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Out Of Eden

How to Compete with the OTAs for Visibility

articles | Out of Eden - 15.01.2024

How to Increase Your Direct Booking Visibility 

The second of our four-part guide on how to increase your booking profitability. Brought to you by freetobook. 

In our last blog we covered how critical better direct availability and better direct rates are to cut your commission bills. A better direct policy is no use if potential guests can't find your direct deals. So in the second of these four blogs learn to improve your visibility, so guests find your offers.

Here's some great news; increasing the visibility of your direct prices has been made easier than ever after Google launched its 'free booking links' in March 2021. Google has over 90% of the global search market so you need to be visible there. The OTAs all list on Google, it works and it costs in. You have the advantage over the OTAs, you can show better direct prices on Google because there is zero commission.

Google launched free booking links to improve the experience of their search users, they want everyone to find better prices available on Google. By offering free booking links (zero commission bookings) Google is incentivising you to load your direct prices on Google. This makes Google the 'go to' place for the best deals, you get direct bookings at a lower cost than the OTAs and guests get a better deal.

Google's free booking links display your business name and rates for the dates guests select alongside those of the OTAs. With Google's Hotel Ads your guest sees two links – your paid Hotel Ads link and you free booking link. Guests can book via the free booking link which reduces your advertising costs, sometimes by as much as 50%.

To ensure that your direct channel is visible, Google's booking links are a game changer. If you do just one thing to get found it must be Google's free booking links. We've seen just how effective this has been since launch (March 2021) - with 100,000 commission free bookings so far and counting.

Get your direct rate out there right next to the OTAs at a key point in your guests’ search journey. Google knows that to remain relevant they must have all the deals, especially the best, so it's a no brainer for hotels.

In our next blog we dig deeper into some of the common mistakes that lead to a loss in direct bookings and provide tips to avoid them. For more business advice and to register with freetobook, visit 

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