Booking.com is one of the leading travel and tourism websites, with over 511 million visits and over 28 million listings. Because of this, there's no denying that businesses should seize every opportunity to stand out among other listings. Fortunately, Booking.com offers numerous partner programs to help companies to build demand for their property. In this blog, we'll discuss one of these programs, the Visibility Booster, and if it's a worthy investment for hotels and property owners.
What is the Visibility Booster on Booking com?
According to Booking.com, the Visibility Booster is designed to help partners increase their visibility during a specific period. Within the specified dates, businesses can override the standard ranking algorithm of Booking.com and get better visibility on relevant searches regardless of their property score.
Booking.com claims that the program was created to help business owners resell canceled rooms, target specific groups of travelers, and boost their competitiveness during peak season. To put things into perspective, let's say that competition among European hotels and property owners is at its peak during Tour de France. If you want to remain competitive without sacrificing your pricing, you can get the Visibility Booster to attract travelers.
In this example, the three listings most likely used the Visibility Booster, as they acquired the top search spots despite having no Property Score.
The cancellation rates during the peak season are also at their highest. If you have a Visibility Booster, you can easily attract last-minute bookers and maximize the availability of your rooms, preventing potential revenue loss.
How exactly does the Visibility Booster work?
There are three things you need to consider when getting the Visibility Booster:
- Date - Check-in dates when your visibility will be boosted.
- Target Audience - You can either target a global audience or travelers from a specific region or country.
- Commission Rate - The commission you'll give Booking.com in exchange for your visibility. The higher the commission rate, the better visibility your listing gets.
Even though the Visibility Booster requires an increased commission, business owners have complete autonomy over their visibility and Booking's commission rate. The regular rate per reservation is 15%. However, if you wish to get the Visibility Booster, your commission rate for the specified date can go up to 60%. However, note that Booking.com gauges the required commission rate for Visibility Booster depending on the destination, season, and target audience. The higher the competition is for your specific targets, the higher the fee.
What are the advantages of Booking.com's Visibility Booster?
Numerous businesses subscribe to the Visibility Booster to remain competitive on the platform. Here are some of the benefits enjoyed by companies that subscribe to the Booking Visibility Booster:
Increased visibility on Booking.com searches
Getting good visibility on relevant searches without the Visibility Booster takes significant time and effort. You would need to get enticing property photos, write creative headlines and descriptions, and, most importantly, gather enough guest reviews. And even if you've already completed all these, it may still take time to beat leading property listings which are also gathering reviews to increase their Property Score. So, if you've just created your Booking.com listing and are targeting to generate a high booking rate for a specific date, getting the Visibility Booster could be your best option.
To learn more about optimizing your Booking.com listing, read: Optimizing Your Booking.com Profile for Maximum Visibility.
Maximized room availability
Cancellation is the biggest issue among online booking platforms, especially for websites that provide flexible cancellation policies like Booking.com. Recent studies suggest that 20% of hotel bookings are being canceled worldwide. Surprisingly, most cancellations happen during the summer. While you can't stop guests from canceling their accommodation, the Visibility Booster lets you immediately reach out to customers who may want to book your property at the last minute. This ensures maximum occupancy during peak season.
The Visibility Booster gives businesses complete control over their visibility and ad budget. You can select the target dates, commission rate, and level of visibility you want to attain. Furthermore, since it's a commission-based fee, you don't need to pay if you don't get any reservations. If you deem that your listing is getting enough buzz and generating enough conversion rates, you can easily turn off the Visibility Booster and revert to the regular commission rate.
What are the disadvantages of Booking.com's Visibility Booster?
While the Visibility Booster is indeed an excellent way to attract new guests, it also has a couple of downsides. Here are some of the things you might want to consider before getting the Visibility Booster:
Doesn't guarantee increased conversion rates
The Visibility Booster only guarantees extra visibility of your listings–not bookings. 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. Genius Partners tend to attract Genius Loyalty users because of the guaranteed discounts and rewards, while Preferred Partners foster a certain level of trust among guests. For this reason, channel managers must still maintain competitive pricing and offer the best value deals to generate better conversion rates.
