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Hotel Online Marketing – Why most booking providers fail at it

When it comes to online Marketing, especially Hotel Online Marketing you will notice a large number of so called “Solutions”. These providers are using Hotel Marketing and Digital Marketing for Hotels as an up-sell to their booking engines. Now as a Digital Consultancy a large number of our clients are hotels who sadly enough ended up with some negative experiences around this hotel Online marketing system so I decided to share some tips to avoid this in the future.

Hotel Online Marketing techniques are added on later

Most booking engines that are used by Hotels are pretty old and in Ireland the booking provider market is split up between 3 or 4 big booking guys. Now they have invested time and money in building a booking engine but didn’t really consider things like Search Engine Optimisation, Remarketing or conversion optimisation. All these very useful and important digital marketing techniques are either missing or added on to the system with a piece of duck-tape.

Most Booking providers don’t understand SEO

When we analysed our clients across multiple hotel booking engines we noticed that the majority of pages had very little real SEO work done on them. The majority of the content was not structured correctly and a very common SEO technique was still reliant on meta keywords and stuffing.

They don’t tell you the fine print

There is a bunch of fine print that hasn’t been explained properly by the Booking Engine Providers so let me highlight some of the area’s you will need to watch out for.

  • You don’t own the website they build for you, even though you have to pay for it – Sounds crazy right? Well it’s the truth most booking engine providers will build your hotel website and charge you between 5k – 10k for it. Now if after two years you want to switch to another booking provider you won’t be allowed to keep to website.
  • You don’t own the AdWords account+data you paid for – Another crazy one but it’s true! Even though you might spend have spend over €100.000 on AdWords advertising you will never gain access to the AdWords account nor will you be allowed to keep the account once you switch to another provider. The amount of insights lots because of this is staggering
  • Switching will have a lot of impact – When you move to another booking provider be prepared for an impact on Organic traffic and AdWords traffic as only a very few booking providers truly understand  the migration process.