Increase Occupancy Rates in Hotels Using Digital Marketing
The hotel industry is highly competitive, with occupancy rates being a key metric of success. While location and room rates play a big role, digital marketing has become increasingly important for hotels to reach and convert potential guests. Here are some of the top ways hotels can use digital marketing to boost their occupancy rates:
Focus on SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your hotel website show up higher in search engines like Google when potential guests are searching for accommodations in your area. This organic search traffic accounts for a significant portion of bookings for many hotels.
- Research relevant keywords travelers are searching for and optimize your website content around those terms. Keywords might include city names, “hotels near me,” “cheap hotel rooms,” etc.
- Create blog posts and web pages that answer common questions and provide useful information to searchers, while working in your target keywords. The goal is to rank well for searches related to your location and ideal customers.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, loads quickly, and follows SEO best practices like meta descriptions and alt text on images. This helps search engines understand your content and rank you higher.
Master Metasearch Marketing
Metasearch sites like TripAdvisor, Kayak and Trivago aggregate listings from major OTAs and allow users to compare hotel options. Managing your presence on these sites is key, as a huge volume of bookers use them to find accommodations.
- Optimize your metasearch content, like descriptions, photos and amenities, to align with your ideal guest persona. Be consistent across different sites.
- Monitor your metasearch performance and bid strategically on keywords that drive quality traffic and conversions for your property.
- Reply promptly to metasearch reviews to boost your reputation and increase your click-through rate on listings.
Retarget Website Visitors
Many visitors will come to your website without booking initially. Retargeting uses display ads to follow these visitors around the web, reminding them to come back and complete their booking.
- Install a pixel like the Facebook pixel on your website to track visitors. Then build custom audiences to target.
- Create retargeting ads showcasing your best offers or amenities to encourage visitors to re-engage.
- Use dynamic ads to show specific rooms types the visitor viewed, prices to match their search, etc. to capture their interest.
Promote Direct Bookings
The major OTAs charge hotels commission fees from 12-25%. Driving more direct bookings through your website keeps more revenue.
- Highlight direct booking perks like discounted rates, free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, etc. on your site.
- Use social media promotions and on-site messaging to reinforce the benefits of booking direct.
- Partner with other local businesses to offer discounted packages when booking direct.
- Use search and display ads to promote your direct booking links and offers over OTA links in rankings.
Leverage Email Marketing
Collecting email addresses and nurturing subscribers via email is far more affordable than acquiring new customers. Email generates $38 for every $1 spent.
- Offer a lead magnet like a free city guide or discount coupon to encourage signups.
- Send targeted emails promoting upcoming events or seasonal packages at your hotel.
- Reward loyal subscribers with exclusive deals and personalized offers based on their booking history.
- Partner with other businesses to do cross-promotions via email and share valuable content.
In today’s digital world, hotels can no longer rely on word-of-mouth and traditional advertising alone. By leveraging these digital marketing strategies, hotels can reach travelers where they are searching and engage them across multiple channels, leading to higher occupancy and more direct bookings. The strategies require an investment of time and effort, but the long-term payoff in occupancy lift and revenue growth make it well worth it.