Online travel agencies (OTAs) offer a great platform for independent, small and mid-sized hotels as well as larger hotel properties to reach a wider market. OTAs, as they are popularly known as, are a proven marketing channel to increase room bookings. It’s absolutely necessary for hotel owners to optimize OTA profile. While it’s common knowledge that these bring the need to manage various commission rates, hotel owners cannot deny their importance to increase visibility and keep the occupancy levels high. This is fairly the reason why hoteliers are seeking to improve OTA profiles.
So, how do you optimize an OTA profile? How can you implement an effective OTA hotel management strategy? Let’s take a quick look.
5 Tips to Improve OTA profiles for Hotel Owners
Having an impressive presence on OTAs such as Expedia or Booking.com can bring in a significant number of bookings for every hotel owner. Just as you would want your property to rank higher on search engines, OTAs also work around their own algorithms to rank your property on their site. Travelers are often inclined towards OTAs because they can find the best deals, read through reviews, and make bookings on the same platform.
Use these tips to optimize OTA performance for your hotel brand.
- Content and Design Management
You can increase a hotel’s OTA performance keeping these basics in mind. Content plays a key role to connect a guest to your hotel property. An incomplete hotel profile only shows an unprofessional approach. Photographs must be updated, clear, and indeed, attention-grabbing! The competition is tough and to ensure your property stands out, include professional videos and fill out minor details about your amenities. Things such as wifi and free parking are important to guests who set filters to obtain hotel information as per their chosen preferences. Pay attention to the details to increase the hotel’s OTA performance. OTAs prefer to rank complete profiles higher on their page.
- Reviews and Responses
Reviews are an important part of OTA profile optimization. What your guests say about you has a direct impact on other readers and new users. Smaller hotel properties in particular need to rely on their online presence. A hotel property with good number of reviews will attract more customers to sign up for their deals. Sites such as TripAdvisor make it easier for users to browse reviews of travelers who have stayed previously at the hotel property.. Ensure you respond to every kind of review to help increase your OTA ranking. Travelers who search hotel properties as per guest reviews will definitely land up on your hotel page.
- Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
Smaller hotel owners need not worry about managing huge marketing budgets. Pay-per-Click (PPC) lets you optimize your OTA profile and is suitable for independent hotel owners. Paid advertising cannot always be considered as a guarantee to increase hotel occupancy, but these will bring your profile right in front of travelers seeking properties such as yours. Every online travel agency may alter their internal ranking system. Always stay informed to optimize your strategies and increase online exposure.
- Room Inventory, Room Rates
Room availability and room rates – both can fluctuate with the changing seasons and mindsets of travelers. Managing rates on multiple channels can be an issue for hotel owners. A hotel management system integrated with a channel manager is necessary to ensure accurate hotel details are available with OTAs. A PMS with a channel manager gives the opportunity to use the pooled inventory system – room details are shared uniformly and updated in real-time and automatically. This is the most effective way to keep your OTA profile updated for high occupancy rate. Hotel properties that generate a larger revenue for OTAs often enjoy higher visibility.
- Work with Market Managers
Market managers will help you increase revenue and maintain your OTA profile. These are usually assigned by OTAs. Be in regular touch with managers and maintain a healthy rapport. Connect with them to understand the industry trends for your specific region, travel packages to be devised, advice related to paid advertising campaigns and more. Small-sized hotels will benefit largely by collaborating with experienced market managers.
It’s vital for every hotel owner to improve their OTA profile and increase their bookings online. Use these tips to optimize OTA performance for hotels and connect with maximum travelers online.