As the online travel industry grows, so does the need for metasearch optimization tools. Search engines have become increasingly complex, and there are now more players in the market than ever before. As such, you may find yourself faced with a new challenge: how to optimize your metasearch campaigns in an increasingly competitive landscape. Although we cannot bid on specific dates, there are many ways to update and customize your bids for prime optimization.
In-Market Audiences are a useful bid modifier that can be used to target people who are looking to travel soon. This bid modifier could be combined with other modifiers, like device targeting, to get even more granular with your audience targeting.
In-Market Audiences also allows you to target people who have already shown interest in travel plans so that you’re not paying for impressions that are less likely to result in conversions.
OTA Bid Modifiers
OTA bid modifiers are a way to increase or decrease your bid on a particular site like TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Ads, Trivago, etc.. This can be useful for ensuring the highest visibility on the channels that are most likely to convert for your brand. Alternatively, you can decrease the amount you’re willing to bid (or not bid at all) on channels that have a track record of lower performance. Travel metasearch optimization is all about getting the most bang for your buck while still maintaining your presence throughout the customer journey.
Check-in Day Modifiers
Since hotels are not able to bid on specific check-in dates, the next best way to fill need periods is by adjusting your bids for particular check-in days of the week. Have strong weekend occupancy but are somewhat soft in mid-week? Increase your bids for check-ins Monday through Thursday and decrease bids for Friday through Sunday. This will allow you to be present for more searches where you need the bookings and avoid spending unnecessarily when you’re already full.
Hotel Metasearch Management Best Practices
There are some basic best practices that should be followed when managing a metasearch campaign:
Optimize your campaigns. There's a lot of room for improvement in terms of how many impressions each campaign is getting compared to others in the network, as well as where those impressions are being served (geographically).
Use in-market audiences. These are audience segments based on consumers who have recently searched for products similar to yours, so they're more likely than non-qualified searchers who didn't find what they were looking for before coming across yours on the next page down (or wherever else!). This can help get better results at lower CPCs because people have already shown an interest in what you offer by searching for travel or hotels. This means there's less risk involved since they've already expressed their intention towards booking travel previously in their research.
Adjust your bids for Check-in day, Length of stay, and/or Days to arrival. If you’re looking to encourage bookings for specific periods, the easiest way to have an impact is by increasing your bids for these variables.
There are many ways to update and customize your metasearch bid for prime optimization.
Although we cannot bid on specific dates, we can utilize in-market audiences and other bid adjustments to ensure the highest visibility with guests that are the most likely to book. It’s important to own the space for searches with the highest value to your business.
We hope this article has helped you understand how to better optimize your metasearch bid. There are a few more tips we didn’t mention here, but if you would like to learn more about optimizing your metasearch bids, then please contact us at https://metadesk.pro/sign-up/
It can be challenging to determine who you should market to in order to have the most success. It's essential to understand the demographics of the guests who visit your hotel, the location and amenities you offer, the experiences you provide, and the local scene where your hotel is situated. All of these factors can contribute to identifying your target audience and the best ways to message to them. In this article, we will share some tips on finding your hotel's target audience and advertising to the right customers effectively.
Start With Your Hotel's Current Guests
What kind of demographics stay at your hotel? Young or older people? Families? Is your hotel budget-friendly or more upscale? Where is it located? Does the location have any unique attractions? These are some questions to ask yourself to identify your hotel's target audience. When creating ads, you can leverage the local attractions and activities to make your hotel more appealing to these potential vacationers.
Utilize Facebook's Detailed Targeting Feature
Facebook has a feature within the Ads Manager called detailed targeting. Here you can add demographics of the kind of people you want to stay at your hotel. This can include activities, travel preferences, hobbies, interests, demographics, and behaviors. There are many options to choose from that can help you target people that would have an interest in staying at your hotel.
Another platform with a similar feature is DV360's affinity audiences and in-market audiences. Affinity audiences are based on people's interests and behaviors. In-Market audiences, on the other hand, are those who are close to making a purchase. They are actively comparing products or services within a specific category to make a final decision. These are great audiences to test to find the right customer for your hotel based on their purchasing behavior and interests.
Pro Tip: What are common activities that are done in your location? Are you by the beach? You can use detailed targeting for activities like snorkeling, boating, kayaking, etc.
Incorporate Adara Audiences
Adara Travel Audiences are a great way to find your customers. The audiences are created using search, purchase, and loyalty data directly from top travel brands such as airlines, hotels, and rental car companies. You can also use demographic and behavior data within the platform. These audiences are great in helping you boost engagement and drive growth. Adara is also great at getting a real niche with your brand, whether you are luxury, adventure, or budget-friendly. These audiences are suitable for every hotel.
