Hi, welcome to another Expert Insights discussion

Today we explore how connected marketing & revenue strategies are a powerful ecommerce combination, leveraging the hotels direct channel to drive direct bookings.

We dig into how powering up your hotel website and booking engine, aligning marketing efforts with revenue priorities and automating these strategies can truly increase conversion.

Finally looking at the value of consumer engagement and personalisation through better matched offerings.

To share their insights and bring this topic to life are:

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All of these thoughts and views are supported by 80 Days Hotel Marketing Trends report which highlights 11 key findings and Userguests RevMarketing Certification Course which is focused on higher conversions from your direct channel.

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Really hope you enjoy the conversation


Sam Weston
Quite interesting, because we talk about mobile first, and we talked about the importance of mobile and of course, it is absolutely important. A lot of people use mobile for information search to research their travel and their trip planning, but when it comes to booking, desktop is still by far the top producing channel – anywhere up to 60-65% of revenue. So really, when we come to recommend changes to websites and user experience on websites, it’s really about looking both at desktop and mobile, it’s not really a mobile first kind strategy.

Cristina Blaj
And one of the main challenge that you will see is, is actually pretty the most important one, I would say, with all the work that we put in to bring those users to the website, if we’re not communicating effectively with them, it’s very little that we’re going to, very few of them are we actually going to be able to flow through to our booking engine and that flow through ratio is one of the biggest challenges for hotels, was getting people from the website to the booking engine. Industry wide stats, you know, validate that, and they say that, on average between barely 10 to 20% of all the hotel’s traffic, really make it to the booking engine. Then you really have to accompany that booking process to make sure that you convert it as best as possible.

Sam Weston
Well, one of the first trends that we wanted to highlight really was images, everything, and it’s perhaps the probably the most obvious that we all read all day, I think is that 95% of guests now report that images and videos are the most important factors in their decision making process before actually making a booking, right? It’s pretty obvious that they want to see where they’re going to stay, right. But I mean, what we’re finding is that this, this idea of having high quality imagery, and high quality videography, and making sure that you’re updating and refreshing it, as you do your product, as you invest in your product and refurbish your product, is really important, now, more so than ever has been before.

Cristina Blaj
Such great work that attract users to your website through from social media, and we’ve seen how important social media profiles are really genuine opportunity to drive that conversion. And it’s really important to be able to drive consistency. So we’ve presented something in social media, we want to make sure that we translate all of that information, and that the user is able to easily find that information on our website. So the tracking is extremely important. So we can actually reproduce what they have seen on the social media, we can reproduce that right as they arrive to the website, we’re able to number one recognise them. That’s, you know, that’s kind of the first point of impression

Sam Weston
Trend we’re looking at really is the shape of search, right, and the kind of direction that is taking. And, yeah, it’s an interesting one. And it’s not necessarily, for want of a a better expression, the sexiest area of marketing, right? Because it’s been around since day one. We don’t talk about it, maybe as much as we could and should. And every now and again, I see this kind of headline clickbait headline of SEO is dead. And I look at the stat that you can maybe see here on screen, that in the last year over a third of revenue for a hotel website came from organic search. And I think well, I don’t think it’s dead yet, I think it’s very much an area of under development. And I think it’s when you actually look at it in conjunction with local search as well, which again, accounts for like another 10 10.5% of overall revenue to a website, you’re talking about 45% of overall website revenue to a hotel last year coming from some form of search engine optimization. So if you’re neglecting that, if you’re not looking at it, and investing in it as much as you maybe could or should, it is definitely a cause for concern, I would say

Cristina Blaj
Being able to detect their booking intention and that search behaviour that’s happening, that local aspect of it or where the user is actually located, and also look into that revenue priority that we’ve looked at. Let’s try and find that match of that of the intent and how we can influence these searches. So, a good example is things that you can do, you know, you can actually target specific offers to those people that are searching for specific things from a specific destination via a specific device. You could also target specific traffic sources. You could have dedicated landing pages. You know, if you want to direct them to a specific dedicated landing page but also, when you are taking in, you know the revenue component of it, you can see, well, where do I need to offer perhaps an incentive to stay longer, or I have this early bird you know, I have these specific periods that I really want people to book, if I have an incentive through a promo code, I can just put that in there.

WATCH NEXT (A few of our other videos)




00:00 Video Introduction
01:55 Guest introductions
03:32 Topics we’ll cover
04:02 Traffic and Conversion State of Play
09:07 Main Conversion Challenges – Common Struggles Hotels Face
13:10 Booking Behaviour Analysis
18:54 80 Days 11 Trends Report – Trend Example: Image is Everything
24:55 Client Example
26:14 How can we utilise image and social media in an ecommerce strategy
30:44 80 Days 11 Trends Report – Trend Example: The Shape of Search
33:36 New world of search – Search Generative Experience (SGE)
35:04 Illustrative example of SGE
37:58 Do you need to change approach to SEO
40:10 How to use booking intention and search behaviour
42:25 80 Days 11 Trends Report – Trend Example: Hunger Games
47:19 80 Days 11 Trends Report – Trend Example: Sustainability
52:27 Resources – RevMarketing Course, 80 Days Trend Report and Benchmarking
54:38 Summary and Final Thoughts
57:33 More videos and subscribe