Written by Increase The Bookings 11/06/2020
Booking.com is a profitable channel when it’s listed correctly, and optimised by having your website primed to capture direct bookings from its viewing users. Booking.Com is the largest online travel agency in the world and will bring you an abundance of bookings when your property is professionally listed.
Use Booking.Com Promotional Tools
Become a booking.com preferred partner and use their promotions to maximise your sales and rankings.
Some of the promotions are included in their global marketing campaigns, and some are only available to account holders or genius members.
Booking.com will rank you higher, and give you the chance to join their preferred partner program (as mentioned above). This also enables you to maximise your direct bookings through the traffic that views your site before they book. (40% of Booking.com traffic will view a hotel’s website before they book).
Constantly monitor your pricing and adjust to current demand
Compete with your competition, and make sure that you are not only lowering your pricing, but you are also increasing it when demand allows. Booking.Com is more incentivised, review conscious, and will penalise hotels who don’t constantly accept room bookings through their platform.
Ensure you use the non-refundable option backed up with a 40% higher price that is fully refundable
If a customer knows that they aren’t going to cancel (apart from sudden emergencies), they will always look for the cheaper, non-refundable option. This option should be at least 40% lower than your refundable option, and it should be the same price that’s displayed on your hotel’s website. ( You should have an incentive on your website to capture non-commission direct bookings). Customers that are unsure, or don’t have the funds in their bank, will usually choose the refundable option even though it can be up to 40% more expensive. Many times you will find that the Booker was waiting for the other guests to chip in on the day of their arrival.
Always use the visibility booster function
The booking.com visibility booster function is a very clever tool. The one main drawback that it has is that you have to increase your commission to Bookings.Com, but in return, you will notice that you will have one of the highest booking rates in your area. Once your rooms are close to 84% occupied, is the time to increase your rates. This is what we call balancing the books.
To test the strength of Booking.Com visibility booster – run a marketing test without Visibility Booker being switched on. You’ll find that your bookings will drop by over 20%.
Use compelling photographs of your property
A picture paints a thousand words. Sometimes visual is more important than price. Many foreign travellers that visit hotels will book through comfort and luxury before price. If your images are poor and not optimised to the levels requested by Booking.Com will see your rankings drop dramatically, as will your pricing in your attempts to compete. Do not underestimate the power of your listed pictures.
Add as much detail as you can about your property
Customers want to know what is available to them inside and outside of your property and your local area. They want to know about national tourist attractions as well the Chinese or Indian Takeaway that’s only a stone throw from your front door.
The customer is always right! Right? When customers leave they have the power of the written word. Many hoteliers bury their heads in the dark when it comes to customer reviews. BIG MISTAKE! When customers write a good or bad review, it’s then the duty of the hotel (for the hotel’s sake), to respond and thank them for an awesome review, or to kiss ASS and make up for what did or didn’t go wrong. Your future guests love to read your interactions when it comes to good reviews, but they will take more time reading your reply to the not so good.
Optimise Your Property For Business Customers
Business travellers spend money, and they’re responsible for over 60% of traffic that goes through the doors of many hotels. They want a bar, quick food, quick check-in, and check-out, they like to be fussed over, or left alone, and they want to be recognised for what they are! Frequent Hotel Guests that aren’t scared to spend a bob or two.
Last but not least – make sure that you pay your monthly bill to Booking.Com. Otherwise, they will boot your listing off of their platform, and penalise your rankings on your hotel’s return.
Contact Increase The Bookings
We hope that the above helps you in your search for creating more direct room bookings through OTAs, metasearch engines, social media, walk ins, your hotel channel manager, hotel website, and direct room bookings via your own branded booking engine.
Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and make sure that your not too busy chasing bookings and forgetting about the most important thing – Your Hotel Guests!
Contact us and speak with one of our Marketing Specialists today about what we can do to increase your hotel’s direct room bookings. firstname.lastname@example.org