As a hotelier, have you ever wondered why one property ranks higher than your own hotel in booking sites? Hotel rankings on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) is often a puzzling question for hotel revenue and channel managers. There’s no clear reason why ranking differs and it also differs per booking site. Each channel will also have its own criteria for hotel rankings and would also change frequently, making it challenging for experts.

It is hard to determine the algorithm for hotel rankings but knowing the revenue impact is beneficial for every hotel. According to booking.com, they often estimate that 80-90% of converted bookings are from the 1st two pages alone of the listings. One factor that doesn’t change for OTAs is the conversion rate. If the hotel gets more bookings, it would rank higher compared to other properties. Most OTAs want their guests to find their perfect place and to find it as quickly as possible. In order to get an edge on these websites, your hotel should consider these tips on how to get the best results and increase your bookings quickly. 

 

5 Expert Tips on Improving OTA Hotel Rankings

1. Manage hotel reputation

OTAs expect hotels to have consistent on-property experiences as what they promote on their listings. Therefore promoting properties with better reputations and reviews to their customers. Hoteliers should then pay attention to ratings and reviews as this can affect hotel revenues directly. 

It is important to monitor reputation across all OTAs and social media channels, watching out for negative reviews. Be prepared with crisis management communications in case things get out of control. Reputation is the most valuable asset for the hotel as this will boost up your rankings on OTA sites. 

 

2. Be proactive in getting more reviews

As mentioned above, building the hotel’s reputation can be done through having good reviews. Don’t wait for reviews to come from guests but be proactive in giving them incentives in creating reviews for your hotel. While your guest is still at the property, it’s best to solicit feedback and reviews during this time and increases the likelihood for submitting. 

The hotel can train their hotel staff in asking for their guest feedback upon checkout, leave feedback reminders inside the room or at the front desk. Providing a small token of appreciation for leaving guest reviews will also be a good incentive for them such as a $5 breakfast voucher for their next visit. 

 

3. Refresh your OTA listing content 

Once your hotel has been listed across OTAs, the hotelier should evaluate the effectiveness of the communication for both description and photos used. According to Expedia, full room and property descriptions increase conversions by 5% and doubling the number of photos can increase booking rate by 4.5%.

The profile that you create should also be optimized for each OTA as they would have their own specific requirements. First, identify areas for improvement such as the communication messaging in the description. This can be tweaked to promote the key specialty of the property and the unique points. At the same time, evaluating the photos of the current listings will also be beneficial in improving the hotel’s ranking. Having high-quality and more photos will give guests a clearer picture on what to expect from your hotel. 

 

4. Maintain rate parity

Some OTAs offer loyalty discounts for better rates given to them. But in the long run, this will backfire on the hotel for listings on the other OTAs. OTAs will punish hotels for breaching rate agreements by lowering down their rankings and results. 

It’s best to follow OTA agreements and maintain the same rates for all OTA sites to avoid affecting your ranking results. This will in effect, improve your visibility and increase hotel bookings. 

 

5. Manage your OTA channels 

Once you have established your hotel on the selected OTAs, the next step is to have a proper channel management to push hotel inventory to the OTAs best suited for the property. This can be done once you have insight on the revenue data across the channels. This information will allow you to prioritize high-converting OTAs through better hotel inventory and rates. 

For independent hotels, it is recommended to invest in a Channel Manager to connect the property across all OTAs. This will give you more visibility for the hotel and manage all listings in just one platform. Using a Channel Manager as well is beneficial as most have established relationships with key OTA players in the market. Giving the property an edge on improved visibility and higher rankings, leading to increased bookings in the long run. 

 

ZEN eManager: The Complete All-in-One Solution in Increasing Visibility on OTAs  

ZEN eManager is a digital  all-in-one solution that allows full management of hotel listings across all online travel agencies (OTAs), monitoring of hotel operations real-time, and sending of automated guest reminders through its cutting-edge cloud-based hotel software, eZee Absolute (Property Management System) and eZee Centrix (Channel Manager). To ensure optimal pricing and maximum profits for your hotel, it includes a dedicated revenue manager straight from ZEN HQ. 

ZEN eManager’s Property Management System gives a 360° view of hotel operations, in which current occupancy rate, on-site staff, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) can be accessed through the mobile app, or any internet-enabled gadget. It also sends automated guest reminders which keeps guests engaged and increases assurance that your hotel is safe and secure. ZEN eManager’s Channel Manager allows hoteliers to monitor cancellations, re-bookings, and no-shows real-time, in which they can easily adjust room availability in any OTA anytime and anywhere, in one dashboard. 

