In today’s world, when customers rely on online travel agencies (OTAs) to make hotel bookings, it is crucial for hotels to have accurate, complete, and engaging content on OTAs to improve their conversion rates. Unfortunately, many hotels lack the time, resources, and automation tools to keep their content up-to-date across multiple channels, leading to inaccurate and outdated information. This can have a significant impact on a hotel’s reputation, bookings, and search result rankings.
Why is it important to focus on hotel content on OTAs?
Inaccurate or incomplete content
If a hotel’s content on OTAs is outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete, it can lead to confusion or mistrust among potential guests, which can result in low conversion rates.
For example, if there are no images of the hotel’s pool or fitness center, guests may assume that these amenities do not exist. Incomplete content can also make it difficult for potential guests to understand the hotel’s unique features or value proposition, leading them to book elsewhere.
Lack of differentiation
If a hotel’s content on OTAs does not effectively differentiate the property from other options in the market, it can make it difficult to attract bookings and achieve high conversion rates.
If a potential guest sees several options in the same location with similar rates and amenities, they are more likely to choose the option that stands out in some way. A lack of differentiation can make it difficult for the hotel to capture potential guests’ attention and convert them into bookings.
To improve conversion rates, hotels should strive to provide complete, accurate, and engaging content that effectively communicates the hotel’s unique value proposition and differentiates it from other options in the market.
What stops hotels from focusing on content?
Time and resource constraints
Managing content on multiple OTAs can be time-consuming and resource-intensive for hotels, especially for smaller properties with limited staff. Updating rates, availability, and descriptions across multiple channels can be a complex and ongoing process, which can lead to errors and inconsistencies.
Lack of control
Hotels may feel that they have limited control over their content on OTAs, as the information is often managed by the OTAs themselves. This can lead to outdated or inaccurate information, which can negatively impact the hotel’s reputation and bookings.
Updating content can be a time-consuming task, and hotels with limited resources may struggle to prioritize it. Small hotels or those with a lean staff may have difficulty keeping up with the demands of managing their content across multiple channels.
Complex distribution landscape
Managing content across multiple channels can be complex, as each platform may have different requirements and standards for content. This can make it challenging for hotels to keep their content consistent and up-to-date.
Lack of automation
Manually updating content can be a tedious and error-prone process. Hotels that do not have systems in place to automate content updates may struggle to keep up with the volume of changes required to maintain accurate and up-to-date content.
In some cases, hotels may struggle to keep their content updated due to communication breakdowns with their channel partners or internal teams. For example, a hotel may update their rates in their property management system but fail to communicate these changes to their distribution partners, leading to outdated pricing information on third-party channels.
With hotel content management solution, hotels can ensure their content is accurate, persuasive, and distributed seamlessly across third-party channels. This approach can boost bookings significantly without putting a strain on time or resources. Neglecting content can critically hamper the increase in travel and accommodation bookings.
What type of content do hotels typically display on demand partner platforms?
To begin with, hotel content on demand channels refers to the material on online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Booking.com and Expedia, as well as local sites. It comprises various types of content like photos, text descriptions, policies, and amenity information.
A hotel typically has around 50 to 100 photos uploaded on various OTAs, GDSs, and other booking platforms. These include photos of the exterior, lobby, restaurant, bar, hallways, each room type, and other unique features. Furthermore, each photo must be labeled with relevant tags, like “Pool,” “Bathroom,” or “Fitness Center,” among others.
Policies are critical aspects of any hotel’s demand partner listings as they convey crucial information to guests, such as check-in time, free cancellation deadlines, extra charges, if any, and pet and child policies.
Demand channels continually introduce new content fields and additional options, such as specifying the type of coffee maker in the room.
Why is regularly updating your hotel’s content on distribution channels critical?
Updating hotel content regularly is crucial for two reasons: to boost search result placement and to ensure accurate and relevant listings. However, manually monitoring content scores across different demand partners can be daunting for hotel management companies and ownership groups.
Typically, it requires 45 minutes to set up a new demand partner and 15 minutes to monitor a demand partner every month. Managing demanding partnerships with multiple parties can be time-consuming for hotel groups, often requiring significant labor hours. In most cases, dealing with more than ten demanding partners can exacerbate this issue.
Here hotels need a centralized dashboard that allows quick wins to improve content scores without needing multiple extranet systems.
Third-party sites often use “content completeness” as a factor in their search result ranking algorithms. This means that a high content score indicates that all important information, such as check-in/check-out times and parking, pool & spa, has been provided. It is essential for optimal placement.
Hotel information is frequently updated to evolving requirements, ensuring content remains current. Despite these changing requirements, the necessary updates help to maintain up-to-date information
Why is the Process Broken Today?
Managing hotel content on distribution channels is often not prioritized by revenue managers or digital marketers, especially during staff shortages and increased workloads. However, it is becoming more time-consuming as demand partners require more detailed and updated content fields, such as COVID-19 safety measures and special rates for first responders.
Additionally, the constantly changing nature of hotel policies and amenities due to evolving regulations and travel restrictions makes content management even more challenging.
Despite these challenges, keeping hotel content up-to-date on distribution channels is essential for staying competitive. To improve search result rankings, third-party sites factor in the completeness of content when evaluating search results. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure all relevant fields are regularly updated and filled out to maximize search engine optimization (SEO).
In the post-COVID world, travelers are more cautious about where they stay and spend more time researching hotels before booking. A recent study shows that travelers are plausible to share positive reviews if their experience exceeds expectations.
Therefore, it becomes important for the hotels to provide accurate information about their cleanliness efforts, amenities, and policies across all channels.
How AI facilitates and speeds up content maintenance
Content management can be time-consuming, especially when hoteliers have less time, more work, and greater pressure to provide a top-notch guest experience. However, with the help of AI, updating and distributing content across all channels can be quick and effortless. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) hoteliers can prioritize content updates, making delivering a positive guest experience easier.
As travel resumes after the pandemic, it has become increasingly important for hotels to manage their content efficiently and ensure its accuracy. However, content management can be a daunting and time-consuming task for hotels.
To address this challenge, cloud-based content management software solutions utilize artificial intelligence (AI), simplify content optimization, and enable hotels to distribute content across multiple demand partners seamlessly through a single interface.
With auto-tagging of images, categorization by demand partners can be improved, leading to better SEO results. One-click distribution to demand partners saves hotels time and effort in updating their content, which can be especially valuable for hotels facing staff shortages or other operational challenges.
Further Read: Why Should You Care About Hotel Content Management?