How to up your game and beat OTAs – Part 2

Book Direct is NOT Free

If you have not already done so, please read part one of this article by Tamie Mathews from RevenYou.

Tamie asks that you complete a simple exercise to find out if booking your own property through the OTA website is easier than booking direct on your website, if the answer is yes you need to up your game!

She says: “Direct bookings are not free. If you want to increase your direct business, you need to work at it” and the work starts with your website…

Up your game on your website

Building a new website is not a case of “build it and they will come”.  In 2021, a website is essential to any form of business, but it is not a passive tool for attracting new clients.  You must be constantly working, updating, and tweaking your website to ensure that customers find you and book you.

  1. A website that is modern, easy to use and appealing
  2. No more than five years old
  3. Professional photos – the difference between a photo you snap on your phone and a photo from a professional is the editing. Professional photos sell.
  4. Recent and relevant content – ensure your website is updated regularly with new content. Google algorithms rank websites that are active and constantly changing. Whenever you make large changes, ensure that Google trawls your website.
  5. Adwords – speak to a professional with regards to what an adequate budget would be
  6. SEO – pay the extra to ensure your website is search friendly
  7. Analytics – add these to your website and know how to use them to improve your website
  8. Data collection – collect, store, and use email addresses
  9. Booking Engine – customers must be able to book online 24:7
  10. Parity with the OTAs
  11. Chat – ensure people can talk to you in a variety of ways

Your website must be attractive and easy to use. Test your website frequently to ensure it meets with Google’s requirements.

Use sites such as Woorank or Supple to perform a free audit on the mechanics of your website then speak to your web designer to ensure your site is fit for purpose.

Tune in for part three and up your game with “social media”.

Tamie Matthews

Having spent a lifetime working in 3 to 5-star branded properties around the world, Tamie’s passion is helping hoteliers across Asia Pacific upskill their knowledge, understanding and skills in revenue management and distribution. Tamie and the team at RevenYou manage rates and distribution for a variety of properties all around the country, so we know tourism and work in it daily. As we work with industry insiders daily, we’re always up to date on the issues facing the industry, which allows us a unique opportunity to develop training sessions tailored to the people managing properties, based on the latest best practice. Your members learn from our team's collective experience and expertise. Tamie is solutions driven and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and practical experience in how to increase profit margins by using what is available for free or at very little cost. She trained as a teacher at University, therefore attendees will be interested and engaged, ensuring learning outcomes are met. Tamie is a seasoned presenter to hotels, tourism associations, RTO's and councils, presented at the VTIC Conference in 2019 and regularly conducts training with HSMAI. At RevenYou, we work with independent properties across Australia and NZ in the areas of revenue, distribution, sales, and marketing. Our properties are all just like yours.

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