Booking.com is now the leading hotel booking website. With over 284.7 million online traffic, it’s imperative for hotel managers and property owners to create fully-optimized Booking.com listings to remain competitive. In this article, we’ll discuss strategies for getting better visibility on Booking.com and generating more sales on the platform.
What is the best hotel booking platform?
Hotel booking platforms are getting increasingly popular among travelers these days. According to recent studies, only 29% of travelers prefer making direct online bookings with hotel websites since online booking platforms also provide competitive prices and other booking benefits for these online booking platforms.
Aside from this, most online booking platforms make planning a trip easier and more convenient. Now, travelers can book their flights, accommodation, transportation, and other travel activities on a single website. Not only does this save them so much time and energy from jumping from one website to another, but it also allows travelers to accumulate booking points that they can use on their next trip.
With over 678 million unique visits in August 2022 alone, Booking.com is considered the most popular hotel booking platform among travelers. The website offers a wide range of hotels, BnBs, resorts, and other accommodation types to suit the needs of every guest. Most importantly, the website doesn’t charge regular subscription fees but only takes commissions from bookings on its platform. This makes Booking.com a lucrative platform for business owners.
To learn more about other online booking websites, read our article: The Best Hotel Booking Sites to List Your Hotel in 2023
What is the importance of ranking on Booking.com?
As of the first quarter of 2023, Booking.com has generated over $76.5 billion worth of bookings, with 590 million nights booked and 15.3 million airline tickets purchased. This makes it one of the best booking websites when it comes to listing conversion. Aside from this, despite their continuous popularity, Booking.com doesn’t fall short of advertising their listings with over $1 billion annual expenditure on Google Ads.
Apart from its strong online presence, the ease of use of Booking.com has made it popular among travelers. They can book accommodations that fit their travel needs with just a few clicks. Furthermore, Booking.com has designed its listing profiles in such a way that they will provide complete details for travelers to make their decision making.
Booking.com’s credibility among travelers makes it an effective marketing tool for businesses to reach wider audiences and generate more sales. Ranking on the website doesn’t just mean generating revenue from the platform alone but also getting better visibility on other search engines.
To learn more about the benefits of Booking.com, read our article Optimizing Your Booking.com Profile for Maximum Visibility.
What is Booking.com Extranet, and how does it work?
Extranet s the administrative dashboard of Booking.com partners. Property owners can access and edit all their listings through the portal, including updating their payment options, property policies, room rates, photos, guest reviews, and more.
To create a business listing on Booking.com, you must register for a Master Account at https://join.booking.com. Once you’ve verified your identity and property ownership, you can proceed with creating User Accounts for your team. The features of the Extranet account are divided into major categories: Rates & Availability, Reservations, Property, Opportunities, Inbox, Guest Reviews, Finance, and Analytics. Furthermore, the dashboard comes with live notifications about your properties, including new reservations, messages, reviews, and cancellation requests, so that you can stay on top of your listings’ performance.
Read our article Master Booking.com Extranet: 7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Booking to learn how to fully navigate the Extranet.
What are the best practices when using Booking.com Extranet?
Business account owners can attract more guests and generate better conversion rates by maximizing the features of their Extranet accounts. Property owners must be updated with the numerous Booking.com partner offers, such as the 0% commission program. Offers like these are perfect to jumpstart your Booking.com journey without any commitment. You can also maximize your reservation management by activating manual booking and instant booking, depending on the performance of your listing. For instance, if you’re seeing a spike in your cancellation rate, it’s best to go with manual booking. On the other hand, if you’re in a highly competitive market, it’s best to provide a seamless booking process with instant booking.
Booking.com has also improved its photo optimization with the tagging feature. Now, business account owners can place additional information on listing photos or link them to a room offer to increase their conversion rate. The website has also allowed partners to boost their message management process using templates and automating replies. Aside from this, Booking.com has also introduced the SmartFlex Reservation program to mitigate the negative effects of booking cancelations on their partners.
