4 Key Strategies to Shift Bookings from OTA to Direct - Part 1
February 16, 2017 11:02am
As OTAs increasingly use aggressive marketing techniques, hoteliers are at risk of losing a significant share of their total reservations to third parties. Hoteliers often cite the digital media advertising budget strength of OTAs as the primary reason for this shift. While the advertising budget strength of OTAs is noteworthy, the truth is that a substantial portion of the OTAs market share growth has been driven by organic search traffic. Robust website technology combined with extensive research on conversion techniques drive this growth. In addition, OTAs do an excellent job of search engine marketing and email marketing. The surprising truth is that all these strategies are easily accessible to individual hotels, offering an immense opportunity to enhance direct revenue while lowering the cost of distribution. Milestone works with over 2000 independent hotels and brands to drive higher direct revenue and shift market share from OTAs and other third parties by using the same technologies that are deployed by larger travel websites. Here are first two top strategies that are most effective in driving direct business:
Hotels need to ensure that the website user experience and technology for search and conversion is on par or better than the technology deployed by large OTA sites. Some elements that can easily scale to hotel sites are:
Extensive use of structured data to mark up the content on your website leads to better indexing of content by search engines and hence a better ranking on search. Structured data is necessary for not only search engines but also Apple’s mapping engine and other major consumer channels. Having basic schemas such as your address information or your basic business information is not enough, hotels must mark up most of the content on the website to gain better optimization for voice search as well as the latest search algorithms. OTA sites were the first sites in the travel industry to deploy structured data and hence their great visibility in search.
Another key technique that OTAs deploy is constant A/B testing to enhance the user experience and conversion on the site. Milestone’s CMS has a conversion rate optimization module that allows hotels to conduct A/B testing using technology like that deployed on large, enterprise content management systems. A Milestone customer recovered $10,000 a month in revenue using this technology.
Effective use of revenue recovery technology on your website further enhances conversion and revenue generation. One key technique is to send email campaigns to customers who visited your site but didn’t book. OTAs are experts at persistently reaching out to customers who abandoned their website. Milestone’s CMS provides the necessary technology to allow our hotels to reach back out to the guests who didn’t book on their site.
2.Mobile AMP Site - Leapfrog OTAs and your competition on mobile with AMP
One of Google’s biggest initiatives of 2017 is to enhance the mobile experience using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Google found that 40% of visitors abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. AMP sites load 4x faster, in less than a second, and consume 10x less data. AMP sites offer a unique opportunity for hotels to provide a better user experience and visibility to their direct channel website. Milestone’s CMS is the world’s first hospitality industry CMS to enable AMP sites for our customers.
This series provides insights into four of the key strategies deployed by Milestone to increase direct bookings for our customers. Part two of the series will detail two more strategies that hotels can implement for immediate results. To get more details and deeper insights, please contact us at 1-866-615-2516 so that we can make the same shift happen on your properties.
milestone content management system,
accelerated mobile page,
milestone internet marketing,
Milestone is a leading provider of digital marketing software and services for hospitality, retail and finance. We provide a full range of solutions including website and mobile design, content creation, SEO, analytics and competitive intelligence. Our state-of-the-art technology and solutions drive revenue and ROI for clients across the globe. Over 2,000 companies world-wide do business with Milestone, including leading hotel chains, major retailers and financial services companies. Milestone has garnered over 300 awards and a reputation for blending outstanding design with advanced technological capabilities. Milestone is one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s fastest growing companies and is an Inc. 5000 company.
Contact: Angela Lyons
Milestone Enhances Local Events Publishing Platform with New Channels & Third-Party Site Compatibility
Milestone Launches "True" Mobile First Hotel Website Design
Milestone Shortlisted for Best SEO Software Suite, Best Search Software Tool, & Innovation in Analytics Software by Prestigious US Search Awards 2017
For the 4th Time, Milestone, Inc. Appears on the Inc. 5000 list, Ranking No. 4180 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 64%
How Can You Make the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing Plan in 2018?
Book the Date: Milestone Webinar on Keys to Planning Your 2018 Digital Marketing Budget
Only a Few Days Left to Register for Milestone’s Digital Marketing Conference
Milestone Announces New Intuitive Dashboard for Insights Software
Is Your Slow Hotel Website Costing You $100K Per Year or More?
Milestone Launches New Corporate Website
[Whitepaper] Recover Lost Website Revenue and Drive a Higher ROI Just Like the OTA’S Do
Milestone Continues Winning Streak with 9 Communicator Awards for Website Design
Milestone Announces Speakers, Agenda for 4th Annual Digital Marketing Conference, July 17-18
If You Missed It: Google Webinar on Monetizing the Customer Journey Now Available On Demand
Google Launches Local Events Search, Milestone is Right There with Them
Don't Miss Milestone and Google Webinar on Monetizing the Customer Journey by Optimizing Marketing Spend
Milestone Wins Multiple Platinum and Gold Hermes Creative Awards for Exceptional Web Design
ADA Conformity: It’s More Than Just Lawsuits
Save the Date: Milestone and Google to Host Webinar on Customer Journey, May 17 at 11:00am
New Milestone CMS Feature Returns $20 for Every $1 Spent
Please login or register to post a comment.