Online travel agencies – or OTAs – are an excellent place for hotels of all kinds to promote their brand and share their products and services. The statistics on OTAs speak for themselves; Priceline sells more than two million bed nights per month, and TripAdvisor receives over 315 million monthly unique visitors.
If your hotel appears on any of the most popular OTAs, you automatically grow your base of potential clients. You should be complementing any digital marketing strategy with some optimization of your OTAs so that you can be found in searches when people start looking for rooms online. Here are some ways you can update and optimize your presence on OTAs.
Fill out your entire OTA profile
Online travel agencies know that travelers visit their sites to find relevant information about accommodations that fit their exact needs. Fully completed profiles are more likely to rank well in travelers’ searches.
Include the history of your hotel, current rates, room availability, and any other information that the platform might require or that you think would help round out your profile.
Don’t forget to add your website to the page so you can increase the likelihood that travelers click the link and book with you directly. This practice will allow you to save the commission fee that the OTA takes and enables you to provide more personalized services for your guests.
Establish relationships with marketing directors at the OTAs
The relationship between hotels and OTAs is mutual; you need them to promote your hotel, and they need you to continue growing and increasing their revenue. With this fact in mind, it is essential that you create a strategy to get to know the marketing directors within each online agency. As you become more familiar with their brand, you can leverage the partnership and come to agreements that benefit both parties.
Optimize your profile with high quality images
In 1990, Kye-Sung Chon published a fascinating study that looked at how a photo of a tourist destination could influence a traveler’s decisionmaking about their trip. The conclusions of this study were unsurprising, since an image says more than 1000 words and strongly affects our emotions.
Based on this study, you should use high quality imagery to delight travelers who are searching for destinations on OTAs.
Don’t forget about SEO
When talking about optimization of OTAs, we shouldn’t forget about other positioning strategies. OTAs use a similar algorithm to Google or other search engines when they classify search results. You should be using SEO strategies within the platform to help boost your results. Some examples of SEO best practices include using high traffic keywords and optimized images.
Find a way to make your content available in as many languages as possible. This step will allow you to receive higher international exposure and will improve your chances of being found for many different searches.
This simple optimization will help you rise above the competition. Remember that these OTAs invest millions of dollars in marketing and that a large portion of travelers worldwide visit these travel sites to find the best room offers. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste!
When you start to promote your hotel on multiple OTAs, you should make sure the information you share on each platform is consistent.
Review your profiles to make sure each one contains the same information, benefits, discounts, and most importantly, prices. This last point is crucial; double check that you don’t have any rate disparities across sites, as these could hurt your reputation and your direct bookings.
You might also be interested in reading: Here’s why you need to pay attention to rate disparities