Most importantly, the Extranet dashboard allows business owners to use web-based AI solutions to implement an efficient management system. These tools can automate and simplify laborious optimization tasks such as crafting message templates or replying to guest reviews. To learn more about the best practices of using Booking.com Extranet, read Master Booking.com Extranet: 7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Booking.
How do you register a new Booking.com listing?
Before you register a new listing, you should first register for a Booking.com business profile. To do this, you should proceed to https://join.booking.com/. You will be asked to fill out both personal and business information. Once you’ve successfully created a business profile, you can now proceed to create a property listing.
Here’s how you do this:
- Login at https://account.booking.com/
- Once you’re on your business account dashboard, select Add New Property
- Choose your property type and select List Your Property
- Supply the required listing details
- Confirm your registration by clicking Save
You can pause the registration process if you’re still yet to finalize your listing details. To continue, just go back to the homepage and click Continue on your registration process. The website will review your registration which usually takes two business days. You may be asked to provide more business documents to prove your ownership. Once approved, you’ll receive a confirmation email. You can then open your Extranet dashboard, where you can start optimizing your listing.
For a step-by-step guide on account and listing registration, read How to create a Booking.com listing?
How does Booking.com rank properties?
Booking.com continuously maintains its popularity among travelers by running a ranking algorithm that allows users to see accommodations that perfectly fit their travel needs. While they offer a couple of paid partner programs, the website still prioritizes providing relevant search results to users.
It’s imperative to understand Booking.com’s algorithm to ensure your listing gets its optimal ranking on relevant searches. Booking.com ranks listings based on the following factors:
- Guest Review Score - The average rating from previous guests.
- Search Filters - Booking.com allows guests to filter accommodations based on their needs. The listing that best fits the indicated filters will rank higher on the user search.
- Booking History - Users’ previous bookings are more likely to rank higher, especially when they have left positive feedback on the listing.
- Listing Content - A fully-optimized profile with engaging photos, detailed business information, and responses to guest reviews is more likely to rank higher on user searches.
- Overall Website Performance - Booking.com ranks the listings based on their guest reviews, number of cancellations, and overall listing activity.
For hotel managers and property owners, it’s essential to optimize your listings based on these metrics. This way, you can ensure high conversion rates for your business.
To learn more about this, read our article: Optimizing Your Booking.com Profile for Maximum Visibility.
How to optimize your Booking.com listing?
A fully-optimized Booking.com listing is more likely to rank higher than those without content. The less content there is, the more likely customers will think that the property provides subpar services. Worse, they may even deem it as an illegitimate listing. Travelers are more likely to book businesses that are transparent about their accommodations’ specifications. Furthermore, each detail supplied to the profile affects the decision-making of potential guests.
Here’s how you can improve your Booking.com profile:
- Write precise and complete listing descriptions.
- Place accurate check-in and check-out times.
- Add high-quality images.
- Add all your amenities.
- Respond to guest inquiries.
- Grab users’ attention with a catchy headline.
- Maintain a competitive price list.
- Offer flexible cancellation policies and payment methods.
- Actively collect guest reviews.
- Promptly reply to guest reviews.
- Consider joining the Genius program.
- Join the Preferred Partners Program.
- Get the Visibility Booster.
Optimizing your Booking.com listings is tricky, but it’s not impossible. To learn more about this, read our article: Optimizing Your Booking.com Profile for Maximum Visibility.
How to reply to reviews on Booking.com?
Booking.com allows businesses to offer flexible check-in times, various payment methods, self-check-in options, and other booking promos to attract guests. This makes the competition on the website slightly tougher. Because of this, it’s crucial for businesses to provide guests a sneak-peak of the customer service they will get, which can be done by responding to reviews on Booking.com.
Fortunately, Booking.com has made it easy for business owners to respond to reviews. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Sign in to your account
After logging in, your dashboard will reflect details of your properties. Proceed to “Group Home” and select the desired property you wish to reply to reviews.
