This is a question that many properties do ask, and I will be taking some time to tell you why it is so important to manage your OTA channels.
So, to answer that bold question – YES, absolutely.
Managing your OTA channels is like making sure your beds are made correctly with the correct bed linen and the room is 100% ready for your guest.
The OTA channels are one of the very first capture points to get that potential guest interested in clicking further to see what your establishment has to offer and from then they will either book your accommodation, google your establishments name or click back and look at the next accommodation.
When you think about managing your channels this does not only mean to have the correct number of images and have your rooms set up. There is a combination of tasks that need to be carried out to ensure the correct management of these channels. The more you can do on the backend of these channels, the more it will benefit your establishment and reap the rewards.
Refreshing images as well as tagging your images correctly will help with ranking as these OTA giants work with algorithms that pick-up keywords. Using the correct keywords will help with your organic ranking and help with gaining more exposure.
It does not stop there… managing your listings also entails keeping in line with your brand and to ensure that policies and procedures are set up correctly and clearly.
Being in the online world, anything is possible. At times, these channels have a ‘glitch’ or ‘bug’ in their systems that can mess around with your settings/setup and the incorrect information can be displayed to the frontend which can result in a booking coming through incorrectly, incorrect rates being displayed or even incorrect policies.
These things do happen, and they have and will continue to happen. Therefore, it is so important to manage your OTA channels correctly. This does not only mean checking what is entered on the backend of the system, this also means that checking what is being displayed on the frontend/website is correct.
To just touch on the parity issue, this can also be solved a lot sooner should you be managing your channels as frequent checks will allow you to pick up any rate discrepancies which you will be able to resolve much quicker.
Your more popular and well-known OTA sites spend huge amounts of money to be ranked first on Google searches. So should your listing be managed correctly and optimised, you stand a better chance being ranked first in your town, reaping the benefits from the OTA giants.
As we continually live in a digital world, a correct online presence is vital for any property.
In order to stand out from the crowd it is imperative to keep your OTA channels managed and maintained.
Always remember, this is not a once off task – it is ongoing. Check and manage your channels as frequent as you can to keep them optimized.