How to move your listings up in the search results of the OTAs

How to move your listings up in the search results of the OTAs

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In this digital age, the importance of OTAs in the travel and hospitality industry cannot be overstated. With the majority of travellers booking their rooms on online travel agents like Booking.com and Airbnb, having a strong presence on these platforms is crucial for getting booked. 

Studies, such as the 2023 Expedia survey, indicate that 75% of bookings are made within the first 15 views on an OTA, with Booking.com estimating that 80% to 90% of bookings originate from the first page of listings. This underscores a fundamental truth in the hospitality industry: to be successful, you must be seen. The absence of a strong online presence or a poor ranking can lead to significant revenue loss due to decreased bookings. 

However, there are effective strategies to combat this challenge and increase your chances of securing bookings.

Tips for improving OTA rankings


Leveraging OTAs to your advantage requires a deep understanding of how these platforms operate, including the nuances of their algorithms and the behaviour of travellers using them. For this blog we collaborated with Otamiser, a company that specialises in increasing the ranking of listings on multiple OTAs. They offer invaluable guidance on how to enhance your property's ranking on OTAs.

Here are 5 strategies recommended by Otamiser to increase your ranking position.

Improve exposure through strategic keywords

To elevate the visibility of your listing in a competitive market you can use smart keywords. Otamiser's research indicates that incorporating relevant keywords into descriptions and review responses can mitigate the negative impact of a poor review on ranking, while also providing a supplementary boost to rankings with positive reviews. Think of it as injecting content directly into OTA algorithms through review responses and descriptions, a particularly crucial strategy for platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

Discovering which keywords are most effective for your listings involves experimentation. Try incorporating terms such as your city's name or the name of your listing itself, and observe how they enhance your visibility. 

For family-friendly accommodations, emphasise features such as high-chairs, bunk beds, and child-proof amenities. If catering to pet owners, highlight offerings like pet beds, bowls, and toys. Furthermore, ensure your listing is appropriately categorised under filters like "beach," "hiking," "swimming pool," or "hot tub/jacuzzi" for easy discovery by potential guests. 

Develop a custom strategy for each OTA

Developing a custom strategy for each Online Travel Agency is essential for hotel owners and short-term rental companies to optimise their online presence and drive bookings effectively. When creating a custom OTA strategy, the three most important factors to consider are:

  1. Target Audience Alignment: Tailoring strategies to align with the target audience of each OTA is crucial for attracting relevant customers and driving bookings effectively.

  2. Utilisation of Marketing Tools: Leveraging specific marketing tools offered by each OTA can enhance visibility, improve listing performance, and attract more potential guests, leading to increased bookings.

  3. Competitive Analysis and Differentiation: Understanding the competition on OTAs, monitoring prices, and identifying areas for improvement can help businesses stand out, attract more customers, and optimise pricing strategies for increased revenue.

Update your listings often

Incomplete listings are not displayed by OTAs to users. Additionally, if content remains stagnant or includes poor-quality photos or inconsistent room types, hoteliers may face penalties from the OTA, lowering the position of the listing on the OTA. Therefore, regularly updating your listings improves the likelihood of receiving more bookings and enhancing visibility.

To ensure your listings and content remain up-to-date:

  • Regularly update fresh content and listings on your connected OTAs.

  • Always prioritise the end-user experience when updating detailed content across channels.

  • Consider how to present your property in the best light to potential guests searching for your hotel.

Engage with reviews

There is a clear impact of your review score on your ranking on OTAs, however, the way you handle these reviews is even more important for influencing your visibility. Otamiser researched the impact responding to reviews has on ranking and conversions on OTAs. Drawing from a robust data set with hotels across the world, Otamiser's findings revealed that responding to reviews boosts conversion rates with on average 12.6%.

Responding to both positive and negative feedback demonstrates active engagement to OTAs and enhances perceived reliability among potential customers. Consistent engagement also correlates with increased visibility and higher booking rates on platforms like Booking.com. 

 Leverage ranking management

There is a first ever algorithm that cracked the code of Booking.com and other OTAs and discovered how it can get listings on the top positions of the ranking. This not only boosts visibility by on average 150%, but also on average gives properties 24% increase in revenue, due to more bookings. 

This algorithm has been created by Otamiser. Otamiser gathers data from Booking.com and other OTAs daily. Using this data, its algorithm identifies key parameters indicative of a high position. Leveraging this insight, the algorithm adjusts these parameters for their client’s listings, ensuring they attain top positions. In total, the algorithm has identified 951 parameters influencing OTA rankings.

This innovative algorithm dramatically enhances your hotel's visibility and it does this automatically, so you don’t have to worry about your OTA-strategy anymore. If you are curious what this solution can mean for your listings, book a call with their experts.


The power of combining ranking management with review management


The strength of combining Otamiser’s ranking optimization solutions with strong review management is huge. This dual approach combines the benefits of Otamiser Booster, increasing revenue with on average 24%, with the persuasive power of positive guest interactions to enhance your conversions with on average 12,6%. 

Together, these strategies create a virtuous cycle: higher rankings lead to increased visibility, which leads to more bookings and, consequently, more reviews. In turn, responsive review management further elevates your property's appeal, encouraging even more bookings and reviews. 

Use an automated review management solution

Here at Hotelspeaker, we specialise in providing personalised review responses for hotels. Our service includes a centralised dashboard for easy review management. We craft customised responses tailored to each hotel's needs, combining the power of AI with our team of native writers fluent in multiple languages.

Our innovative solution creates an AI persona for every client, ensuring that our responses reflect the unique tone of voice of each hotel. Responding to reviews promptly and thoughtfully is a critical component of this solution. By addressing each review with personalised feedback, thanking guests for their contributions, and inviting them to return, properties can significantly improve guest satisfaction and loyalty. 

Key take-away


The implementation of this combined solution of revenue management and review management, has a huge impact on the success of your listings. Properties that adopt this holistic strategy are better positioned to climb OTA rankings, attract more guests and maximise revenue. 

Combining Otamiser’s ranking management solution and Hotel Speaker’s review management solution is not just a strategy but a transformational shift towards achieving excellence in the digital age of hospitality.

If you are curious what Otamiser could mean for your listings, you can claim a free audit of your OTA strategy here