The geography feature is a great tool to use to really narrow down your audience. Where are you located? Where do visitors come from? You can also use surrounding cities as target geographic areas. The geographic targeting feature allows you to narrow down even further with a radius of 10-50 miles and the ability to use zip codes. Test out different areas and see where the most engagement comes from, or utilize Google Analytics to find the top feeder markets for your current guests. Many people enjoy staycations, and that could be worth testing with a local radius geographic audience.
Identify Local Experiences For Your Customers
Many people look for a hotel that is close to local attractions, the downtown area, or other well-known destinations. What is something special your hotel can offer? Is your area known for something unique? You can use these to your advantage when narrowing down your target audience. Knowing what kinds of people enjoy these activities can help you find the right people that will stay at your hotel and have a great experience.
Focus On Interests Specific To Your Hotel's On-Site Amenities
Does your hotel have any exceptional amenities that customers gravitate towards? It could be a restaurant with delicious cuisine, a rooftop bar with specialty drinks, or a spa featuring massages or facials. Many people do staycations that would benefit from these hotel amenities. Amenities are a great way to find new customers with a specific hotel experience or just for a quick getaway.
Understanding your target audience is vital to ensure the success of your hotel's marketing campaigns. By knowing your current customer base, utilizing detailed targeting, Adara audiences, geos, vacation experiences, and on-site amenities, you can effectively advertise to the right customers. Remember to continuously analyze and adjust your strategies to ensure that you reach the right audience and provide them with the best experience possible.
These tips will help you find and target your hotel's ideal audience and, ultimately, drive growth for your hotel business. Reach out to us today to learn more about finding your audience!
Overwhelmed with all the different metasearch options? Check out this quick-start guide to determine the best option for your hotel.
Hotel Metasearch Providers:
Google Hotel Ads
The king of metasearch for a reason. They dominate in terms of impressions, ease of access, and, therefore, reservation volume. That also means lots of competition, with often the highest CPCs of any channel. However, this should still be your top priority channel since you would be missing out on visibility on the most used search engine in the world.
#2 to Google for impression volume and conversions. TripAdvisor can be a great branding tool for destinations or activity-centric markets, especially if your property is geographically advantaged. While this channel may not have the visibility of Google Hotel Ads, impressions tend to be highly qualified since many people using TripAdvisor are in the active planning stages of their booking.
Great performance in terms of return on ad spend, but we often see low impression volume. They only capture a small fraction of the impression share Google receives. Bing can still be a great booster to your bottom line and should be included as one of your top 3 channels.
Kayak offers the ability to book not just hotels but also flights, rental cars, full vacation packages, and even trains and buses. With so many options, many travelers use Kayak as a one-stop shop for their travel booking, making it our recommendation for your next metasearch channel.
Trivago aggregates multiple OTAs into 1 channel, including booking.com, Expedia, Priceline and more. Volume tends to be lower, but CPC also tend to follow. Another great option is to help drive the direct booking and cut out the OTAs if you’re present during a search.
Another great direct booking tool, SkyScanner is designed as a travel search engine with the intent of cutting out the OTA. Conversions rates are fairly low in our experience, but increasing brand awareness can never be discounted.
This metasearch channel is mostly popular in the UK/European travel market.
Headquartered in Singapore, WeGo is particularly important if you are focused on driving visibility and bookings from Asia and the Middle East. Another aggregator, WeGo, can drive bookings to the OTAs if you don’t have a presence to encourage direct bookings.
Google Hotel Ads is the number one channel you should be participating in for hotel metasearch as their reach and visibility are unmatched. TripAdvisor should be your second top priority as they tend to have the highest conversion rates outside of Google and good volume. If you have the budget or are dedicated to having the greatest visibility, It’s best to participate in a variety of channels and continually monitor performance to see which channel works best for your market and/or property. After all, why limit your hotel’s visibility when you can build brand awareness and drive direct bookings all at the same time?
If you need assistance in deciding what metasearch channels are best for you, let the experts at Metadesk help you.
Why “Set It & Forget It” Doesn’t Work for Hotel Metasearch
If you're not using hotel metasearch yet, you should be. A mind-blowing 94% of travelers reported using hotel metasearch sites to find the best hotel rates when planning travel. You should be valuing hotel metasearch on par with Google Search Ads and other channels in terms of brand exposure. And just like Google Search Ads, you're missing out on your best possible performance with a "set it & forget it" campaign management approach.
It's easy to think that once you've established your connection with your metasearch partner and your rates are being displayed that there's nothing left to do but wait for the bookings to roll in. However, the truth is that there are several bid adjustments that can be made to fine-tune your hotel's performance to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck.
We all know seasonality can affect hotels to a greater extent than many other industries. What you may not know is that there are many bid adjustments that can be made in hotel metasearch to help account for those expected highs and lows.
