No matter where they are in the world or the size of their property, hotel owners will always be aiming to get more bookings and sustain them to keep rooms full throughout the year.But in a competitive industry with so many other properties competing for business, how can this be done? Well, there are a few tips you can employ that should increase your chances of converting browsers into bookers.
Here are our five top tips for hotel owners and marketers that may just bring more money rolling in.
1. Align your marketing plan Hopefully, you already offer would-be guests several methods of completing their bookings in order to cater for all tastes. However, don’t forget that even the people who ring up with their credit card details may have done their research on the internet first (according to Google, 80 per cent of travellers do). That’s why it’s really important to align all of your marketing activities to create an integrated whole, rather than thinking of them as separate entities.
2. Try to lure in more direct bookings It may be tempting to have a strong presence on the online travel agents (OTAs), but they do charge a high rate of commission each time they get a booking in for you. To boost your revenues, try to get more travellers booking directly with your own website. We’ve covered this topic extensively in earlier articles, so do take a look back in our archives if you want more advice on it.
3. Perfect your website This is incredibly important, as your hotel website is now so much more than simply a shop window for your property. It must make it stand out and have would-be guests racing to get their credit cards and press that ‘book now’ button. Start by ensuring your photos are the best they can possibly be, even if that means getting a professional in to take them for you; it’ll be worth the investment in the long run.
Also, don’t forget to consider search engine optimisation (SEO) when you’re overhauling your web copy or creating it in the first place. You need to make sure you can be found via organic searches online, which can be done through the use of long tail keywords that have been woven in as naturally as possible. Again, we’ve covered this in-depth before, so take a look back if you want more advice.
Finally in this tip, always have a good online booking system linked up to your main pages and put a call to action that leads to it from several different pages on your website. It should also take all major payment methods so travellers can book instantly.
4. Engage with your guests Even if people have stayed at your property once, they are still valuable sources of potential future bookings. Collect their email addresses and encourage them to follow you on social media so you can target them (non-aggressively, of course) with marketing campaigns the next time you have something to advertise. Consider packages they might like that would fit with their previous tastes and offer them coupon codes if they book within a certain time.Ask for feedback too, as reviews can be really persuasive for people considering which property to book online.
5. Remember social media Nobody could have anticipated the tour de force that social media has become – it’s a huge tool for any marketer’s arsenal. Facebook, Instagram and the like are a fast, effective way of engaging with guests past, present and future, so use them as frequently as you can and link them up to your website for more followers.Try these top tips and see if it can top up your hotel’s revenues.