65% of bookings generated through metasearch come from GHA

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March 1, 2024

Roiback

  • Customers using this channel obtain a 900% return on investment (9 euros for every euro invested).
  • Last summer, hotels increased sales through Google Hotel Ads (GHA) by 77% compared to the same period last year.
  • 40% of GHA bookings are made through mobile devices

12% of hotel bookings are made through metasearch engines and 25% are made through other channels (SEO, direct, Adwords "Ads", Display, among others).

Of the total weight of metasearch engines in hotel sales, Google Hotel Ads (GHA), the Google platform that distributes hotel prices in real time, now represents 65%. This makes it the most profitable metasearch engine, ahead of Trivago and Tripadvisor, with a growth of 150% compared to the same period last year, when it accounted for only 26%.

In a context where 75% of travelers book their vacations online, it highlights the importance of maximizing the digital presence of hotels, both independent and chains, and taking advantage of the benefits offered by metasearch engines. "Google Ads is still the most important marketing channel, accounting for 20% of the total, but Google Hotel Ads is gaining ground. Our advice is to combine both channels, as Ads is more useful during the consideration phase of the buying cycle, and Google Hotel Ads acts more as a tool for the booking phase. With a combined channel strategy, the hotelier has an easier time competing with OTAs and capturing customers with a much lower distribution cost," says Felipe Bravo, head of Digital Marketing at Roiback.

The return on investment (ROI) of our clients using Google Hotel Ads is around 900% (a return of 9€ for every euro invested). We have also compared the bookings generated through GHA for the same hotels, during last summer and the same period of the previous year, and there is an increase of 77% with practically the same profitability levels or even lower in some cases thanks to optimization". Regarding this aspect, Felipe assures: "It shows that during this year GHA has been significantly increasing its visibility on Google.com, Google Maps and Google Destinations, in addition to improving visibility on desktop but especially on mobile devices, and that it is becoming the most relevant meta-search engine for the hotel sector".

According to Roiback's figures, the cancellation rate through GHA is also lower, at around 13% (below the OTAs' cancellation rate of 20-40%). In this regard, Felipe highlights the multiple advantages of using GHA: "It is an excellent channel to connect directly with Google users who are actively looking for accommodation. It also allows the hotelier to attract new customers and build customer loyalty by offering them extras, upsellings or pre- and post-stay communications. Undoubtedly, it is a tool that allows reducing part of the dependence on distributors, wholesalers, bed banks and OTAs".

By markets, Roiback's research highlights that approximately 50% of the bookings generated through GHA come from nine countries: Spain, United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy and Portugal, but in total there are 80 countries of origin that make bookings. This makes GHA the most appropriate channel if the objective is to diversify the hotels' source markets and attract clients of specific nationalities.

On average, hotels adjust their GHA offers around 10%-12% and, although GHA can be used through four different modalities, the most demanded is the "commissionable" model (GHACP). "It should be noted that the GHACP model only commissions for consumed bookings and does not consider cancellations because it is a pure commission system; while the CPA model does commission those cancelled, because it takes into account the bookings generated during the month. Therefore, it is key to review the numbers of cancellations before deciding the commission percentage to offer. It is also important to remember that Google no longer allows the use of this model to more suppliers (only if done by invitation) because it is trying to push the CPA model to shift the cancellation risk to hoteliers. At Roiback, we have been using the commissionable model for more than two years and, therefore, all our partners can opt for it," Felipe explains.

Finally, regarding GHA's increased visibility on mobile devices, Roiback reported that 40% of the bookigs generated in this channel are made through these devices. "This is a much higher figure than the overall average for the total of any other channel and all direct sales. This basically means two things: firstly, the increased visibility that GHA is getting on mobile devices, in addition to increasing mobile visits; and secondly, that GHA's mobile solution is well worked out and users are able to complete their bookings on their devices without having to resort to the desktop to finalize it, unlike other traffic channels."

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