How to Create a First Impression that Matches the Excellent Experience You Provide
A hotel’s average daily rate (ADR) is one of the most important metrics hoteliers can use to determine the average income per paid occupied room in a given period, ultimately reflecting the hotel’s performance. Finding a hotel’s ADR is rather easy, and can be done simply by dividing room revenue by rooms sold. Increasing ADR however, requires a bit more strategy and dedication to the details of guest satisfaction and online presence. The information listed below serves as a deep dive into the action required to drive more direct bookings and increase ADR by 15%.
1. Optimize & Update Google My Business and TripAdvisor
With TripAdvisor averaging 390 million monthly users, and Google My Business listings bringing in more than 50% of organic traffic to a hotel’s website, it’s imperative your hotel’s online presence is up to date, and highlights the very best of what you offer. For best results, consider:
- Uploading Quality Photos. Studies have shown that businesses with 30+ photos have 41% more engagement with travelers compared to those with less images. Owner capabilities allow you to upload an unlimited number of photos. Take advantage of this, and choose photos that are high quality and resolution and showcase everything from the number of rooms to the amenities, to the unique experiences and premises. Choose a primary photo that grabs travelers’ attention and accurately represents your hotel.
- Optimize SEO & keywords. Be mindful of the words and phrases used on your profiles, as they’ll have a direct influence on your ranking. Incorporate specific, natural-sounding target phrases that will lead travelers to your page. Do some research to find the most relevant keywords for your industry. Google Ads is a great resource for this. Be sure to incorporate these keywords into places where both search engines and travelers will find them (think: page titles, headlines, meta tag descriptions).
- Accurate info: Give potential guests all the information they could possibly need about your property to make an informed decision. Include details of your amenities, price range and property description.
- Manage your reviews. • 95% of travelers read online reviews before they book their accommodation. Knowing this, it’s crucial to acknowledge all responses – both positive and negative – in a positive and constructive manner. Responding to reviews communicates to both previous and prospective guests that you are interested in guest feedback and that you take customer service seriously. 87% of travelers agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review improved their impression of the property. Respond quickly, be courteous and professional, thank the reviewer, address the issue, and highlight the positives.
2. Professional Photos & Video
Professional photography can be the driving reason behind a hotel receiving bookings or not. Photos are front and center of a hotel’s brand and online presence, and should be something hotels are eager to invest in. Quality photography showcasing hotel’s unique selling points leads to 63% click through rate than hotels that have not invested in professional photography.
Video content is an extremely valuable tool in driving ROI. With 66% of users preferring video content over written content, it’s so important to hone in on your brand through this medium. Video allows hotels to share a detailed look into the hotel, envision themselves there, and also creates a space to build the story of the hotel and provide customers with the feeling of what you’re all about before they commit to a stay.
3. Refresh Website & Optimized for Conversions
Your web presence isn’t a one and done type of thing. It needs to receive regular updates, grooming, and optimization. Help your site rank higher in search engines and perform better for travelers with these tips in mind:
- Analyze your CTAs. Are they easy to find and navigate? Are you using provoking language? Have you considered how your CTA is presented on mobile vs desktop? Be sure to cover all your bases with CTAs, and to tune into their click rates and adjust accordingly.
- Conduct SEO/keyword searches. Hone in on your target audience and think about the verbiage they’re using in their searches. Check out forums related to your business to see what’s being asked and answered, and get a better idea of how you can contribute to the conversation. Take note of the language your audience is using, and implement it into key places on your site (in your URL, page titles, in the alt text of your images).
- Optimize for mobile. Use a trusted web host, visit your site on your smartphone or tablet and rate your own user experience, test your site’s mobile speed, and know that you may have to redesign some parts of your spite (think pop-ups) for mobile devices.
- Speed up your pages. Even a mere one-second delay on your site could result in 7% loss in conversions. Some of the ways in which you can be sure to increase your site’s speed are by minimizing HTTP requests, running a compression audit, and reducing image sizes.
4. Top Activities and Restaurants in the Area
Destination marketing goes hand and hand with hotel marketing. Travelers want to get a sense of what their day-to-day might look like should they choose to stay with you. Give them the opportunity to see the best activities, restaurants, and attractions listed all in one place by providing a detailed guide with relevant information.
5. Review & Reputation Management to Create Social Proof
Encourage guests to help you manage your reputation by implementing a clear and simple review practice post-checkout. Keep in mind that the feedback you’re looking for is for your future guests, so be sure to communicate that through your CTAs. With multiple review platforms out there, travelers are more informed than ever. Here are some things to consider when encouraging feedback from guests:
- Facebook has become a leading source of hotel information for travelers, and it couldn’t be easier to retrieve reviews from customers. By simply checking in, or tagging the location on Facebook (an easy request to ask of guests that is perhaps incentivized by a complimentary cocktail or the like), Facebook will automatically send them a message asking if they’d like to review your hotel. Alternatively, consider sending an email upon checkout with a link to your hotel’s Facebook page and gently ask guests to leave a review if they’ve had a positive experience.
- 81% of people prefer to use Google for hotel searches, making Google reviews extremely important when it comes to reigning in more bookings. While Google reviews are crucial to hotels, writing them can be a bit of a process. To make things easier on your guests, create a custom link for your guests to leave reviews on your Google My Business page, and link to it directly in emails and communications to guests post-stay.
- Even with social media and the many travel platforms out there, TripAdvisor remains the number one travel review site. Its review express tool allows hotels to send out messages to guest’s emails requesting reviews post-checkout. Automatic reminders are sent to those who haven’t responded.
- Go the extra mile and offer something special upon checkout like goodbye gifts and heartfelt thank you emails delivered promptly after checkout.
Increasing your Average Daily Rate can feel daunting, but by following the steps detailed above, you’ll be well on your way to a significant increase in ADR and overall performance.