Attracting more direct booking is essential for every hotel. These are the bookings made directly through the website of your hotel, so you do not have to pay commissions to third parties – such as online travel agencies and websites that offer holidays. This is great because it helps you save unnecessary costs and increase your profits.
To achieve these results, however, you need to convince users to press the “book now” button. If you want to find out how you can do this, in this article we have prepared 10 working marketing strategies that will help you attract more direct booking.
- Take a closer look at your website
If you want to successfully develop your hotel business, having a website is more than a must. Unfortunately, this is not enough. Your hotel’s website should provide an excellent user experience and guide the user to take the desired action. However, you should keep in mind that a large number of consumers will conduct a survey and compare prices with competitors before making a decision. Your task is to be persuasive.
There are a few important things to keep in mind. First of all – website design and functionality. If your website is too slow, doesn’t load on all devices, or looks like it hasn’t been updated in a long time – you have a problem. All this may lose the trust of your potential customers and make them leave.
Also, try to keep visitors on your site for as long as possible. In the first place, you can achieve this with a strong visual brand identity that will set you apart from other hotels. Show them a short video that presents the advantages of the hotel – comfortable beds, luxury furniture, swimming pool, restaurant, etc. Gain their trust with excellent feedback you have received from previous customers.
This way you will engage more potential customers who will reach the booking button. But this is not all. If the registration form has too many steps or it is unclear, you may lose this client. That is why the registration form must be as simple as possible.
- Invest in SEO
In addition to having a great website, you need to make sure that users find it easily. The best way you can do this is through SEO. This means using certain methods and techniques to make your hotel’s website appear in the top positions on Google search results (or another search engine).
Try to imagine how people look for hotels. Once they have chosen the destination, it is time to look for a place to stay. They enter the search engine and type “hotels in… “. Of course, they will pay the most attention to the first few suggestions. The chance of reaching the second page is minimal. Therefore, it is a good idea to focus your efforts on SEO.
Google uses a sophisticated algorithm that evaluates sites according to a number of criteria and ranks the best performers on the first results page. The list of these criteria includes the loading speed, how much time users spend on the site, how unique the content is, etc. All of these things can be optimized and help rank your site well. This is extremely important as it will bring more organic traffic to your site, i.e. potential customers for whom you do not have to pay.
SEO optimization requires high technical knowledge, so we advise you to turn to specialists in the field. They will give you the right advice and guidance and use only permitted techniques.
- Create incentives for the user to make a reservation
As already mentioned, consumers have many opportunities, so your task is to create incentives that will further motivate them to choose your hotel. Of course, the first thing you can probably guess is a discount. Undoubtedly, this is one of the incentives that really work. However, for some hotels, especially smaller ones, this type of discounts are unprofitable and can significantly reduce revenues.
However, incentives may not be the only price discounts. Rather, try to present them as additions to your main offer. These can be free breakfast, a gift massage / other treatment at the spa, a walk with a local guide to a nearby landmark, transportation to the beach line, etc. Our advice, if you want to get more direct bookings, is to offer these special promotions exclusively for reservations made through the hotel’s website.
Be creative and think about what else you can offer to your customers. This way you will stand out from your competitors and get more guests!
- Break the curse of the abandoned bookings
According to various studies, about 2/3 of users come to some point of booking and give up before finalizing it. There are various reasons – they have found a better offer, another more important job has come up or something has distracted them. In other words, the chance of being struck by the curse of abandoned carts is high.
However, this does not mean that you have completely lost the chance to bring the customer back. Use remarketing campaigns for this purpose. Their task is to delicately remind users of the forgotten reservation, and an even more successful strategy is to offer them additional incentives if they book now.
Using Facebook and Google remarketing campaigns can significantly reduce the unfinished bookings and fill hotel rooms.
- Create valuable partnerships for your business
Another effective strategy is to find partners for your hotel. A great opportunity is to look for local businesses to work with. For example, build a partnership with a wedding agency or event agency. They will direct customers to you, and you can provide them with preferential terms.
In case your hotel doesn’t have its own restaurant, you can direct your guests to a partner’s restaurant, which will provide a special discount or other offer for your guests.
Through partnerships you upgrade your services and create additional extras that you can offer to your customers to make a reservation.
These were 5 great marketing strategies that you can now apply to your hotel. If they have given you new ideas, be sure to read the second part of this article, in which you will find 5 more useful tips.