One question that we get asked a lot is “so you guys have just built us an amazing website, why should we want to connect with anyone else’s?” and there are a number of key reasons why connecting to portals is a good idea. Whether you’ve had us build you a website from scratch or just want to use our API to get your properties to the portals efficiently and easily using our Channel Manager, connecting to both the large scale portal partners and smaller volume, niche portals to increase your inquiry volumes and get more bookings makes sense. So why should you use portal sites?
Maintaining the ecosystem
The online world is like an ecosystem, you have to have a number of channels performing well for you to achieve great things. So you can have a great website, will lots of fantastic functionality and a great approach to your SEO and PPC activities, but there is no way you can optimize for every customers’ search query or compete for every high volume, high cost keywords through Adwords or Adcentre. This is where expanding your reach through a portal site will really bring you customers that you otherwise could not effectively market to.
If you look at similar industries, they make good use of portal sites too. Take Booking.com as an example. Big hotel brands like Accor and Hilton still use them, even though they have huge search budgets and highly optimized websites. They see the value in having a presence on these sites and the unrivaled benefits of expanding your reach this way.
Bigger scale, bigger budget, bigger volume
The sheer scale of some of the larger sites makes them attractive too. Large scale portal sites generally have hundreds of thousands of unique visitors every year, with the majority of them having some purchase intent. The budgets of HomeAway and Holiday Lettings, for example are enormous. They will spend huge amounts of money on their SEM efforts to ensure they are top of all the search engines, something which agencies of all but the highest volumes and budgets can really afford to do.
Another benefit is that a number of portals provide you with the contact data for your inquiries. This is really useful as they can go into your database and you can start marketing to them, they are pre-qualified leads who have an interest in your property, so getting them to convert at a later date should prove easier than converting new customers.
Portals are also usually very cost effective. Whether you pay on performance (so a percentage of the overall booking cost) or by listing or per inquiry, we’ve generally seen really good CPA’s when we talk to our agencies about this, with some reporting CPAs as low as $23. So they are really cheap way of expanding your reach too.
Increasingly, these sites are becoming a one-stop-shop comparison site with a number of loyal users who will trawl through the listings and inquire on a number of properties without visiting other sites. For these users, it is imperative that you have presence on their, otherwise a perfect booking opportunity for your agency could fall into the hands of your rivals.
So there you have just some of the reasons why we would always recommend portal sites to our agencies. And anyone else, for that matter. They are a cost-effective channel that can bring you huge volumes customers that may well have otherwise missed-out on. When put in those terms, it really is a no-brainer!
If you’re looking to integrate to a portal, or multiple portals, then our channel manager solution may well be what you’re looking for. Through this you can effortlessly manage all your listings in one centralized location, and connect to multiple portals and the click of a button. For more information on how this can save you time money and effort (whether you are currently a Kigo customer or not), why not contact us today?
If you are in the market for a new vacation rental website or better vacation rental software to manage your inquiries, bookings and marketing, consider using Kigo. You can contact one of our vacation rental software experts at [email protected] or on the phone (Spain) +34 512 702 105 ‧ (France) +33 1 84 17 04 18 ‧ (USA) +1 (786) 292-0030