In a recent Sojern customer survey, 39% of respondents said that as part of the COVID-19 recovery, they intend to shift more budget towards direct bookings, and away from third-party providers. Hoteliers are looking to recover by re-capturing market share, and increasing their direct bookings online. And to do that, you need a website built to drive those bookings. Now has never been a better time to assess your property’s website, and make improvements that will help you achieve this.
Our latest eBook, Creating a Website that Converts: The Hotelier’s Guide to Direct Bookings guides you on how to do just that: creating a website that is built to convert travelers and generate direct bookings.
Here, we highlight a few key areas of focus that will have a major impact on improving your hotel’s online booking experience.
Fix Any Issues Around Rate Parity
You can have the sleekest design, most thoughtful content, and gorgeous imagery on your website, but if one of your third party partners is showing the same room at a lower price, you’ll lose that direct booking more often than not.
Ensure that your guests are seeing a consistent room rate across all your distribution channels. You can then incentivize direct bookings by adding spa vouchers or offering upgrades.
Keep it Simple
Whether you’re talking about website design, content, or your use of images – try and keep it simple. Stick to highlighting the elements that make your property unique, and what your audience is most interested in understanding before they book.
While a web designer can create a simple website, there are so many things you can do on your own. Make your layout as straightforward as possible: menu on top with a large featured image, followed by the booking engine and content. If it’s not immediately understandable where guests can book when they first arrive to your site, the design isn’t clear enough.
Reach Travelers Where They Are Online, with Digital Advertising
This isn’t new – travelers are dreaming, planning, and booking their next trip across multiple websites, platforms, and devices. Your job as a hotel marketer is to make sure your property is in front of those travelers, regardless of where they are online. That means using SEM, display, video, meta, social media advertising, and more.
While you don’t need to use all the digital advertising channels out there, we definitely suggest a multi-channel mix in order to reach your potential guests in new and innovative ways. A multi-channel marketing strategy will grab their attention when they start travel planning, and keep you top-of-mind when they are ready to book.
Luckily, a multi-channel strategy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need a bigger budget or more resources. Sojern has a selection of marketing strategies for every hotelier, regardless of campaign goals or budget.
To learn more about the basics of digital marketing and how to get the most out of each channel, download Sojern’s Creating a Website that Converts: The Hotelier’s Guide to Direct Bookings now!