DIRECT BOOKINGS VS. ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES: A constant battle
Are you a hotel owner who is frustrated with losing money from guests booking through online travel agencies? In this blog, we’ll break down 5 ways you can increase direct bookings, therefore increasing money in your pocket!
Online travel agencies such as Kayak, Hotels.com, and Expedia, to name a few, are great outlets to expose your brand, but are also costing you money if it is your primary source of bookings. If you can attract guests to book directly through your website, you’ll find you will generate more revenue and happier guests!
An important factor to keep in mind is that there’s more to just having a great webiste. You must promote it! The more your name is on the web, the more searchers you will attract. Online marketing, such as social media posting, blogging, and emailing will have a direct impact on your hotel revenue.
HOW TO INCREASE DIRECT BOOKINGS:
Hopbots has put together 5 steps that will help you attract more viewers to your website, and increase sales through direct booking.
1: Start a blog – Business blogging is one of the most effective ways to gain exposure on the web. Start a blog on your hotel’s website answering common questions visitors may search. If you can become the expert in your field, you will start seeing an increase in traffic to your website!
2:Keep your website updated and eye catching – Most people view OTAs first, then direct websites for hotels to check on amenties, pricing comparison, check-in times, etc. Make your website easy to follow and update frequently. Make your “Book Now” button stand out so it is not missed.
3:Provide exclusive offers – Offer a free room upgrade if your customer books on your website, or have a contest for a free night stay. This way your viewer sees the benefit of direct booking versus through online travel agencies.
4:Create an easy booking experience – Make your website seamless and easy to follow, so there is no confusion. Confused searchers will very quickly move on to their next option if they are unhappy with the experience of a website. If your website can walk them through the booking experience, they will most likely be return customers.
5:Promote your hotel through social media regularly – Incorporate social media into your blogging by promoting them on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Social media is the easiest and cheapest way to reach a new audicence, will most of the population using at least one of the platforms. Be active on your accounts to ensure your brand is part of the conversation!
LET US HELP YOU:
As a hotel owner, there are many things on your plate already, and incorporating online marketing like this may be a little overwhelming. If you are interested in these strategies, we at Hopbots can help you with creating your online portfolio. We are your local search engine optimization agency, specializing in affordable and quality online campaigns in the midwest!