What Should Your Website Include to Improve Bookings?
There are many hotels that depend on OTAs to generate bookings and, in order to survive, are simultaneously forced to over-commission a large part of their offer, even if they lose its control.
To avoid this situation, hotels must generate bookings from their own website without commission or dependence on third parties. However, this task isn’t simple and requires certain knowledge, as well as a web technology that’s powerful enough to obtain good results.
The consumption habits and behaviors of the traveler have evolved and the internet is now the most accessible search mode. This, linked to transparency among distribution tools, makes online sales a fair-play a priori. In this way, having a proprietary tool connected to our value proposition will greatly favor the generation of direct booking, both by the effect of its own attraction and by connecting with the traveler who visits our website indirectly.
Achieving visibility and nurturing our content website will be one of the conditioning factors at the time that our sales funnel is well-fed and that, as a result, will make our booking engine look fully operational. If we want to work on an approach based on results and meaning, it is necessary to consider a number of factors when managing our hotel’s website:
Web approach based on the target audience. The approach of the web must be conceived from the perspective of the typical customer and not try to satisfy different types of traveler. We must generate elements of attraction, content, communication style, images, colors… In other words, elements that will lead you to unify this approach based on the point of view of the profile or typical profiles. By making use of the Pareto Principle, bet on the 20% of the travelers that generate 80% of the hotel’s profitability.
Build web based on the approach of value proposition. Applying the tool Círculo de oro de Simon Sinek, we can reach conclusions as valuable as the raison d’être of our hotel. This reasoning can help us to link the motive that moves us to develop our activity with the needs of our typical profile. In turn, this very deep approach must be transmitted at the design and functionality levels of our website.
Distribute along the experience lived in the destination and not in the hotel room. We should draw from the premise that the traveler usually comes to our hotel under higher expectations –which are usually the motivation for the trip– that are often approaches beyond the control of the accommodation. Therefore, strengthening the destination and focusing our activity on giving it visibility will allow us to follow a motivating trend for the hotel and a more solid link with the potential traveler.
Optimized booking engine for the distribution process. As a tool, the booking engine is probably the most important part of the booking process. A well-optimized booking engine will help you improve conversion rates if the traffic of your website is adequate. Reducing the steps to take, having elements and incentives that encourage the booking process, designing the website in a way which pleases the user, etc. are all reasons to choose one or another type of engine.
Web approach from the point of view of an omnichannel traveler. This web approach is designed for clients that do not distinguish between devices to consult information. That way, we must develop a website suitable for all types of platforms. In this case, a good solution would be to have two websites, one for desktop devices or laptops, and the other for smartphones and tablets.
Define the structure on certain simple actions. Your website should adapt to the user’s browsing quickly and efficiently. You can analyze whether the content of the web meets the needs of the potential traveler by asking them so that they find it immediately on the web. If this is not the case, we must consider the structure and distribution of the contents
Loading speed as a fundamental factor of usability. We live in the society of immediacy –we need everything fast, and that influences our satisfaction. Google also values the loading speed as an SEO factor since it understands that the traveler demands it. Therefore, an option may be to analyze the loading speed of your website with the tool Page Speed tool offered by Google.
A product more competitive than the rest of the platforms where you appear. A common problem in many hotels is finding proposals that are more attractive or that offer better rates than theirs in other portals. Presenting opaque pricing strategies with interesting packages could be a hotel opportunity, as opposed to intermediaries who try to always obtain the best price and sell it better in terms of technique.