Traffic combined with conversion is considered the ideal marriage for any marketing team and the ultimate success story when it comes to your income report. Both are equally important and make up key components of the marketing funnel on the road to making your hotel profitable.
When starting at the beginning traffic is usually the first port of call, where purely raising awareness and getting people to view your product is the most important objective. Then, as brand awareness and subsequently traffic starts to increase, conversion becomes more and more important as visitors need to be transferred into actual customers.
While we need both traffic and conversion acting in harmony, often many marketers tend to focus on site traffic acquisition too much, when the real emphasis should be on the percentage of visitors who are actually adding value to your bottom line. It’s an unfortunate probability that if you are spending your marketing budget on traffic but you don’t have a good conversion funnel in place, your valuable investment won’t be an investment at all. Make sure you have an optimised conversion funnel in place first, then every penny spent on traffic will be completely worth it.
Here are three hotels that recognised the need to take a back seat from traffic and to invest in conversion first to increase profitability. Each hotel identified their own parts of the conversion funnel that needed improvement, and worked with The Hotels Network to find solutions.
The Jack Daniels Motor Inn is a family run B&B located within walking distance of Peterborough, New Hampshire, USA. It boasts spacious, comfortable and homely rooms and is considered highly rated accommodation in the area having won a series of awards including the TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award in 2017 which has been awarded to the hotel for the sixth consecutive year. There are many outdoor pursuits available in the area (including skiing in the winter months and fishing in the summer months to name a few) attracting a steady stream of visitors.
While the hotel’s website was receiving a nice number of visitors, conversion uptake needed closer inspection as figures were not as high in relation to traffic. A need was therefore identified to find a customizable solution to updating the website, without having to completely recreate the whole thing.
Layers were added to greet visitors upon arrival highlighting ratings and awards to reassure guests that the hotel was the right choice while providing the ability to easily book their stay. Text including "99% of guests were happy with check-in", and "planning to ski or snowboard this season check out our special offers" were added to highlight USPs which may not have been seen before:
Conversions significantly increased as customers were able to quickly recognise the unique qualities of this fantastic boutique hotel. Owner Eric Lorimer commented on the success of investing in conversions saying that:“Direct bookings have increased from 13% to averaging 20%. Investing in conversion before traffic has been a successful asset to the running of a small hotel and every dollar I’ve spent in conversion has paid off.”
The Danna is a timeless beachfront hotel in an archipelago of 104 islands on the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia. It is easily accessible to various attractions and outdoor activities in the area and is only 11KM (approximately 15 minutes) away from Langkawi International Airport by car. Accommodation is made up of spacious rooms and stunning beach front villas with idyllic views of turquoise waters and tropical scenery.
The hotel wanted to differentiate from competitors and increase profit margins through elevated conversions via direct sales, so a unique combination of conversion tools was set up to refresh the conversion funnel. These tools included welcome pop-ups with attractive daily offers, a widget showing visitors positive reviews to keep them on the site: "Enjoy MYR90 credit DAILY if you book with us DIRECTLY now", messages creating urgency for limited time offers: "Our availability is low on your dates - lock in a great price begore it's too late", and live price comparisons with OTA’s to show guests that booking direct will give them the best deal.
The Danna experienced a 19% conversion uplift with the hotel’s Marketing officer commenting how the various functionalities complemented the efforts they had already implemented to drive direct website bookings such as PPC, displays and hotel credits.
Princes Hotels & Resorts is a chain known for its large swimming pools and spas located in Spain and the Caribbean. Founded in 1967, it is ranked eighth in the Spanish market, with 22 properties, offering 10,000 rooms. They offer a wide range of events for families of all ages (with a kid’s club), and provide guests with information surrounding cultural and traditional activities in the area where the hotels belonging to the group are located.
Princess recognised that visitors were leaving the site to compare prices with OTA’s meaning that direct booking conversion rates were not as high as they should have been. A price monitor was therefore added to the website so guests could see live rates between the hotel direct price and those on OTAs. Now that visitors did not need to leave the site, they were able to see that Princess offered the best price for their properties. They then highlighted best offers and used exit pop-ups with discount options to further keep guests from leaving the site.
A 30% conversion uplift occurred for Princess Hotels and Resorts and their marketing director commented that: "Now we can offer the visitor the information he/she needs at each point of the booking process and we have seen an increase in the number of direct bookings.”
So before you look at spending anymore of your precious marketing spend on traffic, how are your conversion rates looking? Get your conversion funnel functioning first then look at traffic!