How to increase direct bookings on your hotel website?
November 17, 2017 Viken Patel
Any hotelier with his own hotel website would obviously wish that his site would be one of the most sought after. He would also want his website to rake in the desired number of bookings on it directly, instead of getting bookings through OTAs. This is because though OTAs bring in bookings, they charge hefty commissions and reduce the chances of future direct booking to nil.
Nearly two-thirds of guests prefer to book direct with hotels.
Reference: Triptease Blog
This calls for having a greater control over the whole booking experience and driving bookings through the hotel’s own website rather than through some other channel. Potential guests landing on your official website are ensured of a better and more intimate experience because of high-resolution images, correct information and also the best prices.
Let’s see how you can increase hotel direct bookings with the following best strategies:
Have a mobile-friendly website
The first step towards having more direct bookings on your hotel website is to have a mobile-friendly hotel website. Let your website be accessible on all devices, be it laptop or PC, or even tablets. The more accessible or reachable you are, the higher opportunity you have to get direct hotel bookings.
Get a responsive booking engine
Your hotel website is accessible but what about your booking engine? Have a responsive booking engine blended with your website, so that anyone from any device and any location can book with you easily.
Keep a CTA on your website
Your visitor lands on your website. What next? Lead him to your booking engine to book with you. Have a CTA on your website. Keep a ‘Book Now’ button or a ‘Booking Box’ on your website’s homepage to let him book with you easily.
Get listed on Metasearch Engines
Metasearch engines make you more visible in the online market. While their results show your listings on OTAs too, they tend to bring higher direct bookings on your hotel website, provided that you keep the best rates on your website. Metasearch engines like TripAdvisor and Trivago can help you drive direct bookings on your hotel website.
Give discounts on booking direct
While your visitors are surfing on your website, give them strong reasons to book direct with you. Give them a 20% discount or offer something extra as a promotional offer. Let them know about that in a welcome box when they just land on your website. Or it can be in the exit popup while he’s about to leave your website. You can even display this in a floating tool on your website.
Let them compare your rates on different OTAs
Be transparent with your visitors. Let them know what rates you sell your rooms at on the different OTAs you’re connected to. Have a price widget right there on your booking engine. This will help them decide faster on booking directly with you, giving you more direct bookings on your hotel website.
Give your hotel’s virtual tour
Provide a virtual tour of your hotel to your website visitors. Let them experience what its like to stay with you right from where they are. This will surely give them better reasons to book with you and push them to go to your booking engine right away.
Showcase reviews and proof of your commendable services
Reviews pose as a key factor to help one zero in on the final decision. So, when your visitor is checking out your competitors for his stay, show him different reviews of your guests telling about their stay with you. Or notify your visitor about the number of bookings made at your hotel today; thus giving them an assurance that your hotel is well known and accepted.
Let them book from social media
With the rapid and unstoppable march of social media, hotel marketing has grown by leaps and bounds. Hence, marketing through social media-based channels is an excellent tool for dominating search results and to drive social media traffic to your hotel website. Set up your profile on social media, especially Facebook, integrate your booking engine with your Facebook page and let your fans book with you from the Facebook page itself.
Highlight your amenities
Let your visitors know what you’ve got and what you offer to those who stay with you. Is it free Wifi? Or free laundry services? Or is it access to awesome recreational facilities? Have a sticky tool on your website to highlight your amenities.
Enroll for Google Hotel Ads campaign
Google Hotel Ads is the recent program by Google that allows you to showcase your hotel directly in Google’s search results via advertisements. These ads connect with people looking for hotels in various locations. When they browse through the Google ads, they will see options to book with the hotel. Thus, the program makes it easier for hoteliers like you to reach your guests and get more direct bookings on your hotel website.
Collaborate with local partners to garner links
Most hotels collaborate with numerous local businesses for auxiliary services like dry cleaning, car rentals, floral, vegetable, poultry and meat supplies, catering services and business centers. It is a viable step to ask them to insert your hotel’s name with links on the page that contain information about their clientele. These links could well be invaluable indicators of the fact that your hotel’s website happens to be the official one.
Make the most of the power of email marketing
When happy customers leave your hotel, it’s not the end of the service. Keep in touch by sending special offers to happy customers on important occasions like festivals, long weekends, their birthdays and anniversaries. Incentivize them with special discounts to book online. Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, and send them compelling newsletters from time to time and make them think about returning to your hotel.
Our booking engine will get you more direct bookings on your hotel website
- Ready plug and play widgets letting you give CTA, exit popups, display promotions and reviews and other attractive information on your website and booking engine.
- We’re Google’s authorized integration partner. Enroll with us and get started with your Google Hotel Ads campaign right away.
- Apply dynamic pricing strategy on your rates and make the most of high and low peak seasons.
And so many more benefits.
OTAs are able to drive bookings for millions of hotels worldwide due to their strong digital marketing play. You too can do that for your hotel. Just take a step, strategize and strengthen your online gameplay and save thousands of dollars on OTA commissions.
Start driving direct bookings on your hotel website.
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