Why “Set It & Forget It” Doesn’t Work for Hotel Metasearch


If you're not using hotel metasearch yet, you should be. A mind-blowing 94% of travelers reported using hotel metasearch sites to find the best hotel rates when planning travel. You should be valuing hotel metasearch on par with Google Search Ads and other channels in terms of brand exposure. And just like Google Search Ads, you're missing out on your best possible performance with a "set it & forget it" campaign management approach. 

It's easy to think that once you've established your connection with your metasearch partner and your rates are being displayed that there's nothing left to do but wait for the bookings to roll in. However, the truth is that there are several bid adjustments that can be made to fine-tune your hotel's performance to ensure you're getting the best bang for your buck.

We all know seasonality can affect hotels to a greater extent than many other industries. What you may not know is that there are many bid adjustments that can be made in hotel metasearch to help account for those expected highs and lows.

Hotel Metasearch Seasonal Optimization Tip #1: Adjust Your Bids Based On Days To Arrival

Let's look at an example of a beachfront hotel in the Northeast United States. From 5/1/2022 to 8/31/2022, this particular hotel saw only 27% of their bookings as 30 days or more to arrival. 52% of all bookings fell in the 7-29 days to arrival range. When we compare that to 11/1/2022 to 2/28/2023, where guests were over 2x more likely to book 30+ days out (61% of all bookings), it's clear that seasonality can indeed have an impact on our hotel metasearch channels.

So, what can we do about it? 

By taking the time to review the data and using the bid adjustment tools within Google Hotel Ads and other platforms, you can ensure your hotel is more likely to be visible to the guests that are most likely to book. In our previous example, bid adjustments were implemented to increase bids for potential impressions for the 1 to 3-week booking window during the peak summer season and reduced during the offseason. Similarly, higher bid adjustments have been put in place on the 30+ day window as guests begin to plan their summer travel during the colder months. 

Hotel Metasearch Seasonal Optimization Tip #2: Adjust Your Bids Based On Check-In Day

Check-in day is another influenceable seasonally-based variable we can optimize for within hotel metasearch campaigns. Using the same example hotel, during the peak summer months, guests were more willing to arrive on nearly any day of the week, with roughly even distribution (except for Tuesday) at 21% (M), 0% (Tu), 12% (W), 15% (Th), 15% (F), 15% (Sa), 21% (Sun). But once we shift into our colder months, 55% of guests booked stays checking in on either Friday or Saturday. Again, we used this trend for data-driven optimization, this time by reducing bids for weekdays during the colder months and increasing bids for weekends. 

Several other factors can be adjusted and dialed in, including the device type being used, length of stay, specific arrival date, and more. Reviewing all of this data, making bid adjustments, and staying up to date with the seasonality are all essential to ensure you are best positioned to drive bookings with guests who are most likely to book. It goes to show that even if you're connected and "running" hotel metasearch ads unless someone with expertise is taking the time to ensure all the campaigns are well-optimized, you're leaving potential revenue on the table. 

Fortunately for you, GCommerce Solutions has that expertise. Contact us to learn more.