Do you want to get more bookings for your hotel?Yes, I do!
Hotel Sales Funnel Optimisation
Olive & Lake
Knowing how guests start their online search for a hotel, how they shortlist potential properties and how they book will help you to fine-tune your online presence to drive bookings and generate additional revenue streams.
In order to ensure that your hotel is being seen by potential guests at every stage of their online search, you need to optimise your sales funnel. By understanding how guests search for hotels and what they are looking for at each stage, you can make sure that your property is visible and being chosen over other hotels.
This process requires an in-depth understanding of many aspects of digital marketing including good website design, search engine optimisation, digital advertising, metasearch, distribution optimisation and more. Everything needs to work together in harmony so that your hotel stands out from the competition.
Understanding how guests search for hotels online is critical to optimise your hotel's sales funnel. With this knowledge, you can ensure that potential guests are funnelled towards booking a stay at your property.
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Olive & Lake has a deep understanding of the hospitality industry distribution. Whether you're planning to open a new property or aiming to upscale an existing one, Olive & Lake will be super helpful at every stage of your development.
Owner of Pavillon d'Orient
Olive & Lake are real professionals, and they know what they are doing! We hired them to help us manage our online presence for our hotel. Our scores on the OTAs quickly improved and we got more visibility and bookings!
Owner of Maison Polanka
We rebuilt our website entirely with Olive & Lake after a disastrous experience with another designer. It was easy and smooth and a pleasure to collaborate with them. We highly recommend Olive & Lake as a webmaster.
Optimise Your Visibility
Drive Guests Towards Booking Your Hotel
Knowing where potential guests are looking for hotels and how they find your hotel is key. Guests will look for a place to stay on search engines like Google and online travel sites such as Booking.com and Expedia.
To make a decision, a guest will consider many things. They’ll look at pictures, reviews, and the location. They’ll compare prices and decide if your hotel is the right fit for them.
All of this is irrelevant if they never see your hotel online! You need to make sure your hotel is visible on sites your potential guests are browsing.
Then, you need to start optimising your content, reputation, rates and more.
Be visible where your guests are searching for hotels. They need to see your property. Then you need to stand out from the competition.
The Guest Journey Stages
There are many different online journeys for getting a hotel booking. They might start with a Google search, click on a blog post, see something you've shared on social media or something else. However, when their journey starts, it's what happens next which will determine whether or not they book with you.
There are various stages in the hotel sales funnel and it's important to optimise each one to maximise your chances of converting a potential customer into a paying guest.
Olive & Lake have the experience, knowledge and expertise to optimise your hotel sales funnel from first seeing your property to making a booking. But it doesn't end there, before guests check in, you want to communicate your other products and services. After they leave, you want to get their feedback and turn them into loyal guests.
The first stage is awareness, you need to be seen. If a guest is doing a Google search for hotels in your area, you want to make sure that they see your hotel.
Most guests will usually end up on a large online travel agency like booking.com. Therefore, your listing should be optimised so that you appear high in the search results.
The second stage is building interest in your property, you need to pique the interest of potential guests and convince them that your property is the right choice for their stay.
Guests will look at your reviews, photos, rates and room options. You need to put your best foot forward, ensure that you have a good reputation and that your rates are competitive.
You’ve got them interested. The guest will start to look in more detail at your property. They may search for you on Google, check you out on social media, read what other review sites say about your property and more.
Therefore, it’s important that every sales channel is consistent. If a guest lands on your website, you have a chance of getting a direct booking.
The guest has almost decided that your hotel is the one for them. But they may have a few pre-sales questions which aren’t answered on your website, they might look for the best rates or a suitable package.
Your website and guest communication should push the guest over the line and turn their decision into a booking at your hotel.
Booking & Stay
Great, they’ve booked. They will, hopefully, soon be your guest.
Now, we need to ensure that your cancellation policy is flexible yet sufficient to keep cancellations and no shows to a minimum.
Guests can also be sent information about other products and services which might interest them during their stay or facilitate their arrival.
Guests have had a great stay, but the journey still isn’t over. You now want them to either come back again, tell their friends and family to stay or leave a great review to encourage other guests to book.
We need to ask them for a review, provide them with a deal for a rebooking or let their friends have a unique direct booking offer.
Where does your Guest Journey Start?
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Drive More Bookings
Walk the Path of your Guests
After understanding the guest journey, it’s time to optimise for each step. We have many tools and resources to help with this and we ensure that each step is working in conjunction with the others to create a seamless funnel.
By mapping out and analysing the guests’ journey, we can see which parts are working well and where there may be potential improvements.
