Hotels everywhere are battling for direct bookings. Direct bookings not only drive profit, they allow hoteliers to collect data about their guests to deliver a personalized experience.
NB: This is an article from Sojern
Many travel marketers are deploying multichannel marketing campaigns to increase direct bookings, but research shows that more than half of bookings still come from OTAs. The best way to increase direct bookings is to pair metasearch with your existing multichannel campaigns to increase visibility.
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With an average conversion rate of 4.5%, metasearch is higher than any marketing channel, which means every hotel should be using it.
Here’s everything you need to know about metasearch.
What is metasearch and where does it fit in my marketing strategy?
Metasearch consolidates hotel rates from multiple booking channels, such as hotel websites, wholesalers, and OTAs, and displays them on a single page. Kayak, TripAdvisor, and Google Hotel Ads are just a few of the popular metasearch engines. Travelers can visit the website and search for real-time hotel room prices. Unlike search engine marketing (SEM), display, or social ads, users simply enter the dates of their trip on the website and it populates the results. Results, which include live rates, are shown in a single view, allowing travelers to compare deals or rates and then book.
Metasearch sites are different from OTAs, because they direct travelers to your hotel website to finish the booking process. And with any direct booking, your hotel has access to the customer data and information, making it much easier to own the customer relationship and build repeat bookings and loyalty over time. It also means that metasearch channels won’t be disrupted when Google phases out third-party cookies.
Metasearch is a mid-to-low funnel tactic that is typically deployed as part of a comprehensive multichannel marketing strategy. There’s a bias to drive direct traffic, which means metasearch gives your property greater exposure than the OTAs to encourage a direct booking. At Sojern, we bid on behalf of your hotel so the traveler clicks on your property’s listing. With high conversion rates, metasearch is a great way to shift share away from OTAs because it catches travelers when they are actively moving from the planning to the booking phase.
Where do metasearch campaigns appear?
There are two main website categories where metasearch campaigns appear. Classic metasearch websites, such as TripAdvisor, Trivago, Wego, or Skyscanner invest millions of dollars in advertising to make sure they’re top of mind when travelers want to book. Hotel ads can appear in hotel results listings or in more general destination listings. General search engines, such as Google and Bing, integrate metasearch into the results page when users search for a hotel. Ad placements are visible in the results or, in Google’s case, in Google Maps.