In the online space, the best way to generate conversions is with your own content. According to Darlene Rondeau, VP at hotel marketing company, Leonardo, “No channel is more profitable than your own hotel website.” Alicia Hoisington of Hotelmanagement.net shares a few tips in her article, “5 Ways to Drive Direct Bookings on your Hotel Website.”
- Tell Your Story | Your website is like a digital storefront. It’s your job to distinguish your property from the competition by telling the unique story behind your property. This personal touch is something that OTAs can’t replicate. Use high quality images and be authentic with the tone and voice to create an emotional connection.
- Emphasize Guest Room Photos | A study by Leonardo found that 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 viewers a feel for the space.
- Provide Social Proof | Savvy travel shoppers look for evidence from others when making a purchase decision. This can be in the form of guest reviews, awards, and star ratings. Embed positive reviews on your website in order to keep visitors on the page longer and persuade them to complete direct bookings.
- Provide Special Offers | Incentivize travelers to book direct with special promotions 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. For example, you can provide guests with free Wi-Fi or complimentary breakfast when they book direct from your site.
- Optimize the Mobile Site | According to Google, 60 percent of travel searches and 20 percent of reservations were made on mobile devises. It’s critical for your hotel website to be mobile-friendly in order to maximize booking opportunities. Your mobile site should include a clear call-to-action on every page, an engine for direct bookings, click-to-call functionality, and Google Maps