What Is Hotel Metasearch and How Does it Work?
Begin to understand metasearch and why it’s key to direct bookings.
If you want a strategy that maximizes your direct bookings and reduces your reliance on OTAs, metasearch is one of the most crucial channels for success. But, for such an important channel, it is one of the most technically complex and misunderstood.
Today, we are kicking off a four-part blog series on all things metasearch—what it is, why it’s key to direct bookings, and setting yourself up for success if you are interested in or just getting started on this important channel.
Metasearch websites consolidate rates from multiple booking channels, such as hotel websites, wholesalers, and OTAs. Through metasearch websites, travelers can search for real-time hotel room prices and availability in a single view. Unlike other marketing channels, metasearch uses live rates with a path to purchase that leads directly to the hotel website.
The most well-known metasearch websites include Trivago, Kayak, Tripadvisor, Google Hotel Ads, and Bing. In fact, these sites account for the vast majority—85%—of all metasearch traffic.
This is the part that is a bit technical. To bid on metasearch sites, advertisers need to provide dynamic rates and availability to match current pricing. This requires integration both with your booking engine and the various metasearch engines. Each metasearch engine has its own pricing, ranking, and bidding logic, and each displays your ad in a slightly different format. These factors add more complexity to managing these campaigns. As just one example of what a metasearch ad could look like, these core elements tend to be the same across metasearch engines.
While the official site does feature at the top of this listing, you can see prominent OTAs appear as well. Just like with Search Engine Marketing (SEM), OTAs actively bid on your property to win the booking. In the example above, if that hotel was not doing metasearch, one of the OTA listings would have taken the top spot. That’s why having your own dedicated metasearch presence is so important.
Metasearch is a mid-to-low funnel marketing tactic. As travelers narrow their preferences and move from the planning to booking stages, metasearch ads influence them to book directly in the final stretch.
Looking to learn more about metasearch? Check out Sojern’s Complete Guide to Hotel Metasearch for our comprehensive look at this important channel.
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Cory Jobe shares his always-on marketing experience with Sojern.
“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!"
Looking to learn more about Connected TV to meet your branding goals? Interested in metasearch and direct booking strategies to help your independent hotel? We’ve got detailed reports that address your every marketing need.