What is hotel metasearch engine? A metasearch engine acts as an aggregator, compiling data from...
Price Accuracy, Rate Parity, and Hotel Metasearch Conversions
Price Accuracy Vs. Rate Parity
Price accuracy and rate parity are two of the most important factors to control when it comes to hotel metasearch. The two are not directly related but are often confused with one another, and both play a vital role in driving the most direct booking conversions. Price accuracy refers to ensuring that the rates displayed in the metasearch channel reflect the real rates in your booking engine. Rate parity refers to how often you are being undercut on rates by OTAs selling your rooms through their sites.
Did you know that price accuracy improves your metasearch conversion? Did you know it can actually lead to increased costs, higher CPCs, and less visibility if your prices aren’t accurately reflected in your booking engine? In fact, Google says your price accuracy score affects the auction positioning and advertising cost of your Google Hotel Ads metasearch listings. Ensure price accuracy while improving your conversion rate with these simple booking engine best practices:
- Publish your BAR rate - Don’t get undercut by the OTAs in the listings. Make sure you always offer potential guests the best available rates.
- Ensure your lowest rate is listed first - Google’s policies indicate your rate should be prominently displayed on your booking engine landing page and that the lowest rate (the rate shown in Google Hotel Ads) be the first listed rate available. It also helps ensure a smooth customer journey when the first price listed is the price they see in your booking engine.
- Add any and all public promotions to your channeled metasearch rate/inventory feed - If you offer deals and discounts that the OTAs can’t match, listing those rates on your metasearch channels will give a greater incentive for guests to book direct.
- Be thoughtful about how many rate types you display on your booking engine page - Guests may be overwhelmed if there are too many rates available on your landing page. The goal should be to decrease friction at all points in the booking process.
- Use understandable language - Communication is always key. Make sure any callouts or text in ads are compelling and concise. Language on the landing page should match your Brand voice and be easy to read.
Rate parity can have a massive impact on your conversion rates for hotel metasearch, but what is it exactly? In short, rate parity means ensuring you aren’t being undercut on the best available rate. Below is an example of a hotel experiencing rate parity issue; notice how Priceline and TripAdvisor both offer rates lower than the official site.
- Always be the best - OTAs are always looking for ways to beat your official site rates, trying to steal your direct bookings. Because metasearch interaction and conversion rates are driven so heavily by price, it’s vital that you offer the lowest rate.
- Monitor your listings - It’s important to be aware of how often your rates are not the lowest rates being displayed. Hotels with higher instances of being out of rate parity consistently have lower performance than those whose rates are in line.
- Have a strategy - A rate parity strategy is a set of policies that work together to ensure that your prices stay in parity. It may seem trivial to focus on rate parity, but it has an outsized impact on your conversion rate.
Rate parity is one of the most essential ways to increase your CTRs and conversions, while lowering your CPCs and increasing spend efficiency. After all, if your customers can get a better rate somewhere else, why wouldn’t they?
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