Getting more bookings through online channels can be an essential part of increasing revenue streams and building brand loyalty among customers for hotel owners and operators.
Hotels are in a unique position when it comes to their marketing efforts since they offer an experience that other business owners can’t provide.
They’re like mini-destinations where people can come and stay, get away from it all, and simply relax.
For this reason, you’d think hotels would have no problem filling up their rooms every night, but that isn’t always the case.
With the right steps in place, hotels can not only get more bookings via online channels, but they can also do so at little to no cost to their business.
These ten ways to get more hotel bookings via online channels are easy and quick to implement. With their help, your business will be able to maximize its digital marketing efforts for an increase in sales and revenue in no time.
1) Create a fantastic hotel website
Your hotel must have a quality, mobile-friendly website.
Having a site that is easy to navigate and loaded with high-quality photos can make all of the difference when you’re trying to build an online presence and generate interest in your hotel.
It’s important to hire someone who is familiar with what makes a website user-friendly, so they know how important it is to keep everything clean, modern, and easy on your customers’ eyes.
This will make sure guests have an enjoyable experience on your site that encourages them to book their next trip with you!
2) Do good keyword research
If you’re serious about promoting your business and want to be found online, you need a good understanding of how keywords work.
Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines when they’re looking for products or services.
It’s important to understand what keyword research is and why it can help with your marketing campaigns—not just with your website but also through social media and email marketing.
Once you learn how they work, start applying these strategies, and you should see an increase in traffic!
You can even use tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to research different keyword combinations that might be relevant to your business.
3) Use keywords relevant to hotel booking based on location
While it’s important that your hotel’s website is user-friendly and gives a great initial impression, you also need to find ways to get more traffic from people who are actively searching for hotels and information on hotels.
For example, if most of your clients are in Los Angeles, make sure that you’re using keywords like hotels near Hollywood or Hollywood hotels.
These are general terms that a lot of people use when looking for accommodations in LA.
Your goal should be to ensure that when people search these phrases online, they see your business as one of their top options.
If they do, stay tuned: there’s a good chance they’ll book with you instead of one of your competitors!
4) Create an online booking form for your website visitors
Even if you have a reservation system in place, it’s still a good idea to have a booking form that’s connected directly to your online reservations portal.
This will allow your customers/visitors access and control over their reservations without having to step outside of your website.
Think of your online booking form as a check-in for all hotel bookings done via your website—just like a guest would do at a real-life property.
5) Use only good photos for posting
No matter how much you spend on other marketing efforts, no one will book it if your hotel doesn’t look attractive online. It’s that simple.
An interesting fact about hotel photography is that 65% of potential guests turn to Google Images when researching a hotel.
That means before they even visit your website, they have already formed an opinion based on what they’ve seen on Google Images.
What they see is often something completely different from what your rooms actually look like (weird colors, weird furniture), and guess what?
They never even make it as far as your website!
6) Make your hotel listing stand out
When you have a hotel listing on Google or any other listing site, your best bet is to make it stand out from the rest.
The best way to do that is by making sure that your hotel details are being properly shared.
There are many online channels where consumers go looking for hotel information, so be sure you get them there.
As soon as consumers start entering their travel destination and date into a search engine, dozens of hotels start popping up—and so does yours!
It’s important to make sure they can find all of your relevant information on their initial searches.
If they see nothing or only partial information on your site, they might very well move on and look elsewhere; that means lost business!
7) Implement digital marketing & send targeted emails to guests
One of the best ways to get more bookings through your online channels is via email.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t realize just how powerful email marketing can be.
In fact, if you do it right (and I’m not talking about using any pre-made online booking engine script), you can have an incredible ROI from even a small campaign.
It’s a common misconception that hotels only use online channels as a means to reach clients via booking websites like Booking and Agoda.
The truth is, there are plenty of other online channels that can help your hotel stand out from the crowd and, most importantly, get more bookings!
Whether you want to attract new customers or want to rekindle your relationship with existing customers, hotel digital marketing services can get more hotel bookings via online channels in today’s digital economy.
Another way to connect with potential guests is by posting photos and videos of your hotel on social media.
Hotels can use YouTube and Flickr or offer a live stream via Facebook or Ustream.
You can also share information about local attractions on Twitter; people often research destinations on their smartphones while they’re waiting in line for tickets at theme parks, looking for restaurants nearby, etc.
One study found that more than half of travelers who used Twitter searched for information about an attraction or restaurant during their trip.
It’s important to create social media profiles for your hotels and include links on your main hotel website.
If you don’t already have a Facebook page, set one up immediately, then set up accounts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Include images of your property, photos from local events, or scenic views (if there are any) in your area.
Make sure that when you post something on one channel, it appears across all platforms so that it’s easy for potential guests to find out about what’s happening at your hotel, even if they aren’t following you directly.
Do you want to have a fabulous social media presence for your hotel? Check our hotel marketing guide.
10) Do excellent guest experience management
Having a positive guest experience is more important than ever.
Customers have become more complex but also more receptive to interaction.
Making sure they feel heard will increase your chances of getting them on board with your services and brands.
Especially on sites like TripAdvisor, where guests are motivated by self-expression and social approval, customer care has been shown to be an extremely powerful asset for hotels.
A study by Phocuswright suggests that online reviews actually play a major role in converting leads into customers–and even an active presence on review sites can result in higher rates of booking and revenue per available room.
No matter how you spin it: if you get great feedback from guests, they’ll book with you again.
So make sure you provide good customer service.