2. Go to the Reviews tab
The “Reviews” tab will display listing information such as the Property Name, Date of Booking, Booking IDs, Review Score, and Comments. If you have pre-selected a review you wish to address, you can use the search box to look for it. If you wish to respond to all reviews, proceed to the next step.
3. Go to Guest Reviews and filter content
Under the “Guest Reviews,” a dropdown menu will appear with the tab “Guest Experience.” After clicking this, a dashboard with your property listings will appear. Before replying to reviews, make sure that you’ve toggled “All Reviews.”
4. Write your reply, send, and review
Click the review you wish to reply to. A reply box will appear where you can write your response. After sending your reply, it will be subjected to a review process. You can check your approved replies by clicking “View Your Approved Response.” If you wish to edit or delete a response, you can click the specific response again.
Hotel managers can make potential guests feel confident in their choice of accommodation by using Booking.com’s partner dashboard to quickly and professionally reply to guest reviews.
To get more information about responding to Booking.com reviews, read our complete article: How to Write the Best Replies to Booking.com Reviews.
You can also reply to guest reviews on your Pulse app. Here’s how to do it:
- Login to your Pulse app using your Extranet username and password.
- Click More, which you can find on the bottom right part of the dashboard.
- Choose Guest Reviews.
- Click on the review to which you want to respond.
- Write your response, then tap Send.
If you’re up-to-date with your reviews, you can also reply to new reviews by clicking the notification on your Activity page.
To learn more about using the Pulse app for your guest reviews, read How to respond to guest reviews in the Pulse app?
How to respond to positive reviews on Booking.com?
Well-written replies to positive reviews can attract potential guests. This gives the idea the impression that you attend to your guests even after their stay.
When responding to reviews on Booking.com, posting your reply within 24 hours is highly recommended. This shows readers that your team is diligent and attentive to customers. Posting late replies to positive reviews will make it seem like you can’t equate your guest’s enthusiasm.
Aside from this, it’s best to highlight key metrics stated in the reviews. This includes feedback about your location, facilities, amenities, and customer service. These elements are verified to affect travelers’ decision-making process. It’s also best to include a call to action and invite the reviewer to revisit your property, as it will boost customer loyalty.
Most importantly, refrain from using a standard template for your replies. While a repetitive “thank you” template is the easiest way to reply to positive reviews, this will give the impression of indifference towards guests. This may affect customers’ attitudes toward your brand and drive away potential guests. It’s highly recommended to personalize your replies, even those generated by AI review reply assistants.
Making the most out of positive reviews shouldn’t be that hard. Read our complete article: How to Write the Best Replies to Booking.com Reviews.
How to respond to negative reviews on Booking.com?
Negative reviews significantly affect your Booking.com ranking and reduce your conversion rates. The same is true with other hotel booking platforms.
When responding to bad reviews, the first thing you should remember is to maintain a professional tone. Refrain from being too passive or apologetic, as it may affirm the guest’s position in posting a public complaint against your brand. However, refrain from being aggressive, too, as it will make it seem you’re just being defensive instead of providing real solutions.
Furthermore, avoid making promises. Write replies that lean more on doing solutions to show how committed your team is to deliver better services. Connecting with the reviewer privately is highly recommended, but remember never to offer compensation. Making amends with reviewers through freebies may only create a domino effect of bad reviews. Instead, provide a clear-cut solution to the complaint posted on your Booking.com account.
For more tips on responding to reviews on Booking.com, see the full article here: How to Write the Best Replies to booking.com Reviews.
Can I remove negative reviews on Booking.com?
Yes, it is possible to request the removal of a negative review on Booking.com. However, this only applies to reviews violating the company’s guidelines. Reviews must not contain profanity, sexual references, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, threats, offensive content, illegal activity, spam or fake content, impersonation, or personal or private details that could put a person in danger.
