seth Godin? The book explains the importance of separating yourself from the hundreds in the herd. Ever seen a herd of cows? They all generally look the same, right? But what if there was a purple cow in the midst of the herd, would it grab your attention? Of course it would! Be that purple cow!

Look at everyone else’s titles and do something they’re not.

If you get these right, your listing will instantly demand more views from travelers searching for accommodations just like yours.

Why List On TripAdvisor?

Listing on TripAdvisor Rentals means you’ll be advertising your home on the world’s largest travel website. You’ll gain exposure to travelers seeking the perfect accommodation for their vacation. You can list a whole home, apartment or even spare room. Your listing will be automatically translated to appear on 26 TripAdvisor sites around the world, as well as TripAdvisor-branded sites FlipKey and HolidayLettings. It takes just minutes to set up, and the best part – it’s free.


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