Holiday planning often begins with dreams of white sandy beaches, scorching sunshine and cultural excitement. Today the Internet has made the job of choosing a perfect destination much easier, with specific websites making searching for accommodation an easier job than trawling through brochures and classified ads (or the infamous thousands of pages on Teletext). Searches lead to a world of glossy photos and a language of superlatives that you need a thesaurus to understand. As many of us will know from bitter experience, photos can often be misleading and descriptive words are easily exaggerated.
With interest rates in most countries at an all time low, the buy to rent market has never been stronger, meaning that many people often advertise their properties to let for short-term availability. According to the US Vacation Rental Managers Association, 24 percent of holiday makers have stayed in a private apartment, up from around 11 percent in 2008.
Keywords such as "apartments for rent" are highly competitive in terms of both search ranking and AdWord PPC rates. There are close to one million searches for the term and bids are often over 50 pence per click. Websites will try every tactic to try and boost their search ranking, using longer and longer domain strings to try and match search terms. The 29 character "www.cheapapartmentstorentinspain.com" is a prime example - the longer the URL, the more chance of a misspelling and traffic being diverted elsewhere.
So how can you make your properties stand out from the crowd on and offline? With the dotCom space becoming so crowded (the average domain name registered in H1 2014 was 14 characters), businesses are looking at the new gTLD program to take one step ahead of other renters. The new dotApartments TLD is available for trademark holders to register this week and with Google now hinting about the power of Exact Domain Matches (EDM), the opportunity to register a powerful geographic name which could give some real advantages in search terms should not be lost.
So far related new gTLDs have been a mixed bag. DotProperty is the 21st most popular at the moment with over 38,000 registrations to date whilst dotRentals is in 71st place with 12,500 names under management. DotApartments could well top both of these, especially if the major holiday and tour operators get on board and use it for their properties. With the TLD costing around £50 per annum, it could be a very wise investment for property owners who want to get a step ahead in the highly competitive digital environment.