Does Your Website Tell Customers WHY They Should Book Directly ?
We were chatting with one freetobook customer this week who was alarmed at the growing number of rooms sold via booking.com rather than her own website and to make matters worse, a returning customer had re-booked using the OTA! With a few clicks all became clear. The property’s website was overly cluttered, out of date with offers from the Christmas holidays and it wasn’t clear there was an online booking facility.
Does your website tell potential customers WHY they should book directly with you? The OTA’s do a brilliant job at converting lookers to bookers. From the ‘last room, last chance’ popups in red lettering, they create a sense of urgency to drive through that final click to book.
It’s worth saying once again …
Place your BOOKING BUTTON on the top left hand side if you possibly can. Advertisers pay a premium for this ‘sweet spot’.
HIGHLIGHT to potential bookers that they will get the BEST POSSIBLE PRICE (with no commission) by booking on your website.
Add in fresh, positive reviews onto your front page. Update very regularly!
Other general website design tips to remember …
How well do other folk feel you are marketing your accommodation? Ask friends and business associates whose opinions you trust to spent time on your website. Their feedback may highlight some great new suggestions or angles.
Make your website look as professional as possible, it’s your number one marketing tool. It’s worth considering giving it a timely overhaul with the help of a website designer.
Beautiful images SELL. Refresh images of your property seasonally, there is nothing more off-putting than searching for a summer retreat only to find the main photos on the property’s website show a winter wonderland!
Write concise (less is more!), appealing copy about your property and what visitors can expect on arrival.
6 thoughts on “Does Your Website Tell Customers WHY They Should Book Directly ?”
We can legally give direct bookings a discount from OTA’s but we can’t advertise it. I always let guests know that if they had come direct they would have a discount, the ones that come back come direct. People think they are getting a deal with OTA’s but they aren’t. OTA’s are keeping the price of B&B’s artificially high, but how does one get that over.
You can use words like “Best rate guaranteed” or similar to show that potential customers will always get the best rate. The best rate can be the same rate but it will never be higher on your website. Also the use of promo codes to get repeat customers to book with you directly.
I was wondering about the advice to place the booking button on the top left hand side? Booking.com and others don’t have theres there etc.
I would be grateful for feedback regarding this advice and why you feel it works.
Its not essential to have it in the top left position but it is the first place your eye moves to on a page, it needs to fit in with your page design. The most important thing is making sure it is prominent and easy to see. If you look at the page you should easily be able to notice where to your availability and book.
About to launch a new fully interactive website, taking all your advice into account.
Hi, Thanks for your tips and suggestions regarding booking buttons and the like. We are only using Booking.com as our OTA – our website sits uncompleted and is possibly useless for the purpose of driving sales to our B&B. We are not as computer competent as we should be and are hesitant in using a channel manager. We are happy with our booking rate to date but a more even spread would be desirable – wish list! I know we need a prod moreso than our customers! Regards, Spencer