Glitches in the activation process
Like any website, Booking.com experiences connectivity issues during peak season. For this reason, some business profile owners encounter problems activating the Visibility Booster right when needed. While you can activate your Visibility Booster weeks before your target check-in dates, this issue may be critical for businesses targeting last-minute bookers for canceled rooms.
Requires data analysis
To maximize the Visibility Booster, you would need to know the specific dates your listings would need extra visibility, your target audience, and the commission rate you can give without affecting your revenue goals. If you don't have enough data from your distribution channels to identify the correct parameters you need, you might not be able to acquire bookings.
How to activate the Visibility Booster?
Booking.com has made it easier for partners to activate their Visibility Booster. Here's a step-by-step guide on how you can do this:
- Log in to your Extranet account. On the "Opportunities" tab, click the Visibility Booster.
- Choose the check-in dates you want to boost. You can select the relevant dates from the calendar if you have low occupancy over a certain period. Remember that your visibility will be boosted on the check-in dates marked with a green label.
- Pick a certain country or region to target a group of bookers. You may also target global users.
- Select the commission rate you want to have using the blue slider. The higher the commission is, the more boost in visibility you get.
- Finish the process by clicking "Apply."
As of this writing, there are no limits when setting target check-in dates. You can boost your listings for a day or even for an entire month. However, leading businesses usually keep their Visibility Booster active within a week. Aside from this, you can boost your listings while participating in the Genius Partner Program and Preferred Partner Program.
How to turn off the Visibility Booster?
Consequently, partners can also turn off the Visibility Booster easily. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Log in to your Extranet account. On the "Opportunities" tab, click the Visibility Booster.
- Click the dates you've boosted. Make sure that they're no longer marked green.
- Below the calendar, click "Delete."
You can activate and deactivate the Visibility Booster anytime you want. Just remember to always double-check your specified dates just so you won't get surprised if Booking.com charges a higher commission rate compared to your regular rate.
How to make the most out of the Visibility Booster?
Here are some of the best practices to maximize the full potential of the Visibility Booster:
Boost listings during peak season.
Boosting the visibility of your listing during peak season is the most common use case of Visibility Booster. While it may be easy to identify the check-in dates you need to boost, identifying your target users' location and the commission rate can be tricky. To make the most out of the Visibility Booster, it's highly recommended to check the booking statistics of your listings. For instance, to identify the target users, you must consider whether most of your guests are local or foreign travelers. On the other hand, to determine the level of visibility you need, consider your most popular listing. If your property regularly attracts families, you can try boosting your visibility more during the weekend or vacation season.
Boost canceled rooms.
Use the Visibility Booster to book canceled rooms. It's highly recommended to boost your high-performing listings, as they will most likely attract last-minute bookers. Aside from this, it's also best to promote high-ticket rooms to reduce potential revenue loss. When doing this, just ensure that your set commission rate will not supersede your revenue goals.
Boost new rooms and underperforming listings.
Like any online ad, you can use the Visibility Booster to generate data for your new rooms and underperforming listing. These data can help you review your price list, room offers, amenities, and other listing specification to drive better conversion rates. Aside from this, it's also a great way to gather guest ratings to improve the visibility of your listing on regular dates without using the Visibility Booster.
Gather data for customer targeting.
Unlike other partner programs on Booking.com, you can set the location from which you'll get more visibility. This will help you identify your target audience. You can try setting your Visibility Booster in different locations every week–Week 1: USA, Week 2: Europe, Week 3: Asia, and so on. Once you identify the location from which you drive the highest booking rates, you can tweak your offers, facilities, and amenities to serve them better. You can improve your food selection, airport to hotel transportation, or even instruct your hoteliers to speak another language to better communicate with your guests. This will lead to better customer satisfaction, leading to increased revenue generation.
Make sure your profile is optimized.
Tourists have become more discerning than ever. Recent surveys say 72% of travelers frequently read reviews before booking accommodation, with secondary considerations on property photos and websites. As mentioned a while ago, the Visibility Booster doesn't guarantee reservations. To make the most out of your increased commission rates, it's highly recommended to optimize your listings before getting into any paid program.
Generate more reviews.
Take the chance to gather more reviews for your property when using the Visibility Booster, as it would help you increase your Booking ranking even on regular dates. Send email requests, SMS updates, or place on-site reminders to collect reviews during peak season.
