The cookie-cutter approach to online marketing is over. Today, hotel marketing is all about the personalization you can get.
The competition for customers online is now tougher than ever, with so many options to choose from. Providing a personalized and optimized experience on your website is one way to make guests feel special, even before they enter your hotel.
Let’s look at a few ways to get that personal and best experience on your website.
1. Present the best value.
An overwhelming number of OTA users think they will find better prices or deals on an OTA. Price is one of the main reasons customers use OTAs to book. Yet online hotel prices are equal or cheaper than in OTAs. To help overcome this barrier to conversion, display your direct price as well as real-time OTA prices on your website. STAAH’s Watch My Rate feature allows hoteliers to display the prices of up to five OTAs on their website (live price comparison).
2. Provide a personalized landing experience.
For your paid media, the website page a user lands on can be controlled. Be sure to create a landing experience that matches the messaging and media channel they’re coming from. For example, someone coming from a Google search looking for “rooms in Auckland” should probably land on a pricing page compared to a Facebook or Instagram website visitor who is inspired by your post. Landing them on a home page or pages specific to the content of the post will provide a better user experience.
3. Customize messaging based on website interactions.
Once users have interacted with your booking widget, you can customize messaging through pop-ups or results to present packages and experiences specific to their search. For example, if someone has chosen a long stay, offer them a discount or added value through “free” facilities. If someone has chosen to book over a specific period like Christmas or school holidays, show them the rates and packages specific to that period.
4. Recognize and reward repeat visitors.
Remarketing to website visitors is perhaps the easiest fruit to convert. If someone is visiting your website for the second time, their intent to book is high and you need to reward them with additional discounts or value-added propositions to get them over the line. Pop-ups are a commonly used user interface for such interactions.
5. Targeting based on user profiles.
If you run a loyalty program or have other ways to collect and store user data (target audience) on your website, use this information to personalize what you offer. For example, what you sell to a business guest versus a family is very different. When you understand the user, the messages you show them on your website can – and should – differ.
6. Basic customization.
Some basic website experiences can be improved without understanding the personal journeys of users. These include geo-based targeting or language. Delivering your website content in Bahasa to an Indonesian audience is likely to be more effective than in English, including pricing in the local currency.
7. Predictive Personalization.
While most of the above personalization of the website experience relies on setting basic cookies, for something more enhanced like dynamically modifying or serving content based on user actions on the website, it is necessary to establish machine learning and advanced configurations.
8. Exit Intent Tools.
Catch guests exiting your site with an exit strategy. This is important because it’s your final frontier (and line of communication) in keeping a customer on your website and in the booking funnel. An exit pop-up can help re-engage or rekindle guest intent.
To sum up
The above is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the tools available to enhance your website’s booking experience and tailor it to the user. In fact, in the modern digital consumer journey, your cross-channel communication is just as important to increasing conversions. How you remarket to customers via email or other channels is imperative. The aim should always be to optimize the booking journey, with the website being part of the whole journey
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