March 26, 2020

5 Tips to Maximize your Online Booking

With increasing competition in the hospitality sector, businesses are finding it harder to attract and retain customers, most guests now prefer to make their reservations online

which makes having a strong online presence very important for you to stay ahead of the competition. Your business website is the most important digital point of contact for your online customers, before a customer makes a reservation online they are likely to visit the website of your business to assess your validity. In order to increase your online bookings, it is important to improve your business online bookings and reservations as well as improving your business website because this is where you catch the customer's attention. Here are a few tips to maximize your online bookings.

1. Organizing Email Marketing Campaigns: Using a marketing CRM (customer relationship management) you can set up an email marketing campaign, it is advisable that your booking engine or website should have a marketing CRM built into it, send out links in your emails to your website or online booking page to your audience. The marketing CRM would help you track how many people visit your site or booking page and how many are actually booking, this way you can find out what the return on investment of your email marketing is.

2. Easy to find and to use: you need to ensure that your website and booking engine is SEO friendly, this would ensure that your business is easily found by future and current guests, an effective SEO strategy for your business would allow you to grab traffic based on search terms that people are using in the hospitality sector. getting your website found is one thing but making it easily accessible is another. It is crucial that you understand the needs of your guests in order to create a smooth transaction from being a potential guest to becoming an actual paying guest. Ensure you test your current system yourself, arrange a testing group and gather constructive feedback, this way you can figure out issues wrong with your system and improve the process which would lead to an increase in bookings.

3. Mobile Responsive: The one mistake business owners make is not making their website and online booking engine responsive. Guests nowadays are always searching for various hospitality services on their mobile phones, an average of 64% of guest’s conversion rates are carried out on smartphones in comparison to desktop conversion rates. Responsive web design is one of the best ways to improve and maximize your online presence, you need to ensure that your website and your online booking system looks good and is responsive on any device be it a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, this way your guests get the best experience and there would be an increase in your online bookings.

4. Grow your Social Media presence: Social Media is a terrific way to solidify and promote your brand or business and build a lasting relationship with current and potential guests. Post contents and images about your property, create your brand hashtag so it can be easily reached by guests, encourage guests to post and share photos about their experience with your business, reshare contents posted by guests, engage with your online community and carry out occasional giveaways and offers for your followers. Ensure that your social media page links to your website or booking engine. 

5. Invest in a Reliable PMS: A reliable property management system that has an integrated booking engine is a fantastic way to increase your direct bookings online, it also saves you the stress of setting up a booking engine if you don't already have one. This would not only help increase your direct online bookings but also increases your revenue by cutting out the third party like the OTA's, even though OTA's are a great way of getting your name out there it limits your revenue due to commission charges. With a reliable PMS you can easily track all your bookings in one place and it is an effective way to manage your hospitality business. 

If you are ready to take that next step and improve your online bookings then give Horeca Cloud a try. Horeca Cloud offers a complete set of PMS solutions that can help manage your business.