We know that it's easier said than done. To help you with this, we've gathered numerous strategies to collect more Booking.com reviews. Read: How to Get More Reviews on Booking.com
How can you rank on Booking.com without Visibility Booster?
While the Visibility Booster is a great way to reach out to customers, there are other ways to boost your ranking for free. Here's how to do it:
Give best value offers.
No partner programs can beat best value offers. Recent surveys suggest that a whopping 93% of consumers compare prices online before purchasing a product or service to ensure they get the best price on the market. Needless to say, you should prioritize setting competitive prices across your listings before joining paid programs. Regardless of how complicated marketing gets in the hospitality and tourism industry, everyone still loves a good bargain.
Optimize your profile.
Treat your listing as your sales page. Make sure your headline catches attention, your photos highlight the beauty of your property, and your page has a comprehensive list of amenities. Aside from this, it's also highly recommended to provide flexible payment and cancellation policies to foster trust among your audience. Remember that each area of your listing could be a deciding factor for potential guests.
In this example, the second property on the search results still generated more conversion rates despite not securing the top spot and not having the Preferred Partner badge.
To learn more about this, read: Understanding the user journey of a guest on Booking.com.
Provide excellent guest experience.
88% of consumers say they trust personal recommendations over hotel marketing strategies. This proves that organic marketing is still alive. Providing consistent and excellent customer experience will indeed create a buzz among travelers, especially in this influencer age when a positive post can reach thousands. Just make sure to amplify positive feedback on your social media platforms to attract more customers.
Respond to guest reviews.
On Booking.com, your Guest Review Score is one of the most crucial factors determining your website ranking. Because of this, it's essential to utilize every possible strategy to gather more guest reviews. Responding to reviews is a great way to delight guests, as they feel appreciated and validated even after completing their stay. This encourages other guests to review your property, leading to a better Guest Review Score. Aside from this, it's also a mark of holistic customer service, which is particularly important for the hospitality industry as it's heavily reliant on customer satisfaction.
To learn more about responding to Booking.com guest reviews for maximum visibility, read: How to Write the Best Replies to booking.com Reviews
Boost your Booking.com visibility without the Visibility Booster by responding to guest reviews.
While Booking.com's Visibility Booster can attract potential customers including high-value guests, you still need to build a solid online reputation to get better conversion rates. To do this, you must foster trust and engagement among your guests, which you can accomplish by diligently responding to guest reviews.
MARA AI review reply generator helps hoteliers craft well-written and fully optimized responses to guest reviews in the most efficient way possible. With an AI reply assistant, you can stay on top of their Booking Guest Reviews Scores while tending to the needs of your guests.
Here are some of the benefits enjoyed by MARA AI users:
- Achieve a 100% response rate
- Reduce response time without additional cost
- Respond with personal touch compared to using templates
- Increase online reputation to attract more customers
- Improve overall star rating across various booking platforms
Register for a FREE MARA account to see how cutting-edge AI technology can help you boost your Booking.com ranking.
While Booking.com offers numerous paid programs to help businesses achieve revenue growth, nothing beats connecting with your customers. The Visibility Booster may help you attract travelers for a specific period, but showing appreciation to your guests comes with numerous benefits your company can enjoy in the long run.
This article is part of our hero content on Booking.com Optimization: The Ultimate Guide for Hotel Managers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Use the Visibility Booster to promote your listing on Booking.com. To do this, just log in to your Extranet account and go to the “Opportunities” tab. You would need to give a higher commission rate in exchange for better visibility.
First, you should secure a fully-optimized listing to rank high on Booking. Next, you have to set competitive prices to attract guests. Lastly, you must improve your Guest Review Score by gathering more reviews.
To do this, edit your room type, then check your base rate plan. Set the Min. advance reservation section to the number of hours you want to require before you close the reservations.
Booking.com doesn’t charge a commission if business owners choose to waive cancellation fees for non-refundable or partially refundable bookings, a guest is marked as a no-show, and if the guest can’t be charged due to an invalid credit card.
The yellow tiles next to your property name in search results refer to your Quality Rating, which measures the accuracy of your listing information based on your actual property. It doesn’t refer to your hotel star rating.