Aside from these content guidelines, business owners can also request the removal of reviews due to cancellation, payment issues, no-shows, potential cases of blackmail, and insufficient details about the accommodation.
To submit a removal request, contact Booking.com via Inbox on your Extranet with ‘Guest Reviews’ as the subject title. The company will then review the content of the review and take the necessary action based on its policies and guidelines. Depending on the review’s severity, they may remove or leave the offending content as is. While waiting for the removal of the review, it’s best to post a response to prevent driving off potential guests. Should the complaint be resolved, you can always edit the response and place an update regarding your resolution.
For more information, please refer to the full article: How to Remove Bad Reviews from Booking.com (or How to Mitigate their Impact)
How to mitigate the impact of negative reviews on Booking.com?
Booking.com doesn’t remove reviews as long as they don’t violate their review guidelines. Fortunately, there are various ways to mitigate the negative impact of bad reviews on your business. Here are some of them:
- Contact the guest. Reach out to the reviewer and ask if there’s anything you can do to amend their bad experience with your hotel. This opens the possibility of updating the bad review posted.
- Follow-up offline with the guest. Booking.com shows business owners the booking details of guests per review. With this, you can contact the reviewer with an apology email and inform them about the necessary changes your team is making to amend their experience.
- Respond to every review. While connecting with the reviewer privately, make sure you also post a public reply to the review. This will ensure readers and potential guests that you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure the experience will not happen to other guests.
To learn more strategies on mitigating the impact of negative reviews on your brand reputation, please refer to the full article: How to Remove Bad Reviews from Booking.com (or How to Mitigate their Impact)
How to get more reviews on Booking.com?
Higher hotel conversion rates are mostly correlated with higher visibility on Booking.com. According to recent surveys, Booking.com’s mobile app has an 87% rating as the best travel app. This indicates that millions of travelers give Booking.com hotels top priority. With over 285 million unique visitors in the final quarter of 2022 alone, the website is able to maintain its dominant position among travel booking websites such as Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and Hotels.com.
Booking.com ranks listings based on guest reviews. For this reason, getting more reviews on Booking.com is essential to establishing strong online credibility and attracting new customers.
Though Booking.com already sends out private review links to guests, there are other approaches to motivate customers to leave a review. At check-out, you can directly ask guests to review your property and explain the importance of leaving a review. Alternatively, you could include a request in a welcome package or follow-up message.
You could also use visual reminders such as signs or posters that ask guests to leave a review and offer discounts or rewards for reviewers or employees. This can be an effective way to get more people to leave a review on Booking.com. These strategies can help you acquire more reviews on Booking.com and improve your online presence.
For more information on gathering more reviews on Booking.com, read this article: How to Get More Reviews on Booking.com: Easy Strategies to Try.
What is the Pulse app for Booking com and why is it important?
In 2018, Booking.com introduced the Pulse app for partners. It’s the mobile version of the Extranet, which allows business account owners to stay on top of their bookings whenever and wherever they go. With the Pulse app, property owners can manage reservations, optimize their listings, respond to customer messages, and reply to guest reviews within the comfort of their smartphones.
The primary benefit of using the Pulse app is easier booking management. With the app, hoteliers can reduce booking errors, maximize the availability of their rooms, and attend to reservation requests. Aside from this, the Pulse app is the best way to optimize their listings for the mobile version of Booking.com, as 40% of bookings are now done via the Booking.com user app.
Most importantly, the Pulse app provides hoteliers a fast and efficient way to attend to guest reviews. Logging into the Extranet dashboard to reply to guest reviews while attending to on-site guests can be really taxing. With the Pulse app, hoteliers can respond to guest reviews the second they’re posted by the users, preventing backlogs. Fast response to guest reviews won’t just give you a better Booking.com Property Score but will also attract more guests.
To learn more about the benefits of the Pulse app for Booking.com, read our complete article, The Ultimate Guide to Using the Pulse App for Booking.com Success.
How to use the Pulse App of Booking.com?
