When a consumer searches for a hotel on any online travel agency (OTA), the order in which hotels appear is determined by the OTA. The traveler is unaware that the ranking rewards some and punishes others, but, the order matters because consumers generally pick their hotel from the first two pages of their search results.
Scores are used by OTAs to rank properties on various attributes like reviews, commission, conversion and the quality of their content – primarily visuals and text descriptions. Several OTAs allow hoteliers to log in and see their how they rank and what they can do to rank higher. Besides commissions (which is a whole other story), here are six things you should consider to improve your content score and ranking:
Simply put, high-quality visuals are a must. Hotels should display a variety of different high-resolution photos. Visual quality and quantity both play a role in your quality score ranking – the more, the better. Expedia’s research shows higher resolution photos convert more bookings.
The visuals should be appropriately organized with metatags. Those are tags that add relevance and context to each image. It may be cumbersome to tag all your images on all the major sites, so if you can, you should ensure your content management system maps their tags to the tags on the OTAs. This will also allow for greater personalization when consumers are browsing travel on the site.
Keeping fresh, relevant, comprehensive and regularly updated descriptions on your property will also improve your content score. Be sure to be thorough and include information that will entice travelers to book.
4. Room Types
Ensure that each room type sold on the OTAs has four or more photos. Consumers want to see visuals of the various room types being offered. This also increases the chances they will book upsell rooms.
5. Rates & Offers
OTAs compare your rates on their site to that of those on your brand.com site and also to that of competing hotels to help determine your content score. Offering packages, deals and value-add services factor into your score as well.
Encouraging guests to leave reviews can boost your score as can responding to complaints in a timely manner. Positive comments can sway a customer’s decision to select a pricier hotel than a cheaper option with negative reviews. And if both hotels have the same price, the hotel with higher rated reviews has a greater probability of getting the booking.
These factors affect every property listed on OTAs. In order to be easily found amongst thousands of competing hotels, hoteliers should be sure to allot enough time and resources to improve their content score.
ICE Portal helps clients manage and distribute visual content to over 11 million unique visitors a month on 1,000s of travel and local websites around the globe in nine languages. To know more about us visit our social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+; visit ICEPortal, or give us a call at (+1)954-893-6778. We would love to hear from you!