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/