Changes in traveler booking behavior and innovations in technology are opening up new digital channels for driving direct hotel bookings. Which means that if you’re a hotelier, now is a great time to tap into your entrepreneurial spirit, take advantage of new enabling technologies, and take back the reigns of your distribution strategy.
In other words, now’s the time to get onboard with the digital revolution and get online to drive direct bookings. To inspire hoteliers to take this leap, this year’s trivago Awards will feature a new category: the trivago Awards for Direct Bookings.
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About the trivago Awards for Direct Bookings
The trivago Awards for Direct Bookings were created to recognize the hotels leading the hotel-technology adoption movement. These forward-looking hoteliers are not only driving the most direct business to their properties through trivago, they’re also demonstrating to all hotel owners and managers that embracing technology is the best — and only — way for a hotel to move forward into the irrevocably digital future of the industry.
Read on below for a step-by-step look at how hotels are using technology to drive direct bookings on trivago.
Step 1: Appearing (and standing out!) in trivago search results
Having a strong online presence on trivago is the first step in driving direct bookers from the metasearch site to a hotel website. This all comes down to having a unique and attractive profile filled with high-quality content.
Essential hotel technology for step: trivago Business Studio
This easy-to-use metasearch marketing platform enables hoteliers to claim their trivago profiles and build them up with high-quality images, accurate details, and engaging descriptions. It’s also free. Log in or create your free account here.
Step 2: Promoting your property’s direct website rates on trivago
Once the hotel profile is in place and performing well, the next step is for the hotel to publish its website rates on trivago with Rate Connect. These rates appear as a link on trivago, and when travelers click on them, they’re sent on to the hotel’s website to complete their booking.
Essential hotel technology for this step: a booking engine integrated with trivago, plus Rate Connect (an app accessible in trivago Business Studio)
A booking engine is technology for processing hotel bookings online, and Rate Connect is the tool that enables hoteliers to link their booking engine to trivago. Hoteliers with both can then promote their direct rates on trivago with a simple and cost-effective CPC campaign.
Because there needs to be a technical integration between trivago and the hotel’s booking page, the hotels that run Rate Connect campaigns use booking engines provided by technical partners that work with trivago.
Step 3: Creating an optimized conversion funnel
Note: this step does not take place on trivago. The traveler leaves trivago the moment they click on the hotel’s website rate. So, while the trivago profile and website rates convinced the traveler to initiate the booking process, it’s now up to the hotel’s online booking page to convince them to complete the booking process.
There are many dos and don’ts a hotel should consider during this step. They’re all listed and described (along with important information regarding all stages of the direct booking journey) in “Top 12 Tips to Get Direct Bookings with Rate Connect.”
Essential hotel technology for this step: a booking page optimized for conversion
And the more optimized the booking experience, the higher the success rate of booking conversion. Read about how to increase a hotel’s website conversion rate here.
Step 4: Keeping content and rates up to date, always
Much like strengthening a hotel’s online presence, optimizing the direct booking journey is not a one-off activity. Regularly checking in on the hotel profile, enhancing its content and visibility, updating the promoted rates, and improving the entire journey whenever possible is an important step in driving direct bookings online.
Extra tip for driving direct bookings online:
Provide a positive guest experience offline
A positive guest experience translates into a positive online reputation, which can, in turn, translate into more online bookings.
And when a guest thoroughly enjoys their stay, the hotel has a golden opportunity to convert that guest into a loyal, repeat customer and direct booker.
Essential hotel technology for this step: a property management system
A property management system, especially when it’s cloud-based, enables the hotelier to streamline and automate their day-to-day operations and spend more time and energy focusing on the guest experience. Read more about this piece of hotel technology here.
Readers can find more information on important hotel technology in “The Beginner’s Guide to Basic (but Essential) Hotel Technology” and more insights into driving direct bookings on trivago’s metasearch site in “Good News for Hotels: The Direct Booking Journey Moves to Meta.”
Claim your property’s trivago profile today.