image of person using laptop to make a hotel direct booking reflecting importance of metasearch and it's growing contribution to direct revenue

In the realm of boosting direct bookings, numerous hotels find themselves constrained by a finite set of strategies. While hotel marketing tools such as organic content, social media posts, and email campaigns contribute to generating interest in a property, they fall short in pinpointing the precise moment when a potential guest is prepared to make a reservation.

NB: This is an article from Travelboom

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And while paid search options like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads can yield impressive outcomes, they still lack the capability to dynamically integrate a hotel’s rates into the travelers’ decision-making process.

This is where hotel metasearch becomes so important, particularly for independent hoteliers.

The Importance of Hotel Metasearch Engines

Google search results for Myrtle Beach hotels.

According to a study by EyeForTravel, 94% of travelers use metasearch sites regularly when planning a vacation. In a vast majority of cases, the traveler is not going to realize they are using a metasearch engine, they simply know they are seeing the rates for the days they are looking for at the property they have shown interest. This data appears as if it is organic search content and is very highly trusted and engaged.

The adjacent search results page for “Myrtle Beach hotels” shows a typical destination result where you have at least one paid position at the top, a significant metasearch presence in the center, and organic results below the fold (followed by more paid ads).

What many hoteliers may not know is regardless if you (as the property manager) are participating in a metasearch campaign, you are already showing up with a rate. The OTAs are aggressively bidding and displaying a nightly rate for your property. This is why we recommend every property have an aggressive metasearch strategy to ensure their best book-direct rate is showing in as many metasearch opportunities as possible, particularly Google Hotel Ads. 

It’s very similar to bidding on brand terms for your hotel PPC campaigns and should be a standard part of your overall marketing efforts. If you’re not participating, someone else will take your spot on the SERP and steal a potential booking (see screenshot below). One thing in these two images is abundantly clear, an organic strategy alone is not enough in today’s SERP landscape.

Google search results for Breakers Resort.

The above only accounts for one fraction of the space that metasearch systems encompass. Beyond Google Hotel Ads (GHA) you have several major players:

Read the full article from Travelboom