Year in Review: GCommerce Solutions


We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for an exceptional 2023! The GCommerce Team experienced tremendous success throughout the year, as we launched dynamic marketing campaigns, crafted captivating websites, produced engaging educational content pieces, and enhanced our client's metasearch optimization and direct bookings. 🥳

Here Are Our Top Highlights From 2023:

  • Published 58 educational articles
  • Published 3 DE&I pieces
  • Welcomed 7 new GCommerce team members
  • Welcomed 54 new wonderful hotel clients to our portfolio
  • Hosted our annual company retreat in Park City, Utah

Here's What You Liked Best:

8 Holiday Marketing Tips For Hotels 

Blog Summary: Read our 8 quick tips to keep in mind to boost your hotel marketing efforts this holiday season. Read now. 

Price Accuracy, Rate Parity, and Hotel Metasearch Conversions

Blog Summary: Learn about the differences between hotel metasearch rate parity and price accuracy and why they are so important in this blog post.

Top 9 Takeaways for October Hotel Digital Marketing News 

Blog Summary: Don’t get spooked. Learn about the newest happenings in digital marketing in our latest digital marketing newsletter for October 2023 here.

Optimize Your Hotel's Website for Direct Bookings

Blog Summary: Learn how you can optimize your website for direct bookings with our practical guide to conversion rate optimization. Discover our best tips for hoteliers. 

The Importance of Hotel Metasearch

Blog Summary: Is your property utilizing hotel metasearch? This is a huge opportunity for your hotel. Learn about the importance of hotel metasearch. 

How to Maximize Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for Your Hotel

Blog Summary: Google Analytics 4 is here to stay. Learn how your hotel can maximize the use of this powerful new Analytics tool.

Cheers to an amazing 2023, all thanks to our incredible clients and our fantastic team! Your support and enthusiasm made it a year to remember. As we jump into 2024 with excitement, we can't wait for more shared successes and memorable moments. A huge heartfelt thanks for being such a vital part of our journey!

Exploring the Benefits of Metasearch Engines


Hoteliers are turning to Metasearch as a pivotal tool in their digital marketing arsenal, primarily driven by the desire to boost direct bookings. Metasearch platforms aggregate hotel prices and availability, plus geographic location within their city or region, from various online travel agencies (OTAs) and hotel websites, presenting users with a comprehensive comparison. This visibility is invaluable for hoteliers as it allows them to showcase their rates directly to potential guests alongside those of third-party platforms. By optimizing their presence on Metasearch engines through strategic advertising and effective pricing strategies, hoteliers can enhance their visibility, build brand awareness, and ultimately drive more users to book directly through their own websites. This not only helps hotels establish a stronger relationship with guests but also reduces dependency on third-party channels, leading to increased profitability and control over the booking process.

In this blog post, we will dive into the reasons why using metasearch engines can be advantageous in our online search endeavors. For more information on metasearch engines, check out our previous blog.

Comprehensive Results: One of the primary advantages of metasearch engines is their ability to provide comprehensive search results. By simultaneously querying multiple search engines, metasearch engines aggregate and compile results from various sources into a single, unified list. This approach ensures that users receive a broader range of information from different search engines, increasing the chances of finding relevant and diverse content.

Enhanced Relevance: Metasearch engines aim to improve the relevance of search results by employing advanced algorithms and ranking techniques. By considering results from multiple search engines, these engines have the opportunity to leverage the strengths of each individual search engine and deliver the most relevant results to the user. This ability to analyze and rank results from different sources can significantly enhance the quality and precision of the search outcomes.

Time Efficiency: Metasearch engines can save users valuable time by eliminating the need to visit multiple search engines individually. Instead of conducting separate searches on various platforms, users can enter their query once and obtain results from multiple sources in a single interface. This streamlined process enhances efficiency, making metasearch engines an ideal choice for those who wish to save time and effort while conducting comprehensive online research.

Reduced Bias: Every search engine employs its own algorithms and methods to organize and prioritize search results. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to biased outcomes, where certain sources or perspectives are favored over others. By utilizing multiple search engines, metasearch engines mitigate the risk of bias by providing a broader range of results and reducing the reliance on a single algorithm or search provider. This impartiality is especially beneficial when conducting research or seeking balanced information on controversial or diverse topics.

Privacy and Anonymity: In an era where online privacy is a growing concern, metasearch engines offer an alternative for those seeking increased anonymity. Unlike some traditional search engines, which may track and store user data for targeted advertising or other purposes, metasearch engines often prioritize user privacy. By acting as an intermediary between the user and the search engines, metasearch engines can help preserve anonymity and protect personal information.

