Posted by RezNext Digital Marketing Team
You have your hotel’s website in place. You have even implemented different digital marketing practices such as search engine optimisation and pay-per-click campaigns to drive traffic to your website. However, your conversions are still low. Have you analysed what could be leading to the low ROI from your online campaigns? Here’s quick check list of things to do to optimise your online results.
Important questions to ask to improve direct booking revenue.
1. Do you have an analytics code built into your website?
Embedding an analytics code into the website is vital to track user behaviour and website performance. It shows how many people have visited your website, through what device and from which source. It also tells you how much time a person has spent on each page and where he has dropped out of the website. Thus, the hotelier can immediately pinpoint the issues that are leading to high bounce rates. If you still don’t have an analytics code embedded in your website, please ensure you do it as soon as possible.
2. Do you know which sections of your website attract customer attention?
Heat mapping of your website can tell you which sections on the webpages are attracting the attention of visitors. This is another way to identify if your content on the website is winning consumer mindshare or not. For instance, you have a 10% discount featured on your website, but are customers interested in it? Are they spending a long time to read and find out more about the promotion? If not, you need to change your offer. Can you find out what is the most popular room type on your website? Then you can build your packages around it. Heat maps are also a great way to figure out how you should arrange your content. Sections of the page that captures the most eyeballs should be reserved for important content – such as promotions and packages.
3. Is your website mobile responsive?
A major reason of the low performance of your website could be that your website is not mobile responsive. According to recent reports, India will have 651 million smartphones and 18.7 million tablets by 2019. In Tier 2 and 3 cities, where desktop/laptops have not made much in roads, people access internet on their mobiles. Hence, to cater to a large section of your target audience, it is compulsory that your website is responsive across devices.
4. Does your website tell a story?
Travellers today are experience seekers. Most of them are willing to pay more money if they are convinced of a great stay experience. So, does your website lure them into the kind of experience they seek? Do not showcase just a hotel on your website, narrate the experience. Imagery therefore becomes most important. Capture the sunset visible from the balcony of a guest room, the mouth-watering food served at your restaurant, the range of cocktails at the bar, the awesome ambiance of the lounge, a relaxing swim in the pool or a romantic dinner by it – and share this story with your audience.
5. Do you have relevant content on the website?
The next step after imagery is to weave the story through content. Your guests are not interested to know who founded the hotel or when it was built (of course it is useful for those who want to know and can be provided in a different section). What they want to know is why should they stay at your hotel? What’s unique about your hotel? What kind of room types and facilities are available at your hotel? How can the hotel make their stay memorable? Talk to them about how your rooms have the best of in-room amenities or how you can arrange an exclusive service – such as a bonfire or candle light dinner for your guests. Tell them about the specialty of the destination and how you can help them explore it better. If you are a business hotel talk to visitors about your conference and banquet facilities. Support your claims with guest reviews on the website to further convince visitors to book your hotel.
6. Most importantly, is booking on your website an easy process?
Merely adding a book now button on the website does not solve your challenge of conversion. Ensure that the booking process is simple. People today are used to e-commerce sites such as Flipkart and Amazon and like to shop multiple things at a go. Can your booking engine support multiple items being booked at one go? Are guests able to book multiple room types and services in one shot? Does your booking engine display packages or offer discounts to special guests with promo codes? The flexibility and user-friendliness of your booking engine will determine the rate of conversion through your website. Your booking engine should also be able to display the same look and feel as the rest of your website.
A carefully planned website with a guest-centric booking engine combined with effective digital marketing can immediately boost your direct bookings and also improve customer engagement.