What to look out for in 2014…..
Search and in particular MetaSearch will play a key role in 2014 with advances in search marketing and placement opportunities. MetaSearch sites provide consumers with a consolidated view of multiple travel sites. They refer consumers to travel sites and are remunerated on a pay per click basis. To play in this space you need
- A link from the site to real time rates and availability
- A PPC budget
- Rate integrity so that your position within the Metasearch display is attractive to consumers
- The ability to monitor the campaign and budget, consistently
The sites operating in this space include:
Until recently the ability for the independent hotel to play within this space was limited to connectivity through a central reservation system provider. However this is changing with more opportunity to connect and engage directly via the hotel booking engine emerging.
TripAdvisor’s Trip Connect
This is TripAdvisor’s PPC product that offers independent hotels signed up to their Business Listings the opportunity to run PPC campaigns alongside OTAs, with a link directly to booking pages on their own web site. The booking engine provider must have a certified API (integration) to TripAdvisor. As with any PPC campaign the budget and bidding needs consistent monitoring. Managed well, this route to booking could offer a more cost-effective ROI than the commission paid to an OTA, however bidding can become very expensive. Also – take a long look at the any costs you need to pay to your booking engine provider for the connectivity. Make sure that it’s on a transactional, or affordable commission based model, otherwise you’ll end up paying too much.
Is it worth it trying to compete with OTAs in PPC? In a recent survey by WIHP, across 15,000 guests, TripAdvisor was stated as the number 1 referral site used by those guests so this is definitely something to evaluate if you have a reliable digital marketing agency. Companies providing metasearch bid management tools and services include Seekda and HeBS Digital.
This is a carousel or horizontal display of images and related information that appear at the top of Google search results. Up to 20 images are displayed. This is effectively the number one position on a search results page and whilst not yet available in UK search results, its something to get ready for. It’s live in the US and generally appears on results for searches for hotels, restaurants and bars and other local places. When you click on an image in the carousel it brings up location information, including address, additional photos and more importantly review scores.
This is one opportunity to be positioned right at the top of the page, without having to compete against OTAs and a real opportunity to position your property to outshine the OTAs.
How to get involved:
- Get a Google G+ Business page and Google + Local page
- Make sure all your information is up to date
- Work on getting more Google review scores
- Work on getting more G+ followers
- Make sure you have compelling images
- Work on SEO – so that you’ll appear in both the carousel and search results
Here’s some advice from Google on managing business photo’s for best results
Revenue Management Support in 2014
Revenue by Design will be offering “on-demand” (well almost) revenue support for hotels that need some support in revenue decisions but don’t need it all the time. If you have a good revenue structure in place but want to be reassured that you’re maximising all opportunities, or want to sense check a strategy, or re-invigorate a forecast then we can work with you on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to give some focused impact to your revenue strategies.
We recognise that you don’t need all of the services all of the time but also recognise that sometimes strategies can get stuck or revenue meetings tend to drone on about the same old things. Prices for interventions start from £300 ex VAT We can also provide project management, holiday cover and maternity cover as required. If this is of interest please get in touch or visit the web site for more information.