It is an increasing subject for hoteliers, how to get more direct bookings for their hotel through their website. Less dependency on online travel agencies means less commission fees. It also gives back control of the communication with your guests. Taking back this control means more opportunities for offering the best hospitality experiences possible. As well as more opportunities for upselling and personalization.
It is very important to pay attention to your pricing policy. Make sure you have the best price when booking directly. You can show the rate when booking on your hotel website next to the rates of online travel agencies. Make sure that when you show these rates your rate is at least equal to that of the cheapest rate of OTAs. Preferably your rate should be the lowest of all rates being shown.
Clearly show direct booking benefits
Show your direct booking benefits in the most obvious way possible. Do you offer a free bottle of wine in the hotel room upon arrival when a booking is made through your hotel website? Show it on the homepage. Make sure that all your direct booking benefits appear on the homepage. On the page where the rooms of your hotel are shown you can also distinctly show your direct booking benefits.
Guarantee an easy booking process
Do you know the feeling that you get when you click on a link and enter a different website and it doesn’t feel right? As if Amazon or Asos would send you to a different website when you click a button because you would like to start paying for your product. At all costs, you have to avoid this. This change in design you see after going from one page to another will heavily influence the behavior of your guests in a negative way.
Be on social media
Make sure that your social media are connected well with your website. Getting guests to book through your website is not a one-off trick. People often do a lot of orientation before booking their holiday stay so make sure you have a convincing presence on all different kinds of online media. For Example, Porter offers a useful tool to show your latest Instagram posts on the home page of your website.
Impress your guests with the social proof of guests that have already visited your hotel. Select reviews from the web, for example from your Google my business profile. While selecting the reviews you have all the control over which reviews to show. Use this responsibly and don’t show only positive reviews if most of your reviews are bad.
Let your visitors compare rates
As discussed in the first point you have to make sure that you have a good pricing strategy. If you have a good pricing strategy, it is a really good idea to show and compare the prices of your hotel website with those of OTAs.
Offer exclusive deals
It is your hotel website so you have all the power. Use it. By offering special deals to your guests only on your website you have a step ahead when it comes to booking a room. This is not just a good way to increase direct bookings but a good way to generate more revenue in general. How about a free city tour with a three nights stay?
Bonus tip; show how you’re handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a decent way
You have measures regarding the pandemic that is going on right now. When you talk about these measures please do not show pictures of ‘a virus’ nor pictures of sick people or people wearing masks. You are trying to sell hotel rooms, remember this. When is the last time that you thought a pack of cigarettes looked appealing? Right, you didn’t. So, show your updated terms and conditions, measures, and new cleaning policy in a decent way. Here is a good example of how to do so:
Are you ready to generate more direct bookings?
Get in touch with Porter and we make sure to increase your hotel’s direct bookings.
Online Hotel Marketer