In today's competitive hospitality industry, hoteliers are struggling to get direct bookings with online travel agencies (OTAs) taking such a large chunk of their business.
Hotels – especially small hotels – need to have a multi-channel digital marketing strategy to reduce heavy reliance on the OTAs. There are various channels for hotels to sell their rooms. However, a hotel's website and booking engine provide the most considerable control over its brand positioning, image, rate, and margins.
How Hotels Can Increase Direct Website Traffic:
1. Provide the Best Available Rate on Hotel Site
2. Reward your Customers for their Loyalty
Don't just drop or increase your prices depending on the season or offer huge discounts when the occupancy is low. Offer special promotions to returning customers or to other deserving customers on the hotel's booking engine. This will increase loyalty and brand perception.
3. Optimize Hotel Website
The hotel's website should reflect the experience customers will have when going to the hotel. The website must also provide easy navigation, engaging photos, and relevant content.
4. Create Backlinks to Hotel Site
5. Don't Forget Social Backlinks
Hotels that have interactive pages on social media websites open up a different channel for marketing. Social media allows hoteliers to speak to customers and market special offers at a low cost. The interactive customer service experienced on social media results in consumers feeling appreciated and valued.
6. Leverage Niche
Many hotels focus strongly on location search results like "Hotels in San Francisco" that can be extremely competitive and expensive. Instead, hotels can focus on their niche like "Hotels with free breakfast in La Jolla, "or "Hotel pool party in Palm Springs."
7. Speak to Customers in Multiple Languages
This will speak to a broader range of people and boost the perception of the hotel.
8. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) are here to stay! If hotel sites are not optimized for mobile devices, many consumers will abandon the site.
9. Transfer Offline Content to Hotel Site
It begins by simply asking your guests what information would have helped prepare for their trips or what could have enhanced their journeys. The answers to these questions will give hoteliers knowledge to use in improving customer service and targeting other travelers through online posts.
10. Do NOT Forget to Label Images Properly
Many travelers look at a hotel's website or browse through an image search before booking a room. This means hoteliers must appropriately title their images to ensure that the hotel will be seen.
Today, there are ways for independent hotels to mark their online territories like big hotel chains. Following the ten simple measures to increase the hotel's website traffic will change the online positioning of independent hotels and reduce the reliance that hoteliers currently have on OTAs.