Here’s how you can log in to your Pulse App:
- Download the Pulse app in Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
- Log in with your Extranet username and password.
- Verify your device. This can be done via email or SMS.
- If you’re logging in to a new device, you can remove your previous devices under the Account tab.
Once logged in, you can access the main tabs such the Activity, Bookings, Availability, and Messages. Aside from these, you can also access other Extranet features such as Statistics, Guest Experience, Invoices, Payments, Property Photos, Promotions, Genius Report, and Opportunity Center.
Despite its numerous features, several Booking.com listing managers still can’t make the most out of the app to boost their revenue. When using the Pulse app, activating in-app notifications is highly recommended so you can stay on top of every new activity your listing gets. Aside from this, it’s also best to optimize your listing every so often, especially with new customer photos. To do this, just go to your Guest Reviews and choose the images you wish to feature on your listing page. Most importantly, be mindful of your response rate on guest messages and reviews. According to Booking.com surveys, properties with high Reply Scores tend to have lower cancellation rates and better chances to increase their ranking.
To learn more on how you can use the Pulse app to attract more bookings, read our article The Ultimate Guide to Using the Pulse App for Booking.com Success.
What is the Booking Genius Program, and why is it important?
There are currently two partner programs in Booking.com. The Preferred Partner Program is designed to build trust among potential guests by granting listings a Booking.com thumbs-up badge for increased commission. On the other hand, the Genius Partner Program aims to connect businesses to frequent travelers through a user loyalty program. This allows you to increase customer retention and maintain their competitiveness.
According to Booking.com, the Genius Partner Program gave business owners a 70% increase in search results views. Suppose you’re still starting to fully optimize your listing to boost your ranking, then the Genius program can help you generate sales while working on your business account. Aside from this, Booking.com claims that Genius partners also saw increased booking rates of up to 40%. Because of the guaranteed discounts and travel rewards, listings with the Genius badge tend to drive better conversion rates. Most importantly, the Genius program is a great way to collect more guest reviews. Genius users are considered experts on the website due to their booking history. For this reason, most are more than willing to post reviews about their accommodations, especially if they were granted the perks and privileges.
Interested to know more about the advantages of getting into the Genius Partner Program? Read What are the benefits of the Genius Partner Program?
What are the qualifications for the Genius Loyalty Program and Genius Partner Program?
The Genius Partner Program applies fixed discounts and booking perks to their partners’ least expensive or most popular listings. The users’ Genius Loyalty Program determines the discounts. To understand how it works, let’s take a look at the Genius Levels:
- Booking Genius Level 1: Users get 10% discounts on their accommodations after taxes and charges.
- Booking Genius Level 2: Users who have completed five stays within two years get a 15% discount, complimentary breakfast, and free room upgrades on Genius partners.
- Booking Genius Level 3: Users who have completed 15 stays within two years get a 20% discount, priority assistance, complimentary breakfast, and free room upgrades on Genius partners.
The Genius Partner Program is free. It requires no additional commission, membership fee, or subscription payment. However, businesses can only get into the program once they meet the following partner guidelines:
- All listings are open and bookable through Booking.com
- Gathered at least three guest reviews
- Average Review Score of 7.5 with an exception for businesses on locations with an Average Review Score of under 7.5.
Partners who meet these criteria can join the Genius Partner Program by submitting an application on the “Opportunities” tab on their Extranet dashboard.
To learn more about the Genius Partner Program and how you can make the most of it, read our complete article Booking.com’s Genius Partner Program: Everything You Need to Know.
What is the Booking Visibility Booster, and why is it important?
The Visibility Booster is Booking.com’s partner program that allows businesses to increase their visibility within a specific period. Partners can override the regular Booking ranking algorithm to get better visibility on relevant searches regardless of their Property Score. According to Booking, the program is a great way to resell canceled rooms, target specific groups of travelers, and improve their competitiveness during peak season.
