As we all know, the direct bookings present two great advantages for our business; creates a personable direct relationship with our customers which improves satisfaction and retention as well as financial benefits.
If we all agree on the above statement then a key question follows; how we can achieve this?
The obvious first step is to have an online and engine sales-oriented approach. Strengthening your hotel’s website and online presence could generate more direct contact with your customers and this translates into an increase in direct bookings and reduce acquisition costs which ultimately benefit your property in all areas.
It is important to invest not only in a good web design but also in the content of it. The hotel website should not be just looking beautiful, it must be well designed and written so that the user finds what he reads interesting, easy to navigate and seeds curiosity that they want to learn more and visit your property. It should be user-friendly, if you create a site which is heavy with videos and quality picture, it might look great but without a decent content, it means nothing or if it takes ages to open and difficult to navigate, people will be left you page within 10 seconds.
The content and SEO have a big part to play in this strategy, we cannot ignore the power of beautiful visuals, however, you need to be able to paint a picture with your content that user could feel how it feels to be at your hotel.
The reservation engine should be also easy to use and facilities the next steps to the user. Remember, it might look great for your and cover all necessary angles for you but you need to be able to see it with the user’s point of view. If there is any glitch or confusion in your reservation engine, this will push your potential customer to one of the well-known and expertly designed OTAs. So, whatever you create, always think about the user and make it easier for them to book.
Of course, all above should be a part of the greater marketing and commercial strategy aimed at attracting users to choose your booking system directly. Always bear-in-mind that OTAs specialise in this area, they closely follow customer, booking and technology trends to make their websites more attractive and easier for both on the desktop and rapidly growing mobile user needs.
Let me reveal 5 tips that can help you to capture these customers and convince them that the best option is the direct channel.
1. Visibility of your Hotel
OTAs spend a lot of money and effort to dominate the internet and create a user-friendly easy booking system to attract a great audience. One of the requirements to increase direct sales is for the hotel to be visible to this audience when they are searching for a hotel.
I have previously shared two article, I would suggest having a look at them by double-clicking highlighted titles; Creating Strategy Driven Digital Marketing Plan to explain how to create an effective plan and SEO Tools Guide to list most useful tools to achieve this target.