Does your hotel have a ‘book direct’ strategy in place? Try these tactics to increase your direct bookings and improve conversions on your hotel website.
Despite hoteliers spending on marketing activities, the average hotel website conversion rate is less than 2 percent. A visually attractive, easy-to-navigate, and user-friendly website is critical to your hotel marketing strategy. Your website must showcase your hotel and offers while maintaining the booking engine side of your operation. Here are 4 tactics to increase your direct bookings on your hotel website.
1. Start with Your Online Presence
A hotel’s online presence has never been more important. Travelers have moved their booking experiences online, and this trend has only accelerated due to the pandemic. Research shows that consumers like to shop around to ensure they’re getting the best deals; however, they may not even know your hotel exists. Optimizing and promoting your website on search engines can increase your hotel’s visibility. Savvy travel shoppers also look for evidence from others when making a decision. We recommend including positive reviews on your website in order to keep visitors on your site longer and complete direct bookings.
2. Create a Streamlined Mobile Booking Experience
Mobile visits now make up 53 percent of traffic to travel sites according to the Drum. As consumers become more confident in travel planning on mobile, a poor user experience may keep them from converting. Mobile site speed could be the key to your hotel’s online presence. Faster load speeds and aesthetic design elements will also make your mobile site stand out.
If you are still using outdated e-commerce practices to generate direct bookings by linking out to a third party, your hotel website is going to fall way behind on the mobile front. Instead, your mobile booking engine should also be fully integrated with your hotel website, which will not only improve your mobile site speed but also boost credibility. Ensure your booking experience is easy to use, visually appealing, and streamlined into as few clicks as possible.
3. Tell Your Story with High-Quality Content
The best way to generate conversions on your hotel website is with high-quality content and imagery. Your website is like a digital storefront, and it’s your job to distinguish your property from the competition by telling your unique story. This personal touch is something that OTAs can’t replicate, so it’s important to be authentic with your tone and voice to create an emotional connection. We also recommend being completely transparent on your website by outlining new protocols or services your hotel is implementing to reassure travelers during and after the pandemic.
Guests are spending more time in their hotel rooms nowadays. In fact, guest rooms are the most-viewed images on hotel websites. It can be beneficial to lead with these images instead of exterior shots because guests want to see where they will be sleeping. Be sure to include multiple angles and room types to give users a feel for the space. You can even allow your website visitors explore your hotel through a virtual tour.
4. Provide Special Offers and Measure Conversions
Consistent branding and promotions can really pay off in terms of your bookings and revenue. Incentivize travelers to book direct with special offers that they can’t find on other travel sites. The special offers don’t need to focus on price, but they should provide extra value.
Nearly 80 percent of travelers may be more likely to sign up for your loyalty program, while 40 percent would pay more to receive personalized experiences. You need to understand what your guests want in order to provide relevant offers and experiences, so they are more likely to book directly on your website.
In order to improve conversions, pay close attention to guest feedback. If a guest tells you they didn’t know you offered certain services or that they couldn’t find your hotel on Google, document the feedback and make the necessary adjustments to your hotel marketing strategy. Other helpful resources to find more information on your consumers’ online journey and booking behaviors include surveys, online reviews, and Google Analytics.
Still have questions? Contact us today to learn how HMG Hospitality can help increase direct bookings and drive conversion rates on your hotel website