The travel recovery is happening and more guests are searching for their next trip away. But competition on metasearch is at an all-time-high to win those customers. OTAs have the budget and resources to bid more aggressively than ever on major metasearch platforms like Google Hotel Ads. As a result, the cost-per-click (CPC) has gone through the roof. Back In April 2021, for a hotel in North America, a $1.40/click could buy your hotel a 50% impression share, in slots 1-4. This month you may end up paying $2.20 for those same positions. That’s a 60% increase in costs!
It is not news that Booking.com and Expedia pour billions of dollars into ad spend (primarily within Google). This crowds out hoteliers and makes those top slots on metasearch more contested than ever. At the same time, in the chase for the top slots, you risk wasting your meta budget for expensive clicks with no guaranteed ROAS. So how do you strike a balance? How do you stick to your direct booking strategy KPIs and keep growing your direct traffic, in such a fiercely competitive meta landscape?
To compete, you need to adjust your bidding strategy. In simple words, bid when it matters! It is critical to minimize bids for potentially low-return traffic, while knowing when to overbid for high-return traffic that is much more likely to convert. Top slots are more visible but you need to know exactly when to fight for them. You need to pick your battles!
The latest innovation from Triptease Meta allows you to do just that.
Your metasearch strategy is only ever as strong as your rate parity. Triptease data analysis has proved this. Having the best rate on metasearch can triple conversions, while simply being in parity doubles your conversion rate. We knew we needed to act on this data and give hoteliers a better opportunity of being seen in metasearch results when they have the best price, right in front of the right guest. That’s why we created Parity Boost.
Parity Boost places your hotel on top metasearch slots when you have great parity. It is the latest feature from Triptease that uses a hotel’s live parity data to bid, ensuring that every dollar of your metasearch budget is used to maximum effect. Imagine a pair of eyes checking your direct rate against OTAs, every single hour, then detecting the exact moments you have the best rate on Google Hotel Ads and making sure you win that auction.
Google released a brand new stay-date bidding lever this summer. As with most Google Hotel Ads features, making them work for hotels is extremely technically complex. At Triptease our mission has always been to put hotels on equal ground with OTAs when it comes to digital innovation. Parity Boost does exactly that.
In the words of Bernard Tan, Revenue, Distribution & Marketing Vice President for VRI Americas, at this year’s Direct Booking Summit in San Diego:
When it comes to Google, we need to acknowledge we are not experts. So we need to go out and find someone who knows how to do it. You need subject matter expertise.”
That’s why Triptease engineers and metasearch product experts devised an innovative way to employ Google’s stay-date bidding lever to make it truly impactful for hotels. More specifically, we combined the stay-date bidding lever with all other levers that feed into our algorithm, to automate these complex bidding decisions.
→ 2 night Length of Stay, Check-in 1st Dec, Hotel Cheaper direct → Triptease bids up/’boosts’
→ 3 night Length of Stay, Check-in 1st Dec, Hotel Undercut → Triptease doesn’t bid
Triptease is the first and only metasearch provider to use Google’s latest ‘stay-date’ bidding feature to enhance your hotel’s performance. This is on top of all other optimization parameters that altogether inform Triptease’s proprietary algorithmic bidding system.
Parity informs everything we do at Triptease. With the launch of Parity Blackout back in 2019, Triptease was the first metasearch provider able to hide a hotel’s price when their rates were being undercut on metasearch. That means hotels working with Triptease will never pay to send a guest to an OTA.
Parity Boost is the other side of the same coin. We blackout when your price is undercut, and boost your bids when you are in parity or cheaper direct.
These two features alone bring an unparalleled level of automation in Google Hotel Ads campaign management. Instead of having one metasearch campaign for your hotel, imagine hundreds of tiny campaigns optimising for bidding levers and parity, constantly!
Having deployed Parity Boost across an experimental cohort of hotels, there is clear evidence of its strong performance. The graph below shows a snapshot of how often Triptease has helped hotels win top slots on Google Hotel Ads, for guest searches with high likelihood to book.
In North America, for example, when Parity Boost is deployed and the hotel has the best direct rate, it can more than double the amount of time that it appears on the top metasearch spot! A similar picture emerges when the hotel’s direct rate is in parity with OTAs — Parity Boost makes it twice as likely for the hotel to win the #1 slot.
So what does this mean for you? In short, if you have the best price we will make it known to the right guests, at the right time, so that you win that booking.
The effectiveness of Parity Boost can be further exhibited when we compare the booking engine conversion rate of hotels pre and post-release of the feature. In the graph below, the orange bars represent pre-release conversion rates, the purple bars conversions for hotels with Parity Boost and the black bars those without. Early Triptease experiments indicate an uplift in conversions from metasearch for hotels for which the Parity Boost functionality works behind the scenes.
More specifically, using Parity Boost leads to 35% more conversions from metasearch, clearly indicating an improvement in end-to-end funnel effectiveness compared to pre-release figures. This is very promising early evidence that Parity Boost doesn’t simply place you in top slots, but it does so for guests that matter, at the moment that matters! Thus, empowering hotels even further to convert more lookers into bookers.
Lookers to Bookers (Booking Engine Conversion Rate) with/without Parity Boost
The short answer is – everyone. Daily life within hotel revenue, distribution and marketing departments is hectic right now. If you only have time for one thing, put all your energy into fixing your rate parity and then trust intelligent automation to do the rest for you. With Triptease, your hotel can beat OTAs for those top slots of Google Hotel Ads, when it truly matters. You just need a systematic approach to traffic acquisition, a cutting-edge metasearch provider and trust in the power of data and automation.
A good technology partner should empower you and your team providing data insights, guest intelligence and automation tools that help you make the best decisions for your property and brand. Just as important is a partner who leads the industry in terms of innovation, putting you back on a level playing friend and then ultimately out in front of OTAs.
With Triptease Meta and Parity Boost, all the hard work is taken out of your hands. Fill in the form below to find out more.
Triptease is a SaaS startup building industry-leading software for the hotel industry. The company was co-founded in 2015 by Charlie Osmond, Alasdair Snow and Alexandra Zubko and has offices in London, New York, Barcelona and Singapore. Triptease’s most recent funding was led by British Growth Fund alongside Notion Capital and Episode 1.
The Triptease Platform is built to help hotels take back control of their distribution and increase their direct revenue. The platform identifies a hotel’s most valuable guests then works across the entire customer journey – from acquisition to conversion – to make sure they book directly at the hotel.
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