To News/PR Index
Key Strategies to Shift Bookings from OTA to Direct
Clara, CA – February 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / As OTAs increasingly
use aggressive marketing techniques, hoteliers are at risk of losing a
significant share of their total reservations to third parties. Hoteliers
often cite the digital media advertising budget strength of OTAs as the
primary reason for this shift. While the advertising budget strength of
OTAs is noteworthy, the truth is that a substantial portion of the OTAs
market share growth has been driven by organic search traffic. Robust website
technology combined with extensive research on conversion techniques drive
this growth. In addition, OTAs do an excellent job of search engine marketing
and email marketing. The surprising truth is that all these strategies
are easily accessible to individual hotels, offering an immense opportunity
to enhance direct revenue while lowering the cost of distribution. Milestone
works with over 2000 independent hotels and brands to drive higher direct
revenue and shift market share from OTAs and other third parties by using
the same technologies that are deployed by larger travel websites. Here
are the first two top strategies that are most effective in driving direct
1. Website technology
This series provides insights
into four of the key strategies deployed by Milestone
to increase direct bookings for our customers. Part two of the series will
detail two more strategies that hotels can implement for immediate results.
To get more details and deeper insights, please contact us at 866-615-2516
so that we can make the same shift happen on your properties.
Hotels need to ensure that
the website user experience and technology for search and conversion is
on par or better than the technology deployed by large OTA sites. Some
elements that can easily scale to hotel sites are:
Schemas (Structured data)
for voice search and latest search algorithms.
Extensive use of structured
data to mark up the content on your website leads to better indexing of
content by search engines and hence a better ranking on search. Structured
data is necessary for not only search engines but also Apple’s mapping
engine and other major consumer channels. Having basic schemas such as
your address information or your basic business information is not enough,
hotels must mark up most of the content on the website to gain better optimization
for voice search as well as the latest search algorithms. OTA sites were
the first sites in the travel industry to deploy structured data and hence
their great visibility in search.
Another key technique that
OTAs deploy is constant A/B testing to enhance the user experience and
conversion on the site. Milestone’s CMS has a conversion rate optimization
module that allows hotels to conduct A/B testing using technology like
that deployed on large, enterprise content management systems. A Milestone
customer recovered $10,000 a month in revenue using this technology.
Revenue recovery technology
Effective use of revenue
recovery technology on your website further enhances conversion and revenue
generation. One key technique is to send email campaigns to customers who
visited your site but didn’t book. OTAs are experts at persistently reaching
out to customers who abandoned their website. Milestone’s CMS provides
the necessary technology to allow our hotels to reach back out to the guests
who didn’t book on their site.
2. Mobile AMP Site - Leapfrog
OTAs and your competition on mobile with AMP
One of Google’s biggest
initiatives of 2017 is to enhance the mobile experience using Accelerated
Mobile Pages (AMP). Google found that 40% of visitors abandon a site if
it takes more than 3 seconds to load. AMP sites load 4x faster, in less
than a second, and consume 10x less data. AMP sites offer a unique opportunity
for hotels to provide a better user experience and visibility to their
direct channel website. Milestone’s CMS is the world’s first hospitality
industry CMS to enable AMP sites for our customers.
Milestone is a leading provider
of digital marketing software and services for hospitality, retail and
finance. We provide a full range of solutions including website and mobile
design, content creation, SEO, analytics and competitive intelligence.
Our state-of-the-art technology and solutions drive revenue and ROI for
clients across the globe. Over 2,000 companies world-wide do business with
Milestone, including leading hotel chains, major retailers and financial
services companies. Milestone has garnered over 300 awards and a reputation
for blending outstanding design with advanced technological capabilities.
Milestone is one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s fastest growing
companies and is an Inc. 5000 company. For more information about
Milestone and our products and services, visit us at www.MilestoneInternet.com.
Manager, Demand Generation
Milestone Web: www.MilestoneInternet.com
Milestone Blog: blog.MilestoneInternet.com