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What is metasearch advertising?

Meta-Search July 16th, 2021

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A metasearch service, also known as a price comparison, allows travelers to compare different rates for a hotel. Various entities such as OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), TOs (Tour Operators) and the hotel itself, can sell hotel rooms. The main metasearch services on the market are: Google Hotel Ads, Tripadvisor, Trivago, Kayak, etc. 

Advertising your hotel on metasearch allows you to be listed and display your rates directly on the hotel page of one of these price comparison sites so you can get direct bookings.

What’s the point of advertising my hotel on metasearch sites?

Today, metasearch plays an important role in the booking process of travelers . It gives people control over their bookings that they did not have in the past. Following this major evolution in traveller behavior, it’s important to understand the added value of displaying your direct rates on metasearch.

Usually, hotel metasearch is used as a marketing platform. Any distributor can post your hotel on these platforms as long as they can post prices and availability. Posting your hotel and direct rates will allow you to compete with these entities (OTAs) who distribute your rooms.

Using metasearch as part of your digital distribution will increase direct bookings and optimise your distribution costs.

How can I advertise my hotel on metasearch? 

Advertising on metasearch

To distribute your hotel on  different metasearch services, you must be connected to each of them.

In operational terms, you transmit your rates and the availability for your hotel to via a highly technical process. Many hoteliers use an integration partner to communicate their prices and availability to various metasearch sites they wish their hotel to appear on.

Among the main metasearch services are Google Hotel Ads, Tripadvisor and Trivago. However, there are others too. 

The easiest way to ensure a presence on multiple metasearch at the same time is to connect to a platform like Meta I/O. This is a platform that allows you to be displayed on all the major metasearch engine on the market, and manage your metasearch distribution with a single connection.

How much does it cost to start advertising my hotel on metasearch?

The notion of budget for metasearch is not that important, because no matter what your budget, you can have a presence on the price comparison sites you choose. 

For example, if you already have an established marketing budget, all you need to do is allocate a portion of the budget to invest in your metasearch campaigns. If, on the other hand, you do not have a specific budget, you can still appear on price comparison sites by managing your campaigns on a day-to-day basis.

You allocate funds to the different metasearch advertising models you choose. The metasearch service then offers different bidding models: cost per click, cost per acquisition, or commission. Each bidding model has its own advantages, so it’s up to you to choose the one that best suits your strategy. 

How do hotels pay metasearch?

In contrast to OTAs that are paid a percentage of each booking, a metasearch is paid in different ways, but the most common are CPC (Cost per Click), CPA (Cost per Acquisition), or Commission.

CPC is a cost per click acquisition model on your metasearch ad: for each click received on your ad, the metasearch is paid an amount that you will have defined beforehand. 

For the CPA model, the metasearch company is paid a percentage of the booking amount. Of course, you, the hotelier, remain in control of that amount, but a higher percentage will give you more visibility based on the price comparison site’s algorithm. 

With the commission model, the metasearch company is paid a percentage of the total booking amount after the date of the client’s stay. This model protects you from potential cancellations, and simplifies cash flow. 

It is important to define which model suits your hotel and/or season. Indeed, some advantages of metasearch are flexible commission rates and models that allow a better distribution throughout the year. 

When choosing your partner, it is important to ensure this flexibility is maintained. 

Do I need a presence on all metasearch sites?

Meta searchHaving a presence on all metasearch and markets is key. 

Remember that price comparison campaigns only appear when someone searches for your hotel. Even if the user is thousands of miles away and uses an unpopular metasearch, you’ll still get a highly qualified visitor. The internet user performs a specific search on your hotel, therefore that user is already interested in staying at your hotel. 

What are the advantages of a metasearch presence? 

Metasearch is now an important part of hotel bookings for travelers with 72% of them consulting a price comparison site before deciding to book.

As a hotelier, the main advantage is your hotel being displayed to these people looking to make a booking. 

You choose the markets where you want to be displayed as well as the distribution model you want (CPC, CPA, Commission, etc.), in line with your preferences. 

With a platform like Meta I/O, you can choose which markets and auction models are best for your hotel. You also have the option to open and close markets based on performance. 

Distributing your hotel on metasearch services will allow you to increase the number of links that redirect people to your website. This increases the chances of generating a direct booking. 

What are the key elements to ensure my hotel’s metasearch campaigns perform?

The two major elements to put in place for success are: 

  1. An attractive rate: internet users go to a comparison site to find a hotel and get an idea of the accommodation available. When you offer them a more attractive direct rate than your distributors, it will increase your chances of conversion.
  2. A pleasant booking experience: ensure a quick and easy buying experience on your website and booking engine for a great user experience.

What impact does metasearch advertising have on my hotel’s direct bookings?

For some hotels, bookings generated by metasearch can reach 30% of their web bookings.

A metasearch distribution channel will help you increase your direct bookings by increasing your visibility to highly qualified internet users. This allows you to retrieve bookings that could have been made via an OTA. 

Metasearch also offers solutions to increase your hotel’s visibility in your area with Property Promotion Ads (GHA), Sponsored Placement (Tripadvisor), Sponsored Listing (Trivago). This solution allows you to take your direct distribution strategy even further. 


The share of bookings generated via metasearch is constantly increasing, so this channel should not be neglected when it comes to marketing your hotel. 

Posting your hotel on price comparison sites will increase your visibility and gain direct bookings. You will be able to reach highly qualified travelers because they are already showing an interest in your establishment. Acquisition campaigns via metasearch allow you to gain direct bookings and therefore increase your net margins. 

Do you want to advertise on metasearch? Contact our team of experts who will assist you in connecting your hotel.

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