By now, you’re a pro at selling rooms. You have a booking engine, an amazing website, and offer top-notch customer service, but what about a hotel Central Reservation System (CRS)? Though your channel manager and Google ads appear to be running smoothly, managing bookings, room rates, and allocations across multiple channels is pretty impossible without software. Whether you own a bed and breakfast, vacation rental, or multiple independent properties, a Central Reservation System offers plenty of benefits. These include increased profit, total visibility across channels, and valuable customer data points — helping you manage your revenue and hotel processes more efficiently.
A CRS maintains hotel information, room inventory, and the reservation process. It also fully integrates CMS, PMS, and RMS; hotel distribution channels; and connects you to all major metasearch sites. This information is displayed on one, easy-to-use dashboard, allowing you to analyze data and key performance indicators. You get full oversight of all booking operations.
Another primary function of a CRS is to manage hotel distribution. It automatically keeps track of room allocations, hotel demand, and rates by integrating with demand channels like Amadeus and Sabre. You can also see reservations made months ahead of time and customize your dashboard to display revenue, number of bookings, and other financial data points. Based on this information, you can easily adjust room prices to match demand and reduce vacancies.
Exceptional hospitality is anticipating customers’ needs before they ask. This forms long-term relationships, which are foundational to the success of small hoteliers – especially if you run a bed and breakfast. A CRS can be used as a tool to provide better customer service. Not only does it keep track of a customer’s booking habits but it allows you to add notes about each guest. You can write down their birthday, if they are traveling for a special occasion, their pet’s name – anything that would enable you to add a personal touch to their experience. For example, if guests are celebrating their wedding anniversary, you might send flowers to their room; they’ll remember the gesture for a long time.
By integrating with distribution channels, your brand will expand globally. Major hotel chains already have a global influence, which is why central reservation systems are essential for independent hoteliers. For those of you who run vacation rentals, this feature is ideal for attracting international travelers.
Our central reservation system, RevLogic, has all the above features plus:
If you’re interested in learning more about how a central reservation system can boost bookings and increase your revenue, give us a call.
An estimated 4.5 billion searches are made on Google each day, which accounts for nearly 77% of searches worldwide. While a smaller percentage of those are for hotels, this amount of traffic offers many opportunities to grow your independent hotel, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental bookings through Google Hotel Ads. However, Google’s ranking algorithm can get a bit tricky, so here are quick insights to get you started.
Google Hotel ads are a metasearch service offered through Google. When a traveler searches for hotels, they will type in phrases like “hotels near me.” From this search, Google will populate a list of hotels directly on the search engine results page. For hoteliers, it’s a great way to drive direct bookings.
Mastering this technology is key to running a successful Google Hotel campaign. In order to appear within the top results, you must qualify for an auction. This means when an end-user inputs a certain phrase, Google fetches rates and then starts an auction. Each hotel will “bid” on the phrase and the winning bids will be shown to the end user. This process can be automated or manual. Inclusion in the auction depends on several factors:
To run your ads, you’ll need to select the right budget and bidding amounts. Your budget will set a spending limit per day. The maximum cost-per-click bid is the most you’re willing to pay clicks on your ad, and will influence the amount of traffic as well as your total return on investment (ROI).
Another option is a shared budget. This is best when you have several campaigns or a seasonal campaign. If you’re not sure what budget to set, Google provides a “view recommended budget” option.
While having the highest bid is part of winning an auction, there are several other strategies that depend on search terms, property type, revenue goals and many other factors. However, in general, higher bids are likely to get more traffic, while lower bids will receive fewer clicks and conversions. If your goal is to gain clicks or generate website traffic, there are two types of cost-per-click strategies:
In addition, there are two other bidding strategies that don’t focus on clicks:
The bidding process can be complicated, but the great news is that Google Hotel Ads offers flexible, customizable advertising. You control your budget, where the money goes and can readjust as needed. Furthermore, you can specify your targeted demographic so precisely that your bids will never be wasted on the wrong customers. The best part? Google Hotel ads are highly profitable: in 2017, the average return on ad spend was 10 X.
If you need some help managing your Google Hotel Ads, we’d love to offer a hand. We’ve partnered with Koddi, an award-winning software company that powers 400,000 unique properties, to help you grow your online presence through our metasearch services. We handle the advertising so you can focus on delighting your guests. If you have any questions, please feel free to call!
60 percent of leisure travelers begin their lodging research with Google. Hundreds of thousands of listings populate, but it’s likely they won’t click past the first page. At the top, are search engine marketing ads (SEM). Just below these ads, is an organic list of hotels with maps, prices, average ratings and filterable search options. This information is populated by a hotel metasearch engine, and it’s where you need to be if you want to be found and drive more profit in the digital age.
Metasearch engines work by aggregating web search results based on a keyword or phrase using proprietary algorithms. Examples of searches in this instance might be “hotels near me” or “hotels in Denver Colorado.” If that sounds like search engine optimization (SEO), that’s because it uses SEO concepts, but Google’s metasearch collects all hotel rates in a specified area (determined by keywords) so that travelers can easily compare prices. While SEM ads can be a worthwhile investment, Google found that 35 percent of consumers use Google Hotel ads to shop hotels. In the past, metasearch tools of this scale were not available to small hoteliers. But as technology advances and more travelers seek unique lodging experiences, these tools are right at your fingertips. Here are five ways Google Hotel ads lead to increased bookings and profit.
As a small accommodations provider, appearing on Google Hotels is necessary for brand awareness and your overall marketing strategy. Customers can easily see reviews, which will greatly inform their choice. And, because there is an increased likelihood of a direct booking, you’ll “own” their contact information for your future marketing and communications efforts..
While Google Hotel Ads are an ongoing development, becoming familiar with the platform and using their services will greatly help you promote your property. You will gain visibility, direct bookings and build your brand through these marketing efforts.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to implement Google Hotel Ads, we’re here to help. We’ve partnered with Koddi, an award-winning software company that powers 400,000 unique properties, to help you grow your online metasearch presence. If you have any questions, please feel free to call!
This hotel award recognizes exceptional performance of an independent hotel in customer service and community relations. The winner will be announced at ILES in May in Las Vegas.
IBC wants to recognizes a property that stands out from others within the IBC family. This property is independently owned and operated, its staff members provide superior service to customers, and it is known in the community as a force for good. If your hotel meets these qualifications, register here!
If your independent hotel is exceeding guest expectations and extending the true essence of hospitality beyond the four walls of your hotel to the local community, we want to hear your story.