Metasearch: the winning approach to direct bookings

Technology has consistently changed our approach to the ways we manage and do business. As consumers are always connected to their digital channels, their habits are constantly evolving. These constant shifts have challenged the hospitality industry to keep pace with new technology and trends so as to compete in the online community space.

To compete effectively in the digital community space, an effective Digital Marketing strategy to drive more qualified traffic and conversion to the hotel’s website is pertinent. This plan encompasses Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pre-and Retargeting Display Ads Campaigns, AdWords and the ultimate driver Metasearch.

Since the fourth quarter of 2016, Metasearch has grown to become the most important advertising channel for hotels outpacing even AdWords. This trend is escalating.

We found it important to help hotels understand the various digital channels and how they work so that they can make better choices and decisions on advertising budgets. Here’s a run down of key players:


Over the last five years, TripAdvisor has held the dominant position in metasearch advertising, especially in areas of quality of traffic and revenue generated. Although TripAdvisor remains one of the key channels on the market and is still one of the best performing platforms for metasearch, its numbers have recently declined both in traffic volume and return on investment.

Our analysis TripAdvisor produces highly qualified traffic with good conversion rates and has a very international audience even though it is strongest in North America. For hotels in Europe and Asia, this translates into a high return on investment as the average stay is longer than domestic or regional audiences. From our analysis, users who book through TripAdvisor has an average stay of 4.5 days.

The bidding system has improved over the years but remains quite opaque. The priority is given to the highest bidder, and as an advertiser, you will not know how much that bid is. One can opt for a “share of clicks,” which somewhat guarantees that one will be visible and receive clicks a certain percentage of the time. Changes in bidding and campaigns can be managed on a daily basis.

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