5 Key Elements to Rank Higher on OTAs and Increase Bookings

Selling more on OTAs can be counterproductive for some, but unless you are a well-established brand already, it's hard for you to match up the big marketing budgets of the OTAs to acquire traffic. While they may still take away the cherry on the cake, OTAs can help you a to expand your reach, increase your online visibility and ultimately gather more revenue.

Here are a few ways to increase your bookings on OTA and grow your brand awareness.

OTA increase your bookings

- HIGH QUALITY PICTURES AND VIDEOS

Everything on the internet is judged by its cover. The same goes for your hotel rooms. The first thing that captures users' attention on the OTAs are the pictures of your property. The quality of your pictures determines if the users will scroll the details further or not. Offer the users high-quality pictures taken by professionals. Video tours of your hotel showcasing the distinguished services of your hotels allows your users to have a look at your cozy and comfortable settings. Cover special attractions of your property, also include nearby tourist spots which could please the users. The key here is to entice their senses and appeal to their imagination.

- REGULARY UPDATE YOUR CONTENT

Once your enticing pictures are set, line up beautiful & useful descriptions to charm your users. You can select any type of descriptions. Be it short paragraphs or bullet points, just make them specific to the minutest details. Mention all the facilities you provide in detail and highlight anything that you offer for free. It could be free parking on the premises, free breakfast or complimentary dinner. People love freebies, and this will make you more visible in those particular tags. If the amenities you provide have been upgraded, update the information immediately across all your OTAs. If you have expanded your property, renovated your space or redecorated your complete hotel, let the world know about it. Show the best of your property online and create lasting impressions on the minds of your users.

- ENSURE RATE PARITY

Simply put, rate parity is a legal agreement between a hotel and the OTAs to provide the same rates for the same room across all the distribution channels. Hotels which ensure rate parity are rewarded by the OTAs in form of higher rankings. Updating all your reservations and rates across all the OTAs one by one can be a long-winded and wearisome task. A channel manager can help you manage all your channels very efficiently. You only have to update the rates at one place and the channel manager will update it across all your channels in real time. You can also take advantage of the Rate management system, in which the rates of your rooms go up after a definite number of bookings are made. This will boost your revenues, along with maintaining rate parity across your channels.

- SPECIAL SEASONS STRATEGIES

While they take away a huge part of your profits, OTAs offer you a huge exposure all over the world. OTAs are often the first place where people will come across your hotel. To increase the number of these first timers, provide exclusive deals and offers to the guests. Offer limited time period offer to create a sense of urgency in the minds of people. Set attractive packages for special festivals and seasons. Tie up with your local tourist department and offer appealing combo deals. Don't just sell rooms, offer your guests a complete holiday package, offer experiences and a chance of creating memories.

- SHOW OFF YOUR REVIEW STARS

One can never overstate the importance of reviews for your business. Reviews can increase your hotel rankings to a very good extent. Moreover, no matter what you say about your rooms and services, what people say about them will be more influencing. Request and encourage people to provide reviews for you. This will ensure that you have a huge quantity of reviews which will in turn increase your online visibility. Make sure to promote your good reviews on social media. It is equally important to answer both positive and negative reviews in 24 hours or 48 hours time frame. This shows that you actually care about your guests. Reply to positive reviews with gratitude and negative reviews with tact. This will increase your social presence and add value to your brand.

Growing your exposure on OTAs and ranking higher with them will bring in many long-term benefits for you. You can convert your OTA guests to direct bookings by offering them attractive offers, to book directly with you. You can also inform them about the perks of direct booking with you. Attractive loyalty programs can also encourage direct bookings. Both have their own times of glory, the key is to maintain a balance between both.

PURE ITES is a hospitality solutions provider. We provide advanced hospitality solutions for through and productivity oriented hospitality management.

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