Independent hotel managers often face unique challenges when it comes to boosting direct bookings.
NB: This is an article from Directful
With the dominance of OTAs and branded properties, it can be tough for independent hotels to stand out and encourage guests to book direct.
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However, there are proven strategies that can empower independent hotels to enhance their online visibility, foster guest trust, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive an increase in direct bookings.
In the first part of this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 3 effective steps to elevate your independent hotel’s online reputation and supercharge those direct bookings. Let’s get started on the path to success!
Focus on your online visibility & boost it through reviews
Independent properties frequently struggle with visibility on OTAs and metasearch platforms. Additionally, establishing the same level of customer trust as established brands can be an uphill battle.
To address these issues, independent hotels should adopt strategies that optimize their websites, social media platforms and their presence on OTAs.
One of the most powerful strategies for independent hotels is to boost online visibility and cultivate guest trust through reviews. Your reputation profoundly influences guests’ decisions, underscoring the need to increase the volume of positive guest reviews. This not only elevates your ranking on platforms like TripAdvisor and OTAs, but also plays a pivotal role in guests’ booking choices.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to prominently showcase these reviews on your website and social media channels. This is especially vital considering that a substantial 80% of guests routinely check hotel websites before finalizing reservations on OTAs or other booking platforms. Additionally, more than 50% of individuals would never book a hotel that had zero reviews.
To boost the number of direct bookings through online reputation management, independent hotel managers should consider implementing the following steps:
Step #1: Proactive guest satisfaction monitoring and real-time feedback
Before diving into strategies for acquiring more positive reviews, it’s crucial for hotels to understand why they need to prioritize guest satisfaction. Research shows that over 35% of internet users may hesitate to book if they find more negative than positive reviews about a hotel online.
In fact, hotels risk losing up to 22% of bookings due to negative reviews, and this can soar to a 70% loss with multiple negative reviews on various platforms.