Metasearch engines present a compelling solution for individuals who desire comprehensive and unbiased search results while valuing their time and privacy. These engines leverage the collective power of multiple search providers, delivering a holistic approach to information retrieval. By utilizing metasearch engines, users can experience enhanced relevance, time efficiency, reduced bias, and greater privacy in their online search endeavors. As technology continues to evolve, metasearch engines are likely to play an increasingly important role in facilitating efficient and unbiased information discovery on the internet.
Want to continue the conversation about the benefits of metasearch engines? Reach out to our hotel metasearch experts at today.

End-Of-Year Marketing for Hotels and Resorts


As the year comes to a close, hotels and resorts are presented with a unique opportunity to boost their bookings and revenue. With travelers planning their year-end getaways and holiday celebrations, it's crucial for establishments to optimize their marketing strategies. In this joint blog with Maison 140, we'll explore effective hotel marketing tactics to maximize end-of-year bookings for hotels and resorts.

Strategic Metasearch Advertising:

Leverage Metasearch Advertising to ensure your hotel appears prominently in search results. Optimize your listings with attractive visuals, compelling descriptions, and competitive pricing. Highlight any special holiday packages or promotions to capture the attention of potential guests.

SEO for Festive Keywords:

Enhance your website's visibility by incorporating festive keywords related to end-of-year holidays and celebrations. Create dedicated landing pages for holiday-themed packages and events, and ensure your website is mobile-friendly to accommodate travelers on various devices.

Eye-Catching Display Advertising:

Design visually appealing display ads that convey the festive spirit. Showcase your hotel's unique offerings, such as themed decorations, special events, or exclusive packages. Consider retargeting strategies to re-engage potential guests who have previously shown interest in your property.

Optimized Website Design:

Streamline the booking process on your website to make it user-friendly and efficient. Implement clear calls-to-action for special holiday packages, and ensure that your website reflects the warmth and joy of the holiday season through engaging visuals and content.

Paid Search Marketing for Seasonal Trends:

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify trending search terms during the year-end period. Craft compelling ad copy that emphasizes the unique experiences and amenities your hotel offers during this festive season.

Strategic Social Media Management:

Engage with your audience on social media platforms by sharing festive content, updates on special events, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your hotel's holiday preparations. Encourage user-generated content by running holiday-themed contests and leveraging popular hashtags with your hotel’s marketing.

Harnessing the Power of GA4:

Utilize Google Analytics 4 to gain insights into user behavior and website performance. Monitor key metrics such as conversion rates, bounce rates, and page views to continuously refine your hotel’s marketing strategies. Identify successful campaigns and allocate resources accordingly.

As the year draws to a close, hotels and resorts have a prime opportunity to increase their bookings by implementing a comprehensive and festive marketing approach. By strategically combining Metasearch Advertising, SEO, Display Advertising, Website Design, Paid Search Marketing, Social Media Management, and GA4 services, establishments can create a compelling presence that resonates with potential guests at the end of the year. Embrace the spirit of the season and make your hotel the top choice for unforgettable year-end experiences.

About Maison 140

The Maison 140 is a beautiful boutique hotel in Beverly Hills, just steps away from exclusive Rodeo Drive, making it easy to shop at the most luxurious boutiques and designer brands. When staying at Maison 140, You'll find yourself in awe of fashion while you shop at Burberry, Prada, and Chanel. Yet, surprisingly practical shopping is also in our neighborhood when you drop in at Banana Republic, GStar, and Anthropologie. A picturesque drive west takes you to Santa Monica, Venice, and other beach cities. The hillside you see headed east takes you to all the well-known and hidden nightlife destinations gems like The Mint on Pico, to world-famous The Abbey of West Hollywood, and Boardner’s, a legendary hangout since 1942 to Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood proper. Do ask their Beverly Hills hotel guest services team about many other hot spots and hideaways throughout your stay. You can also enjoy free access to the pool at their sister property, Mosaic Hotel, just a few steps away.

The Maison 140 is now running a Beverly Hills Year-End Offer of 20% off the Best Available Rate. This is a limited-time offer, subject to availability and with qualifying stay dates as early as today through December 2024! Book now!

How To Maximize Google Analytics 4 (GA4) For Your Hotel


In the ever-evolving landscape of the hotel industry, it is crucial for hoteliers to embrace data analytics to stay competitive and maximize their business potential. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) provides a powerful platform for hotels to gain valuable insights, optimize marketing strategies, and enhance the guest experience. We will explore effective ways to maximize your hotel's GA4 implementation, enabling you to make data-driven decisions, improve operational efficiency, and drive revenue growth.

