Hotelier’s Guide to Pixels and Cookies
Learn the difference between cookies and pixels, and using them together.
If you’ve surfed the internet or have done any form of online advertising, you’ve probably come across the terms pixels and cookies—and no, we aren’t talking about the delicious chocolate chip kind. Here we explain what pixels and cookies are and why they are essential for advertising your hotel online.
A pixel, often referred to as a tag, is a block of code placed within your site’s code that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising. It’s unnoticeable to your site visitors and won’t affect your site’s performance. A pixel also triggers cookies, which we explain later. When a potential guest visits your site and takes an action, the pixel “fires” or collects the data from the user’s behavior and reports the action. Then, you know when a potential guest takes an action and can reach them again through your future ads. A common example is a Facebook pixel, pictured below, which can be implemented across many different pages of your website. When a potential guest visits your amenities page, a pixel fires, allowing you to reach them via Facebook ads.
Another example is working through a third-party advertiser, such as Sojern. Similar to Facebook, Sojern provides a pixel to place within your site’s code. If a potential guest visits your site, browses room information, but leaves without converting, a pixel fires to Sojern. Then, Sojern serves ads to that potential guest, influencing them to complete their booking on your site. A pixel is also placed within the ad. When someone sees an ad for your hotel and returns to your site to book, a pixel fires. Then, you are able to track where your conversions are coming from and trace them back to your ads.
It’s important to note pixels do not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) of the user. Third parties will not receive the name of the user, email, etc, but instead a unique ID of that user.
Benefits of pixels include:
When partnering with Sojern, placing pixels also allows you to see specific analytics about your website and guests through your online Sojern account, such as top inbound markets, room nights & average daily rate, arrival lead time, demographics of those visiting your site, and much more. Best of all, the pixel implementation is quick and easy.
Like pixels, cookies do not contain personally identifiable information. In advertising, cookies ensure the ads seen by a user are relevant. They allow ad networks to identify a user across sites to serve them targeted ads for your hotel. Cookies also help control the number of times a user sees an ad.
Pixels deliver information or behaviors to a server. Cookies store that information in a user’s browser so the server can read it again later.
Here is an example of how they work together:
By reading this guide, you should now have a better understanding of how pixels and cookies work and why they are essential for an effective, relevant advertising campaign.
To learn more, watch our latest webinar: What is Programmatic Advertising and How Can it Help Drive Direct Hotel Bookings.
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“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
"Sojern and Roiback have a great relationship and work together to maximise our direct bookings. We have regular check-ins to review performance, and both Sojern and Roiback give us insights and recommendations for improvement. And the results speak for themselves! Their collaboration has been very helpful for us."
"I’ve definitely seen increased bookings. In fact, January through March is usually a quiet period for us, but this year, leisure bookings are double what we normally see, and this is due to Sojern. As a small hotel, I really value the relationship we've built with the Sojern team. You can tell when someone is genuine and willing to work with you, and I feel that with Sojern."
"I worked with Sojern at a previous hotel and had a great experience, so I knew I wanted to partner with them when I joined Ticino Hotels Group. Their Pay on the Stay package gives us a cleaner, more reliable business model to help with our direct booking strategy, and we’ve seen the results. To anyone considering Sojern for their digital marketing needs—I say go for it!"
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