#1 Pick the right OTAs
The need for B&Bs, hotels and holiday homes to be present on OTAs is undisputed. Tap into the marketing expertise of large OTAs like Booking.com, Airbnb and Expedia. With them, you can easily reach lots of international guests, as these websites are well-known across the world and come in many languages. Smaller local OTAs, like Voordeeluitjes.nl and Logeren in Vlaanderen Vakantieland for example, often focus on local tourism and are great at reaching travellers looking for a specific experience, accommodation type or region.
Choose the right mix of OTAs that match your accommodation and target audience. They give your visibility a major boost and cause your own website to generate more visitors as well thanks to the billboard effect. To help your position on OTAs, try to keep your profiles updated at all times and gather as many guest reviews as you can. The Channel Manager included in our Bookingplanner package allows you to efficiently manage your rates and availability on all connected channels.
#2 Add your accommodation to metasearch platforms
In the search for an accommodation, travellers often turn to metasearch platforms, where they can easily compare the prices on different booking channels. Some of the most popular ones are Trivago and TripAdvisor. In exchange for leading people to booking channels, metasearch engines usually charge a cost per click or booking. You can also choose to advertise your accommodation and direct booking channel on these websites for even greater visibility.
Google Hotel Search is also one of the most important metasearch engines, as Google leads travellers automatically to this platform after they’ve launched a hotel-related search. The only thing you need is a Google Business page in order to show up in the search results. Be sure to read our previous article about Google Hotel Search if you want to get the most out of this platform.
#3 Invest in a good professional website
Studies show that travellers do extensive online research and visit multiple websites before booking their trip. After finding an interesting accommodation on an OTA, they often switch to the official website. If they can’t find yours at this moment, you’re likely to lose potential customers or pay commission when they choose to book indirectly.
In case you don’t have one yet, invest in a professional, user-friendly website for your B&B, holiday home or hotel. It will increase your credibility and persuade visitors to book. Of course, you’ll need an integrated booking module as well. Our commission-free Booking Engine is carefully designed to increase your direct bookings, thanks to eye-catching buttons and the Ratebox price comparison tool. Not sure where to start on your new website? We also offer easy-to-maintain template websites.
#4 Improve your findability on Google
Of course you want to attract as many website visitors as possible. Improve your website’s ranking in the organic search results on Google by using SEO techniques (Search Engine Optimisation). If you want to appear on top of the search results, you can also advertise your website on Google with SEA (Search Engine Advertising). It doesn’t always have to be expensive: start with small budgets and see what works for your accommodation.
Do you have a free Google Business Profile yet? If not, definitely create one for your accommodation. That way, it will show up in the search results on Google Search as well as Google Maps. Complete your profile with the right information and lots of inviting photos. Clients can also leave reviews, which will further improve your findability.
#5 Communicate regularly on social media
Are you active on the most popular social media channels among your target group(s)? They’re an important source of inspiration for travellers! Use these channels to promote special offers or events and share interesting updates about your accommodation. You can also opt for targeted social ads to reach more people.
To maintain a professional image, post regularly, stick to your branding and use high-quality photos. Make sure your guests can easily find you and tag you in their posts. Engage your potential clients and loyal guests with the right content: questions, polls, contests, giveaways, … The better your engagement, the more prominent your posts will appear in followers’ feeds. Speaking of engaging, don’t forget to reply to reviews you receive on Facebook.
Further questions? Feel free to contact us!
With Bookingplanner All-in-one, you can connect with all must-have OTAs and metasearch engines to maximise your online visibility. Would you like more information or try out Bookingplanner for free? Fill in the contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!