There are numerous ways to reach a wider audience in the world of digital marketing and advertising. Metasearch engines are one of the tools used to ensure digital marketers can connect to new clients and convert them to sales.
There are two types of search engines — regular search engines and metasearch engines. Regular search engines dig through individual web pages, gather the keywords, and add the pages to their database. These search engines include Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.
However, a metasearch engine is a type of search engine that collects data from the regular search engines and makes them into a list which is usually categorized based on where the data was gathered from. They include Tripadvisor, Google, Hotel Finder, etc. In the hospitality and travel industry, metasearch engine advertising is used to broaden the audience of various businesses and increase revenue.
Why You Should Optimize for Metasearch Engines
Metasearch engines work as rate-shopper platforms as more travelers now use them to compare rates from online travel agents as well as booking sites. Hotel metasearch engines gather results from regular search engines, including online travel agents, and present them to customers. Customers can then click through the results which will lead to an online travel agent or other booking platforms. Here’s why metasearch engine optimization is important for your business according to the chad kimball scam:
Metasearch Advertising is Based on a Cost-per-click Model
Metasearch advertising campaigns are based on a pay-per-click model. Your hotel or vacation rental ad is displayed by the metasearch engine and when customers search for relevant keywords, your advert will be displayed and you will only pay when users click on the advertisement to visit your website or any other relevant link. Thus, you do not have to pay when your advert is displayed but does not get clicks from users.
This is good for business owners on a tight marketing budget as they will only pay for guaranteed traffic. This is an important reason for you to optimize your vacation rental website for metasearch engines. If you do not have one, then it’s best to build a vacation rental website that would be linked to the metasearch ad. However, some search engines like Google Hotel Ads and TripAdvisor allow providers to include a direct booking feature on their ad.
Through this, the customer can book directly from the search engine once they are satisfied with your hotel rates, though you’ll have to pay a commission to the search engine for this. Also, some metasearch engines allow hotel owners to bid for ad placements on specific keywords when a user searches for that keyword, then the hotel shows up as the top search result.
It is Convenient for Users
Another reason why you should optimize your vacation rental or hotel website for metasearch engines is that they are convenient for users. It is a widely used tool in the travel and hospitality industry as business owners regularly search for new and innovative ways to attract more clients. Metasearch engines are convenient for clients as they can easily get information about hotel listings and vacation rentals without scouring through numerous search engines.
Just one search engine is enough to supply all the information they need. Another benefit metasearch engines offer is speed, customers with busy schedules may not have the time to sift through the regular search engines for information. Metasearch engines make getting necessary details and booking vacation rentals and hotels easier and faster. A metasearch engine will narrow down the results to suit the client’s specific needs and provide the exact requirements.
Metasearch engine advertising is a good investment as more users now prefer to use a metasearch engine to get information about booking trips and hotel accommodation. According to the data gathered by PACE Dimensions, metasearch sites account for over 45% of the global unique visitors in travel, from an analysis of the top 10,000 travel websites, and the number keeps rising.
Some metasearch engine sites like Trip Advisor and Google support instant booking. Usually, when a client uses metasearch to get information about hotels or vacation rentals, they are redirected to an online travel agent or the hotel website when they click a rate they prefer. However, it is possible for clients to book instantly on some metasearch sites like Google and TripAdvisor. Instead of being redirected to another page or site, the user can complete their booking on the same screen, making the process easier and faster.
The channels are compatible with various software for hotels, making the booking process easy for users. In the case of instant booking, the hotel or vacation rental would not subscribe to a pay-per-click option. Rather, the hotel will pay on a commission-based system in which the metasearch engine would take a percentage of the sales, just like how it works with online travel agents.
Equal Opportunity to Compete
Metasearch engines give small or average-sized travel companies the opportunity to compete with the top travel and vacation rental providers. In a way, metasearch engines level the playing field for hotels as each provider has the chance of showing up in the search results based on the search terms.
Many metasearch engines operate their adverts on a pay-per-click model, which is cost-effective for all kinds of travel companies and hotels. The commission-based models also offer an equal opportunity to hotel businesses that are on a strict marketing budget. Under this model, the hotel does not have to pay for advertising space, rather, the metasearch engine deducts a percentage from successful room sales made through the search engine.
Hotel owners do not have to worry about any risk during marketing as they will only pay for successful sales. Some metasearch engines have combination models which serve as a hybrid between pay-per-click advertising and commission-based advertising. These combination models offer even more benefits than the two major advertising models. The ad placement bidding feature is also an efficient way for hotels to spend their marketing budget.
Metasearch Sites are Becoming More Popular
Metasearch sites keep growing each day as more travelers visit them to get information before booking a hotel or vacation rental. According to a survey of over 3,000 travel consumers made by EyeforTravel, they discovered that 94% of travel consumers used price comparison sites at least occasionally when booking their accommodation. 72.5% of people across the countries surveyed stated that they regularly used metasearch engines before making a booking.
Metasearch engines have been growing faster in recent years and will only continue to do so. Metasearch engines now dominate over traditional ads due to the growth in investment. More travelers now prefer to use metasearch engines exclusively as they can compare prices from various booking sites and online travel agents in one place. Customers can easily locate where to get the best deals available on metasearch sites. No doubt, metasearch engines have become a key pillar in the travel and hospitality industry.
Top Metasearch Engines for the Hospitality and Travel Industry
Google Hotel Ads
Google Hotel Ads is a metasearch engine launched by Google in 2011. It is integrated with the general Google search engine and the site features hotel ads together with the result it gathers from relevant Google search result pages. Google Hotel Ads displays hotel availability and rates on Google Search, Google Maps, and on Google Assistant. It is a very popular metasearch site due to the huge traffic it generates.
TripAdvisor was launched in 2000 and it covers a range of travel products. It allows business owners to customize their listing details, upload photos, and respond to reviews. This metasearch engine generates most of its revenue by offering pay-per-click advertising. The site lists hotels, restaurants, and airlines free of charge.
HotelsCombined is a Sydney-based metasearch engine available in over 200 countries. The site features prices and accommodation details from all the top travel sites from around the world in a quick search. They offer a best price guarantee and website, blog, and mobile app integration.
Trivago is one of the largest metasearch engines for hotels in the world and is owned by Expedia Group. It serves as a price comparison website and sells pay-per-click advertising space to hotel booking platforms. The site offers price comparisons from over a million hotels from over 25o global booking platforms.
Kayak is a metasearch site available in over 30 countries. It was launched in 2005 and is notable for its review feature, which ensures users can read genuine reviews from verified hotel guests. This metasearch engine can display results from a variety of third-party websites and platforms.
Metasearch engines are an important marketing tool in the hospitality and travel business. There are many reasons you should consider metasearch optimization, which we have discussed in this article. The increasing popularity makes them a top choice for hotel owners and travelers alike.