How to Increase Direct Booking by Improving Online Presence

Dynamic changes of travelers behavior make stakeholders in hospitality industry to adapt and able to innovate to meet new kind of guest needs. Today, we see people prefer to book online through online travel agent rather than book directly to hotel. 

Maybe you already experience the decrease of your direct booking and now you rely on online travel agents (OTA) to fill your rooms. Although your revenue keep flowing in, there is always risk if you too depend on OTA and unable to increase direct booking for your hotel.

One of the real issues is when you receive reservation from OTA, your hotel actually received lower revenue than from direct booking.

This because you need to pay commission to OTA for every booking you get from them. Therefore, you should not neglect direct booking as your distribution channel. Instead, you should try to optimize your hotel marketing to increase direct booking.

Today, travelers spend more time to search and get information in internet before they decide to book for accommodation. This means they will look for information and visit several websites before finally decide to book. With this condition, hotel online presence is the prominent role for travelers to pick their accommodation. By improving online presence on the internet, your hotel would have bigger opportunities to attract customers.

In this article Caption will help you to improve your online presence in order to increase direct booking to your hotel. It includes the steps that you need to take, as well as factors that you need to consider when market your hotel in internet. Hopefully, after understanding these steps, you will be able to implement it to drive more direct booking to your hotel.

Optimize your website
With more travelers that search and book hotel through mobile device, an optimized website would be essential element to attract them. An optimized website means that your hotel website should be appealing and functional to be viewed from various device. As most people prefer to search information and book through mobile device, your website should be responsive and easy to be used in mobile devices. It also means your website should have good layout that make customer easy to find information that they need. It also needs to have good navigation to guide them through your website and does not took long time to load your website.

In order to increase direct booking through your website, you also need to have an optimized booking engine. It is an important feature in your website to facilitate your customer to book directly. One of ways to make your customers attracted to book directly is by offering easy and user friendly booking process. It means that customers does not need to fill a lot of confusing form and can easily understand all information provided during booking process. If your booking engine is appealing and easy to use, it will give good opportunities to attract customers to book directly.

Manage your online review
In addition to optimized website, you also need to manage your online reputation. You can do this by managing your online review on the internet. There are so many review platforms across the internet, such as on OTA sites, blog and review sites. Your guest review in those platforms will build your online reputation either your service is good or not. Therefore, it is important to keep monitoring your hotel online review and give proper response to it.

As many travelers tend to check review sites before they book an accommodation, it is important to manage guest review in review sites. First thing first, you should encourage your guest to make review sites, like TripAdvisor. Then when you already have review from your guest, you can start to respond to it. You can thank them for make review. If your guest highlight issues in your service, you can take action to resolve it. You can also offer your sorry to help to ease the situation. If you able to manage and give good response to review, you will be able to build good impression to your customers. It will make you look attentive and take guest review seriously.

Build engagement in social media
The next step to improve your online presence is by enhancing your hotel marketing through social media. As it is an inseparable part of our modern life, social media gives you opportunity to directly connected with your customer. It is not only about bring your brand closer to your customers. This can also become an essential platform to build interaction with them. Not to mention the modern travelers’ behavior who likes to share their holiday experience in social media. It will be great advantage if you can motivate your guest to share their experience in social media. After all, it will be a free advertisement and good social proof to attract new customers as well.

To be able to build engagement on your hotel social media, you should able to understand what your customers like to do or see in social media. For example in Facebook people like to see funny and informative content. Then apart from spreading your hotel promotion campaign, you can post nice spot or interesting events around your hotel. By doing this, it’s not only a promotion. On the other side, it also builds your local presence as place to get information related to your area. In addition, you can also utilize user-generated contents on your social media. For example, you can re-upload your guest content on Instagram for your hotel social media account. This will give you free content to promote your hotel. It also will motivate your guest to share their experience by posting social media content when they stay at your hotel.

Optimizing your online presence surely takes a lot of time and resources. As it may indirectly affect your direct booking performance, it is a worth investment to try to. When you can regularly share engaging contents and have good interaction in social media, you will have valuable platform to reach your customers. In addition, when you can manage your online review, it will give good online reputation that will lead to more trust from customers. After that, all you do is maximizing that by catching them to book directly to your hotel. Those opportunities surely will help you to increase direct booking for your hotel.
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