Your Vanity Hotel Website: The Ultimate Direct Booking Channel
Competition is looming for hotels with the rise of other hospitality sites like Airbnb and VRBO. While those sites have increased in popularity, we're going to show you how to direct travelers right to your hotel's booking engine.
The ultimate goal of a hotelier is to get as many direct, commission-free bookings as possible. Travelers have many places to search for lodging such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Orbitz. Unfortunately, these booking channels come at a cost. While it's great that people are booking your hotel, it's best that they book directly. Not only do hoteliers have to compete with OTAs, but they must now compete with popular search engines.
According to Phocuswright, OTA online U.S. travel market share will reach 41% by 2020.
These trends show it's most likely that OTA referrals will always be part of your booking portfolio. However, it's possible to improve your revenue by attracting more travelers to direct booking channels.
Why do Hoteliers need a Vanity Website?
Nearly 42% of hoteliers we surveyed indicated that "about 50%" of their online bookings come from OTA channels. Hoteliers can save thousands of dollars when channeling a few percentage points of occupancy to their direct website. Vanity websites provide the opportunity to deliver the hotel's message and increase traveler engagement. With Vanity Sites, you can optimize traffic and engagement by providing the most up-to-date features on your site. This way, all travelers can navigate your site and booking process with ease.
What goes into Building a Vanity Website?
A successful vanity website attracts and converts the travelers that come to your website. Having the following features on your vanity site will help increase your hotel's visibility on big search engine sites like Google. They will also help improve the guest experience, which encourages booking. The better your hotel ranks, the more it will feature across the web.
- Present an Appealing Website - Including high-quality images of your hotel at the top of the webpage is a must. These images should be a combination of your hotel, its amenities, surrounding areas, and more.
- Provide Quality Written Content - Use your vanity site as a forum to show travelers why your hotel is unique and a right fit for their travels. This content should add value for potential guests and be optimized for maximum search engine visibility.
- Spotlight Call-to-Action Features - Add these features within your hotel vanity site to drive traffic and revenue to your site by increasing market share. Every hotel website should include a call, booking and directions button.
- Be ADA-Friendly - Your site should provide accessible functions that give users the ability to readjust the site to where they can best maneuver it. Don't forget to highlight accessible rooms on your vanity site.
- Include a Language Selector - Provide your guests with a feature that allows them to change your site's language to their preferred one for easier readability and engagement.
- Promote your Social Media - This can help build your hotel's online following and increase your direct bookings. Social media engagement can also improve the chances of return visits from your guests in the future.
Creating a successful hotel vanity website requires attention to detail. Each page should always be built with the intention to maximize conversion and user engagement. Not to mention, hoteliers should ensure that their hotel is responsive on all devices. By following these best practices, hoteliers can rely on a vanity website to increase their exposure and direct bookings.
If you're interested in having your hotel's very own direct booking channel, where you can track conversion stats, page views, and user analytics, get to know more about our Hotel Websites solution.
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