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Tips for Optimizing Your Hotel Website

Tips for Optimizing Your Hotel Website

In the fourth quarter of 2013, bookings through a hotel’s branded website continued to trail reservations made through online travel agencies (OTAs), according to data from TravelClick. To stay competitive with OTAs and take back direct bookings, a static website with some pictures, a few lines of text, and basic contact information isn’t going to cut it. Hotels that optimize their websites for the modern-day user will see a boost in revenue and a bump in customer loyalty. According to Bryan Estep, senior vice president of global sales for digital marketing firm Buuteeq, many people who run hotels only consider websites as tools for bookings and reservations. That’s important, says Estep, but there is more to a website’s success than revenue. “The website plays a role in almost all of the transactions of a hotel,” he says. “If you think about people who call in or people who walk in, they usually check the website first.” Although OTAs such as Expedia and Priceline help book rooms for hotels, the agencies take a percentage of the room rate. But the way people use OTAs, says Estep, provides hotels an opportunity to create direct relationships with customers. About 65 percent of travelers ...

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