There are three factors to consider when setting up your Visibility Booster. First is the check-in dates when your visibility will be boosted. Next is the location of the audience you want to target. You can choose a specific country, or you can target global users. Lastly, you can set the commission rate you’ll give Booking.com. The higher the commission rate, the better visibility your listing gets.
Numerous Booking partners are now enjoying the benefits of the Visibility Booster. It helps hotels maximize room availability by letting managers immediately reach out to customers who may want to book rooms at the last minute. Since it’s a commission-based program, it can be cost-efficient as property owners wouldn’t need to make any upfront payment. Business account owners also have full autonomy on how much commission they will give in exchange for increased visibility.
On the other hand, there are also some downsides to using the Visibility Booster. The most important is that it only guarantees increased visibility, not conversion rates. Bear in mind that while you may be able to get a good ranking, you would still be competing with Genius Partners and Preferred Partners, which each have their competitive edge.
To learn more about the pros and cons of getting the Visibility Booster, read our complete article Booking.com Visibility Booster: Is it Worth the Investment for Hotels and Property Owners?
How to use the Booking Visibility Booster?
Booking has made it easier for partners to get into their paid programs. Here’s how you can activate your Visibility Booster:
- Go to the Opportunities page of your Extranet account.
- Click the Visibility Booster on the dropdown menu.
- Choose the check-in dates you want to boost. Remember that your visibility will be boosted on the check-in dates marked with a green label.
- Choose your target audience. You can either select the global audience or pick a certain country.
- Using the blue slider, select the commission rate you want to give.
- Click Apply to finish the process.
You can deactivate the Visibility Booster anytime. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
- Go to the Opportunities page of your Extranet account.
- Click the Visibility Booster on the dropdown menu.
- Unmark the check-in dates you’ve selected. Make sure that they’re no longer marked green.
- Click Delete below the calendar.
Using the Visibility Booster can be pretty tricky. Without the right data, you may be unable to maximize its potential. Worse, you might not be able to reach your revenue goal because of your increased commission. One of the best practices when using the Visibility Booster is to boost your listings during peak season. This will allow you to generate revenue without sacrificing your pricing. It’s also highly recommended to boost your high-performing listings, as they will most likely attract last-minute bookers. Most importantly, it’s a great way to generate more reviews, as they would help you increase your Booking ranking even on regular dates.
Interested to learn more about how you can maximize the Visibility Booster? Read: How to make the most out of the Visibility Booster?
Manage your Booking.com profile with an AI review reply assistant.
Responding to Booking.com reviews is a crucial part of optimizing your listings. However, we know that it’s easier said than done. Hotel managers and property owners receive numerous reviews daily, and that’s on top of other customer requests and business tasks they’re expected to cover.
Fortunately, an AI review reply assistant can help you maintain a 100% response rate on Booking.com and other hotel booking platforms. This will allow your brand to rank higher on relevant searches, boost customer engagement, and attract potential guests.
Here’s what business owners are saying about MARA AI review reply assistant:
With the MARA AI reply generator, you can focus your time, energy, and brain power on dedicating exceptional stays for your guests. Register for a FREE account and start optimizing your Booking.com listings today.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Booking.com sends a unique review link to guests upon completion of their stay. Users can rate the property and write a review based on the cleanliness, facilities, location, comfort, customer service, and value for money. The website then takes the Property Score by getting the average score of all guest ratings.
Providing an excellent guest experience is still the best way to get good reviews on Booking.com. However, there are some ways to create a nice impression among guests, such as responding to positive reviews, maintaining competitive prices, and offering flexible payment policies.
Only guests who have booked through the website and completed their stay can leave a review on Booking.com. The website sends an automated review link to guests upon checkout.
There are several ways to improve your Booking.com listing. This includes writing a creative headline, using enticing photos, enumerating all your amenities, creating a catchy listing description, and consistently replying to reviews.
Yes. However, it may be tricky. Guests can’t directly edit their reviews once posted. If they deem they’ve made a mistake, they should contact Booking.com and request a new review link.