OTA’s vs. Metasearch: What you need to know
More than 60 percent of hotel bookings are completed online. Of those bookings, the majority are completed through an Online Travel Agency or OTA like Expedia or Travelocity.
For hotel owners it’s bittersweet news. While it’s a positive that people are finding hotel brands via OTA’s - it’s a ding when hotel owners have to pay a commission for those bookings. Ideally, potential guests would find their best hotel deal just by searching the Internet and booking via Metasearch engines, like Tripadvisor and Google Hotel.
So how can hotel owners maximize their bookings through Metasearch? While there’s no science to it, there are definitely some best practices.
Know the Difference
The main difference between OTA’s and Metasearch is that the guest actually books through the OTA and pays them for the stay and not directly to the hotel. By maximizing your hotel brand’s search engine ranking and web presence you cut out the OTA middle man and get direct bookings. The main Metasearch sites include Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, and Kayak.
Keep Web Content Updated
When a potential guest goes to the internet to search for a hotel, they’re looking for efficiency and information. That means ensuring your property's best assets are featured on the first two pages of search results. The best way to ensure top results is to update room descriptions as frequently as possible. Adding a comprehensive description of the room (instead of a short one) can increase bookings by 5 percent, according to a study conducted by Expedia.com. Replaced mattresses? Added vegan options to the menu? Installed new eco-friendly lighting? Be sure to include that in room descriptions.
Keep Pricing Competitive
Price is king when it comes to online booking. Online shoppers are looking for a great value for the price. Take into account the day of the week and season are important in setting pricing. Factor that in with trends and hotel amenities. Changing pricing to fit the changing tide of online shoppers is a sure bet to rank high in search engines.
Choose the Right Metasearch Channels
When it comes to purchasing advertising, be sure to choose the metasearch channel that gives you a bigger payoff for your dollars. That means advertising with channels that are focused on lodging, instead of a multitude of travel including flights and car rentals. That means choosing Google Hotel Ads ads over sites like Kayak or Trivago.
Interested in working with a hotel management company who can do all this for your hotel? Let's chat!