Guesty Booking Engine (Booking Website for Lite users): Best practices

The Guesty Booking Engine (Booking Website for Lite users) allows you to display listings to potential guests and allows them to book reservations, without you or the guest having to pay fees to the booking channels.
Our suggested best practices will help you optimize your Booking Engine configuration and suggest effective ways to promote your business. See the information below.

Setting a reservation policy 

When creating a Booking Engine, you choose a policy for approving reservations, either "Request to Book" or "Instant Booking". Learn how to decide between the two below.

  • Instant Booking: Choose this setting to automatically confirm a booking from the Booking Engine. This is very convenient if there is no need to confirm every reservation coming from your Booking Engine manually.
  • Request to Book (Status: Inquiry): Choose this option to manually confirm reservations coming from the Booking Engine. This is very useful if you would like to screen the guest while keeping the calendar dates open for other potential guests.
  • Pilot: Request to Book (Status: Reserved; 24 hours) Setting this option will let the potential Guest temporarily block the calendar for 24 hours, until then you will need to decide either to confirm or decline the request.
  • <strong">Pilot: Request to Book (Status: Reserved, without limitation): Pilot Setting this option will block the calendar dates indefinitely. You will need to set the reservation to either "Confirmed" or "Closed" status, otherwise, the block won't be removed from the calendar. Choose this option if you don't wish to check your reservation requests daily. </strong">

Increase your bookings

Encourage potential guests to book a reservation, by setting the following parameters.

  • Business address: Improve your position on the search engines' results page (such as Google's).
  • Email: Hint to booking the listing, e.g., Stays@mydomain.com or booking@mydomain.com.
  • Allow coupons (Pro users only): Enable by turning the toggle on. Boost bookings by offering coupons to past guests or present coupons on the Booking Engine to entice new guests.
  • About page: Enable by turning the toggle on. Present your brand’s story. Explain which gap in the market or industry your brand is solving.
  • Featured listings: Enable by turning the toggle on. Rotate listings regularly to present a range of options to visitors who may frequent the site.
  • Contact us form: Disable by turning the toggle off. This could distract potential guests from the Booking Engine's main objective, which is to book reservations.
  • Translation to other languages: translations can make your Booking Engine appealing to an international audience.

Promote direct bookings from channel-booking guests

  • Create a coupon for your Booking Engine called “Returning Guest”, and limit usage to 1.
  • Create an Auto-Message scheduled a few days after check-out sent by email with the text: “It was great having you, we hope to have the pleasure of hosting you again. For the next time, feel free to book here {{put the Booking Engine address}} and use this exclusive coupon 'Returning Guest' when booking to get a 10% discount!."
  • If you don't have the guest's email, you can use the check-in form to collect their personal email address.

Present your business accurately

Give potential guests a better understanding of your brand by using the following.

  • Background image: Frequently used backsplashes include an aerial view of the market you are in, or a picture of a common area in your most appealing listing, such as the living room, patio, or porch.
  • Theme colors: The color of the main button you want potential guests to press should match the primary brand color, and is recommended to be a warm color, such as green or red.
  • Terms, Conditions & Cancellation policy: Enable by turning the toggle on. Describe the rules, and cancellation and payment policies for guests to review before booking a reservation, to avoid disputing a charge.
  • Link logo in navigation to external website: Enable by turning the toggle on, only if you have a separate splash page that promotes the property management or acquisition side of the business.

Promote your Booking Engine (Booking Website)

Create a business profile on social media

Create a company page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and generate content with commonly used hashtags, such as #stay[nameofcity], #summervacations, and #fallgetaways. Learn how people use these hashtags and choose them wisely moving forward.
Ask your family and friends to like your pages and be your most passionate brand ambassadors.
Ask guests to take pictures and post them on your social media pages. You can also create a dedicated spot in your listings to encourage guests to create their own content and share it with you. Fresh content helps potential guests feel more confident when deciding where to book a reservation.

Create ads with Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics

Facebook has over 1 billion active users. Their ads are very cost-effective, with a setup that is easy to learn.
We recommend setting up a Facebook Pixel account and entering the code when configuring your Guesty Booking Engine. This will allow you to track conversions from Facebook ads and provide important information to optimize ads and better target your audience. 
Google Analytics is for more advanced users who can work with Google’s user interface (UI) and have a better understanding of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. This is also usually more expensive, depending on the micro-targeting of your keywords.
As with Facebook Pixel, we recommend setting up a Google Analytics account and entering the code when configuring your Guesty Booking Engine.

Put your private social media to use

Use your own social media to promote your business and ask family and friends to refer potential guests to your Booking Engine. These first guests will be the start of a referral network.
Join groups of like-minded entrepreneurs and travel groups that appeal to your ideal target audience.
Place "take-home" items in your listings, such as magnets, a USB drive, or a silly gimmick, to help guests remember you and your listing after their stay.

Keep track of bank transfers

If chosen to allow payment by bank transfer, you'll have to keep track of your guests' payments. You can create a reservations report to display bank transfer-type reservations by adding a "Source" filter, and setting its value to "website". This way you can view reservations received from the Booking Engine. Also, you can add a “Payment method” filter with the value “bank transfer”(relevant only if you already recorded the payment) to display paid reservations. You can add a “Total paid” filter as well (setting its value to “0”) to locate unpaid reservations.

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