Are you Maximizing Direct Bookings? A Challenge to Hoteliers

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Are you Maximizing Direct Bookings? A Challenge to Hoteliers

Posted on | Posted in Marketing

As an owner or managing director for a hotel, you often make decisions for the company’s marketing strategy. One thing you should consider is increasing direct bookings. While it’s good to receive bookings from all sorts of channels--calls, onsite, apps, or through social media--you still need to drive direct bookings up.

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For one, you increase your website’s rankings, making it more visible to search engines. Another thing is that you avoid reducing profits, which happens when you show listings through hotel booking websites and apps. If you’re wondering how you can increase traffic through your hotel website, we have tips outlined below.

1. Make the booking button more prominent.
This sounds so basic, but it is constant. When your guests cannot find your booking button, they are less likely to schedule a vacation at your establishment. In the flurry of making sure everything looks and functions properly, you may forget your most important element, the call to action. A hotel’s primary CTA is the Book Now button, and this must be easily located by the guest. Don’t place this somewhere below the information on your page–have your webmaster design the site so that the button floats along with the user as they scroll your offerings. Make sure your offerings, promos, and landing pages have the CTA as well. If not the actual Book Now button, at least have promotions that encourage people to use the website to schedule a stay.

2. The user experience should be optimal.
If your users need to pinch the screen to zoom in or scroll for several seconds before finding what they want, then the user experience takes a hit. Beauty does not necessarily translate to functionality. Some websites may have striking aesthetics, but cannot show visitors what the hotel is about. You might as well have placed a static image on a single landing page because that is the amount of information your visitors will get. Aside from beautiful imagery, you will need informative, entertaining videos, clear copy, and a foolproof navigation system. Put the important things within the upper third of the screen, and make a simple menu with plain language. Helpful will definitely be functional.

3. Data protection is essential.
Everyone wants their privacy respected, and this is especially true for hotel bookings. People have plenty of anxiety about cybercrime, so your hotel needs to convey security to your customers. It is not enough to give an impression of safety, however. You need to ensure your customers are getting the security they need. Invest in a PCI-compliant booking system, which will keep credit card information and transactions secure. Do what you can to add credibility to your brand, while maintaining your integrity.

4. Ensure rates are equal across platforms.
People patronize hotel booking websites for one main reason–they offer cheaper rates. If you can match the rates offered by these websites, you’ll encourage people to use your site instead. Sometimes, people spot deals on rooms across multiple websites, which encourages them to use these sites for all their bookings. If you’re advertising higher or lower rates than the commission-based listings you have on other sites, you give the impression that your pricing methods are inscrutable at best. Rate parity protects your business.

In conclusion

Direct bookings at your site will help boost your brand awareness. However, people will only patronize your site if they can find value in it, and it is your task to provide that value. You need to make sure that your website is at its best. If you have doubts about how effective your visuals are, or if your copy needs reworking, consulting with a digital marketing agency would be a good course of action. An agency can give you solutions based on your website’s performance, and offer goals to meet.

Web Connection is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing agencies in Southeast Asia. We specialize in generative revenue for hotels in this new digital age. Contact us today to see how we can build an actionable strategy for your hotel today.

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