New year, new direct booking updates!

Direct bookings save you commission, time and are three times less likely to cancel than bookings made through an OTA. As always, freetobook has your back – our new SearchPro upgrade can increase your direct bookings by up to 40%! Here are our top tips to make the most of your free SearchPro upgrade and maximise your direct bookings:

1.Customise your booking page

Your business is unique – your booking page should be too! Head over to your My Direct Booking page and select icons to appear which reflect the amenities you offer, such as wifi and breakfast. Replacing text with icons optimises your booking page, making it super clear to your guests the benefits you offer.

2.Reward booking direct:

Special offers are a brilliant way to incentivise and reward your guests for booking direct. Always make sure that you offer the best deal on your own                  website, even if that is the same as rates offered elsewhere – don’t miss out on direct bookings because OTAs are offering a better deal! We have a selection of Book Direct Images, try one or design your own – displaying a neat “Best Price Guarantee” sticker on your website will go a long way to increasing your direct bookings.

Using Promo codes is a more selective way to reward booking direct; the customer needs to know the promo code. Your offer can vary from a complementary drink on arrival to a discount – get creative! Your guests will feel special and rewarded and will likely mention it in their review, encouraging future guests to book direct when they hear about the benefits!

Providing a non-refundable special offer booking option for your guests ensures that they are getting a great value deal, and you are reducing your cancellations and securing guaranteed income – it’s a win-win!

3.Review your cancellation policy

Take some time to review your cancellation policy – always make sure that your cancellation policy is equal to or better than the OTA offer! This is another way to show that booking direct offers the best deal.

4.Website check up

The new year is a perfect time to review your website and optimise it to increase your direct bookings:

  • Update your content – is all the information still accurate? Do you provide information on local attractions and events?
  • Good quality, professional pictures of your property are important in showcasing your business and are worth investing in.
  • Is your website mobile responsive? 27% of accommodation bookings are made via mobile – your booking page is responsive; your website should be too!
  • Is your ‘Book Now’ button visible and in more places than just your homepage? Quick and easy ability to ‘Book Now’ will help increase your direct bookings

Stay tuned for tips and advice throughout 2018 – we will soon be hosting our first webinar where we will guide you through the ins and outs of SearchPro via live video, keep an eye on our social media and emails for more details!

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8 thoughts on “Maximum Direct Bookings 2018

  1. The problem with all these tips – people have to open our website first. Unfortunately is always at the top of the rankings even if a person puts the name of our b&b into Google. How do we get over that one??

    1. Yes its a good point, they do hijack your name. The best thing for now is to maximise the customers that do get your site while we all work on solutions to get more trafic to it without high costs.

      1. Very much looking forward to hearing your plans Craig, if you have any to share. We certainly empathise in that the only reason we use at all is because they have built a ‘legal online monopoly’ by spending millions on SEO activities which we simply cannot compete with.

    2. As a web author looking after some 100 guest accommodation web site, this is difficult and booking agents may well pay much to search engine companies. It might help to place in your “Meta Description” (in the head of your web page somethig like “Book direct for discount”. This may not improve your ranking, but it may show up in a search engine query. hope this helps.

  2. foi muito boa a licao de casa, muito obrigada, vou querer fazer no meu site, atenciosamente bernadete.hospedagem navegantes.

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