1. Set Up GA4 for Hotel-Specific Metrics

While GA4 provides a standard setup for website tracking, it is essential to configure it to capture hotel-specific metrics. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are vital to your hotel's success, such as room bookings, revenue per available room (RevPAR), average daily rate (ADR), and conversion rates. Create custom events and goals within GA4 to track these metrics accurately, allowing you to measure your hotel's performance effectively.

2. Utilize GA4 Enhanced Measurement for Seamless Tracking

Take advantage of GA4's enhanced measurement feature to automate the tracking of important user interactions on your hotel's website. Enhanced measurement allows you to capture events such as outbound clicks, scroll depth, site search, and video engagement without manual configuration. This saves time and effort, ensuring comprehensive data collection for a deeper understanding of user behavior and preferences.

3. Monitor User Journeys with Google Analytics 4’s User Explorer

User Explorer is a powerful feature in GA4 that provides detailed insights into individual user journeys on your hotel's website. By analyzing specific user interactions, you can identify patterns, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. Understanding how guests navigate your website, from initial engagement to booking, allows you to optimize the user experience, streamline the booking process, and enhance guest satisfaction.

4. Leverage GA4’s Audience Insights for Targeted Marketing

GA4's audience insights feature offers a wealth of information about your hotel's website visitors. Utilize demographic data, interests, and affinities to create detailed guest profiles. This knowledge enables you to segment your audience effectively and tailor marketing campaigns to specific guest personas. By delivering personalized messaging and offers, you can improve engagement, increase conversions, and foster guest loyalty.

5. Analyze On-Site Behavior with Google Analytics 4 Behavior Flow

Behavior Flow in GA4 visualizes the path users take on your hotel's website, providing valuable insights into their behavior and preferences. This tool allows you to identify popular entry and exit points, the most engaging pages, and potential drop-off points in the booking process. By understanding user behavior, you can optimize website navigation, content placement, and calls-to-action to drive conversions and improve the overall guest experience.

6. Create Custom GA4 Reports for Actionable Insights

GA4's customizable reporting features empower hoteliers to create custom reports tailored to their specific needs. Identify the metrics and dimensions that matter most to your hotel's operations and marketing efforts. Create reports that provide actionable insights on revenue, channel performance, campaign effectiveness, and guest behavior. Regularly review these reports to make informed decisions, optimize strategies, and drive revenue growth.

7. Integrate GA4 with Other Tools for Comprehensive Analysis

Integrating Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with a Property Management System (PMS) is a valuable way for hotels to gain insights into their website's performance and guest behavior. 

To integrate Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with a Property Management System for hotels, follow these steps: First, ensure administrative access to both GA4 and the PMS. Create a GA4 property for the hotel's website and obtain the Measurement ID. Check if the PMS offers direct GA4 integration or use Google Tag Manager (GTM) if not. Define important events and conversions, configuring them in GA4. Consider a data layer if using GTM. Test and validate the integration, and create custom reports and dashboards for monitoring key metrics. Continuously monitor GA4 data for insights and compliance with data privacy regulations. Lastly, provide training and support for your team or hotel staff in GA4 data analysis and reporting.

Maximizing your hotel's GA4 implementation is essential to leverage the power of data analytics and drive success in the highly competitive hospitality industry. By setting up GA4 with hotel-specific metrics, utilizing enhanced measurement, monitoring user journeys, leveraging audience insights, analyzing on-site behavior, creating custom reports, and integrating with other tools, hoteliers can gain valuable insights, optimize operations, and implement targeted marketing strategies. Embrace the power of GA4, and let data guide your hotel to new heights of success.

How To Maximize Your Google Hotel Ad Metasearch Production


Whether you’re a seasoned hotelier or just getting started in hotel marketing, chances are you understand metasearch, OTAs, and the importance of direct bookings when it comes to maximizing your hotel’s revenue. If this sounds foreign to you, then I recommend you read our blog on what is a hotel metasearch engine.

Optimizing Your Google Hotel Ad Strategy

The metasearch auction allows your hotel to compete directly with OTAs with a price-by-price comparison when a user completes a branded hotel search. Your Google hotel ad strategy should involve optimizing your Google Business Profile, analyzing and reacting to key performance indicators like impression data, and an understanding of the variables that can impact your click-through and conversion rates. I’ll touch more on these strategies below.

