Here's how I tripled the hits to my website and travel guides in less than one year with Houfy.

Tom And Terry
Last modified: 4 years ago

Although I worked in e-commerce and information technology for many years prior to retirement, I was not prepared for the journey I decided to undertake when we dropped our listing from VRBO. I had built my first website starting in 2005 (now on my 3rd) and was familiar with SEO and Google Analytics. I had a following on my two Facebook pages and thought I was doing pretty well. And then I started reading everything I could get my hands on, and did a lot of testing (trial and error). We are fortunate that we have been renting for 20 years and have strong repeat clients, because getting away from VRBO is a marathon, not a sprint.

Approach - My goal was to increase interest and visibility and hopefully convert some of those interested parties. My methodology throughout was hypothesize, test, and verify. I encourage you to develop your own methodology or you'll never really know what works and what doesn't.

Phase 1 - Branding I already had my own website and 2 Facebook pages. I spent a lot of time looking at messages from clients that came in over the years and came to the realization that they primarily took three different approaches based on their knowledge of the area. They were:

  1. Familiar with Playa del Carmen and Xaman ha (the condo complex) they had already decided they wanted to stay in our condo or another one in Xaman ha.
  2. Somewhat familiar with Playa del Carmen, having stayed at an all inclusive in the past, but were looking for more space and Beachfront
  3. Not at all familiar with Playa del Carmen but wanted to be right on a Caribbean Beach.

My conclusions were:

1. I was not marketing directly to the first category. Many of them found me, but only because they recognized the photos.

2. I had some consistency of message and brand (Caribbean Beachfront Condo) but it wasn't working very well. My email address is Who would know that was me?


  1. I created another Facebook page (they're limitless) to market to people who know where they want to stay.
  2. I added 2 new domain names for my website to close the loop in my messaging and to address the familiar clients searching for Xaman ha. I added,, and

Phase 2 - Videos - I purchased a one year subscription to a video service ( and began making my videos. This involved combing through hundreds of video clips to select the footage I wanted, then going through hundreds of music clips to set the tone, and finally crafting my messaging. I applied the hypothesize and test methodology until I got it where I wanted, then I would deploy for the verify. I deployed to my Facebook pages and some of the Direct rent from Owner pages. I got come interest and visibility, but no conversions.

I soon realized that they needed to be on and that when I posted them on Facebook, I needed to post the link from Youtube and not my hard drive. This builds SEO and helps to reinforce consistency of messaging. All of the videos have tags with consistent brand titles. Now when I search on Xaman ha 7101, my you tube videos come up.

Be sure to use Instagram with your videos. It's amazing how quickly they go viral. Again, link to you tube for max SEO exposure.

Phase 3 - Travel Guides Finding Houfy and more importantly Thijs was a big deal. Thijs opened my eyes and I was able to see all of the possibilities for Travel Guides. They were perfect for all levels of clients and prospective clients. PLUS, they could be used to answer questions from people on the Trip Advisor Forum or other forum sites to answer questions. I had taken for granted all of the knowledge I had accumulated over the last 20 years, buying and selling real estate in the Riviera Maya. I knew things that could be helpful to others!
Suddenly I was the helpful Mexi Girl. You have to be really careful on Trip Advisor because they don't allow any self promotion. My educational posts (guides) have my brand on them and I think that should be ok. But I'm riding the line really close and sometimes I win, other times, they remove my post. I've already had one ID kicked off the forum.

If you're tenacious, this is a very good way to gain visibility.

The data - I'm a data hound, so if this is not your thing, just know that in 2017 (Feb-Jan) my total users were 690. In 2019 (3 days short on data since it's still January) my total users were 2019. That's 3 times more in one year! Here are the Google analytics graphs for those who are interested.

13 years of data

Here's how I tripled the hits to my website and travel guides in less than one year with Houfy.

2017 Users = 690

Here's how I tripled the hits to my website and travel guides in less than one year with Houfy.

2018 Users = 2019

Here's how I tripled the hits to my website and travel guides in less than one year with Houfy.
© Tom And Terry and Houfy Inc, Published on: 01/28/2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this page's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tom And Terry and Houfy Inc. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information, please visit the Houfy's copyright and trademark policy
Last modified: 4 years ago
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