There is a consistent battle against OTAs in the hotel business. The question is how do we improve direct bookings on our your website? Here are five ways that you can books your direct bookings.
- Optimize your design
Make sure that your website is optimized for every single platform, it’s essential. In Google’s 2016 Travel Trends Report it was revealed that 60% of searches for destination information come from mobile devices and from March 2017, searches from mobile devices will increase by 50% year by year. I keep saying to myself that this is a mobile first world. In the past year conversion rates have grown by 88% on mobile travel websites – this is massive data. Make sure that you have a fully responsive mobile site because it’s crucial. Users want to do everything the easiest way possible, including spending money; add a visible CALL button on your website design. Don’t make the customer think and search to much.
2. Go all in on brand strategy
It’s very important to build a sustainable brand if you are thinking long term. When I look at top notch brands I realize that they always are one step ahead of their competitors. They invest in story development and they support it with PPC campaigns (media). You want to treat your brand that way; have a whatever it takes attitude to build your brand equity because when you play the price game it’s easy to lose that game. Profits will shrink. Successful brands differentiate themselves so they don’t have to play the price game. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how price sensitive clients are but when you have your brand strategy, your story will give guests extra reasons to connect with you.
3. Take advantage of social and email
People who are engaging with your social media are interested in you. What you can do is ask them to subscribe to your unique email list where you share valuable content with them. Let me repeat that; valuable content. Not the same content that you have on your social media channels but content that they will not find anywhere else. The reason why I think it’s important is because keeping your audience just on social doesn’t give you power. We all know that social media changes every single day, that’s why it’s important to build a healthy email list where you are in control. You can include your offers on your newsletter campaigns but that shouldn’t be the first thing that the other person sees. The structure of the newsletter should be; 90% valuable content and 10% offers/sales. This way people will want to open your newsletters and not unsubscribe.
4. Heat map
Heat mapping is an amazing tool that can help you optimise the design of your website in order to maximize your bookings. It will show you where the majority of users are clicking and where they are leaving. Things like colour, size and shape of buttons will also influence clicks and heat mapping can help you determine how fruitful these changes to design can be.
5. Influence marketing
We all know that bloggers are gold to any brand. When working with influencers ask them to send direct links from their website/social media accounts to your website. Before doing a campaign with an influencer though, make sure that the influencer is authentic. It plays a vital role to bookings and branding. A great influencer will send potential customers directly to your website from multiple channels and it will help you not only with direct bookings but will also help you raise your brand equity.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, you can always contact us. Please share this article with a colleague of yours that you believe will find this beneficial.