How to increase online booking in 5 easy steps

If you are the owner of a hotel, a bed & breakfast or a vacation rental, you’ll probably know that ensuring our online presence today is essential.

Nowadays we are compelled to be competitive, modern and able to promote our business using at best all the resources available on the web.

To get the best in terms of visibility and feedback from potential customers and so increase booking, you just have to follow some simple rules.

1- Competitive rates

Potential customers are always looking for the best, competitive rates. The number of travelers who organize themselves their holiday simply searching on the Internet continues to grow: if you don’t offer interesting rates and deals they will soon abandon your web-site to look for more better offers on someone else’s web-site.

Don’t forget: people are willing to look everywhere on the web to find the best rate.

2- Easy and fast booking

Once attracted by your interesting rates, your potential customers want to book in an easy and fast way. If the booking system made available on your web-site is complicated and takes time, they could change their mind and decide to book on another web-site.

Your customers should have the possibility to book in a direct, easy and fast way through your web-site.

Make it possible for your booking process to have not more than 4-5 steps: checking availability, clicking purchase, inserting your personal data (only the minimum necessary) and eventually the data for the payment to complete the purchase.

3- Different payment methods

Once your potential customers have chosen to make a reservation at your hotel, you should offer them different payment possibilities. In this way you will guarantee your customers flexibility and convenience and you’ll show willingness meeting their different needs.

Besides the possibility to pay by means of a bank transfer or postal order (by the way, are there still people who use them?) nowadays you cannot not have the payment through credit card.

4- Incentives and deals

To attract and foster new potential customers, but also to reward your regular customers, every now and then you can launch promotions or special deals.

For example you can offer free services like transfer to and from the airport or breakfast; free Wi-Fi connection (now considered a must-have for any traveler), or offer  access at discounted rates to some of your partners (for example restaurants, spas, fun parks).

5- Modern, professional web-site

Your potential customers today more than ever are very web-oriented and their expectations are high: your web-site must be modern, professional and of good quality. A web-site that looks inaccurate, with low-quality content or photos most likely will let your potential customer think that your services don’t ensure high quality standards.

The quality of photos and videos is very important: it is the first thing that strikes visitors to your web site. Together with the prices they are the first thing that consumers consult while researching and booking. Professional photos can increase booking by 300%.

In the end your web-site must also have a “mobile” version, that is it must be accessible through smartphones too (the number of users surfing the web and purchasing with a smartphone are  increasing day by day) and must be “social”, that is you have to make sure that your hotel is on all major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc.).

Have you already put into practice these 5 useful tips?

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