Hotel marketing counts on high ranking OTA scores to help boost their business by driving traffic to their websites and increasing bookings. In order to achieve high ranking OTA scores, hotels need to utilize certain “marketing secrets” to help improve their overall hotel rankings on OTA sites. These secrets include:
- High quality hotel visuals are necessary to increase OTA scores. Hotels need a variety of images to post and the images must be of a superior visual quality. No less of an OTA authority than Expedia.com has research that shows higher resolution photos produce more conversions and increase the total number of bookings.
- Tags play a vital role in the ability of customers to find what they are looking for on OTAs. Tags increase the relevance of the hotel visuals to OTAs and determine the context of the images when they are placed on OTAs. Content management systems will map tags on the visual content to the tags on OTAs to help customers browsing the site easily find the search results they desire.
- Descriptions improve the content score. Descriptions from the hotel marketing team that are relevant to the hotel visuals include information such as the types of rooms available and the amenities and services that can be found at the property.
- Property details need to be realistic when showing off the property. Each property on the website needs a minimum of four photos because, the more photos of the property that are provided, the easier it is to sell the property.
- Rates and special offers always get the attention of consumers. Consumers want to know how much a property is going to cost them to rent and if there are any special deals on the property. OTAs will compare their rates with the rates on other websites, as well as competing properties, to determine the property content score. The content score also includes other factors such as any amenities, deals and value-added services.
- Customer reviews are an important part of the consumer experience. Customers will look at actual guest reviews to determine if they want to stay at a property. Hotel management needs to actively ask for positive reviews as they add to the OTA score and can inspire a customer to choose one property over another even if the rental prices are the same.
How do OTAs Rank Properties with Scores?
There a number of factors that go into how OTAs create hotel rankings with OTA scores:
- Reviews – Good reviews can make or break the success of a property. Good reviews from actual customers let other guests know what they can expect from a hotel and if the property lives up to the actual services and amenities listed on their website.
- Commission – OTAs make money by earning commissions on the bookings they facilitate on their sites. Since the OTAs make money from bookings made through their websites, they have a vested interest in providing accurate scores so hotel guests will view them as an authority website when it comes to online bookings.
- Conversion – OTA conversion is when a person visiting the OTA website decides to book a room at a property through the OTA. The person converts from being a prospect to becoming a booked guest. OTAs rank the amount of conversions they make from a certain property into the overall quality score of the hotel.
- Quality of Content – OTA quality of content is a way of ranking the score of a property based on the quality and completeness of the hotel visuals and text on the hotel website. The score lets properties know if they need to improve the quality of their content because a higher score means there is a greater potential to rank higher in OTA search results.
6 Critical Elements that Improve Your Hotel’s Rankings with OTAs
In order to improve the overall ranking of a hotel with OTAs, the hotel properties need to make sure these critical elements are being practiced:
- Hotel marketing needs to make sure the content is current and updated on a regular basis. Guests want to know the latest information about a property when making a booking decision.
- Provide a minimum of 4 photos for each type of room. Guests like looking through multiple hotel visuals to get a complete sense of what the hotel has to offer to its guests.
- Make sure the room types listed on OTAs are accurate. In addition, include a complete description of the room in captions that are descriptive and engaging to consumers.
- Update the hotel visuals on a regular basis. The photos can include the rooms at the property, pictures of any amenities and photos that show activities that are available to guests in the area surrounding the property.
- Images that are high-quality and high resolution stand out to guests searching for a property to book and they increase hotel rankings. Images that are too small, fuzzy or just hard to view will lower OTA scores and cause guests to search for other properties.
- Make sure the description of the picture is accurate as well as informative. For example, instead of describing a room simply as a “guest room”, use other descriptive phrases such as “Suite”, “Deluxe Room” or “Bathroom with Hot Tub”.
The Power of Exceptional Hotel Visuals
Take the time to share exceptional hotel visuals on OTAs because high quality hotel visuals make the difference between higher OTA scores and a score that makes a hotel hard to find in OTA search results. Hotel visuals can highlight the rooms in the hotel along with the amenities of the property and the activities that are available in the area surrounding the hotel. Exceptional hotel visuals can make the difference in customers booking a room at a property in cases where the price is the same as a hotel belonging to the competition.
By following the tips listed above, your hotel can enjoy a higher OTA score as well as increased bookings.