So, for existing hotels, we start with an audit of your current practices to help us to identify potential areas for improvement.
For new hotels, we start by creating a bespoke sales funnel that is optimised for your specific needs.
There's a lot to be done and it's not a quick fix. Setting everything up correctly, tracking success and adjusting the strategy will take time. But that's the only real recipe for short, middle and long-term success!
Hotel Sales Funnel Optimisation
Below, we will take a look at what we will do at each of the 6 stages of the sales funnel. This will help you to visualise what needs to be done in order to increase sales for your hotel.
Guests are searching for locations and browsing hotels in a number of places. If they do a Google search, they may end up on Google’s hotel map search – so your local SEO needs to be spot on.
In many cases, guests might land on a site like Booking.com or Expedia, therefore you need to rank highly in these search engines, so your rate parity, conversions and rates need to be optimised.
They may even end up on a review site like TripAdvisor, so you want your reputation and metasearch working well for you.
Guests might even be searching out information for your local area, so you should check that you’re on top of your blogging strategy.
The important thing here is however guests are searching for your hotel, you need to be seen. If you’re not seen, they won’t move to the next stage.
Guests will start shortlisting hotels suitable for their requirements. They might be looking for a family holiday, a romantic city break or a weekend at the local ski resort. Whatever they are looking for, you need to put your best foot forward, making sure your image and position is aligned with your property and how it is perceived by your guests. Don’t give your guests false expectations.
Guests need to see good reviews, competitive rates and great photos. You need to stay on their shortlist while they get their shortlist down from five or six hotels to just one or two.
Professional photos, a good revenue management strategy, optimised distribution, and a great reputation will keep potential guests interested in your hotel.
Well done, you’re still in the game and the guest is still in your sales funnel. They’re now going to start taking a closer look at your hotel.
They will likely head back to Google and start searching for your hotel name. You want them to find your hotel website above all other sites to help grab that direct booking. Google Ads and good SEO will help them land in the right place.
When they’re on your website, you have the opportunity to catch that booking. Your website needs to reflect your brand, your qualities and showcase your unique selling points.
You should also have some great direct booking incentives, fantastic photos, an easy to use website and a booking engine which converts guests into bookings.
Awesome, the guest has nearly decided to book your hotel, but they just need that final push. You need to ensure that your website has direct booking incentives, some great special offers and packages, and all the information they need to make a decision.
Guests may also come and check out your social media pages, so you should ensure that you have a well-optimised profile and they like what they find.
Some people may even contact you to ask a question or get a better deal. You should be available to answer questions in multiple places, answer quickly and provide a professional reply.
Great, the guest has booked your hotel. They’re coming to stay, but they haven’t yet checked in. You now have a great opportunity to upsell guests additional services and products. By optimising your sales funnel, you will increase revenue per guest.
You should make sure that you’re communicating with your guests after they have booked and before check-in. So, your email marketing campaigns should be tailored to those who have booked with you. You can also use push messages and in-app messaging to keep them informed about their stay, as well as upsell additional services.
Guest communication at this stage will help to reduce cancellations and result in more revenue with upsells.
6. Post Stay
Your guest has had a great stay with you, but the sales funnel isn’t yet finished. You need to make sure that you continue the relationship with your guest as this will help you to get a better reputation, encourage them to come back or recommend your hotel to their friends and family.
Again, data collection and guest communication is important here. Hotels need to ensure that they have the correct contact details for their guests to send follow up communication.
Email marketing will be important to continue the relationship, but you can also use social media, postcards or even a phone call.
It’s important to keep an open line of communication with your guests so that they can become an ambassador of your property and help you to generate more sales.
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Hotel Guest Journey Optimisation
Understand how your guests search for hotels in your area, and how you can use this data to improve your hotel’s sales funnel.
Your guests are looking for hotels in your area for a number of reasons. It could be for business, pleasure, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand how your guests search for hotels so you can optimise your sales funnel.
A well optimised guest journey will result in more bookings and happier guests. It can also lead to increased repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing for your hotel.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps in a sales funnel?
Generally, a sales funnel consists of 5 – 7 steps. Olive & Lake uses a 6-step model when working with our clients. We have successfully increased bookings, direct bookings, revenue and profitability for our clients using our model.
The key is to understand how guests search and find properties. This, essentially, can be simplified for all hotels into 6 steps, but each hotel will have small differences. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for hotels and we take a unique approach with every client we work with.
This all sounds awesome, where do I start?
We like to start with a chat, so contact us today to organise a free consultation and we’ll see if we can help you.