"Ultimately, it's a question of how many users successfully book a vacation home and return to us for their next booking – and not simply how rankings can be improved. This is the only way to ensure our success in the long term. The challenge of bringing together different components like technology, UX, content and product is something we solve with Ryte. "
- Felix Welckenbach - Director Inbound Marketing, HomeToGo
HomeToGo was founded in 2014 as an online marketplace for vacation homes and apartments. The company's goal is to make unique vacation rentals easily accessible to customers worldwide. HomeToGo is an online marketplace with the world's largest selection of vacation homes and apartments, and a leading platform in the travel and vacation accommodation industry worldwide. More than 500 employees work for HomeToGo. The umbrella brand includes other well-known brands such as Casamundo, e-domizil, Wimdu, AMIVAC and Agriturismo.it. The domain portfolio comprises more than 100 different domains with offers for vacation homes in Europe, America, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. HomeToGo is continuously expanding its portfolio and acquiring new providers, such as in the Spanish-speaking market. In order to offer its customers several million possible rentals, HomeToGo works with many thousands of partners around the world.
Since its early founding days, HomeToGo has always focused on ensuring a high level of technical excellence. The group's websites are therefore very well optimized. HomeToGo also relies on its own expertise when it comes to data analysis, for example by consolidating all relevant website data in its own data warehouse and working with highly qualified in-house data analysts.
In 2022, the company aims to further increase organic traffic and support the overall growth of HomeToGo group domains sustainably. At the same time, HomeToGo wants to remain best-in-class in terms of UX. This includes making good and relevant content quickly available to users.
To drive organic growth, HomeToGo's inbound team focuses on three core KPIs:
What is happening on the Google SERPs? How are rankings, CTR and clicks developing, and how do users behave in the SERPs?
What happens on the internal landing pages? How do users react to the different components there, and how are they guided to the booking section? How quickly does the page load and do customers find what they are looking for? In this area, HomeToGo relies on its own metrics such as landing page CTR and conversion.
What is user engagement like, and how many bookings are made? How many users leave the landing page without further interaction?
To measure these three KPIs, the entire customer journey is tracked. Felix Welckenbach's team takes a holistic approach: "Ultimately, it's a question of how many users successfully book a vacation home and return to us for their next booking – and not simply how rankings can be improved. This is the only way to ensure our success in the long term. The challenge of bringing together different components like technology, UX, content and product is something we solve with Ryte. "
During their search for an efficient solution, and wishing to not only import data from the Google Search Console via the API but prepare it "ready to use" for the team, HomeToGo discovered Ryte. The Ryte Platform is able to fill an important data gap, so that HomeToGo can develop and implement viable and sustainable solutions for key KPIs.
With Ryte, a solution was found to address the key challenges for HomeToGo:
Reduce operational complexity: HomeToGo's inbound team manages and optimizes over 100 different domains. Even with a total of over 500 employees worldwide, it’s simply not possible for one person to take care of one website at a time. That's why HomeToGo takes a different approach: the inbound team prioritizes and scales content, product and UX in a product management approach. Ryte Search Engine Optimization, in particular, offers the team a variety of ways to make product management more efficient.
Counteracting the trend of decreasing CTRs on Google: This trend can be seen not only in the travel industry but in other sectors too. With Ryte, HomeToGo has found a solution that effectively helps optimize the CTR on the SERPs, such as targeted snippet optimization, or increasing position 0 rankings.
Lowered visibility of the domain hometogo.com: As a positive side effect, the Ryte platform helped Felix Welckenbach's team to target the effects of Google updates after 2021 on the domain hometogo.com, and restore lost rankings.
Working with Ryte, the inbound team gradually discovered the additional capabilities Ryte offers beyond importing and preparing Google Search Console data.
For example, Ryte’s Search Engine Optimization features – such as the ability to easily segment and create A/B tests – helped the team to improve individual landing pages and sections continuously. By using the Ryte Platform, HomeToGo is able to uncover demand that is not yet occupied by all brands. One example here is in the Glamping category. Ryte offers all possibilities to track the development of keywords and topics on URLs, over a longer period of time and in comparison to other periods or URLs.
Another big advantage is the ease of use of the Ryte Platform and the way it lets users explore real Google data without the complicated handling of the Google Search Console. Team members can immediately work with filters and reports without long onboarding.
For daily analyses, HomeToGo now also uses Ryte's "cannibalizations" report and the report on CTR underperformers. Here, Felix Welckenbach's team especially appreciates the automated notifications via Slack when there are significant changes.
Ryte initially convinced HomeToGo with its high data quality and the delivery of data from the Google Search Console. Its major impact on daily work with content, UX and performance has ensured that more and more Ryte features are becoming an integral part of the HomeToGo team’s workflow.
With a focus on an excellent Website User Experience and a holistic platform approach, Ryte offers what HomeToGo needs to compete with market participants such as Booking and Airbnb.
Felix Welckenbach (Director Inbound Marketing at HomeToGo): "With Ryte, we were particularly convinced by the high data quality and the API access to real Google data. Ryte regularly develops new features, such as SEO A/B testing, which our inbound and content team can use effectively in their daily work. We love the excellent support from the tech team to help us further develop our data analytics."