As a hotelier, your personal hotel website is your most profitable channel and should be seeing the highest number of hotel bookings. However, a recent Sabre and Phocuswright report found that online travel agencies (OTAs) are the preferred channels when it comes to booking hotel rooms. So how can you drive more direct hotel bookings from your website?
For starters, using different digital marketing channels to drive more visitors to your hotel website is a must. Standing out in the competitive hospitality industry is no easy task, but there are specific tasks you can do to ensure your website gets put in front of as many bookers as possible.
As one of the largest hotel marketing companies dedicated to connecting independent properties with bookers around the world, you could say that we’re experts at bringing more visitors to your hotel’s website. Here are three things you can do today to increase your hotel website’s traffic:
1.) Promote your hotel on social media
Social media is a great medium to raise brand awareness, engage with customers online and send more traffic to your hotel website. What’s more, the majority of your social media activities won’t cost you a penny (bar a time cost of course) so it’s a great way to help keep your MCPB (marketing cost per booking) down.
You don’t want to come across as too self-promotional on social media so the key is to share interesting content that your followers will engage with. If you have a blog, why not write about local events, restaurants and fun activities happening near your hotel? Think of your hotel’s social media channels as a sort of online concierge service and get those creative juices flowing. Another excellent way to drive more website visitors from social media is by offering promotional packages, such as including a spa treatment at a discounted rate. It will do wonders in increasing RevPar during those quieter months!
Have a look at our blog article on three ways to promote your hotel on social media for some more inspiration.
2.) Drive more website visitors with search engine marketing
Search engine marketing, often referred to as SEO (search engine optimisation) and PPC (pay-per-click), can also help drive more traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing. When used together, they can prove to be extremely effective. A recent report showed that one hotel took its paid search campaigns from dormant to 40,000impressions within six months while the hotel’s organic traffic grew by 116%, resulting in 161% more bookings on their hotel website.
The key here is to understand what it is people are searching for, and then add relevant content to your hotel website. Say for example there are a lot of monthly searches for hotels in your local area. Optimising your website by having local guides, images of local scenery (with the correct meta tags of course) and relevant local websites (such as popular restaurants) linking back to your website will help increase your rank on search engine results pages. While optimising your hotel website for search engines is a lengthy process, there is a way you can show up on search results quicker: with Google Hotel Ads!
Google Hotel Ads are paid ads that you can bid on to show up when travellers search for accommodation in specific locations. It will display your hotel availability and rates on Google search, Google maps and Google assistant. The ads will show hotel photos, reviews and prices, as well as provide a direct link to your hotel website to book a room. If you’re keen to learn more about Google Hotel Ads, have a read of our guide on how to set up and manage effective campaigns.
3.) Make your hotel website as user friendly as possible
While optimising your website for search engines is important to show up for key search terms, your website still needs to be created with the user in mind. As a result, making it as user-friendly (and as easy to understand) as possible will ensure your website visitors will find what they’re looking for. Side note: the longer they stay on your hotel website, the better the effect on your bounce rate and your SEO rankings.
A user friendly hotel website requires up-to-date web content, including rates, inventory and offers. Holiday makers often book up to 12 months in advance, so ensuring your rates are loaded accordingly is essential. Furthermore, having high quality images of your hotel is crucial to driving more hotel bookings. According to a recent study, hotels with at least one high quality photo have a 225% more likelihood of receiving a booking enquiry on their website. Have a look at the importance of image quality for hotels to get some pointers on how to ensure your content is up-to-date image wise.
At HotelREZ, we offer hotels an easy-to-use CRS tool called CentralREZ. CentralREZ allows you to interface the inventory and rates to your PMS or Channel Manager, all while distributing them across multiple booking channels in real-time. We also ensure all your rates and inventory get audited monthly so your hotel website content is as updated as it can be.
Increase visitor traffic to your hotel website
At HotelREZ, we provide quality distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services to more than 1,500 hotels in over 100 countries. We’re experts at effective online marketing to help our member hotels increase direct bookings. Find out how our hotel marketing services can help your hotel or get in touch today to discuss driving more visitors to your hotel website.
HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts was founded in 2004 by Mark Lewis, an experienced hospitality industry professional and entrepreneur. Over the course of over a decade the company has grown to be one of the leading hotel representation companies dedicated to marketing and connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide. HotelREZ now provides distribution, revenue, sales consultancy and marketing services and support to more than 1,500 hotels, apartments and hotel groups in over 100 countries including private label GDS chain code solutions. HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is a SAAS company. HotelREZ also incorporates the global World Rainbow hotels, the world’s only GDS enabled LGBT global hotel consortia representing some 1200 hotels in 230 destinations across the globe.