Hotels are the pillars of the travel and tourism industry all over the world. Hotels thrive on seasonal and cultural celebrations for its revenue. All hotels are not the same. Some earn for the whole year, while many others thrive on seasonal and cultural reasons.
However, there are ways to increase to direct bookings from your hotel website. All the leading hotel chains have custom website designs that are very much in tune with their target audience and customers.
Ways to increase direct booking from hotel website –
Your website is the most important digital asset on the internet. Your hotel website should have easy to use navigation with user-friendliness and should be visually attractive with minimalist design, images, and videos.
The other thing to keep in mind is that your website should not be heavy or bulky, as it will hamper the load time of your website. An ideal hotel website design loads in less than 5 seconds.
The other thing to remember is that your website should have relevant content and should be optimized for search engines. One of the ranking factors is mobile-first indexing and having a mobile website is much more convenient and ergonomically feasible according to reports.
To increase your direct booking from your hotel website, with the best hotel website design that is search engine and mobile index friendly, you need is a robust keywords strategy that will help you rank better, rank faster and increase direct bookings and traffic to your hotel website.
Identify your target audience for on and off-season through buyer persona
The third important way to increase direct bookings is to identify your target audience for on and off seasons through the help of a buyer’s persona. A buyer persona helps you to identify your target audience and their preference. Custom website design helps you to understand your target audience and create buyer personas. How people react to your hotel website design will help you to enhance the user experience which leads to an increase in traffic to your website and subsequently increases direct bookings.
Paid Social Ads and Google Ads
For increasing direct bookings on the hotel website, the quickest way is through paid social media ads and Google Ads. A good hotel website development team will always optimize the website for paid ads. With paid ads, you can run multiple ads for multiple objectives at the same time. Paid ads are the best when you have offers to sell really quickly.
Include a booking engine and chat option on the website
A good hotel website design company makes sure that your hotel website not only has a user-friendly design but also a strong booking engine that will not stall or crash. The website shall also have a robust ticketing system and a 24/7 online chatbot on your website for real time customer interaction.
A strong booking engine with a ticketing system and an online chat box will help you to increase hotel bookings from your website.
Add guest reviews on the website
Another way to increase bookings from your website is by adding real guest reviews. Ask your guests to review your services on video and put them on your website, your social media. When your target audience sees that your customers appreciate you, they will be interested in trying you out.
As guest reviews are UGC (User Generated Content), it helps you to shape a positive opinion in the minds of your target audience which then gets converted in an increase in direct bookings from the website.
Give exciting offers, freebie, and loyalty programs and other perks
Another sure-shot way of increasing direct bookings is by giving special offers, discounts, and perks. A loyalty program for your regular clients and businesses goes a long way in creating a sustainable trust factor and goodwill that manifests in repeat business or referral business. Take a closer look at all the successful hotels; there you will find that the best hotel website design has links to discounts, exciting offers, etc. They also have internal CRM portals within the website for customers who have signed up for their loyalty programs.
Use Social Media like Facebook for bookings in offseason
Want to make the most of the offseason, then you should probably leverage social networking sites like Facebook. Many businesses hire hotels for parties and conferences during the offseason. Using social media to reach out to your target audience during offseason definitely increases bookings through website.
Many private customers desire a vacation away from the hustle and bustle; hence they usually book hotels during the off season. As well as many businesses hire hotels for their parties or conferences in the offseason.
Appeal to the emotions with a strong CTA
To increase your hotel bookings through the website, you need to appeal to the emotional spectrum of your target audience. A strong call to action with an emotional value will always help you increase bookings through the website.
A strong emotional call to action is the hallmark of the best hotel website design.
Add videos and images
A winning hotel website design that increases bookings has a strong visual appeal. Good videos and professionally shot crisp images and photos of the ambiance, menu, surroundings, staff, etc will help to increase your reach and footfall.
Create an App
Refrain from giving choices
One of my friends from the hotel industry says that giving choices to your customers kills your business. Hence never give choices to your customers. This way you have complete control on your business.
Collaborate with businesses
To increase your bookings and increase revenue quickly, you must collaborate with businesses and offer your hotel for parties, conferences, hosting of guests, etc. This way your hotel gets a good reputation and increases your referral business and increases your bookings and revenue.
Offer offseason package deals
An ugly fact is that many hotels experience low business during off seasons. To offset low revenues during such times, it is best to offer package deals to group outings at your hotel. There are many among your target audience that wishes to enjoy leisurely days without having to shell out more money. For such customers, giving package deals will help you to keep your revenue coming in.
Offer discounts on extended stays
When any of your customers extend their stay at your hotel, give those discounts and extra facilities on their extended stays, this way the happy customer will become a fan of your hotel and recommend your services among his friends and family.
Ask local travel agents and businesses for help
Collaborate with local travel agents and businesses and ask them to recommend your hotel to visiting tourists or out of city visitors. You can give them an incentive when they recommend your hotel.
Allow and host weddings and receptions
Another way your hotel can increase bookings is by allowing local weddings, receptions and theme weddings to be conducted in your hotel.
Host or allow youth and music festivals
Youth and millennial’s always recommend good experiences. Hosting youth festivals and music festivals will allow you to gain popularity and increase bookings.
Develop and send emails
Always keep your regular customers and new customers filled in with new updates. Send them email newsletters, season greetings, ask their opinion, ask for their help, and tell them about your offers.
Sending emails is a best practice that has the potential to increase bookings with an average 12.56% click to open rate.
Start a blog and use hashtags
People are looking for valuable information always. Starting a blog to document and share your achievements, honors and updates is a very good strategy. Make sure you are using the right keywords and hashtags to rank and promote the blog.
Understand your competitors and their strategies
Take it as a fact that your competitors are two steps ahead of you. Whether it is hotel website design and development or offers, perks, discounts, blogs, content, or ads; your competitors are leaving no stone unturned to kill the competition.
Make sure that you fully understand your competitors and analyze their strategies. It helps to spy on your competitor if you want to be a formidable competitor.
Make use of Metasearch sites
People will not be influenced by just the best hotel website design or SEO or content or just reviews and visual aids. People when they travel or are looking for good hotels to stay and enjoy, they un-mistakenly visit meta-search engines like TripAdvisor, Trivago, Expedia or Make My Trip or Booking.com.
By showcasing your hotel website on the above-mentioned meta-search engines, you can increase the number of hotel bookings on your website.
Ask Influencers to promote
Every industry has influencers. Influencer marketing is a big part of making your website known. A right influencer strategy with the right industry influencers can increase the bookings on your website up to 5x times.
If you are keen to build a brand and increase direct bookings on your website, then you should follow the above-mentioned steps and strategies. As all good things take time, full occupancy with increase direct bookings on the website will happen over time.
It all starts with an intent and goal to create a fantastic hotel website. The second step starts with hiring a good and well-known hotel website design company that have verified experience in creating websites that increase direct bookings.
Even if you are a small motel owner, it does not matter. Even motels can flourish into magnificent hotels with the right motel website design.