Hotel Metasearch Seasonal Optimization Tip #1: Adjust Your Bids Based On Days To Arrival
Let's look at an example of a beachfront hotel in the Northeast United States. From 5/1/2022 to 8/31/2022, this particular hotel saw only 27% of their bookings as 30 days or more to arrival. 52% of all bookings fell in the 7-29 days to arrival range. When we compare that to 11/1/2022 to 2/28/2023, where guests were over 2x more likely to book 30+ days out (61% of all bookings), it's clear that seasonality can indeed have an impact on our hotel metasearch channels.
So, what can we do about it?
By taking the time to review the data and using the bid adjustment tools within Google Hotel Ads and other platforms, you can ensure your hotel is more likely to be visible to the guests that are most likely to book. In our previous example, bid adjustments were implemented to increase bids for potential impressions for the 1 to 3-week booking window during the peak summer season and reduced during the offseason. Similarly, higher bid adjustments have been put in place on the 30+ day window as guests begin to plan their summer travel during the colder months.
Hotel Metasearch Seasonal Optimization Tip #2: Adjust Your Bids Based On Check-In Day
Check-in day is another influenceable seasonally-based variable we can optimize for within hotel metasearch campaigns. Using the same example hotel, during the peak summer months, guests were more willing to arrive on nearly any day of the week, with roughly even distribution (except for Tuesday) at 21% (M), 0% (Tu), 12% (W), 15% (Th), 15% (F), 15% (Sa), 21% (Sun). But once we shift into our colder months, 55% of guests booked stays checking in on either Friday or Saturday. Again, we used this trend for data-driven optimization, this time by reducing bids for weekdays during the colder months and increasing bids for weekends.
Several other factors can be adjusted and dialed in, including the device type being used, length of stay, specific arrival date, and more. Reviewing all of this data, making bid adjustments, and staying up to date with the seasonality are all essential to ensure you are best positioned to drive bookings with guests who are most likely to book. It goes to show that even if you're connected and "running" hotel metasearch ads unless someone with expertise is taking the time to ensure all the campaigns are well-optimized, you're leaving potential revenue on the table.
Fortunately for you, GCommerce Solutions has that expertise. Contact us to learn more.
Earlier this year, GCommerce Solutions polled several thousand hoteliers and learned that very few were aware that metasearch advertising campaigns can be managed and optimized similarly to paid search campaigns.
3 things attendees can expect to learn:
How to ensure your metasearch connections allow for strategy and optimization
Bid modifiers and how to use them
How to use custom audience on Google to enhance the targeting capabilities of your metasearch marketing campaigns
Watch the replay by submitting the form below.
Metasearch is one of your best tools for increasing direct traffic and recapturing market share from OTA’s, but only if you’re optimizing your metasearch advertising campaigns.
Learn how to harness the power of metasearch advertising to support your property’s unique needs.
How GCommerce's Programmatic Bidding Strategies Benefit Our Hotel Clients
If there is one thing that is absolute in the hospitality internet marketing world, it’s that we must constantly be testing, analyzing, implementing changes (or not) based on test data, and testing some more.
GCommerce utilizes programmatic bid optimization for paid search marketing, which is now a must in a world of constant changes and bid management. Programmatic bidding allows bid adjustments throughout the day and uses data based on previous days data. For an individual to be able to delve into the performance and history of a specific keyword would take hours to be able to optimize an account of 100+ keywords, multiply this by 10 or more clients a day and there is now no time for other important client optimizations.
Programmatic bidding is not just a set-and-forget machine learning tool. If you use programmatic bid optimization you must make sure that you are making the most of it and getting the best results possible for clients. How do you do this? Test. Analyze. Implement (or not). Test Again.
Earlier this year, I ran a test on a sample of clients using a different bid strategy model to see if client performance could benefit from it. It wasn’t that the current automated bid strategy wasn’t working, it was based on the idea that we always want to improve our results, therefore we test different theories and strategies.
This particular test yielded some pretty significant results:
Due to the seasonality of our clients, the best data to gather is to compare year over year with a significant amount of time. Using a date range of 6 months of data, here is what we found:
Average CPC’s increased 1%
Reservations increased 89%
Revenue increased 100%
When comparing to GCommerce’s entire hospitality paid search marketing portfolio, here is what we found:
Average CPC’s increased at a much lower rate
Reservations increased at a much higher rate
Revenue also increased at a much higher rate
Rising CPC’s are a constant battle in the paid search marketing world. At GCommerce Solutions, our hospitality internet marketing teams are constantly optimizing paid search campaigns to help decrease this metric as best as we can. After reviewing performance across GCommerce’s entire portfolio, I found that, on average, GCommerce clients experienced an increase of 4% in average CPC’s during the same time period. This leads to a conclusion that our clients and the hotel industry continue to see ever-increasing rise in CPC’s across the board in order to compete in the SERP. But the fact that we have been able to slow it down while ramping up reservations and revenue is a huge win.
After pulling all of the data and seeing such clear results, it was obvious that it was in our clients’ best interest to switch gears on our overall strategy to best reach our KPI (key performance indicator) goals and maximize their spend. So we did.