We would like to give you some recommendations to increase your online visibility, which will of course increase the number of reservations as well. A real win-win!
Choose the right online partners
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are nowadays an indispensable part of the travel industry and an essential link in your online distribution strategy. In a previous article, we already talked about the parameters for choosing the OTA(s) that best fit your type of accommodation and your type of customers. Through our Connectivity Marketplace, you will find a wide range of OTAs you can connect with, ranging from big players like Booking.com or Airbnb to smaller local players. To find out which customer profile you have and which OTAs can support you.
Once the choice has been made and you are present on various channels, it is of course necessary that you can manage this excellently and that you can manage your prices and availabilities in one system. The ideal software for this is Cubilis Channel Manager, which actually acts as the engine for all your reservations and ensures that availabilities are updated in real-time across all channels. This makes overbooking a thing of the past.
However, bear in mind that a partnership with an OTA takes a big bite out of your budget, as commissions can be as high as 30%. On the other hand, these partners generate a lot of reservations. It is therefore important for your return that you strive for an ideal mix between bookings via OTAs and direct, commission-free bookings via your own channels.
Work on your own website
No matter how you look at it, your own website is and will always be important if you want to get more direct bookings and therefore a better return. Invest in a clear website that converts well and also appears perfect on mobiles. In other words, travelers who come to your website have to find the right information quickly and be encouraged to book through you because the price is directly the lowest.
"At Stardekk we offer various solutions to turn your website into the ultimate booking channel."
The Cubilis Booking Engine, a commission-free booking module on your website, is the ideal tool to make sure all bookings run smoothly. The accompanying ratebox ensures that web visitors immediately see that they are getting the lowest price directly from you.
Moreover, we can also help you to give your website a nice, customer-friendly layout thanks to our website templates.
"A metasearch site is not a booking site. The comparison platform leads the visitor to various booking sites."
Besides OTAs, metasearch websites are also important channels to promote your accommodation extensively. When a traveler enters a query on a metasearch site such as Trivago for example, he will not only be shown accommodations that meet his query but the room rates of various booking platforms will also be displayed immediately. This way, the traveler can immediately see which booking site offers the best price.
With Google Hotel Ads and TripAdvisor, for example, you pay per reservation (cost per acquisition). With Trivago and HotelsCombined, you pay when people click through to your website (cost per click).
Make sure travelers find you on Google
Google is still the most popular search engine worldwide, with a market share of no less than 87.95%. The search for holiday destinations - and corresponding accommodation - often begins in Google.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), SEA (Search Engine Advertising), Google Hotel Ads, .... You can use any means to achieve a higher position in Google and it does not always have to be expensive.
Google My Business, for example, a kind of online showcase for your business, is completely free and offers numerous advantages. You can add photos, general information about your accommodation, but more importantly: a link to your own hotel website.
In the spotlight on social media
Finally, your credibility and presence on social media also play an essential role in convincing guests. Many guests share photos of their stay on Facebook and Instagram and inspire other travelers.
Before you start working diligently on social media yourself, it is good to think about the channels through which you can best approach your target group. If you have a business audience, for example, then definitely put LinkedIn on your wish list. But Facebook and Instagram are also important sources of inspiration, for different types of travelers. Don't choose too many social media channels either, because a profile with few posts does not give a good impression either.
On social media, you can opt for organic posts (news, photos, videos, etc.) that you place on your own profile and that are therefore only seen by the people who visit your social media profile. You can also opt for paid solutions such as Facebook and Instagram ads where you show your accommodation to a predefined audience in return for payment.
Would you like to learn more about the social media possibilities for your accommodation? Read our e-book full of tips & tricks.
If you have any additional questions about boosting your online visibility, do not hesitate to contact us or request a free trial of one of our products.