As hotels are faced with decreasing demand for their services, they will need to decide how to attract more guests. One way is by increasing direct bookings that generate the best rates and increase loyalty.
In this blog post, we’ll give you ten tips on how to improve your hotel’s marketing efforts so you can start getting more direct bookings!
Which one of these hotel marketing strategies do you currently use? Which ones could you start implementing now? Be sure to share your thoughts below!
Here are the strategies I will cover in this article:
1. Make your hotel website mobile-friendly
Mobile is becoming more and more important in our lives. As a result, people are now spending the majority of their time on search engines from mobile devices rather than desktops!
Google knows that this trend will only continue to grow so they’ve decided to emphasize the “mobile-first factor” when ranking its results.
This means if your website doesn’t deliver an adequate user experience for those using mobile phones, you may be at risk of losing out big over other websites that do offer these features.
First, they need to design a responsive site that has limited ads or pop-up banners and loads quickly on an array of devices including phones and tablets.
Then hotels can use simple designs for the homepage so it doesn’t look cluttered with too many images for small screens.
They also have to keep tabs on how well their websites are performing in order to refine them as needed.
According to a report by Google, for 70% of mobile landing pages that they studied, it took more than five seconds before visual content showed up on the screen.
That means that 7+ seconds had passed before all the visuals were loaded and people could see the page. A majority of people will not wait this long. Only 30-40% may see your page’s content if you have high latency rates like these!
2. Pay attention to your hotels’ Search Engine Optimization
You may not know this, but Google is the most popular search engine. It’s also what people use to find hotels on a daily basis. So how do you make sure that your hotel website ranks at the top of Google? The answer is by using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!
Whether you’re new to SEO or an expert, there are always things that you can do to improve your rankings and get more traffic.
To start with, make sure that the title of your page has keywords in it – if you want people to find out about a specific event then put those words in the title of the page rather than using “Hospitality Services”.
The next thing is meta descriptions: these are short snippets of text which will appear beneath every single search result when someone searches for something; they tell them why they should click on your listing instead of another one from a competitor.
It is important to invest some time and energy into the technical aspects of SEO. I find that using Rank Math helps me navigate this process successfully. With all the features you need in one FREE version, this is definitely worth trying out today.
3. Co-Promotion with local businesses
If you’re not in the middle of a desert, chances are your hotel is surrounded by local businesses and attractions.
There’s no reason to be afraid! As long as you find out who is managing these establishments like boat tours, well-known restaurants, shops, or yoga studios for example.
Then make friends with them while building partnerships through co-promotion efforts where each partner can promote one another to their respective clientele (e.g., running contests), it becomes easier than ever before without having to invest large marketing budgets into promoting yourself locally.
4. Showcase your property’s best features
The hotel industry is a competitive market. It’s important for hotels to stand out from the crowd and show their best features in order to attract guests.
Whether you’re looking to set yourself apart from other hotels or simply want your customers to know what they are getting, showcasing your property’s best features can help you succeed in this tough economy.
Stand out from other hotels by highlighting what sets you apart, like your personalized welcome gifts, coworking space, or in-room games!
Share stunning pictures of your hotel on all platforms including social media pages and profiles in metasearch databases.
By standing out among competitors through detailed descriptions on various channels online as well as providing memorable experiences at every turn while they are staying here; people will know where to go when looking for an amazing place to spend vacation time with friends or family.
5. Have a user-friendly website
The hotel industry has changed a lot in the last decade. More and more people are booking their vacations online. They want to make their reservations at the click of a button, not on the phone with an agent.
Sadly you may be missing this feedback because many customers give up before they even start filling out your form!
In order for your site to be user-friendly, there are some elements that need to be present:
- The design needs to be simple – it should take less than five minutes for someone who’s never used it before to figure how it works.
- You should consider using live chat, hotel chatbots, or text to help answer your questions quickly and efficiently.
- Utilizing a hotel booking engine that best fits the needs of you and your customers will ensure customer satisfaction.
- Use a responsive design so that you can look good on all screen sizes and take user experience into account by making the load time fast, minimizing errors.
- Consider creating a frequently asked questions page for those who want more information before committing to booking a room!
- Make sure that you have a professional appearance by including professionally taken images, videos, and other media content to help tell your story.
6. Compress Images
Did you know that big media files slow your website down? That’s why it is important to compress them.
Compressing a file means making the size smaller without sacrificing quality – ask your photographer or videographer for compressed versions of their work, and if they don’t have any then try using an online service like TinyJPG.
7. Use incentives to encourage customer loyalty and direct bookings
There are many opportunities to reward guests for booking directly with a hotel as opposed to using an online travel agent or third-party site.
By giving guests rewards for choosing the direct method you will not only gain return business but also encourage word-of-mouth referrals from those happy customers which can lead to new visitors to your hotel!
Some type of incentives you can offer includes:
8. Create and optimize your Google My Business hotel listing
Today, a Google My Business listing is essential for any hotel. With this free service from Google, you can add high-quality photos and fill in your amenities to show guests all the great things they would access at your establishment!
Reviews are a great way for guests to share their experiences with your hotel. Encourage them to leave reviews and respond when they do, as this not only builds loyalty but also helps you better understand what needs improvement.
If you do not have your own booking website, Google offers a free basic website to promote your services and provides more ways to get direct booking.
Once you complete your Google My Business profile, it will appear on Google Maps and Search without prices.
There are two ways to get your hotel prices and booking links on Google. You can send your information through a current technology partner – or you can send the information to Google manually.
9. Make your booking buttons clear and eye-catching
There are many ways for you to get people to book at your hotel. Some people like to look at pictures of the room or the beach. However, most people do not have the time and they want to know what they are getting before they buy it.
If you want more bookings, make sure that your buttons (Call to Actions) on your website are clear and eye-catching so guests know exactly what they will be getting when they click on them.
Consider using price widgets to compare your rates to the Online Travel Agencies and highlight any incentives you offer to travelers when booking directly.
Social Sharing CTA
One of the best ways to build your audience and make more connections is by encouraging people to share content.
Social media buttons are a low-commitment way for visitors, leads, and customers to engage with your brand so be sure they’re included in places where it’s appropriate on our website – blog posts or landing pages!
10. Leverage remarketing strategy for incomplete bookings
You would be surprised by the number of people who end up abandoning their search for hotels and resorts online. The 75% abandonment rate is partially due to distractions, but it also has a lot to do with price fluctuations on sites like Expedia or Trivago that leave you unsure if you’re getting the best deal out there.
Abandoned cart email is a great way to understand why potential guests are giving up on converting.
These emails can also provide valuable information that will help you improve your website and conversion rates in the future.
Remarketing is the best way to convert visitors into leads and sales. It’s a powerful tool that lets you show ads to prospective guests who have visited your site but haven’t made a booking yet.
This is an easy way for them to remember what they saw on your website so they’ll come back and make a booking when it’s convenient for them. Try giving them a deal for an extra incentive then show how simple it is to complete their booking with minimal effort!
There are many ways to encourage direct bookings for your hotel.
Some of these methods include:
One way we’ve helped hotels do this is by using remarketing strategy for incomplete bookings which has increased conversions by 5X!
What strategies do you find are most effective in getting your hospitality business more direct bookings?