CASE STUDY: HOTEL INTERNET MARKETING | HOW TO DRIVE DIRECT SALES
I would like to share with you the hotel marketing success story of 3 of our hotels for which we have been working hard to push direct sales this year. The hotels are in completely different categories, demonstrating that if you work hard and have a focused strategy, you can generate a good level of direct sales, and divert business from OTA directly to your hotel website.
Let me take you through some the actions we have taken for our hotels and the results that have been achieved. The properties we will review are:
• Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra in San Sebastian, Spain
• Hotel Es Moli, in Deia Mallorca
• Townhouse Hotel, in Maastricht, the Netherlands
Our 2014 hotel internet marketing actions:
1. SEO (search engine optimization): penetrating both short-tail and long-tail destination keyword combinations to optimize the organic positioning on search engines. Adjusting and fine-tuning meta-tags, page titles, content and internal links, plus seeding content on themed blogs to build up a strong overall infrastructure both internally and externally.
2. Brand Protection: Submitting the hotel’s TradeMark to Google to block adds with the hotel name / brand.
3. SEM (search engine marketing):
1. Keyword bidding / advertising on the hotels name, to divert more traffic to the hotel website from 3rd party websites.
2. Remarketing with banner adds to visitors of the hotel website.
4. Reputation Management: here we have a 4 fold approach
1. Monitoring review with review management tools to structurally identify areas of improvement
2. Post-stay emails to all guests requesting their feedback on public review websites (TripAdvisor, Google+, Zoover, etc)
3. Responding to reviews by the hotel manager (without exception)
4. Marketing on the hotel website the external review scores to emphasize on what our guests think about the hotel.
5. Meta-search: Displaying direct hotel rates in price comparison websites including TripAdvisor, Google HPA (hotel price adds) / HotelFinder, Trivago, Kayak, HotelsCombined, etc.
How did we do? Let’s have a look at the results …
• Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra
◦ website sales up 26% ytd
◦ more than €100.000 in incremental website sales
◦ direct sales 41% of total sales
• Hotel Es Moli
◦ website sales up 31%
◦ more than €115.000 in incremental website sales
◦ direct sales 47% of total sales
• Townhouse Maastricht
◦ website sales up 20%
◦ more than €50.000 in incremental website sales
◦ direct sales 30% of total sales
Our #hotelmarketing strategy for 2014 is really paying off as you can see. We are achieving very very healthy ROI’s, and of course have some amazingly happy clients.
Now we are working on the 2015 strategies, during which we will expand on the most successful areas, and of course include some new actions:
• Visitor recovery: People that entered the booking process, but did not complete a reservation will be targeted by email to increase conversion.
• Discount codes: Membership discounts for people who have stayed at the hotel before, or if you sign up through the website.
• Business listings: Hotel listing pages with high traffic will be optimized and the hotel website url, email and phone number will be featured. Discount codes will also be provided.
• Mobile: we are redeveloping and further optimizing our mobile hotel websites, working with fully responsive design techniques.
Overall not to be underestimated is the impact your hotel booking engine can have. We just changed The Student Hotel from a well know solution to our fully dynamic and responsive booking engine and conversion jumped up by about 39% overnight.
Make sure you have the right solutions in place and are taking these easy to implement steps to drive direct sales for your hotel.
It will have a very big impact on your profitability!
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