Few would argue that metasearch engines are not an essential showcase for your direct sales channel.
NB: This is an article from mirai, one of our Expert Partners
According to our figures, they help to generate 5-20% of total web sales. The latest to catch this wave is Bing (owned by Microsoft) with the launch of Bing Hotel Price Ads, to give you a full range of services to reach your customers at different stages of the decision-making and purchasing process (conversion funnel).
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Why invest in Bing Hotel Price Ads?
Bing is the second most popular search engine worldwide with a share of 7% in the US and Canada (12% in desktop users, for example) and 4% in Europe (up to 11% in the UK for desktop users), which makes it a good way to reach new potential customers (who you are not reaching already, thus extending your reach) and diversify investments beyond the Google ecosystem.
Bing Hotel Price Ads is therefore a great opportunity to recover sales from customers who are searching for you but end up with the OTAs because they are the only ones bidding on your name. An investment, strangely enough, that the OTAs make with your money. From the commissions you pay on those sales.
Some figures for Bing’s audience:
- 140 million monthly users worldwide.
- 66 million users who do not use Google and who make up that much sought-after extended reach.
- Much better known in English-speaking markets led by the US, UK and Canada, followed by the rest of Europe.
- Significant market share such as the more than 11% of the European and 12% of the US PC search markets.
Other important facts about Bing to bear in mind:
- Its audience has higher purchasing power compared to the average internet user.
- An ecosystem that does not have many advertisers as yet, which translates into less competition and therefore lower CPC.
- Like the other metasearch engines, it allows you to increase your direct sales and grow your customer database, something that is becoming ever more important as we move towards a world with fewer cookies.
Where are ads displayed?
On the search results page or SERP, to the right of the results in a layout similar to Google’s. The screen shows the Bing Places tab, which has all the information, photos and reviews about your hotel, showing content from TripAdvisor and other sources like Booking.com and Foursquare.
You must have complete, up-to-date details for your hotel, and it is essential for the information to be exactly the same as what is shown in the feed, to avoid problems with ad matching. The hotel can claim ownership and edit its listing on Bing Places.
As well as in SERP search results, Bing Hotel Price Ads also appears on Bing Maps where users typically search by destination rather than hotel name. To target those potential customers, who are additional potential demand for you, Bing has campaigns called Property Promotion Ads, similar to Google Property Promotion Ads, which help to boost the visibility of your ads in destination search results. These ads are very useful for brand awareness, for new openings or to promote a hotel during periods of low occupancy.
What bidding models and optimisation options does it have?
The bidding model for Hotel Ads is CPC, per night bidding. You can bid either a fixed bid per night or a percentage of the value of the booking.
For greater granularity in your bidding, Bing has the following bid multipliers:
- Type of device
- Type of date
- Type of site (maps, SERP…)
- Country or region of user
- Length of stay
- Date of arrival
- Advance booking window
The multipliers are the same as on most metasearch engines; the only one you won’t find is the accommodation date multiplier offered by other metasearch engines such as TripAdvisor and Google.
As it works in a similar way to Google Hotel Ads, you should bid in a similar way to what you do on Google Hotel Ads and use the same bid multipliers as on Google Hotel Ads. Like Google Hotel Ads and Ads, Bing Hotel Ads bids are managed on the same dashboard used for managing Bing Ads.
What results can I expect?
It is difficult to predict, but it would be reasonable to expect something similar to the relationship between Bing Ads and Google Ads. After analysing the data for 2021 for all our customers who invest in both Google Ads and Bing Ads, we can see that 6% of total sales came from Microsoft’s search engine. If you achieved the same percentage (to be confirmed), you could expect to generate 6% of the sales that you now generate through Google Hotel Ads. Although that may not seem like much, it all increases direct sales.
In addition, and although the findings are still preliminary, we have seen the following results in the first hotels we have tested over recent months: ROAS of 20-30 (similar to with Google Hotel Ads using CPC). In other words, equivalent commissions in the range 3-5%.
Which hotels should activate Bing Hotel Price Ads?
- Hotels that issue in markets such as the USA, Canada and the UK, followed by the rest of Europe.
- Hotels that already use Bing Ads as, like with Google, it ensures maximum visibility of the hotel’s direct channel on the search engine.
- Hotels with high conversion rates in other metasearch engines.
- Hotels seeking to capture additional traffic.
We also recommend investing without a pre-determined limit under a fixed budget, but subject to achieving a return above a threshold.
How can I activate Bing Hotel Ads?
To activate campaigns, you need:
- To update your Bing Places listing
- A partner to assist you with Bing Hotel Price Ads integration. Unfortunately, Bing does not currently publish a list of such partners. You should therefore ask your current metasearch provider about integrating Bing Hotel Price Ads. Mirai is an official partner of Bing Hotel Price Ads.
Where can I view campaign performance?
All performance information is available in the Bing Hotel Ads dashboard and can easily be exported. You can find all the basic performance metrics to better optimise this meta search engine.
At Mirai, in the coming weeks, you will be able to see all this data reporting (including costs, visits, conversions and sales and other figures ratios) into our Mirai Metasearch dashboard.
An essential part of a good direct sales strategy is to attract as much relevant traffic as possible. And to do that at every stage for the traveller and every part of the funnel. Bing Hotel Price Ads offers you another shop window where your hotel can be seen by many users who are not on Google and who now end up with the OTAs, because they are the only ones bidding on your hotel.
Bing Hotel Price Ads is also an alternative investment to tried and tested targets (Trivago and TripAdvisor), particularly the whole Google ecosystem (Ads and Hotel Ads), reducing your reliance on a single medium and diversifying your investment and sources of traffic and sales.