Impression Share Data & Metasearch Production

Impression share metrics are a few of the KPIs to analyze when considering if you have room to grow monthly production from your hotel ad campaign. An important thing to remember is that hotel ads are very much at the bottom of the conversion funnel. Users who enter your booking flow via metasearch are users who have discovered your brand, conducted their research, and have decided to go through with booking your hotel. Analyzing these metrics from this perspective will make the most out of your optimizations.

Within the scope of metasearch, the following metrics can be viewed as the beginning of the customer journey.

Eligible Impression - The total number of opportunities that your Hotel ad was eligible to show (i.e., entered the auction) based on the targeting criteria over the specified time period.

Impression - How often is your ad shown? An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on a search result page or other site on the Google Network.

Impression Share - Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.

If your Google hotel ad campaign is experiencing a low number of impressions, several factors may be at play, including aspects related to your Google Business Profile, pricing model, or inventory-related issues. For example, if you’re dealing with low impressions, improving your photographic assets on your Google Business Profile could help. Be sure to showcase your property's best amenities and demand drivers.

And if your pricing is substantially higher than your competitors, that can also discourage clicks and impressions.

Lastly, if your hotel is consistently out of parity with the OTAs, and the ad price doesn’t match the booking price, otherwise known as a price accuracy discrepancy, your hotel listing can be penalized by Google and suppressed within market searches relevant to your property.

If your hotel is struggling with a low impression share, that means potential guests are clicking through to your metasearch listing but the ad for your “Official Website” isn’t present. The issue here is that several OTA listings for your property will be served to the potential guest. Most likely this is caused by one of two issues; 1) You’re sold out, in which case you may want to ensure you black out those dates with your OTA listings, or 2) You ran out of budget. Increasing budget can be an easy way to increase your impression share percentage and direct bookings.

Optimizing Your Click-Through Rates

Both click-through and conversion rates are very telling KPIs when it comes to analyzing the state of your hotel's booking flow.

Click-Through Rate - The percentage of users who have clicked on your ad divided by the impressions your ad has received

Conversion Rate - The percentage of conversions divided by the number of interactions

A low click-through rate can indicate a number of things to be looked at further, but generally, an incomplete or inaccurate Google Business Profile, price competitiveness issues, insufficient ad callouts, or a low position in the auction will have the largest impact on your CTR.

A well-optimized Google Business Profile should list all possible amenities and features relevant to your property, as well as high-quality imagery displayed at the profile level. If your property has a member rate available, then we highly recommend that you channel your member rates to your metasearch channel and work with your connectivity partner to set up slash-through pricing. This allows you to be in compliance while offering a better price than OTAs and showcasing it with a single slash. This subtle change has been known to improve CTRs.

Another technique to increase CTR is by creating ad callouts that resonate with the users viewing your hotel ad. Rate or promo-driven ad callouts have historically performed best.

Analyzing your Google hotel ad’s meet/beat/lose data is also a powerful tool to understand the causes for a low CTR. These competitive metrics will tell you the percentage that your hotel ad had served a rate that was in or out of parity, or more simply put, how often OTAs served a rate more competitive than yours. If your hotel is consistently serving a rate that is higher than the OTAs, your CTR will certainly suffer. On the other end, if your property is experiencing price accuracy discrepancies, you’ll have a poor conversion rate because users are bouncing when they don’t find the price that originally caught their attention in the auction.

If your CTR is abnormally low, and your beat percentage is healthy, then you should look at your Google Business Profile, pricing model, parity discrepancies, or connectivity issues between your metasearch partner and your Google Business Profile.

Optimizing Your Conversion Rates With A Positive User Experience

Within the scope of metasearch, a low conversion rate usually indicates an issue in the booking flow experience. Ask yourself, does the user land within a checkout flow? Are there unnecessary pop-ups or scrolling needed to find the hotel room the user was interested in? Does the price in the metasearch auction match what is found in the booking engine, does your booking flow provide the user with a positive experience? A poor user experience will lead to users bouncing to the next available booking option, thus, a low conversion rate.

Google grades each property based on its ability to provide its users with a positive user experience, and one way of doing so is by measuring the advertiser's ability to remain compliant with their pricing policies. If your property is constantly fighting to stay compliant with Google’s Price Accuracy Policy, then over time you’ll receive a poor score that negatively impacts your auction positioning, advertising cost, and free booking link placement. Ensuring your property remains compliant with Google's policies is key to competing with OTAs in the metasearch auction and generating direct bookings.

Users are expecting to complete a purchase when they click through from your hotel ad. Things such as strange or conflicting rates or promotions, confusing acronyms, a plethora of rate options, and so forth all lead to a poor user experience. Users will bounce from the slightest confusion or inconvenience.

