Marketplaces created to compare prices between products and vendors can help buyers make the most informed decision possible. Metasearch sites such as Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago and Kayak are the lodging industrys answer to a comprehensive marketplace. They allow travelers to have a one stop shop for all of their lodging needs. Metasearch sites are search engines that aggregate data from leading online travel agencies (OTAs) and provide it to travelers so they can view and compare rates, availability, and pricing in one place.
In addition to letting travelers compare leading OTAs, metasearch sites give the ability to compare rates directly with the propertys own brand website. This channel currently accounts for 14% of hotel and resort bookings, driving billions in revenue each year, and will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond.
With more travelers choosing metasearch as their preferred method for finding and comparing prices, how can your property increase revenue through this important channel? Here are 3 things to consider to help maximize your ROI on metasearch sites.
Google Hotel Ads is Growing
Google has made several notable changes to the layout of the search engine results pages. The main goal of these changes appears to be hyper-monetization, offering better exposure for ads placements than organic results in many cases. The Google Hotel Ads featured provides travelers with a great user experience and is easily accessible with any Google search for lodging.
Having a great PPC and SEO strategy is still important, but you will want to include Google Hotel Ads in your online distribution strategy moving forward. Not maximizing this channel, or other metasearch engines, will likely cause a decrease in direct bookings.
OTAs are Heavy Players in Metasearch
If you have your availability listed on OTAs, your property is likely already showing up on metasearch engines. All major OTAs are sending their information to metasearch sites. When travelers find your property via metasearch, they can choose the channel (likely the lowest rate) through which to book their stay at your property.
If your propertys website is not included in metasearch results, you can expect an increase in commission fee costs to your OTAs that are maximizing exposure on this channel. This is why it is imperative to have your official hotel website integrating with metasearch sites. If you have competitive pricing and/or direct booking incentives, travelers will choose your site over an OTA.
Metasearch Can be a Bargain Compared to OTAs
OTAs are a great platform on which to be found and can certainly help you increase occupancy, but you should be taking any opportunity you get to have your guests book direct. In metasearch youre not just competing with other hotels in your area, but also with OTAs for your booking at your property. The cost per click can seem expensive at times, but remember: If your website isnt showing up, an OTA probably is.
A click on Google Hotel Ads to an OTA could cost you up to 30% for a booking. If you think of it, $1.50 or so for a click is a bargain and can save you a ton of money from OTA commissions. With an ROI of 10:1 on average for businesses across all metasearch channels, having a comprehensive metasearch strategy is a no brainer.
Just like Google Ads, bidding on metasearch can be complicated. You need to be sure that you have a booking engine that integrates with metasearch platforms and have a comprehensive bidding plan to maximize ROI. If you dont have a great strategy you may not see the ROI youre looking for. If youre not sure where to start you can reach out to our experts for a free consultation. TNS offers metasearch management as a service and we can help ensure that your campaigns are performing so that you can focus on your guests.
About TravelNet Solutions
TravelNet Solutions is a leading provider of integrated ecommerce, technology and marketing solutions to more than 2,000 Hotels, Resorts, Vacation Rental Managers and Alternative Lodging companies. TravelNet delivers a broad range of products including Managed Digital Marketing services and Ecommerce solutions including CRM, PMS, CRS and Cloud Contact Center. TravelNet is also parent company to ResortsandLodges.com, a marketplace for unique lodging.
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