Metasearch Bid Strategy

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

Gain a better understanding of metasearch bid strategies as Brian points out some important considerations to have when formulating an effective metasearch strategy. 

Hey there, Brian Fitzgerald here with O'Rourke hospitality marketing. Want to talk today about meta-search bid strategies. There's a lot of considerations here and so let's, let's walk through some of them.

So we're going to focus on Google's bidding strategies. Uh, there are five here that we're going to look at. Uh, the thing to keep in mind is all of the other channels.

TripAdvisor Trivago have some, uh, some similar set of bidding strategies. They don't all have the same five. Uh, but in, in talking about these five we'll, we'll be covering all of the other considerations for, for TripAdvisor Trivago and others.

So the first bidding strategy, this is as you go in and you get your campaign going, uh, how much are you willing to pay, uh, for the click or for the booking?

Really? What is your budget and how much are you willing to spend? And so the first thing, uh, first option is what's called a manual cost per click or manual CPC.

Uh, this is very traditional. This should sound familiar. There's a lot of other digital marketing channels that are based on this cost per click model.

Uh, this means that you're, you're willing to pay a fixed amount when somebody clicks your ad. The next option is what's called a cost per click percentage.

This is where your, uh, bid is based off of the price per room. And so if it let's just say, if the, if the price is a hundred dollars and your bid is, is one and a half percent, and you're willing to pay a dollar and 50 cents, uh, this is a little bit more complicated because it's, uh, as we can all imagine the rates fluctuate.

So you might have a weekday rates where, uh, they're they're much lower, but on the weekends, they're, they're much higher.

And so using that percentage, uh, could escalate your costs quite considerably, depending on when the, the searcher is, is looking and booking for.

So that's not to say this is a bad strategy. It's just that there's a little bit more calculation and, and revenue management assessment, that that would go into it for sure.

The third is what's called an enhanced cost per click. This is very similar to the two above, uh, the, the, uh, difference here is that this allows Google to make some automated adjustments on your behalf.

As we all know, Google has very advanced, lots of advanced algorithms and softwares. And so under this, they're using different signals that they might be getting, let's say, for example, uh, that they see that this is the third or fourth time that this particular user has come back and done this same search for hotels in your market.

Well, they might be able to then say, well, this person's much more likely to convert than somebody who's just coming here for the first time.

Let's use that data and that signal to increase your, your bid slightly. Uh, it makes a lot of sense in theory, this is not something that we're typically in support of, or in favor of.

We, we don't like to give Google that control. We for our clients would much rather prefer we go in every day and manually control things, but it's certainly something for you to consider.

Uh, the fourth is what's called a price, uh, excuse me, a per conversion commission. And so this is where you're paying a fixed percentage.

Every time somebody makes a booking, uh, this can generate a very high, uh, visibility. Uh, it can get, you make sure that your ads are showing a much higher percentage of the time.

The downside here is twofold. One is you have to do that calculation again to figure out what's the, what's the right percentage.

Uh, the other consideration is that this is on gross bookings. This does not account for cancellations. And so, again, that's another factor into the, um, into the commission that you, that you might be willing to bid or might be willing to pay, uh, in those same lines of the slightly different as a per stay commission.

So this removes that cancellation component. This is when you, you don't actually pay Google until the state actualizes. Uh, this is probably more appetizing.

Um, it's more of a cost per acquisition, a true cost per acquisition approach where you're, you're only paying for actualized bookings.

So, uh, some of our clients do do like this approach. Again, there's a lot of calculation and assessment to go into this to figure out what is that right?

Uh, percentage that, that, that you should be spending. So again, these are the five Google bidding strategies. The other meta-search sites have some combination of these.

Um, the, the other piece of advice that we would just leave you with is that depending on your hotel, your hotel size, the market, the COMSAT, uh, there isn't a, there isn't a blanket answer as far as which one of these works best, uh, like a lot of other digital marketing channels.

Sometimes we just have to test things and see what makes the most sense and see what performs the best. So if you're having some challenges or having any questions with how to get your bidding strategies going for, meta-search certainly get in touch with us today.

We'd, we'd love to help you out.

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