Online travel agencies, or OTAs, are one of the most vital components of your distribution strategy. It would be a mistake for a boutique hotel operator to try and compete against an OTA, as these wildly-popular and well-known distributors will be able to outspend any independent hotel on marketing and SEO. Rather than trying to create a marketing strategy that will force you to compete with OTAs, you should develop a distribution strategy that utilizes OTAs as a valuable distribution partner.
There are many benefits to working with OTAs, including:
It’s true that it can be frustrating to pay the hefty commission fees to OTAs, but it’s a necessary cost to creating a powerful distribution strategy. While the commission may initially dip into your profit margins, you can make it more worth your while to partner with OTAs. By using these tips to optimize your property on the various OTA profiles, you can be sure that your property earn a priority spot on the OTA sites:
OTAs know that the travelers who are browsing their site are looking for relevant, accurate information that will help them finalize their decision about an upcoming trip. You need to include a complete biography as well as your current rates and availability to rank high on the OTA search results. To try and pull some direct bookings from OTAs, add your own website to your profile in hopes that travelers will click the link to book directly through you.
When you reach out to the marketing managers who work at the major OTAs, you will be able to build a productive professional relationship that can increase the success of your OTA partnership. When a marketing manager is familiar with your brand, they will be more likely to promote your property on the site.
Guests are highly motivated by visual elements, so you will want to give your best first impression by using vivid, high-resolution images of your small hotel on your OTA profile.
To rank hotels on their search results, OTAs use an algorithm that is similar to Google and other search engines. The algorithm is frequently updated and tweaked, so it’s critical that you employ the best and most current SEO strategies on your OTA profile. This gives you the best chance of remaining at the top of their results.
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