A dedicated revenue manager straight from ZEN headquarters is also assigned to the property to ensure that rates are optimal. 

 

Book a free demo now at: http://www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting/

Most hoteliers have struggled during this global crisis especially in finding the right balance for optimal revenues at minimal expenses. With even some, opting to focus on sustaining their business through direct bookings and loyal guests rather than with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Hoteliers fear that OTA commissions are costly for their business as they can reach up to 25% of each hotel booking. 

However, OTAs contribute to 2/3rd of hotel online bookings. It would be difficult to get more bookings during this pandemic without having OTA connections. Maintaining OTA relationships will not only benefit your hotel with more revenues but also an increased audience reach for your hotel. 

 

3 Reasons To Continue Partnerships with OTAs in 2020

1. Wider reach

During this pandemic, travel has become limited and hoteliers therefore need to reach a new target segment to attain more bookings. The behavior for travelers is to first check OTAs first before searching for individual hotel pages. OTAs make the hotel search experience easier for users,  the option to compare hotel rates and give complete hotel information. Some OTAs have a worldwide audience which increases the chances of visibility and bookings for independent hotels.

 

2. Cost-effective marketing 

If the hotel has a limited budget for marketing, partnering with OTAs is a good alternative. They have bigger budgets for their own marketing initiatives that can help boost bookings. Every year, OTAs spend millions to attract consumers from around the world to their platforms. Their investment in online traditional marketing channels helps hotels to engage travelers they can’t afford to reach.

 

3. Trusted by travelers 

According to Phocuswright’s survey, 34% of guests trust OTAs as their number one booking platform more than other booking channels. In fact, most hotel guests are even used to booking their travels through these platforms.  OTAs are also known to use popular celebrities in their marketing campaigns, thus gaining the trust of millions of guests worldwide. 

 

ZEN eManager: An All-in-one Solution in Boosting Sales and Operations

ZEN eManager is an all-in-one solution that helps hoteliers manage OTA listings, get optimal room rates, and have increased visibility. 

 

ZEN eManager includes: 

An exclusive listing on zenrooms.com: ZEN Hospitality Solutions is a trusted brand, with its own Online Travel Agency (OTA) zenrooms.com obtaining up to 1 million monthly website visits. This OTA is exclusive to ZEN hotel partners only to maintain the level of quality of service offered to guests. 

 

ZEN eManager also comes with: 

Two cloud-based hotel softwares: ZEN eManager has both eZee Centrix Channel Manager to allow hoteliers to monitor cancellations, re-bookings, and no-shows real-time, in which they can easily adjust room availability in any OTA anytime and anywhere, in one dashboard and eZee Absolute PMS to give a 360° view of hotel operations, in which current occupancy rate, on-site staff, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) can be accessed through the mobile app, or any internet-enabled gadget. 

 

A dedicated revenue manager: A revenue manager straight from ZEN headquarters is assigned to the property to assist with rate parity on OTAs in which the hotel is partnered with. This partnership includes bi-weekly calls between the revenue manager and the hotelier to ensure that both parties are informed with the adjustments on the hotel’s room rates. Moreover, they also assist in optimizing costs with the hotel’s revenue. 

 

Book a free demo of ZEN eManager at: www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting

 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Colliers International Philippines said the growth in domestic tourism is boosted by millennials, accounting for more than 20 million domestic travelers recorded in their study for half a year. Additionally, it was seen that 85% of millennials check multiple sites before booking, so they can compare deals. This is why it is advantageous for your hotel to be seen in as many online booking platforms as possible.

Millennials’ online booking behavior

When you are on an online booking platform, it is convenient for your millennial guests to pay their booking fees, check room availability, and make adjustments. If there are too many steps to do before they can book your hotel, they would most likely look for other hotels that offer faster service. 

Millennials also care about branding. If they see your hotel in a popular booking site, they would most likely consider booking your hotel since they trust these websites, making them trust the brand of your hotel too.

What does ZEN Rooms do to help you attract millennials?

When you partner with ZEN, we will connect you to over 20 top online travel agencies and hundreds of offline travel agencies. With this exclusive partnership, we make sure your hotel is seen first when travellers look for hotels in the area. We also list your hotel on our website, which receives more than 2 million visits monthly. Want to make sure your hotel is seen first when guests look for a place to stay? Email us at [email protected].

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.