One of the biggest obstacles facing hotels is how to combat OTA vs. hotel direct bookings. It’s no secret that we’d all rather have our rooms full of direct bookings and bypass the middlemen that are OTAs.
If you want more direct bookings, it may be time to start learning from the OTAs. Here are some of the lessons you can take from them.
Make Things Easy
OTAs are easy to find, and they simplify the booking process. If you can do the same thing, chances are you’ll find that more guests will start booking through you directly.
Be sure to clearly lay out your promotions and packages so that visitors can easily see what they’re being offered.
Giving guests the chance to add on to their stay (the same way an OTA would) might be a bonus for them. Team up with local attractions, offer unique activities, and make them all bookable directly through your site. It will give you a leg up on the OTA competition.
Create Stellar Profiles
One of the reasons people like OTAs is because they can compare options easily. That’s why it’s critical you update your profile on each OTA regularly. Use eye-catching photographs, enticing descriptions, and unique offerings to intrigue guests.
While most guests are still likely to book through an OTA, you’d be surprised how a great profile can convert to direct bookings.
Get Mobile Ready
We already mentioned that a great OTA profile could drive traffic to your website for direct bookings. So make sure your website is ready for that traffic. Specifically, your mobile traffic.
Most shoppers today make decisions and purchases on mobile devices. To get the highest conversions, optimize your website for mobile consumption. It should be easy to navigate, beautiful, and simple to book.
When you’re competing against expertly designed OTA apps, putting your mobile website at the top of your to-do list is a must.
A huge draw of OTAs is the ability to read reviews. Shoppers love knowing what their peers think and often use reviews to make decisions.
Include some of your top reviews and testimonials on your website. Don’t give potential guests any reason to click away to read reviews. Put them right where they’re most likely to find them.
There’s a reason why OTAs have been so successful. Learning from them is an important step in finding out what guests like and how you can start catering to their needs. When you’re able to do that, you’ll start converting OTA lurkers into direct bookings. Not only does that keep a little extra money in your pocket, but it helps you make a more intimate connection with your guests.