7 tips for a successful metasearch strategy: How to increase your hotel’s visibility and get more direct bookings.
With metasearch platforms such as GoogleHotel Ads, trivago, Tripadvisor, KAYAK, Skyscanner, Bing Hotel Ads, Wego or HotelsCombined, you can promote your hotel as well as the prices and availability of your hotel rooms. This allows travellers to find the best deal available by comparing hotel prices, reading hotel reviews, and booking a room directly on your hotel website. To get the most out of your metasearch advertising, you need an effective strategy to increase your hotel's visibility on metasearch engines, drive more visitors to your website, and generate more direct bookings.
These seven tips will help you create a successful metasearch strategy and maximise your return on investment (ROI):
Tip 1: Choose the right metasearch platform for your hotel.
Before choosing a metasearch platform, it is essential to understand the different platforms and their rules and policies regarding pricing, availability and content. For your hotel, you should choose the metasearch engine that suits your needs and brings the most visitors to your website in order to get as many direct bookings as possible. For this, check the performance of different platforms, e.g. in terms of:
- Conversion Rate (CR; Conversion Rate): Number of visitors to your website who perform a desired action (conversion)(e.g. book a hotel room) measured against the number of all visitors to your website.
- Click Through Rate (CTR): Number of clicks on your hotel ad in relation to the number of impressions of this ad.
- Cost per Click (CPC): The cost you pay for a click on your hotel ad.
Based on your budget, using several metasearch engines to achieve higher visibility for your hotel may be the right choice. Therefore, weigh up which platforms are suitable for you at the same time in order to reach as many travellers as possible.
Tip 2: Set goals and budget for metasearch
After you have gained an overview of the different metasearch platforms, determine the goals you want to achieve with metasearch and what you expect from this platform. In the next step, check your budget for your metasearch marketing.
Metasearch engines use a bidding system wherande hotels bid against each other to appear higher in the search results. To do this, set realistic, competitive bidding limits and price your rooms based on your budget, target audience, season and goals. In times of high demand, you can generally afford to increase room rates to achieve your hotel’s occupancy. However, in times of lower demand, you may need to lower your room rates to fill as many rooms as possible. Also, consider whether it makes sense to adjust your bids to certain times of the day, days of the week or other factors to influence the performance of your hotel ad positively.
Travellers always want to book at the best price. With a metasearch platform, you can offer a lower price and added value compared to online booking portals to increase the number of direct bookings on your website. Therefore, do not hesitate to take the best room rate and combine it with additional benefits such as free breakfast, last-minute offers, flexible booking options, etc., to be competitive.
Tip 3: Keep room availability and rates up to date
Ensure that your hotel room availability and rates are always up to date - both on the metasearch engine and your hotel website. It is advisable to work with channel management software that makes it easier for you to manage data and prices by synchronising the data on the metasearch platform and other channels as soon as you make changes.
Tip 4: Provide high-quality images and text
Present your hotel in the best light on the Metasearch platform. To do this, use meaningful, up-to-date texts and images of high quality that are tailored to your target group and highlight your sales arguments. When creating your hotel description, also make sure to use relevant search terms around your hotel offer (e.g. "hotel with pool", "wellness hotel", "hotel on the beach") so that your hotel is displayed for the keywords that users might enter to search for a hotel. This way, more metasearch users can see your hotel.
Tip 5: Provide a seamless user-friendly booking experience
Using a metasearch platform, you can generate more exposure for your hotel and increase traffic to your hotel website. To turn interested website visitors into paying guests, you must ensure that your website offers a positive user experience. Make sure that
- all information about your hotel, the rooms and facilities such as restaurant and wellness etc. is up-to-date, complete and comprehensible,
- pictures and videos are of high quality and fit your target group,
- authentic reviews from your guests are displayed, and you also respond to reviews (positive as well as negative),
- your website loads quickly and is also mobile friendly, i.e. developed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, as many travellers find out about a hotel on their mobile devices and increasingly book a room via their mobile phone, and that
- you use a user-friendly booking system so that rooms and other offers of your hotel can be booked in a few simple steps, and the booking process is fast and smooth - from the booking request to the booking confirmation.
Tip 6: Measure metasearch advertising and take action
Keep an eye on the performance of your metasearch ad and monitor important parameters such as financial spend, impressions, clicks, click-through rate, conversion rate and number of bookings. Also, look around for your competition: How do other hotels present themselves, what prices do they offer, which offers are particularly attractive, etc.? Based on the results obtained, you can optimise your ad and ensure that you achieve a positive ROI.
Tip 7: Adapt your strategy to the different metasearch engines
Keep in mind: not all metasearch platforms work the same. Therefore, it is even more important not to stick to one strategy. Remain flexible and slowly feel your way forward if you work with multiple metasearch engines. Try it out: place ads for different target groups, at different seasons, advertise other accommodation packages, adjust click prices, etc. This way, you will gradually become a success. This way, you will gradually get a feel for what works best on which platform and can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Metasearch: traffic boost for your hotel website and booking generator
In summary, metasearch engines can be an important channel for your marketing and sales strategy if you want to achieve more online visibility for your hotel, bring more visitors to your hotel website and ultimately get more direct bookings. Metasearch thus has a direct impact on your revenues. The advantage is obvious: on a metasearch platform,you give more visibility to your official room rates or best rates on the one hand, and on the other hand, you receive highly qualified leads, as travellers usually come to your website with the firm intention of booking a hotel room with you.
By using a platform that suits your needs, a well thought-out pricing strategy, attractively presented text and images, and a user-friendly booking system, you can build a successful metasearch strategy that will help you achieve the greatest possible ROI and increase your sales in the long term.
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