Top 5 Secrets to More Bookings

At the AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) Show in Houston last month, we had the privilege to share our Top 5 Secrets To More Bookings booklet with all the attendees. Now we’d like to share it with all of you. :)

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That phone reservation is really an Internet booking

According to Google, over 80% of your guests began their hotel search online regardless of how they decided to book in the end. So align your marketing resources accordingly. Have a good look at what you are doing about online marketing for your hotel currently, if at all.

 

The OTA Is Not Your Enemy

Fact is, over 75% of guests begin their hotel search on the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies). Your OTA listing serves as a giant billboard that raises the visibility of your hotel. We call this The Billboard Effect.

Whether you receive significant bookings from OTAs or not, the exposure of your hotel listing can drive more bookings through other channels (both online & offline). Ensure all of your OTA listing descriptions and photos showcase your hotel in the best possible light.

 

Know Your REAL Competition

We often think of our competitors as the hotel next door. Google your own hotel and see what 80% of your guests see. This is your competition.

So, before you worry about stealing share from the guy next door, ensure that you minimize the chances of someone clicking on the OTA links, where you have to pay the 20% commission, by having your own property-specific website.

You can ensure that at least two direct channels are represented in the top search results by having a property-specific website in addition to your brand listing.

 

Social Media For Hotels is Overhyped

According to the 2012 Google Travel Study, social media is one of the least important drivers of hotel bookings. In fact, the study found that Price is the most important feature when selecting a hotel, closely followed by a hotel website and promotions. Social Media came in at #9.

Vendors will try to sell you overpriced “solutions” for a problem that doesn’t even exist. Someday it might be important to our marketing strategy, but so far we haven’t see a midscale hotel make a real money through social media. Don’t fall for the hype!

 

Don’t Judge a Hotel Website By Its Cover

Today, it’s so easy to find that “friend of a friend” who can design websites. But beware, not all hotel websites are created equal. A good hotel website is not just a brochure for your hotel. A good hotel website is an elegant presentation of your hotel that leverages the information about your hotel to gain more visibility and ultimately convert more lookers into bookers.

So when you decide to get your hotel website designed by someone you know, ask them what their plans are about Hotel SEO strategies, brand standard compliancy, booking engine integration, and techniques that will help convert someone better.

Most importantly, ask this question: How will this hotel website help me get more bookings?

About

Joe is a seasoned hospitality professional who has worked in various roles within the hotel operations including Rooms, Sales, Marketing, and Revenue Management. His current mission in life is to bring affordable technologies to hotels to launch their own hotel internet marketing campaigns. You can also connect with him on Google+ or on Linked In

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