8 Tips for more direct bookings to your hotel website
Here are a few simple tips that will help increase direct bookings on your website, convert that pent-up demand and reclaim more share from the OTAs
1. Check your Web-Booking Engine
- Flexibility is key in times of the Pandemic so guests feel at ease to make a booking
- Test the complete booking process yourself on a regular basis
- Is it easy to make a decision or do you need to read too many long winded offers?
- Can you streamline your offers?
- Reducing your offers to 3 or 4 will result in higher conversion because guests are not overwhelmed by choice.
- Have clear guarantee & cancellation policies
2. Mobile Booking
- Ensure your Hotel website is fully responsive
- Mobile bookings are the fastest growing channel
- Make a booking from your mobile to check the booking engine is dynamic, responsive and delivers the guest experience you expect it to deliver
- Ensure all images & text display as expected
- Work with your booking engine provider if you want functionality added that might not be enabled as yet on your site
3. SEO – Review Hotel Website search engine optimization
- Check and update the short and long destination keywords to maximize organic positioning in search engine results.
- Refine meta-tags, page titles and links and continue writing topical blogs
4. Don’t allow OTAs to bid under your name
- Review the bidding clause in your OTA contracts
- Send your hotel’s trademark to Google and other search engines so they can block OTA advertisements using your hotel name or brand.
5. PPC – Pay per click advertising
- Bid for keywords on the hotel’s name to drive traffic directly to your hotel website and away from 3rd parties.
6. Recapture abandoned bookings
- Target pop-ups and email re-engagement campaigns re-open the communication channels with visitors who have started but not completed a booking on the hotel website
7. ORM – Online Reputation Management
- Post-departure emails inviting guests to review their stay on your hotel site or well known review sites such as Tripadvisor, Holidaycheck, Google+
- Manage reviews through an online reputation management tool such as Review Pro, Revinate or TrustYou
- Respond to all reviews. Remember this is not a job for the summer intern, but a senior manager
- Give structured feed back to all departments and work on areas of improvement because many efficiencies & improvements can be made by just listening to your guests
- Display the hotel review results on the hotel website to show guests’ opinion. Guests will have trust in your hotel, when they see what others experienced
- Have a business listing on TripAdvisor and display direct hotel rates in price comparison sites such as Google, Kayak, TripAdvisor, Trivago and others.
- Customers do like to buy directly from a hotel and seeing the same or better rates in a Meta search result, makes it easy to book directly on the hotel website.