28 Jan How to continually optimize your hotel’s web results
Online marketing is difficult for hotels. Online travel agencies, search engines, meta search sites, review sites, etc. have revolutionized the way users travel, but for hotels, especially independents and small chains, establishing an online marketing strategy is quite complex.
To stay competitive you have to have a strong online presence and actively exploit it to generate more bookings, but this this can be a full time job in itself.
You also need to permanently monitor the results so as to optimize them while reducing cost.
Here are some marketing strategy methods you can follow for your hotel to continuously increase its earnings:
IMPROVE WEB CONVERSION
Conversion Rate Optimization (or “CRO”) is probably one of the most misunderstood of online marketing disciplines. Simply making changes and comparing web sites we can draw certain conclusions about what elements work better and generate more bookings than others.
If you’ve never done it before (and you probably haven’t) try to book a night at your hotel via Booking.com. Then, try to book the same room on your own website. Notice how Booking.com lets you find and book a room with just a few clicks and the filling in of little data.
This way you can find out what the shortcomings of your web page are, which processes need to be improved and how to make the booking process easier and improve your conversion rate.
With the few steps between the accommodation search and the booking confirmation, the booking process will become faster and the user will be less likely to make mistakes and become frustrated.
Once visitors have visited your web site you can insert a cookie on his computer that allows you target your ads only to those who looked for but didn’t book a room. You can display re-targeting ads in a variety of websites, including Facebook and various national newspapers. Incentives work very well for this type of advertising, here’s an example:
–“You looked at a standard room, book now and get a suite for the same price”
WEB PAGES OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE PHONES
The first step to take is to make sure your website is optimized for small screens. If a customer can not book at your website from their phone he’ll go to the OTA and make his reservation there.
A mobile website designed specifically for touch screen smartphones is ideal, but can be expensive, so first just make sure your current website works properly on the most popular devices (iPhones, iPads, popular Android phones like Samsung Galaxy).
Once you’ve optimized your website for mobile devices there are many strategies you can follow to get traffic. With the new improved Google Adwords campaigns you can now specifically target mobile device users within a specific area and at specific times of day.
ANALYSIS AND OPTIMIZATION
There is a lot of information on your website that can help you make marketing decisions and improve the performance of your online strategy.
One of the main “weapons” of hotels competing with OTAs is the phone. None of the big OTA’s want users to use the phone, their business model is based on clients making their reservations online rather than by phone.
The main problem with the phone lines has always been that you never knew which marketing channel led to the call. If the receiver of the you asked “how did you find us?” The customer seldom knew or remembered what triggered him to make the call. Today, thanks to technology and a relatively low price it is possible to trace phone calls and link them to web page visits, and in general it is very easy to set up.
A number of telephone numbers are set up and each is assigned a different platform, but all are redirected to the same number. This way, a different number appears on Facebook than on Twitter, even though both are redirected to the same number.
This allows you to see which platform generates the most phone calls and concentrate your efforts on the one that is most successful.