If you’re in the hospitality industry, chances are high that you’re familiar with metasearch engines.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
Although you may not initially recognize them by their technical name, these platforms are a huge part of the way customers research rates and book rooms. Otherwise known as hotel search engines or hotel aggregators, these websites allow travelers to search for hospitality options based on dates and cities of travel.
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These metasearch channels return results containing rates, reviews, and other information.
However, when you’re looking for information based on the best hotel website search engines, it’s important not to get these platforms confused with online travel agencies (OTAs). While they may be similar, hotel metasearch platforms and OTAs have completely different business models.
Metasearch Engines Compared to OTAs
OTAs provide additional options for hotels looking to sell unoccupied rooms. Additionally, they allow hotels to reach markets and demographics they may not have otherwise connected with.
Each OTA operates as a separate business and displays information regarding your hotel when travelers search in specific cities. Depending on the OTA, the rates may vary but normally allow customers to book discounted rooms.
How do metasearch engines work? A metasearch engine compiles all of the rates for your hotel available online, presenting them as a list for potential guests. The information is obtained through various OTAs and directly from your website.
This makes it much easier for travelers to compare rates across multiple channels to make the most efficient booking decision. The primary difference is that metasearch engines don’t directly sell their own inventory allotments.
There are several advantages of metasearch engines when hospitality companies decide to work with them.
Advantages of Hotel Comparison Search Engines
- Adding your hotel to a metasearch engine list gives you more opportunities for visibility online
- Metasearch engines use a pay-per-click model, meaning you don’t pay high commissions. This is a great way to market without the need for a huge investment.
- Mixing up your distribution channels doesn’t make you reliant on specific platforms.
- Metasearch engines increase your direct bookings since they allow travelers to purchase rooms directly on your website.
- Normally metasearch engines lead to a high number of positive reviews.
Disadvantages of Hotel Comparison Search Engines
- Normally travelers can’t book directly from the metasearch engine website.
- They can also significantly increase local competition.
What Are the Most Efficient Ways to Leverage Metasearch Engines?
The following list provides the most efficient ways to work with metasearch engines.
- Displaying updated pricing and room availability
- Total spend on clicks
- Booking conversion ratios and cost to your organization
- Ensuring pricing consistency across OTAs
- Monitoring online reviews
You’re probably wondering what your options are regarding these platforms. The following section highlights the best search engines for hotel rooms.
Best Metasearch Engines
There are several options when it comes to metasearch engines. The following list contains some of the top companies your hotel should consider working with.
TripAdvisor began in 2000 as a travel review website and has since transformed into one of the top metasearch engine platforms online. However, the company still places heavy emphasis on hospitality reviews. TripAdvisor displays all customer reviews for a hotel, plus rates and other information.
2. Google Hotel Ads
Google actually started Google Hotel Ads in 2011 under the name Google Hotel Finder.
When individuals use Google Maps to search for hospitality options, hotel ads are displayed with price information and comparisons from various OTAs. This same information is also displayed when users search for hotels on Google.com.
Although hotel Google ads have been available since 2011, they’ve started to ramp up their participation in the travel market recently. Because a huge portion of online hotel bookings begins on Google.com, becoming a Google Hotel Ads partner can garner significant results.
Trivago was founded in 2005 in Germany and is owned by the Expedia Group. Trivago operates in over 50 different global markets, making them a huge player. In fact, they are one of the largest metasearch engines in the world. If you own a hotel that has locations worldwide, Trivago could be a great option for brand exposure on a global scale.
Kayak is owned by Bookings Holdings and is currently active in over 30 countries. This metasearch engine displays results from over 2 million hotels and is known for its review features. They only allow genuine reviews from real, verified hotel guests. This means that companies aren’t able to cheat and post phony reviews to boost their ratings.
Skyscanner is owned by the Trip.com Group and has been an active metasearch engine since 2003. They originally began by offering flight comparisons but have since expanded to include other comparisons as well. Skyscanner can be an efficient option since you can connect your central reservations system and channel manager directly to their platform.
Wego launched out of Singapore in 2005. They offer support in more than 50 countries but place most of their efforts on the Middle East and India. Their results are generated by searching various OTAs and providing users with all pricing and availability options.
How Do I Promote Using Metasearch Engines?
There are several options for promoting your brand using a metasearch engine. The following list highlights the three most common promotion options:
- Advertising models usually operate using pay-per-click, allowing your hotel ads to display when travelers search for relevant terms. Setting the right prices will lead to higher conversion rates, so optimization is important.
- Commission-based models are when your hotel doesn’t pay for ad space but instead pays a commission when sales are generated through a metasearch engine. This is similar to the same model used by OTAs.
- Combination models use both approaches, allowing hotels to maximize their results for visibility.
It’s possible to deal directly with metasearch engines and promote your hotel via these platforms. However, if you want to maximize your dealings with metasearch engines, you should consider using a 3rd party like Hotelogix.