Is your property struggling to compete with OTAs in the metasearch auction? Reach out to us today, and we’ll get you on track.

Metasearch Pricing Models Explained


As metasearch continues to expand into one of your most important channels for direct revenue, it’s important to understand your choices in terms of pricing models. 

At Metadesk, we talk to hoteliers every day and have encountered a wide variety of various pricing models for metasearch advertising. Here’s a handy breakdown of pricing models you might consider, or in some cases, be stuck with. 

A Media Placement Fee

We mostly see this pricing model offered by booking engine providers, and if you’re like most hoteliers, your metasearch presence is facilitated by your booking engine. 

Most booking engines charge you a percentage of what you allocate as your metasearch media budget, usually between 10% - 15% applied to a media budget ranging from $1,000 - $3,000 per month.

Booking engine providers love this because it’s a low labor source of revenue - they simply need to maintain a tech connection that publishes a live feed of your rates and availability to metasearch channels and collect a tidy fee.

If the percentage you pay in media fees + your metasearch advertising budget is lower than your OTA commissions, this model can be a win. But a problem we see more and more is that OTA’s are spending huge amounts of advertising dollars to dominate metasearch. And if your booking engine doesn’t allow for any media strategy whatsoever, you’re at a huge disadvantage.

Best for:

This pricing model works well for advantaged hotels that tend to fill up based on their location or surplus demand in their market.

One main drawback is if you want to use metasearch for more, like targeting need dates or a certain type of traveler, forget it. Your booking engine isn’t capable of incorporating any type of strategic targeting on your behalf. 

Flat Fee + Media Budget

The second-most common pricing model we see at Metadesk in the industry is a flat fee + media budget. We commonly see a range of advertising budgets of around $1,000 - $1,500 with the management fee ranging from $400 - $75 on the low end ($75!!).

At first glance, this seems like a great deal for hoteliers, especially with macro-economic factors like rising marketing costs and operational overhead.

But what we find is that for a management fee so low, the metasearch provider must work hard to limit their labor cost; the aim is to avoid providing support, and typically nobody is actively managing your advertising campaigns.

Instead, these providers try to manage your strategy with algorithmic and programmatic functions alone, which can be problematic without oversight provided by humans. One common problem we see is your rate strategy being compromised by automated price-matching to meet or beat the unscrupulous practice of big OTA undercutting your rates in auction.

In regards to budget, the issue here is two-fold: Many properties would prefer not to pony up even that small amount of cash each month if it can be avoided, and on top of that, the budget can oftentimes be too small to really compete with big OTA.

Best for:A flat fee + media budget is best for small to mid-sized hotels, with mid-range annualized ADR, in low to non-competitive markets.

Pay-Per-Stay Commission Model

A performance-based model that charges a commission for only stays that take place, this model works well for hoteliers that need more from metasearch and who have decided to prioritize ways to increase direct bookings.

Hoteliers like this model because it aligns their interests with that of their metasearch partner. They’re only billed for stays that take place; typically cancellations, and even reservations created by your loyalty members, are excluded from billing.

Another big advantage of this model is the fact that the 3rd party provider assumes all of the financial risk and funds your advertising budget.

It also means that, in theory, your budget is uncapped and only limited by the travel demand in your market. Your metasearch partner will keep spending as long as they’re generating reservations. This means that instead of your cash flow that determines your advertising budget, which can be arbitrary and restrictive, it’s market demand.

Best for:

This pricing model works well for properties in a competitive market that need to utilize metasearch as a strategic advertising channel to help address need periods (like mid-week vs weekend, on vs off-season, etc.) and target individual travel segments.

One huge plus is that properties using this model don’t have to come out of pocket for their metasearch advertising budget.  

Organic Only Flat Fee

If you’ve never heard of this pricing model, it’s because we just invented it 😎 And as we write this piece, this model isn’t available anywhere else.

Despite a flat fee + media budget model being very low cost in nature, some hotels simply don’t have enough inventory to make the math make sense. They may struggle to see a return on even a low budget amount of $1,000 per month, and giving away a percentage of the channel is not a great idea when your total monthly profit is low figures.

That’s why we’ve developed a low-cost way for hoteliers to display an organic listing only. And with a strategic rate strategy (sSuch as a loyalty or member rate channeled to meta) your official site will still be there at the moment of booking, alongside OTA channels with a higher rate.

Best for:

Small hotels, or those with a low ADR, where traditional metasearch pricing models just don’t work.

We hope you found this breakdown useful and informative. At Metadesk, we offer a range of metasearch products to best serve your unique needs.

Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your metasearch advertising strategy and which model might work best for your property’s unique needs.