With an increasing array of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) competing for hotelier’s business it’s no wonder that many are left at a lost for how to reach the widest audience whilst minimising commissions.
In the chaos, it is easy to overlook a pivotal resource that generates more traffic than you may realise at no extra cost. The Metasearch.
Where did Metasearch come from?
To understand this, you need only look at today’s tech savvy, price conscious traveller.
Almost half (49% ABTA 2013) of UK travellers booked holidays abroad via the Internet and many turn to metasearch (or meta) to comparison shop. UK travellers have a particular tendency towards independent research and often compare options via multiple accommodation sites.
Just think of your previous online purchases. Prior to filling in your credit details you most likely researched your selections thoroughly; employing several browser windows at once to do so. Meta evolved as a solution to this. It is the starting point when it comes to choosing accommodation. Gone are the days of a numerous windows clogging up your computer screen and slowing down your internet. People wouldn’t stand for it and neither should you. Metasearch is the practical solution to these woes.
So, if this is where guests begin their hotel hunt then your presence here is fundamental.
Meta or OTA what’s the difference?
The line between Meta and OTA can appear blurred. Both provide a platform on which hotels can advertise their room rates. A prospective guest may compare images, reviews and prices for a hotel across several booking sites (OTAs). Meta reduces the distraction of browsing multiple sites and collates all available content, information and prices into one place. Now the guest can focus on getting an overall impression of their ideal hotel, and find the best price rather than traversing the internet analysing several OTAs. Simply put, metasearch helps the user save time and money. Since metasearch has a reputation for efficiency, it is typically consulted by high quality leads who are ready to buy.
Improving your visibility and bookings through Meta
Metasearch sites receive large quantities of traffic, trivago alone has over 120 million users a month. So how do you take advantage of this footfall? To start, make your profile stand out with enticing, high resolution images. Our online purchasing behaviour is visually driven, especially when purchasing an experience such as a holiday. It is therefore important to craft a story around your business through thorough, up-to-date information and stunning visuals.
But how do you get started?
Luckily there are a few metasearch extranets available to hoteliers, like trivago Hotel Manager, which provide the tools and guidance to best market your property online. Spending a few minutes updating your profile on Meta sites can increase your bookings and enables you to focus more time on what matters most- your customers.