When looking at how to improve a metasearch campaign, there are a good number of levers at our disposal regarding bidding. However, there are also a lot of additional, time-consuming factors–such as whether or not a landing page is optimized across device types to help guide customers through the booking funnel.
One of 2017’s emerging trends in metasearch, assisted bookings (or more commonly known as facilitated bookings) has given an edge to both hoteliers and OTAs that may not have the best landing pages and booking experience.
Facilitated bookings–such as Book on Google, Express Booking, and Instant Book–are bookings directly made on the metasearch publisher’s site. While each publisher has its own quirks related to its facilitated bookings, we hope this post will give a concise overview of things to consider when deciding whether facilitated bookings are the best option for your metasearch campaign.
For advertisers who suffer from poor conversion rates or don’t have an optimized booking experience, facilitated bookings provide a uniform experience for the user, where the complete sales process exists in one location. This can come with the added benefit of a potential CVR boost.
This uplift can be seen especially on mobile where advertisers can lose bookings by not having a mobile-optimized experience. The facilitated booking experience can also improve conversion rates for advertisers with weak landing pages. Advertisers that have already integrated a top-notch mobile and landing page experience might not see as much of a change, but if your conversion rate takes a major dip on mobile, facilitated bookings could be a direct solution to this problem.
Another direct benefit of facilitated bookings includes language and currency support. If you’re an advertiser interested in showcasing your hotel in international destinations, but don’t have the language or currency support on your direct website, facilitated bookings can generate additional opportunities by supporting different languages.
Even though facilitated bookings can add value for metasearch advertisers, there are some drawbacks that should be considered before rushing to launch these programs.
One of the reasons advertisers participate in metasearch–other than gaining direct, high-value bookings–is to gain additional traffic to their website. By doing this, these potential customers have the ability to make other bookings or be retargeted in the future. Since a facilitated booking is made directly on the publisher’s site, advertisers can potentially miss out on the website traffic they would have otherwise received through traditional metasearch ads.
It’s important to consider both the benefits and potential disadvantages that come with assisted bookings. For more information on this topic and other metasearch trends, download our free whitepaper, Metasearch at Scale.