A surge in OTA fees has made accommodation owners rethink their booking strategies. Direct bookings provide a high ROI as it eliminates commission fees. Booking accommodation should be simple and straightforward, yet it is all too easy to commit mistakes that lead to the loss of a potential guest.
In this article we discuss savvy tips how to make your website boost your direct bookings:
- User Experience
Navigation, high-quality images, and video content all add to the overall experience of potential guests on your website. Most importantly, you need a smart booking engine that allows guests to check live rates, room availability for a specific date, and book in real-time. Visibility and proper placement are crucial when setting up a call-to-action booking button.
- Checking Out Rates
It is crucial to display real-time room rates on your website instead of offering a booking inquiry form, but it is also important to have the same prices on all platforms. Travelers opt to book with OTAs when they realize room rates on your website are more expensive. Guests often compare prices and disparity can affect the level of trust. A channel manager ensures you have the same rates across every channel you market accommodations.
- Mobile Optimization
It is now mandatory to make your website compatible with all devices. Most guests do their preliminary search using a mobile device. Boost direct booking conversions with a mobile-friendly website that includes strategically placed click-to-book buttons, maps, and directions.
- Secure Payments
Smart guests are vigilant when it comes to internet security. Many are hesitant to provide credit card details. Hoteliers and vacation rental owners would do well to choose a booking engine that offers a secure payment processing, PCI compliant.
- Quick and Easy Booking Process
Many small hotel and vacation rental owners lose potential guests when they ask for too much information. When customers have to fill out long, multi-step forms, the excitement to book subsides. A one-click booking process allows guests to see what is required and maximize the time the guest wants to book.
- Utilizing Analytics Tools
Pick a Booking Engine provider integrated with Google Analytics (e.g. Nuevah). Monitor website traffic as bounce rates can affect your SEO. Google Analytics can help you see where customers get stuck in their booking journey so you can make the necessary adjustments. Easier navigation, clear booking buttons, and valuable content will help decrease your bounce rate.