Wednesday, 05 May 2021

5 Reasons Your Hotel Isn't Getting More Online Hotel Bookings


Increasing direct bookings via your hotel website is a complex task and typically is driven in small increments rather than big steps. 

There are tens if not hundreds of factors which affect bookings via your own booking engine. Even if:
  • Your hotel has a prominent position on Google’s search engine page. 
  • You are running effective hotel digital marketing campaigns that are sending visitors to your site. 
  • Your booking engine is attracting an increasing number of guests every month.  


Hotel revenue produced through your own website can remain stubbornly stuck at the same level.
 
You are left wondering just how to get more online hotel bookings for your property.

As an agency providing digital marketing services for the luxury independent hotel industry, we are here to offer you some helpful pointers as to why your website may not be driving the revenue you expect.

Let’s see how we can get you more online hotel bookings by addressing 5 common problems:

1. YOUR WEBSITE SUFFERS FROM AN IDENTITY CRISIS

If your hotel website is looks outdated and has old content, your guests may think your hotel lacks the same attention or can’t justify the prices you are showing for your rooms. 

You know your guests best. When talking to them at reception, you tailor information to their individual needs. Apply the same principle to your website.

  • Decide on what is your most important message. As an airport hotel, tell your visitors about your proximity to the terminal. If your bread and butter is families, feature all leisure activities prominently on the homepage.
  • Tell your story. Show clearly what sets you apart from your competitors. Is it your location? Price? Prestige? Make it easy for customers to choose you.
  • Your team fields hundreds of guest questions daily. Put this intelligence to good use by making your website more intuitive. For example, if you have numerous room types and this often confuses customers, be sure to have a ‘compare rooms’ feature.

2. THE BOOKING PROCESS IS OVERCOMPLICATED

If you are in charge of a major complex with several restaurants, a wedding venue, a golf course, spa and fitness facilities, your website needs to fulfill a lot of different functions.

It is all too easy to lose sight of its main purpose: to drive online hotel bookings.

  • Implement an easy-to-use booking widget. No matter what page is visited, the ‘Book Now’ button should be accessible at all times. Make sure that it stands out visually.
  • Make sure your navigation is friction-free. Only add your key areas (rooms, dining, special offers, gallery) to the primary menu. Use a burger menu to show the remaining areas. Breadcrumbs are a good way of showing browsers where they are in the website.
  • Distinguish clearly between different room types. Avoid lengthy descriptions - list room features with bullet points. Add Read More and Book Now calls to action (CTAs) on each room type. Display several images for each room category - if possible add a room video.
  • Implement a link to the online booking engine (OBE) on each important section of the website.
  • Minimise the number of steps in the OBE. For example make room extras (chocolates, champagne etc) an optional click rather than a mandatory step.  


3. THERE IS A LACK OF CALLS TO ACTION

Be sure to maximise the conversion of queries into business. 

That not only applies to phone calls and walk-in guests, but to all your website visitors. 

Guide your guests through the purchasing journey with plenty of well-placed signposts.

  • Highlight the benefits of direct reservations around the booking widget. Free drink on arrival? Check. Easy cancellation? Check. Best rate guaranteed? Check, check, check.
  • Make sure that your gallery, offers and rooms sections serve the ultimate purpose of ushering users to the booking engine. Clear navigation and prominent buttons are fundamental.
  • Take advantage of user generated content. Display Instagram photos of your visitors in a dedicated gallery. Genuine smiles and authentic experiences are the best currency in the digital world.
  • Give your guests a good reason to book. Highlight local recommendations from your concierge or restaurant manager. A personal invitation to visit your destination can make a powerful impact.

drive more return on investment for hotels

4. There is lack of end-to-end guest experience 

Experience and loyalty are inseparably tied together for luxury independent hotels. 

Your property needs to offer next level service for each and every step of the hotel experience which guests may engage with. 

This starts with the browsing process itself but every communication touch point must be considered as well. 

For example, payment transactions, booking channels, email communications, phone calls and in person interactions with staff. 

Most travelers will check TripAdvisor before booking and many reviews now mention if there is a disconnect between what was offered on the website and the reality in the hotel. 

Ensure that your branding and messaging is coherent throughout.

Happy guests will tell others about you and complete the virtuous circle – brands grow advocates, advocates grow brands.

5. Use all the channels available to you

When travelers plan a trip, on most of them will switch between mobile and desktop devices. On average browsers use four devices before deciding to book.

Therefore having your brand seamlessly represented across all channels (on and off line) and tracking campaigns across them is essential. 

The mobile version of your website is probably the single most important thing to get right. 

This is just one example of the importance of measuring data around how travelers decide to book online. 

This enables hotels luxury independent hotels to design effective and highly profitable strategies which drive the lowest cost acquisition of direct bookings. 

As a leading luxury independent hotel digital agency offering a range of online marketing services, we are here to help you find ways to increase your hotel’s revenue.


For our clients, we measure over 180 metrics which influence online hotel booking and make sure they are all ‘going to green’ i.e. constantly improving.


Sign up to our free audit and find out how to improve web traffic and customer engagement.