Five reasons to consider metasearch
Today’s savvy travellers use the internet more than ever to search and book hotels, and they want results swiftly and with ease. They usually do many different searches and visit several websites before making a final decision.
Therefore, it’s crucial to create and maintain a strong online presence for your hotel. After all, the more your hotel appears in search results, the more likely potential guests will take note and decide that your property is the place to visit.
Raising the online visibility of your hotel can be done in many ways, and while online travel agents (OTAs), like Booking.com and Expedia, can be extremely effective distribution platforms, metasearch engines, including Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor and Trivago, have become huge players in the hospitality industry.
The key difference is that OTAs promote hotels and allows the guest to book with them rather than the hotel’s website, all in return for a commission. Metasearch engines provide information on hotels and once the guest selects your property it takes them directly to your website where they can complete the booking.
Here are five major advantages of metasearch.
Increase your direct bookings
Metasearch will drive traffic directly to your website, and coupled with a good booking engine, travellers can book their hotel room directly on your website instead of via an OTA.
Niall Lenihan, Business Development Manager at Net Affinity, explained: "Google has started investing heavily in this platform over the last 12 to 18 months and, currently, are integrating it directly with Google Ads. We now have 125 hotels live on Metasearch, delivering, on average, 15 to 20 percent of direct bookings to hotels.
“The platform works well for us and allows hotels to deliver live rates and availability directly from our booking engine. We expect to have another 100 hotels live on this platform over the next year."
Because you don’t have to pay a commission, you can list your accommodation’s rooms at a lower rate through metasearch. Metasearch is on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, which is typically much lower than the OTA’s commission rate; this also means you’ll only pay for guaranteed traffic to your web site.
Accessibility to reviews
Typically, consumers will select a hotel with higher and good ratings. Guests that are using metasearch engines will get access to reviews, through Google for example, and star ratings and reviews will give them the extra confidence to book with you.
Increase your brand awareness
Traffic to metasearch sites has increased significantly over recent years and isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. A presence on Google’s travel business and other heavy weight sites like Trivago and TripAdvisor can only boost your profile and increase the brand visibility for your property.
Own your guest data
With metasearch sites, you’ll receive bookings directly which means you’ll also receive the guest’s contact information and other data. And once you have that data, you’ll get opportunity to market directly to that guest with targeted email marketing, improve the chances of winning repeat business, as well establishing a relationship and providing a great experience for them.
Metasearch united with both good revenue management and smart booking engine technology can be a winning combination. As with all marketing and revenue management strategies, it’s important to monitor your efforts and establish the channels that perform best for you.
For support on hotel distribution and technology options, please contact us today.