Getting direct bookings is synonymous with and necessitates creating a direct booking website, or redesigning your vacation rental business website. Your website leaves the first impression on your potential. But at the same time, your website should pay off its costs. Knowing how to calculate the ROI, Returns on Investment, helps indicate if your direct booking website costs are justified by the number of customers it is generating. ROI is not for websites only. ROI on technology means the proportion of the net gain after bringing that technology to your business to the cost of implementing that technology.
ROI = Net Gain / Implementation Cost
How to Calculate the ROI of Your Direct Booking Website?
- Costs: To calculate the ROI, you need to know the overall cost of your vacation rental website, which consists of its initial cost plus the maintenance cost.
- Gains: Although you might have already set some goals such as brand awareness and increasing the number of leads, increasing direct bookings through your website is your primary goal when launching a website for your vacation rental business. To calculate your website ROI, you need to know if your website is generating enough leads and if you can convert those who have initially visited your website.
As you might also imagine, checking your website’s visitors by monitoring your website traffic and calculating the conversion rate of leads through Google Analytics makes the story a bit complicated. This calculation, however, is relatively more straightforward in vacation rental businesses, thanks to integrated booking engines.
There are several objectives for implementing a direct booking website for your vacation rental business, such as reducing working hours and saving time, increasing the accuracy of operations, and optimising the guest experience. The most common objective, nevertheless, is growing revenue through increasing direct bookings on your website. After all, you don’t have to pay commissions to third-party booking platforms, right?
How Much Do You Sell Through Your Booking Engine?
Gained amount from your invested money is equal to the bookings made through your Online Booking Engine, which is different from the bookings made through OTAs. Comparing these two numbers helps to get an overview and see if your website has been useful or not.
How to Increase the Conversion Rate of Your Direct Booking Website?
Part of your investments is the promotions, the ROI of which that you can also calculate. A/B testing is a way to understand which advertisements have been more effective for your vacation rental website. A/B testing means dividing the audience into two segments and showing A to the first group and B to the other and at the end, checking which one performs better. Some ROI Calculators help roughly calculate yours.
Investing in the implementation of a direct booking website per se is not going to increase direct bookings. Search engine marketing is also a slow process, so it needs a lot of work to get some tangible results.
- Content Creation is your next step, and the sad part of the story is that not any kind of content is going to be attractive for Google search engine. The content of your vacation rental website must include some essential qualities to appear in search results such as
- professional photos of the rooms
- honest and unbiased reviews
You need to keep creating useful and engaging content for your direct booking website to improve its visibility over time. You must get expert advice to find relevant keywords and check their search volume using tools like Google Adwords. You need to check and optimise your content to make it suitable to appear in search engines. Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are among the long list of such toolkits.
Another option could be pay per click (PPC) advertising in search engines, which is costly and also very competitive. Digital marketing experts recommend paying for advertising your brand instead. Unfortunately, OTAs such as Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb might bid on your brand name and in this game, you need to combat the giants’ digital marketing strategies to claim your own brand, and win part of the play!
- A Mobile Optimised Website is a must as today we look for everything on the go through our smartphones and tablets. You should offer promotions and pay Google to take advantage of paid traffic, as well as organic search.
- Monthly Email Campaigns could also be used to distribute your promotions to your leads and convert them to customers by showcasing your tempting offers or property renovations.
What About Getting a Direct Booking Website Included in Your PMS?
Imagine subscribing for a PMS which also includes a direct booking website that:
- does not charge you per booking for direct bookings;
- allows you to fully track your traffic with the help of tools such as Google Tag Manager, Google Ads or Facebook Ads;
- enables you to add custom pages or to blog through the system;
- is offered as part of the whole package with no extra charge.
Wouldn’t go for that? A direct booking website decreases your costs, enabling you to calculate your ROI and make strategies to grow your vacation rental business. To know more about this ideal package, check the direct booking website of Zeevou before asking for a one-on-one friendly demo with one of our dedicated Partner Welcoming Managers.