Increase direct bookings guide

Here is our guide to what to check when you are looking to increase direct bookings. Whether you want short, medium or long stay, leisure or corporate, the principals all remain the same.

1. Website

Make sure your website is secure (https://), it's easy to use, fast, mobile friendly for SEO and design and that communicates your what, where, who, how and why. Choose a website that you own and one you can edit when you need it. This means that fonts, colours, images and layout are under your control.

Pay attention to the experience how a user gets into the booking engine, whether it is seamless or not and if it still feels like your website, or indeed is within your website. This builds trust, which leads to conversion.

 

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2. booking engine 

Choose a booking engine for your website that fits your business model. If you are a hotel with rooms, you want to be able to show different rate choices and sell extras. If you have apartments then you need to show how many rooms, bathrooms, size and layout.

For vacation rentals you need to show that each rental and it's key information at the choice stage, rather than a hotel where you would pick from and rate choices in a property. 

 

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3. Digital Marketing 

Use a combination of digital marketing services to bring more traffic and potential guests or customers to your website to increase direct bookings. The aim is to convert the visitors into reservations and enquiries. Pay-per-click advertising, Facebook & Instagram, referral websites, new relevant content, more inbound links, mobile led search engine optimisation – all contribute. On conversion, looking at Google Analytics, Hotjar videos to see how users interact with the website and booking engine help. A/B testing can also help in making decisions for converting more website visitors to bookers.

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4. best deals direct 

Use promo codes and corporate codes to give better rates and deals direct. Guests want a great deal, so shaping your marketing to show how good the value is and what a good deal the rate or package is helps revenue.

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5. Parity (or better!)

Parity extends beyond rates, to availability, content and policies. Offering the best booking policy, cancellation policy, choice or rates, deals, or packages, pictures of the properties rooms, living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms and exteriors – all plays a part in having the best direct offering.

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6. Calls to action

Google favours two calls to action in modern design. Pick which two you are most focused on for each page, such as ‘check availability’ or ‘enquire’. Other options are chat now via a chat box, contact forms, book now, click a phone number. One or two calls to actions is the ideal amount per page, so be really sure what you want website visitors to do.

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