22.11.2016

Content Extensions: Already Added the Toothbrush on Booking.com?

OTAs are not per se bad for your business and bottom line. In fact, they can be valuable sales channels as long as distribution controlling tactics and marketing needs are aligned. Therefore, hotels should not hold back in providing OTAs, metasearch, and review sites with high-quality descriptive content (static content). Content on third party sales channels differs significantly from content on the hotel’s own website. It is generated from standard OTA extranet tick fields filled in by the hotelier; several hundred of these fields must be completed for the initial loading of a property. In addition, OTA copy editors create free flow texts/hotel descriptions which are compiled from these extranet tick fields.

As we know today, content quality has become a major metric within the OTAs’ algorithms that are driving search results i.e., the hotel’s ranking on their site. For increasing visibility, you should regularly update all featured content (resulting in a good content quality score) across all employed extranets.

Over the past few months, Booking.com, for example, has added more than new 20 extranet criteria. In October alone, criteria including toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, body soap and different breakfast options were added to their tick fields (some criteria also improve search engine results). Savvy hoteliers must be aware of these changes in order to improve the customer’s shopping experience. As we have no or little influence on what sales channels travelers use to complete their booking, multi-channel distribution and rigid quality control should be tightly interlinked to improve conversion rates.

More and more business travelers are benefiting from general OTA sites as the content on these platforms has emerged from leisure-oriented to multi-customer focused, where business travel has started to play an integral part. This makes it even more important to improve content on intermediary sites. Regular updates must also include metasearch channels, which are often forgotten when it comes to static content management – they actually drive conversion and thus deserve high-quality content, too.

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