Metasearch has rapidly emerged to become one of the leading ways users can find cheap deals for travel, in arenas from air fare to hotel accommodation. This has significantly changed the distribution landscape for hotels. Does Metasearch help or hinder the indepedent hotelier looking to drive direct bookings?
Metasearch sites can be a great asset to your direct bookings, but it’s all down to how you manage your Metasearch channels.
The best way to drive direct bookings through Metasearch is to treat them like a marketing channel for your hotel – because that’s what they are!
Today we’ll show you:
- How Metasearch sites work
- The cost benefits of looking at Metasearch as a marketing channel
- Getting your hotel set up properly on Metasearch sites
How do Metasearch Sites Work?
Metasearch sites allow consumers to search for accommodation across several sites by consolidating the results in a comparative format.
For example, users can sort search results by price, simplifying their buying decision. If one hotel has the lowest price on Expedia for the dates and price range but another hotel has a lower price on Booking.com for the same search criteria, the user can easily see and pick their favorite.
Where do Metasearch sites get their data? Metasearch sites have agreements with OTAs granting them access to their APIs, and are able to download and aggregate hotel data.
You can (and should!) claim your hotel profile on a Metasearch site, which allows you to customize your images, descriptions, features, etc. If you’re working with a booking engine provider who offers direct connections to Metasearch channels, work with them to create a direct link to your own website. If you don’t have this direct connection, Metasearch channels can still give you bookings – but they’ll come through OTAs, and you’ll be paying OTA commission rates on them.
Metasearch makes it easier to look for and compare travel products. According to a recent travel study from Google, travelers today look at an average of 21.6 touchpoints before they book. Metasearch sites would like to become a one-stop shop.