3 Ways Hotel Owners Are Handing Cash To OTA’s
It’s probably your fault! Online Travel Agents are getting your business
Over the last week, we have been reviewing dozens and dozens of Accommodation Providers websites and have uncovered that a vast majority of the time it is the businesses fault that people leave and then book directly with an Online Travel Agent.
Here are the top reasons we uncovered this week:
Poor Call to Action Buttons
Most websites use the ‘Book Now’ in their top fold. This is a big commitment request that visitors may not be ready for.
There are lots of ways you could change this but let’s just consider two:
- ‘Find My Perfect Dates’
- ‘Show me the best rates’
Both of these tap into the ‘Voice of the Customer’ and refers to what they are potentially looking for.
Wordstream have some excellent research on this and the impact it can have on click-through rates.
They both start with a verb that promotes the person to act.
What these are not doing at this point is asking them to take a significant commitment of booking, because we are we are not at that stage.
If you don’t fancy these, at least go for ‘Check Availability.’
No Appealing Persuasive Text
Most of the sites we visited want to talk all about themselves!
In fact, they splash a huge photo on the front with their name.
Have a look at Expedia or Booking.Com look at how they lay out the home page. Here is what I found on their homepage:
The headline is:
‘Find Deals for any Season.’
Underneath that you have:
‘Subscribe to see Secret Deals’
Below that box you have
‘Refer a friend to Booking.com, and you both earn a cash reward!’
with a call to action of ‘Begin Earning.’
On the right-hand side, it is all about inspiration and view ‘deals’ Hoteliers and anyone who provides accommodation needs to write they’re website from the visitors’ perspective.
Take a moment to absorb who that language is written towards and what it is doing?
The format should be:
Headline: Interrupts – Captures that attention
Sub-headline: Engages – Pulls them in further
Educate: Tells them a little about your place and why they would want to stop there.
Call To Action: Begins with a verb and asks for just a small step
For maximum effect, you need to know who your ‘Perfect Guest’ is.
➭ Who stays at your Accommodation the most?
➭ Who spends the most?
➭ Who has the highest lifetime value?
Find this data out and then start to look at them more deeply:
☑️ Demographics Behaviours
How do you get this information?
You can get it from surveys and data from your PMS or Channel Manager.
If you don’t have a data source, you can guess and then refine it later.
I know we’ve spoken about this in the past, but this week it became evident that there are so many old websites.
Built a while ago and then left.
I guess a lot of Hoteliers think that a website once built can be left.
You need to think of it more like your actual Hotel.
Just like you would refresh and re-decorate every so often, you need to do the same with your website.
Potential Guests see your site as a direct reflection on your actual building. If your site is old fashion and dated, they will ‘feel’ like your hotel is!
You might have some amazing images on which may help with damage limitation but why portray your business in this way?
Raise your standards. ‼️
Targeted Landing Pages
Most if not all the sites we visit are trying to appeal to all the people all the time and those not appealing to anyone.
The pushback we get a lot of is “I don’t want to isolate anyone” that’s fine, and we get this.
Is it better to get 10% of a range of guest profiles or dominate one type of guest?
Think about Saga Hotels for example or Cbeebies Hotel launched by Alton Towers.
If you insist on keeping your website as a brochure site, then the way around this is to build separate landing pages for your different guests.
Combine this tailored landing page with an advert on Facebook or send a link to an email segment of your database.
If they land on something that talks to them, in their language and appeals to their wants, what are the chances of them booking?
Hotel Marketing News This Week
Expedia is now the major shareholder in ALICE
Originally Posted on Techcrunch 30th August
Alice is a tech start-up being driven by Expedia and offers a system to run hotels on a single platform
ALICE has now had two rounds of funding and has raised 39 million dollars’ worth of funding in total
The funding will help to hire a team of experts across all departments. Team will expand from around 27 to 40
A spokesperson for Expedia said “it is time for the internet to grow beyond revolutionising how our hotel partners market and distribute their products into how they work and treat their guests,”
John Kim, Expedia Group chief product officer “The software solves major hotelier operational pain points, and it’s easy to see how they can save hoteliers money and working hours. Alice puts the entire hotel operating system into the palm of a consumer’s hands through their own devices.”
Digital Marketer gains Facebook Advertising Insights from Advertising Experts
Originally Posted on August 25th at Digital Marketer
Facebook advertising is one of the key channels businesses big and small are using to drive revenue.
In this short video, you see advertising experts from companies like Uber and Infusionsoft talk about why they are so excited about Facebook Advertising.
In the second video on the blog, they go on to explain 6 tactics you can deploy.
Google expands hotel and flight price finding tools
Originally Posted on 30th August CNET
Google has announced it is introducing new tools to help travellers save money. The new features will help people to find cheaper flights and hotels. Smart features like find the cheapest date to reserve a hotel and price trends.
CNET noted that these changes would position Google more as a competitor to the likes of Expedia, Kayak and Tripadvisor.