If your hotel isn’t already using Metasearch to drive traffic to your website, you should be asking yourself why.
So what is Metasearch? Metasearch engines are unique search engines that display the current rates of many different hotels in a given destination. Examples of this include Google Hotel Price Ads, Trivago and TripAdvisor. The key benefit is to make the booking process more convenient for bookers, as they can compare rates at a glance from both OTA’s and independent hoteliers.
If your hotel is live on Metasearch then the booking is made through your own booking engine. Unlike acquiring guests from an OTA, when you acquire a guest via Metasearch you will own the customer data and be able to build more personalised relationships. With Google’s dominance of the travel sector growing, their Hotel Ads platform is quickly becoming an indispensable opportunity to market to the masses.
We saw huge growth in revenue driven through Metasearch in 2018, and for Avvio’s customers that are using Metasearch as a channel the results speak for themselves.
Here are the 5 main reasons you should start metasearch if you haven’t already.
1. It is a low cost per acquisition (CPA) booking when compared to the OTA’s.
In 2018 Avvio’s average CPA for meta was 7% across all channels. Even after adding in your booking engine commission, that still makes it a lot cheaper than an OTA booking. Your guest has now booked directly with you and you can build loyalty and to ensure they come back again. The average ROI from metasearch for Avvio customers in 2018 was an amazing 14:1. There are very few channels that will give you a return like that.
2. It is essential to start competing with the OTA’s.
Google is giving Metasearch so much prominence on its search page with its ‘Book a Room’ button. Over 50% of our customers’ total Meta revenue came from Google Hotel Price Ads in 2018. When your official site isn’t there it’s an easy way for the OTAs to take your guest instead. Also, by having a presence on both pay per click (PPC) and Metasearch, your property can take up more ‘real estate’ on the search engine results page (SERP)and drive additional brand awareness which is key when competing with the OTAs.
3. It exposes your property to new bookers who may not be familiar with your property.
Those who search for ‘4 Star London Hotels’ or ‘Luxury Hotel in Galway’ may not have found you otherwise. This non-branded traffic may select your property based on location, price or reviews for example.
4. You get a great return on your investment.
For some of our hotel customers, Metasearch made up almost 20% of their total direct revenue for 2018, with the average being 9% so it’s a hugely important and valuable channel that shouldn’t be ignored.
5. You’ve got to be seen to increase your direct bookings.
The overall billboard effect of having your hotel on these channels cannot be underestimated. Ensuring you have high-quality photography, good reviews and rate parity across all channels is hugely important to ensure good conversion rates. If your property has cheaper rates on the OTAs then Metasearch won’t work for you.
What to remember when using Metasearch as a channel
It’s important to ensure your hotel is working with digital experts to effectively manage your metasearch presence, and ensure you get the best return by testing the channels which will work best for you and tweaking bids and settings. Like PPC, Metasearch is an area where you can get a poor return if not managed properly.
With its real-time availability and pricing, alongside guest reviews it combines everything travel consumers want for convenience, on platforms they’re already using. Those not doing it are losing potential bookers to the OTAs as well as to their more savvy competitors.
To find out what Metasearch can do for your hotel, speak with our award-winning and Google accredited E-Commerce team.