Now more than ever, hoteliers must carefully examine their online distribution channels and understand their target audience – yet this is no easy feat. The average consumer browses multiple travel sites when looking for a hotel stay while also searching for the best prices. With metasearch sites rising in popularity, Amadeus is equipped to help our hotel clients grow their online presence, optimize their metasearch performance, and increase direct bookings. We support our clients with navigating the evolving online travel ecosystem, meta included.
What are travel metasearch websites?
They are platforms that aggregate rates across multiple suppliers and allow users to compare options with a focus on pricing. Potential hotel guests run an online search of availability for a property and decide which channel to be redirected to in order to complete the booking. Your hotel’s official website can be listed among other suppliers. Just to name a few, Google, TripAdvisor, Kayak, Trivago and Skyscanner all offer metasearch.
Why are they important?
- They simplify the travel shopping process for potential hotel guests by sourcing the best prices, while allowing them to filter by location or amenity, and showing different providers’ listings.
- They improve online visibility for hotels as travelers, by clicking on the correct listing, can be redirected to the property’s own website.
- Direct bookings can lead to improved guest loyalty and upsell opportunities.
- The cost-per-acquisition is usually lower when compared to OTAs (online travel agencies), which also compete on metasearch websites.
- It’s a fast-growing channel that shows no signs of stopping! Growth data demonstrated by Amadeus’ accounts reveal the rise of metasearch.
As global travel returns and already exceeds pre-pandemic levels in some markets, here are five tips on how hotel properties can excel across metasearch platforms:
- Focus on property rates and price accuracy. Rate parity on metasearch is crucial as price is a leading factor when travelers click on a link and proceed to book. It can be measured by the percentage of metasearch impressions that either “beat” (Brand.com has the lowest listed price), “meet” (Brand.com price matches the lowest listed price), or “lose” (Brand.com does not have the lowest listed price). Best-in-class hotels are defined by a high proportion of “beat” and “meet” impressions vs. “lose” impressions. Hotels should aim for less than 20% of their metasearch impressions to be “lose” scenarios. You can use metasearch reporting or rate shopping tools, like Amadeus’ RevenueStrategy360, to identify the channels where your property can improve on rate parity. Also, work with distribution providers to address any instances of undercut rates resulting in “lose” scenarios to maximize “beat” and “meet” impressions and maintain a healthy channel mix between OTAs and direct bookings. By improving “lose” rates on rate parity, properties within the Amadeus portfolio have increased their click-through rate (CTR) by 70% and conversion rate by 100% resulting in double the bookings*.
- Implement merchandising options such as callouts, logos, and sponsored listings on metasearch sites. These tools make hotels more attractive and receive more clicks and conversions. According to Amadeus Demand Services data, properties that have included logos show a 7% increase in CTR and a 16% increase in conversion rates on average*. Similarly, properties displaying free cancellation callouts are showing a conversion rate that is 5.5% higher compared to properties without one*.
- Set an explicit strategy for metasearch. As the metasearch market continues to grow and evolve, some competitors are recommending the lowest possible fees. Be careful! Like most things in life, the cheapest solution may cost you more in the long run. Ceding participation and volume almost always costs hotels more and a small increase in spend can drive much stronger performance. When testing different property groups and analyzing the results, properties that spent 20% more on metasearch showed a 220% increase in impressions and a 228% increase in bookings.
- Diversify investments across different metasearch platforms to target new audiences and expand the property’s reach, which will ultimately lead to more direct bookings on Brand.com.
- Optimize for improved visibility. Hoteliers must turn data points into actionable insights to make their metasearch campaign succeed. By looking into performance by property type, market trends, and weekly booking volumes, among other data sets, hotels can learn how to raise their online visibility. By leveraging data, optimization, machine learning, and AI bidding, Amadeus hotel customers have seen double-digit growth in impressions and bookings for 2022 compared to 2021*.
Amadeus operates one of the highest converting metasearch booking paths in the industry. With 15 meta partners, flexible pricing models, real-time reporting, and a dedicated team of in-house metasearch experts, we guide hoteliers to maximize their performance in this fast-growing distribution channel. Regardless of where your property stands across today’s top travel metasearch platforms, Amadeus can provide a data-driven approach to help your property stand out. To take action, contact your Amadeus Account Manager today.
*Source: Amadeus Demand Services. Metasearch proprietary data (January – May 2021 vs. January – May 2022).