Tuesday, 09 February 2021

Get Rid Of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) Once And For All


Tired of metasearch taking the spotlight off your boutique hotel? Exasperated with OTAs earning so much from your business?

Yes, OTAs and meta search platforms are necessary for increasing the visibility of your hotel business, but as a business owner, director or hotel manager, you're the one that puts in the hard work.

Don't let other channels snag the top spot in Google!

It's time to take back your portion of direct bookings with brand pay per click advertising (PPC).

Brand PPC campaigns are a powerful tool to compete in the noisy marketplace. Your website maybe appear below the fold as prominence is given to paid advertising

As a result, not only are your chances of direct online bookings significantly reduced, but you will also likely experience an increase in OTA commission. This commission gives the OTAs billions of advertising dollars available.

It's essential for you – as a hotelier – to implement an online sales and marketing strategy to drive direct bookings. As well as your paid strategy, focus on your website too. 

PPC will drive more potential customers to your site and it must provide a great experience in order to convert as many as possible to a direct booking. This will have the additional benefit of converting them to loyal direct bookers.

Luxury travelers want a friction-free experience with the minimum amount of effort and time expended. In this article we give our top tips for competing with the OTAs using PPC.
 

• Create an attractive website and landing pages

Your website is your most profitable channel, so make it as attractive as possible. Make sure it's user-friendly and easy to use, with clear calls to action (CTAs) to channel browsers to the booking engine. 

Include high-quality images and videos, easy navigation, and provide all the answers to the guests' questions.

To create new content, implement a search bar on your website to track what potential guests look for on your site.

• Improve the online guest experience

Is your boutique hotel website well-designed for the best user experience (UX)? Is your website responsive on mobile? Are you providing complete, accurate content and search locators on your site?

The mobile guest experience is crucial as over 60% of guests will search via mobile to get the desired information or make a booking. Make sure also it is optimised for voice search.

Make your website mobile friendly by implementing mobile first design with buttons linking to the booking engine, pre-filling any forms and focus on key areas such as page speed and loading time. 


• Optimize pages for bookings 

Your booking process must be clear and give clear information on your different room types. Special offers and your gallery are also key areas for driving bookings. 

The booking engine should be accessible from any page using a book now button.

Incorporating a high converting booking engine on your website increases your direct bookings. 

The design and function is critical to maximise conversion. 

At Aró we have conducted a huge amount of research into what drives booking behaviour and we’d happy to discuss this with you.
hotel booking engine

Find the best Booking Engine for Your Luxury Hotel


• Brand pay-per-click advertising 

Brand PPC campaigns are guaranteed to yield a better return on investment than campaigns employing non brand or generic keywords. 

The user has typed the name of your hotel into Google so you're targeting an audience that is already aware of and interested in your services. 

Straight away, the clickthrough rate and quality score (QS) will be high. A good QS plays a significant role in reducing the cost per click. 

Running the campaign over a period of time and gathering historical data will further reduce the CPC and increase your return on investment. 

This does not happen automatically. Good management of your campaign will grow your return. 

Ensuring that the optimum keywords are used in the campaign, researching the ad copy which performs best, designing great landing pages and optimising site links are all important in the maintenance of a brand PPC campaign.

Now more great news - you have the advantage over the third-party channels. Yes, they can present discounts, but you are the only channel that can offer attractive in-house packages with personal touches, such as supplementary spa treatments, extended check outs, and additional meals. 

You are also in charge of your own rates, and should offer lower prices to direct bookers.

Another added benefit of running a brand PPC campaign is that it improves your organic (non-paid) rankings in the search results. 

It is also an excellent accompaniment to optimised web pages because the ad copy can be modified with minimal effort to suit the seasons and the products that you want to drive.

Are you ready to increase direct bookings and profits and take back the lion's share from OTAs, all the while getting a significant return on investment?