Metasearch engines will be great allies to obtain reservations, especially with the new tools that they have implemented to facilitate the purchase of ads to smaller hoteliers.
Just as airports are preparing to reopen, so in the hotel industry we are eager to regain the market after the lock down of the facilities generated by the COVID-19 crisis. In this way, meta search engines or price comparison sites are a great option to increase your visibility and get direct bookings from them.
As we know that your goal is to boost reservations at your hotel for when the tourism sector reactivates, this time we will see the reasons for advertising on metasearch or price comparison sites such as Google Travel or TripAdvisor.
The growing popularity of meta search engines on Google
What these search engines do is that they compare the hotel room rates in different online travel agencies, other reservation sites and collect them in one place.
These tools have become even more popular and necessary since Google made some changes for hotel related searches to try to direct a user to the hotel comparison grid or Hotel Local Pack within the search engine results page. (SERPs).
This means that your hotel website will have lower visibility in the SERPs organically and will appear below the ads and the Hotel Local Pack. Therefore, in addition to thinking about having a functional, attractive direct channel that achieves a certain organic positioning, it is extremely important to incorporate your hotel in price comparison sites such as Google Travel and TripAdvisor.
On the other hand, metasearch pages are gaining popularity among travelers due to their practicality, allowing to compare prices, conditions and availabilities, and in general, users show a very high purchase intention in them. Therefore, advertising on price comparison sites should become an important part of your distribution strategy starting this year.
We keep innovating
One of the biggest objections to using price comparison sites is that the cost of booking software and access to tools to take advantage of so-called “top funnel” advertising is less profitable for smaller hotels. That is, while big brands have many ways to create more branding online, independent hotels may lack the tools to reach consumers who have not yet searched for a property name, but are searching for a destination.
Despite the obstacles, it is innovating to find solutions and offer equal opportunities for both large and small hotel companies. Some of them include tools to target ads to traveler categories relevant to a particular destination or hotel, or to help anticipate market trends and optimize pricing strategies.
Google even recently launched its “real estate promotion ads” tool, which allows independent hotels to create ads related to hotel name searches, as well as those related to the geographical area, reaching a greater number of Internet users.
New tools for independent hoteliers Advertising on price comparison sites is a common practice of large hotel groups, as these ads are often cheaper than paying commissions to online travel agencies. However, more and more options are being added to invite the participation of independent hotels on these platforms, especially in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Google, for example, is offering the "pay per stay" and "pay per reservation" models to smaller companies, similar to the formats used by many online travel agencies. In addition, this strategy allows the hotel to charge travelers first and only until the stay ends, pay the commission to Google. With this, they intend to favor the cash flow of the hoteliers, since many online travel agencies withhold the money from the reservations until the guest arrives at the facilities or even long after he leaves.
Now that travelers are spending more time on the Internet than on airplanes, it may be a great time to reach them through advertising on sites like Google Travel and start filling your hotel calendars.
Metasearch engines have become very important and have become one of the main sources of reservations for hotels around the world. In addition, they already have more options to make it easier for independent hotels to join them. Because of this, incorporating price comparison site advertising into your marketing strategies can be the first step to jumpstarting your hotel's sales after so many months of inactivity.