How Easy Is Your Online Booking Process? 6 Tips to Streamline & Gain More Bookings
It’s never been more important to have a streamlined online booking process. Your customers are constantly using the internet to research lodging, check reviews, look for the best pricing, find contact info, and make reservations.
If your system isn’t up to par, you could be missing out. That’s why we’re asking you, “How easy is your online booking process?” If the answer is “not really,” then you want to check out these six tips to streamline and gain more bookings.
#1: Enhance Your Website
There are two things that make your website stand out. These include the overall user experience and the speed of your website. (tweet this)
Before you do anything else, you want to optimize your website and make sure it meets Google page speed recommendations. You want to make sure Google “approves” of your site speed, so enter your URL and start testing. Then, work with your website developer to speed up your site.
In addition, users bounce off of slow sites, so make sure yours is fast.
Next, you want to concentrate on the overall user experience. Pay careful attention to the following:
- Clear call to action buttons on each page
- Easy to use reservation system
- A clear path from the information to the booking process
- A booking process with very few clicks
- Easily seen special promotions
- Clearly spelled out upsells
Finally, as you work to optimize your website to gain more bookings, look at your SEO. Make sure it’s top notch. You also want to have a lot of rich, clear content on your page to enhance your overall booking conversions.
#2: Enhance the Mobile Experience
Nearly 50% of your customers are working through the online booking process on their mobile phones.
This is why you want to make your mobile booking process as easy as possible. Your future customers must be able to access your online booking system easily from their smartphone and tablet as well as they can their laptop and desktop.
You can expect nearly half of your bookings to come through mobile phones, so it’s vital you enhance your mobile experience.
The user experience is incredibly important on mobile, so be sure and test your system out to make sure it is easy to use.
#3: Make the Purchase Journey Short
Another way to streamline your online booking process and gain more bookings is to make sure the customer purchase journey is short.
You want to attend to this on both mobile and desktop platforms.
Don’t make your customers jump through too many hoops. Try to ensure everything they need is on just one to two pages.
#4: Utilize Social Media
Another way to streamline your process and get more bookings is to make your reservation system available on social media.
Let your social media users book right through a platform like Facebook.
You’ll find that many booking engines allow this functionality.
#5: Leverage Pay Per Click
Another way to gain more bookings through a streamlined online booking process is to use pay per click ads on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google AdWords.
You’ll find these are all great platforms for sending users to your website.
You already know that customers are searching for lodging properties on the internet. Most of them are using Google. By using AdWords, you can show them an ad that directs them right to your website.
In addition, you can leverage the power of social media advertising to retarget people who are ready to reserve a room.
Don’t underestimate the power of pay per click ads and retargeting ads to reach more customers and gain more bookings.
#6: Use a Hotel Reservation System
The final way to create an easy online booking process, streamline it, and gain more bookings is to use a hotel reservation system.
This technology allows you to accept direct bookings through your website, over the phone, and through other channels. This online booking engine should integrate with your existing hotel software.
The bonus for you is that it really streamlines your administrative tasks.
This system shows not only you, but your customers, whether rooms are available and when. Your guests can then check out at their convenience.
This system also helps you provide better customer service by collecting data from your customers so you can provide them with everything they need. You can also use this information to market to them in the future and again gain more bookings.
Because your hotel reservation system is cloud based, you can access it at your hotel while your customers can access it online to make a reservation.
These systems are usually streamlined and very easy to use.
What’s more, you can offer special deals for customers shopping for a hotel online. This encourages more bookings.
Today’s hotel customers want to make reservations on their own. They don’t want to go through a travel agent, and for the most part they don’t want to make a phone call.
The pressure is lessened when they can do it on their own. Plus, they feel more in charge of booking your property and choosing the perfect room. They want to research your hotel from the comfort of their own homes, and they want an easy process.
They are also looking for the quick fix. This is why it’s so important to really analyze your online booking process and see how easy it is.
Most of your customers start researching and within a short period of time, they are ready to book a hotel. If your online booking process is streamlined, you are more likely to get the reservations.
Make sure everything you offer is easy to find, the calls to action are easily accessible, and your online reservation process is intuitive and fast.
Finally, with a streamlined online booking process, you’ll outperform the competition. Your customers are more likely to stay on your website and complete their purchase than leave for a competitor’s site.
We are your hotel’s digital advertising specialists. Whether it’s a new website, search engine marketing, online booking, social media marketing or website design, we are here to help. Contact us today to start a conversation about your hotel’s digital advertising needs.
Images: Joyce Busola on Unsplash and Manuel Moreno on Unsplash
Free Hotel Website Checklist
5 Essential tips for using your website to book more guests! Plus, a Free email course, Winning Web Strategies For Innkeepers.