Five Advanced Metasearch Strategies for Improving Campaign Performance

Advanced Metasearch Strategies

Metasearch has grown into an incredibly important channel in 2019 and has become more competitive than ever for advertisers. Advertisers that are looking to maximize growth and performance must constantly adapt, experiment, and evolve. While no advertiser executes this perfectly, the best performers in the space are able to make great gains by finding areas of differentiation and maximizing them.

Outlined below are five advanced metasearch performance optimization strategies that we’re deploying to great effect. Before digging in, it’s worth considering whether you’ve covered the basics first. While all of these strategies will drive strong results for just about any campaign, their effect is much greater when applied to healthy campaigns.

1) Create Wins on Pricing

Pricing is extremely important because it:

  • Signals to engines what advertisers to display
  • Impacts the click behavior of users
  • Drives conversion activity after the click
  • Changes how users feel about brands long term

While advertisers face challenges in creating price advantages at scale, this activity can be transformative for campaigns. Developing a clear strategy around when, why, and where winning on price will be utilized allows for more conversions at greater efficiency.

2) Prioritize and Operationalize Market Advantages

Advertisers that are responsible for thousands or hundreds of thousands of properties often face challenges around spotting localized market opportunities. These can be driven by occupancy, events, and needs at the property level. Sometimes, these challenges can result from other factors like a hotel’s buzz or popularity in a given market. These details are easy to lose in vast amounts of data.

With a clear path to feature properties and maximize on market advantages – short term or long term – advertisers can harvest bookings and apply a differentiated market strategy. The trick to being successful with this approach is being able to set up systems to maximize visibility at opportune times with a high degree of automation.

3) Optimize to Acquisition and Lifetime Value

One of the least understood dynamics about the metasearch channel is that it’s an acquisition machine. Advertisers often find that metasearch drives the highest rate of new acquisition across paid channels, the highest efficiency in new customer acquisition, or both. However, it’s still rare to see advertisers activating on this data.

Advertisers that really understand these metrics are able to right-size their levels of investment in the areas that make the most sense. Once the channel mix is adjusted, further opportunity exists in optimizing in deeper dimensions, as some publishers significantly outperform others in these metrics.

4) Maximize Consumption Rates

Once online bookings are completed, most campaigns are over. Consumption rates – the levels at which stays actually occur instead of being canceled – are generally assumed and built into the funding model. The most advanced advertisers are finding that segmentation can be applied to audiences or cohorts to maximize consumption rates in campaigns.

Getting started here enables advertisers to not only maximize profit but also to create a virtuous cycle in self-funded campaigns. Higher consumption rates drive higher marketing budgets to drive more bookings, and the cycle continues on.

5) Target Facilitated Bookings

Programs that ease the path to conversion for a user while allowing an advertiser to maintain a direct relationship with that user are controversial. The value proposition is clear, but many advertisers fear that this value comes with high hidden costs that could damage their brand long term. More often than not, these programs are perceived as metasearch engines moving to become OTAs.

There are ways, however, to mitigate these risks. One such approach is to target areas where an advertiser might otherwise have a high chance of losing a user, focusing on areas of clear incrementality. For example, mobile or international traffic that would otherwise go directly to competitors can represent significant scale opportunities, and it’s hard to argue against getting a booking that otherwise would go to a competitor.

As the space becomes both more important and more competitive, advertisers will need to continue to find, test, and refine new and more advanced strategies like these in order to see healthy growth in their campaigns. For more metasearch optimization tips, download our free metasearch white paper.