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Understanding Metasearch: The Gateway to Increased Direct Bookings 

Updated: Feb 26


In today's digital-first world, nearly 50% of all vacation planning begins with an internet search (2023 Leisure Travel Trends Study), with Google dominating the landscape at 92% of the search market share.  

What is Metasearch?  

Metasearch engines are powerful tools that aggregate data from multiple sources, allowing users to find the best deals on hotels, flights, and rental services. For hotels, this means your property's rates and availability can be displayed alongside OTAs like Expedia and The major players in the hotel metasearch arena are Google and TripAdvisor, followed by Bing, Kayak and Trivago with each offering unique advantages in visibility and user base. 

The Importance of Participating in Metasearch 

As the digital landscape evolves, so does the importance of a robust online presence. Here’s why participating in metasearch is vital: 

  1. Capture Direct Bookings: Direct bookings reduce reliance on OTAs, saving on commission costs and increasing profitability. 

  2. Build Customer Loyalty: Direct interaction with customers allows for a more personalized experience, fostering loyalty and repeat business. 

  3. Data Ownership: Direct bookings mean direct access to customer data, enabling targeted pre and post-stay marketing efforts. 

  4. Control Your Narrative: Your website showcases the complete experience you offer, ensuring customer expectations are met and exceeded. 

The Battle for Bookings: OTA vs. Direct 

In 2019, the hospitality industry invested a staggering $16 billion in search engine marketing, with giants like Expedia and leading the charge2. Specifically, these OTAs allocated over $6 billion solely to metasearch campaigns, which breaks down to roughly $18 per person in the US, highlighting the intense battle for visibility and guest bookings. Despite this, hotels have a significant opportunity to reclaim their share of direct bookings by harnessing the power of metasearch and deploying effective, strategic marketing tactics. By understanding the competitive dynamics and investing smartly, hotels can position themselves to attract more guests directly, reducing reliance on OTAs and enhancing their profitability. 

How Metasearch Marketing Works: 

  • Pay-to-Play: Hotels can set campaign budgets and bid on a cost-per-click basis to outbid competitors, including OTAs, for top placement. 

  • Commission Model: Platforms like Google offer a commission model through COHO Res where hotels only pay for actualized reservations, often at a lower commission rate than OTAs. 

Leverage COHO Res for Seamless Metasearch Integration 

With COHO Res, hotels can dive into metasearch with tools designed to optimize performance and increase direct bookings: 

  • Seamless Integration & Connectivity: Connect your hotel seamlessly with major metasearch engines. 

  • Customizable Marketing Campaigns: Tailor your metasearch campaigns to align with your brand and target audience. 

  • Intelligent Targeting and Real-time Bidding: Utilize full-funnel data for smarter bidding strategies and real-time updates. 

  • Parity Blackouts: Ensure you're always offering the best rate compared to OTAs by incorporating live parity data into your strategy. 


In Conclusion 

Metasearch marketing represents a critical avenue for hotels to increase visibility, capture direct bookings, and enhance profitability. By understanding the nuances of metasearch and leveraging intelligent, integrated solutions like COHO Res, your hotel can compete effectively in the digital marketplace, turning browsers into loyal guests. Dive into the world of metasearch with COHO Res and unlock the full potential of your hotel's online presence. 



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