Here’s what hoteliers need to know about one of the fastest growing online sales channels for hotels.
A metasearch engine aggregates search results into a list of real-time websites that compare hotel prices and availability. It allows lookers to compare hotel room rates from various booking channels. Typically, this is dominated by third-party booking sites and hotels are missing the chance of direct bookings, giving OTA's the advantage, by not representing themselves. Metasearch engines represent a huge opportunity for hotels as these channels appear in the most prominent position available whilst providing an instant price comparison that's very easy to use. Metasearch strategy combines the digital marketing and distribution efforts of a hotel and also presents a booking channel and an online environment to advertise your hotel.
Advertising on hotel metasearch engines provides an excellent opportunity for hotels to reach a wider number of bookers. This is due to the fact that many potential guests turn to these online platforms to look at reviews, accommodation offering and compare prices before making a booking.
Metasearch is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing channels for the hotel industry. By representing your direct channel on the metasearch network it ensures you're not automatically giving your bookings to third parties with high commissions. It also provides a seamless booking experience for your guests. Essentially, it's all about ensuring your guests see your direct prices at the first opportunity and taking back control from OTA's in this space. With Profitroom there is simply no need to worry about external management that's not reactive as our booking engine boasts a direct integration and the ability to simplify the management of your rates and availability across these meta direct sales channels.
When a hotel advertises on metasearch channels, such as Google or Trivago, the results will also display the hotels direct rate appearing right alongside the rates from the OTA’s - but with an official website tag giving it the advantage in today’s market. When a potential guest clicks on the link they are taken directly to the hotel website and more specifically to the booking page where they can check not only the offer that is connected but they can also see other packages and experiences. In just one search the potential guest sees the rates from ALL channels in one place and has an option to make a direct booking. If there's no direct booking option, hoteliers can easily lose this guest to the OTA’s. Metasearch advertising shortens the path to converting a direct booking and this is why it should be an essential tactic in a hoteliers' marketing mix.
Many hoteliers are faced with the same challenges of the high cost of bookings from OTA’s. With a Metasearch campaign you can be present in all the right touchpoints:
Advertising on Metasearch engines gives you the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage, by driving direct bookings on Metasearch engines where your competition may be surrendering to OTA commission. So you can be sure to maximise your hotels' digital presence by leveraging the many advantages offered by metasearch engines to take back market share and increase your direct bookings.
Hoteliers should consider adding Metasearch into the marketing mix as it offers new ways to optimise and tap into the online guest booking experience at every touch point. Metasearch is now a critical part of the majority of guest search journeys and 94% of travellers report that they use metasearch when booking hotels with 73% doing so regularly. (EyeforTravel and Fornova’s study 2019)
Your potential guest and OTA’s are already using metasearch channels.
It is essential to ensure you appear in all the right digital touchpoints your potential guests are searching. With the focus on direct bookings then this is the most cost effective way of ensuring quality traffic to your website Metasearch channels like Google Hotel Ads are fully optimised for mobile allowing guests to book directly with your hotel whilst staying within the app.
However, that does not mean a metasearch campaign will be effective without a good booking engine. Make sure your booking engine experience on both desktop and mobile exceeds the expectation of potential guests offering a user friendly and optimised booking experience.
This needs to be right! Metasearch is a key site where guests compare hotel options and rates. If your published rate on the brand website is higher than your OTA rates, potential bookers will ignore your direct channel. Having connectivity through our booking engine to metasearch sites ensures that you don’t have to worry about any rate parity issues!
In order to make the most of your metasearch investment, we provide full campaign management and optimisation with both CPC and CPA models to suit your needs. Our Metasearch specialists are ready to work with you and drive more direct bookings with a healthy ROI.
At Profitroom with Google’s Hotel Ads (GHA’s) we’ve seen some remarkable results. In just a 6 month period we were able to acquire more direct bookings for our clients at a lower cost of acquisition (COA). On average, the COA is just 7.79%, far cheaper that the OTA commissions hotels would have paid by not converting the guest directly. Thus generating a staggering ROI of 5,352%! For Trivago and resort properties a 9.76% COA was achieved with a healthy 923.78% ROI.
Metasearch is a cost effective way to take back control of your OTA bookings.
There is no need to find a third party Metasearch connectivity partner as at Profitroom through our Booking Engine we offer all of the connectivity required to advertise directly for you on these channels. This gives you increased exposure online, more direct bookings and total control over the budget and the reporting.