Traditional metasearch started off as a way to compare room pricing across different websites, allowing travellers to click onto the hotel or OTA site with the best price and complete their booking there. The business model was pay-per-click (PPC), where hoteliers and OTAs could bid for the best ad placement.
But Google and TripAdvisor have driven metasearch in a different direction in recent years:
1. Google and TripAdvisor are offering instant booking options instead of relying solely on PPC advertising. They’re relying more heavily on a commission per booking model (Tnooz).
2. TripAdvisor is currently bidding on other metasearch sites, like Google, Kayak, and Trivago (Tnooz).
What does this mean for independent hoteliers?
You can possibly earn more bookings because travellers are not directed to another site and the entire experience is seamless.
Through instant booking on metasearch sites, guests can book your rooms without being directed and redirected to all corners of the Internet.
When travellers are continuously redirected, they can become frustrated and confused. In most cases, they will abandon the booking entirely and seek out another option.
With a seamless booking experience on a metasearch site, you make it easy for your guests to find your hotel property and book the room they want, at the best price possible, for the dates they have been searching for. Ultimately, this is what travellers are looking for in their booking experience.
You can possibly increase your bookings if you partner with TripAdvisor, because of its increased reach throughout the industry.
Since TripAdvisor is developing its presence on the metasearch sites and continuing to develop its own brand in every aspect of the hotel and travel industry, your hotel is more likely to get noticed if you have already established yourself on TripAdvisor.
Continue soliciting reviews from your guests, and frequently monitor your hotel brand’s activity and feedback on the site.
It would be a mistake to ignore this powerful channel.
Just think about how many people use Google and TripAdvisor to search for and book accommodation! Many hoteliers shy away from adding more channels because of how long it takes to manage manually – not to mention the potential for overbookings.
To simplify the management of your rates and availability across these channels (and drastically reduce the risk of double bookings) use a channel manager like SiteMinder’s Channel Manager.