Computing power is being displaced away from traditional computing devices at a dizzying pace. It’s only a matter of time before desktops are done away with altogether in favor of the smaller, more portable devices. Companies that stuck to the older machines because they were ‘good enough’ were soon left behind as modern technology enabled their competitors to blitz through the market.
Hospitality is no different. With powerful tools available on the cloud at an affordable rate today, a large number of independent hoteliers have moved to this platform. And with cloud-based hotel software constantly surpassing yesterday’s greatest achievements, these properties are the first to benefit from them. Hotels that don’t see any need to make the switch are rapidly being left behind as they lose out on the improved efficiency and visibility that digital technology has enabled.
Besides investing in tools, there’s a lot more that properties can do to stay ahead of the game. The good news is, the internet makes it simple for any independent hotelier to get started. It does take some time to start noticing the benefits but the long-term sustainability is well worth it.
The influence of social media cannot be overstated today. With over 2 billion active users and 12 new accounts being created every second, social media platforms are enormous markets. Positive guest experiences are widely shared and can go a long way in building the hotel’s online reputation. Users don’t just express themselves on these platforms, they also share opinions and listen for recommendations. So if your property doesn’t have an active social media account for each channel, that’s hundreds of thousands of potential connections that you could be missing out on.
Long gone are the days when smartphones were the exception – they’ve now become the norm in portable telecommunication. The great thing about this is, more people are browsing the web from their phone. A large number of travelers are even starting to book tickets from their mobile devices. Last-minute reservations, a market with a world of potential, are almost exclusively booked on these devices. In fact, these reservations make up 30% of OTA searches and 25% of hotel website bookings. Setting up a website and configuring it for mobile compatibility is an economical way to guarantee that your hotel’s channels are optimized to serve a much larger audience.
Search engine rankings can give your property exposure and credibility like no other form of paid marketing can. Moreover, you don’t need to spend massive sums of money to develop your brand’s reputation. Building a strong online rank is a process, and it is dependent on the authority of your hotel’s site and all its channels. Creating a blog and regularly updating it with news and interesting posts about the property is a great way to develop the sort of high-quality content that Google looks for while ranking sites. You can learn more about SEO tips to boost your visibility here.
OTAs may have ruled the biggest booking domains on the internet through the turn of the 21st century, but their authority is no longer as firm. With the onset of cloud technology and digital hotel software, establishments today have the tools they need to concentrate on improving their direct bookings. Web booking engines and social media booking engines enable properties to take reservations directly from their own booking avenues. By selling fewer rooms through OTA partners, hotels also get to hold on to the commissions. The search optimization mentioned above also helps drive more direct bookings.
These methods are inexpensive, yet effective and they all complement one another. By spending a little time everyday on these tasks, hotels will see significant improvements in occupancy and revenue within a few months – the results may not be quick, but in the long run they will ensure that the property is not missing out on anything the internet has to offer. The best solutions don’t need to be the most expensive!