Are you a hotelier who is looking to increase direct bookings for the hotel? Then, you have landed on a perfect web page because here we will cover some amazing ideas to increase your hotel’s revenue by increasing your direct bookings.
A majority of hotels have seen their online bookings decrease over the past few years, and many are blaming OTA’s, but the issue isn’t that simple.
In order to truly increase direct bookings and bring in more revenue, you need to consider all possible solutions to your problem, including factors such as your brand identity, your website design and its functionality, your digital marketing strategies, and your direct booking strategies.
The hotel industry can be competitive, and it has been growing in recent years as travel becomes more popular and accessible to the masses through social media and technology.
It can be hard to compete with the big chains when it comes to getting people to book rooms at your establishment over theirs, but here are some great ways you can increase direct bookings and boost your revenue as an independent hotel owner or manager.
Tips to Increase Hotel Direct Bookings
Direct booking is the fastest growing segment of the online travel market and hoteliers must adapt or risk being left behind in the industry.
The following guide offers tips to help your hotel increase its direct bookings, expand its reach and increase your revenue in the process.
Create a Well-optimized Website
No matter what industry you’re in, building a well-optimized website is a must. Make sure your site has relevant keywords, is easy to use, loads quickly and has a user-friendly interface.
Uploading pictures is also crucial as it gives customers an idea of what the place looks like – something that can’t be conveyed in words alone.
With content like reviews from guests and tips from travel bloggers along with pricing information, this website is a fantastic starting point for vacationers looking for accommodations in any given destination.
You can read this guide to create an effective hotel website so, you can also have a website that will drive more bookings for your hotel.
These days, guests often book their hotel stays through travel sites or apps like Airbnb and Expedia, not just the hotel's own website. So, as an owner of a hotel, you need to find ways to present your website as an alternative to those websites.
One thing that can help you perform this task easily is called digital marketing. You have to utilize digital marketing techniques to build a brand so guests can book your hotel directly instead of booking through an OTA.
Once you know all this information, use it when approaching travel sites or apps with your offer. Be persistent until they give you a commitment in writing, so that you have some leverage if they change their minds down the line.
Moreover, you can do the digital marketing in the following ways for your hotel.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is a technique that improves the visibility of your website on different search engines like Google, Bing and many more. If you start doing SEO for your hotel’s website, you will start seeing traffic on your site and growth in direct bookings of your hotel.
SEM is known as search engine marketing. Unlike SEO, you don’t put lots of effort in SEM to get traffic from search engines. Instead, you pay search engines to show your site’s ad on the top of search results for the desired query. You can use it to get more sales for your hotel.
This is one of the most effective ways to increase your hotel bookings. By using affiliate marketing, you pay only when you get a booking. So, this is basically a Cost-Per-Lead (CPL)/ Cost-Per-Sale (CPS) model.
There are many affiliate networks where you get highly expert affiliates who can do the promotion things for you and you have to pay them for every booking they bring in to your hotel.
Social Media Marketing:
These days people use social media more than they used to do in the past. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. can give you a look of business but to make this happen, you have to put in more effort.
Do social media marketing for your hotel. Post engaging content including images and videos. Posting informative content on social media is an important way to build a loyal audience on the platform. Keep in mind, if you help them, they’ll help you too.
Another way to use digital marketing for your hotel is to run paid advertising on various digital channels such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Google Display Ads, YouTube Ads and many others.
Gone are the days when advertising used to be costly. Nowadays, running ads on these channels is economical and result-driven. So, use them for your hotel!
Put your best foot forward with photos, videos and descriptions
Place high-quality photos and videos on your website that capture the true beauty of your space. Potential guests are likely checking out the images you have posted as a precursor to getting on the phone with you or stopping by in person.
Fill out all of the content for your listing, including room sizes, pictures of public spaces like lobbies and pools and accurate descriptions of what amenities you offer. Include any discounts or deals going on that week.
Add proper descriptions where needed so it can provide clear directions to the users who are looking to book a stay with your hotel.
Invest in mobile friendliness and apps
If you're struggling with securing direct bookings, it may be time to invest in mobile friendliness and apps.
A site that is easy to use on any device will be much more effective than a site without app capabilities. With one click or swipe, guests can make their reservation right then and there rather than struggling with a frustrating website. This also encourages last-minute bookings as it's much easier for guests to find your hotel when they need it most.
Mobile apps are now standard operating procedures and are used by businesses of all shapes and sizes. They can work alongside the website or simply as a standalone application that helps with brand awareness.
Use CRM technology to manage your bookings
A CRM(customer relationship management) system will help hoteliers track their bookings and future prospects, saving time that can be spent increasing sales.
The software is typically tailored towards hospitality use, with features like an intuitive dashboard, data management and charting that displays key information in a way that's easily digestible.
Leverage the power of chatbot
With its conversational interface, a chatbot can interact with customers 24/7 via text or voice. Not only does this generate a lot of leads and bookings, but it also improves customer retention rates by providing your customers with an easy way to contact you.
You can personalize the conversation to meet individual needs and create follow-up conversations for future interactions. Get started now and make sure you don't get left behind! What's stopping you from implementing chatbots in your business?
With BotShot’s Freddie, you can set up the chatbot on your hotel’s website and make the guest satisfaction hassle-free.
Offer discounts, promos and lowest guaranteed rates on your website
Discounts and promos are a great way to get people to book directly with you. When customers call or visit your website, let them know that they can save money by booking direct.
Also, list all the benefits of booking direct on your website. Offer free Wi-Fi, parking, breakfast in bed and more when someone books directly. Make sure to display these incentives prominently throughout your website and make it easy for customers to redeem their offer.
For example, if they’ve booked direct before, give them a discount on subsequent stays. Consider taking advantage of social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise your deals – but only do so once you have an established presence on those sites. You should also consider how long you want the deal to last; discounts may work better than limited time offers like free parking for first-time guests.
Increasing direct bookings for your hotel shouldn’t be a hard nut to crack for you now because you’ve come through all the tips that we provided you to do the same. Isn’t it?