The Importance Of Hotel Metasearch
Hotel metasearch engines work as aggregators, pulling data from various sources to create a list of available room rates for a potential guest to choose from. They improve the booking experience for your guests, making it easier to reserve rooms and compare rates.
On the surface, hotel metasearch may seem like yet another distribution channel, but it's vital to any successful hotel marketing strategy. Metasearch can improve the guest experience, help you beat online travel agencies (OTAs) to recapture direct bookings, and effectively target "bottom of the funnel" guests. You should consider using hotel metasearch to take advantage of a significant marketing opportunity.
Improved Guest Experience
Gone are the days of browsing multiple websites for rates before booking a hotel room. Hotel metasearch engines will do the work of research and organization for your guests, removing the hard part of making a reservation. The guest experience starts long before they set foot on your property, and the ease of booking through a metasearch engine will create a positive association between you and your guests.
This easy booking process can also increase the chances of a guest visiting at all. Because so many hotels already use metasearch, manual rate shopping needs to be updated. If guests can not easily find your official rates on a metasearch engine, they may be discouraged from booking. And if your competition is the one skipping metasearch, that same discouragement could lead a potential guest to your hotel instead.
Beating Online Travel Agencies
OTAs have been using hotel metasearch for years and will continue to do so for many more to come. If you want to maintain a competitive edge, it’s vital that you throw your hat into the ring as well.
OTAs have large marketing budgets that can easily outshine your own marketing efforts, so you need to do everything you can to beat them out and capture direct bookings. If you're absent on hotel metasearch, this is an automatic win for the OTAs. Guests can't book direct if there's no direct listing available!
If you are present on hotel metasearch, your official rates can easily win out. Since hotel metasearch engines display booking options side-by-side, it's effortless for guests to compare. If your official rates are equal to or lower than those of OTAs, guests are more likely to book direct. And more direct bookings means more money in your own pocket.
Hotel metasearch engines can even update automatically with discounted rates, and this is a great way to stand out above OTAs. “Book Direct” offers and other exclusive packages will be reflected in the hotel metasearch feed, lowering your rates and making a direct booking even more appealing.
Targeting “Bottom Of The Funnel” Guests
Hotel metasearch is about as “bottom of the funnel” as you can get. This is the final step between your guest and their reservation, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you’re not nailing the bottom of the funnel, you’re sacrificing the effectiveness of all your other marketing efforts. Even if you convince a guest to stay with you over your competition, that stay loses some of its value if the final booking goes to an OTA. You work hard with your marketing, so you should maintain a strong presence to the final moments. OTAs will use metasearch with or without you, so don’t skip out on your opportunity to compete.
Getting Started With Hotel Metasearch
To get the most out of hotel metasearch, you need to connect with a metasearch partner. They can ensure your official rates are displayed in the lists created by hotel metasearch engines, allowing you to stay competitive on these channels.
If you’re ready to get started with hotel metasearch, check out our post on metasearch basics or contact Metadesk.