COVID-19: Optimizing Your Website for Direct Bookings [Webinar] #41

June 4, 2020

As we look to the recovery phase in travel, Sojern aims to arm travel marketers with the tools to drive direct bookings and own the customer experience. When travelers book directly with you, you own the relationship from beginning to end. Not only can you potentially convert that customer to a loyalty member, but you can engage and upsell before they arrive, and of course, remarket to them after. 

One important, and often overlooked aspect in the effort to drive bookings in the travel space, is a website and its effectiveness to convert travelers. Your website is your main source of communication and one that travelers are using when dreaming and planning. Travel marketers that spend time and money on their websites can benefit from an increase in direct sales, an enhanced brand image, and as a result, profitability. Your website is “always on” representing your brand, even when you can’t be, which is especially important now, to remind potential guests you’re still operating or you’ll be back. 

The right content and website experience drives online bookings for travel brands. If it’s too difficult or confusing to book, the load times are slow, or you don’t have a booking engine, you won’t see bookings. Ideally, your website should be simple, readable, and should showcase your unique branding throughout. You should ensure that the ‘Menu’ is easy to find and navigate, the photo showcases offerings and amenities in a way that inspires booking, where to book is easily identified and finally, the content is succinct, clear, and on brand. 

During this challenging time for travel brands, this is also a great opportunity to put your commitment to cleanliness, and your refund policies, front and center on the homepage to establish trust and, as a result, inspire bookings. Everything you post your website can be a time saver for you. Answering questions in a FAQ format for your customers before they arrive can also make them feel confident in choosing your brand. 

Tips to get people to book direct as we enter recovery

  • Showcase your positive reviews and cleaning procedures which is essential during these times as travelers want to know you take cleanliness seriously 
  • Create excitement around your reopening or offers, consider using a clock counting down the days and even seconds until your reopening 
  • Give timely email updates as the COVID-19 crisis progresses as the opening up of properties is dependent on state, country, or government regulations and you can be the first to let your guests know 
  • Consider using images with few or no people to promote social distancing 
  • Ensure your rates match what the OTAs are displaying for your property so you get the direct booking 

Sojern’s Webinar Series: Optimizing Your Website for Direct Bookings

COVID-19 brought travel to a halt. As things slowly open up, how can you get more website visitors to book? In this webinar, we discuss how travel brands can drive travelers to their websites and optimize their websites to get them to book. The Hotels Network joins Sojern and discusses tactics you can implement today to help increase conversions on your website. As we’ll mention in this webinar, if you are interested in trying out The Hotel Network services, Sojern customers can get a free trial through August 31. Check out the details here.

Please download the slides here.

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About Christy Jobman

Christy is Sojern's Marketing Manager, US, Canada, & LATAM. She loves all things communications and she's so happy to be using the Communications/Journalism degree she earned at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. When she's not building relationships and cross collaborating to build out collateral for the sales teams and account managers at Sojern, she's coaching at her gym, dabbling in the non-profits world, exploring, and cooking new dishes.

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