Google’s recent announcement revealing the discontinuation of its CPA bidding (commission-based bidding) model for Hotel Ads has caused a stir in the hospitality industry. This is a wake-up alarm for all the revenue managers to buckle up and revisit our metasearch strategies.

At first glance, this seemed like disappointing news and made us raise our eyebrows. After all, Metasearch has demonstrated its effectiveness in driving quality traffic and conversions. But hold your horses. This shift also presents a great opportunity for hotels to take back control of their distribution strategy and prioritize direct bookings without any commissions.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is about staying resilient and navigating the challenges that come along the way. So, let’s analyze and uncover the impact of Google’s decision on various types of hotels – individual properties, boutique hotels, and large hotel chains – and find the best strategies to maximize profits in this new landscape.

The End of an Era: Why Did Google Kill CPA Bidding?

There are a couple of factors that could have influenced Google’s choice to end the commission-based bidding for hotels. Here are a few of the most prominent hypotheses:

  • Google could be working towards offering advertisers increased control and transparency regarding their spending on metasearch. By concentrating on cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding, hotels have the ability to establish a desired acquisition cost and adjust their campaigns for optimal performance.
  • Google could be giving importance to user experience. Opting out of a commission-based model may be their way of making sure users are presented with the most suitable hotel choices, without being influenced by commission rates.
  • Creating a fairer environment for all advertisers, regardless of their budget size, this action could help level the playing field. Through CPA bidding, smaller hotels can enhance their competition with bigger chains for advertising space.

What Does This Mean for Hotels?

While the immediate impact might be a sense of uncertainty, there are silver linings for hotels willing to adapt. For hoteliers who rely on CPA, the cessation of commission-based meta-search campaigns represents a major shift in their advertising approach should they opt out of Meta campaigns. In particular, if you discontinue the meta-campaigns, hotels may experience a decrease in their presence on the Google Hotel Ads platform, resulting in guests opting to book through OTAs instead, in the long run.

They must adjust to other advertising models and alter their marketing strategies as needed. This refers to the possibility of transitioning to the cost-per-click (CPC) model, in which hoteliers are charged for clicks or conversions, regardless of booking outcomes. This approach carries higher risks but has the potential to be more financially efficient with strategic campaigns and expert supervision.

Here’s how this shift can be a positive for your revenue strategy:

  1. Prioritize Direct Bookings: Now that the commission pressure from metasearch has been removed, hotels may focus on increasing commission-free direct bookings. This means a higher ROI for your marketing efforts.
  2. Embrace Guest Relationships: Strengthening guest relationships becomes even more important. Incentivize guests to book directly by personalizing the booking experience and giving exclusive promotions on your website.
  3. Data-Driven Decision Making: CPA bidding stresses the value of data and analytics. Tracking crucial indicators such as conversion rates and cost per acquisition allows you to manage your campaigns for optimal efficiency.

Pro Tip 💡: Leverage RateGain’s commission-free solution to boost your direct bookings without breaking the bank – no monthly fees, no surprises. Just pay when guests complete their stay! It’s the commission-only model you’re looking for.

Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Ofcourse, there are certain challenges to take into account. Here are the two primary obstacles and how to get beyond them:

  • Making an impact in a crowded market

    Having a solid advertising strategy is crucial as more hotels are locking horns for visibility on metasearch platforms. To draw users’ attention, use high-quality visuals, laser-precise keywords, and competitive pricing options.

  • Optimizing Campaigns for CPA

    Utilizing CPA bidding necessitates a strategy based on data analysis. Collaborate with a dependable tech partner that provides powerful yet comprehensive campaign management resources and real-time performance analytics.

Read More: Supercharging Hotel Bookings: The Game-Changing Benefits of Metasearch Marketing

Rev your Revenue Engine with RateGain’s Proven CPA Approach in the New Metasearch Landscape

At RateGain, we understand the importance of the CPA model for hoteliers, and that’s why we’ve been offering it alongside CPC for your metasearch campaigns so that you can focus on boosting bookings and ultimately the revenue.

We know CPA is your jam, and we’ll keep it that way. We’ll work with you to establish a comfortable commission rate, just like you had with Google. There’s no beating behind the bush. Just like a bank investing your money, RateGain shoulders the risk of reaching your target CPA so you can sit back, relax, and watch your revenue sour.

We’re confident in our results because of our three-pronged approach:

  1. Data-Driven Decisions: Data is our lifeblood. We tell you where your travelers are and what’s their travel intent which you can use to optimize campaigns and ensure you acquire guests at your target CPA.
  2. Smarter Software: Our AI-powered platform takes the guesswork out of metasearch. We even factor in crucial rate parity considerations.
  3. Industry Expertise: Our hospitality veterans stay on top of trends and craft winning strategies tailored to your goals and budget.

Here’s how you can make the most out of our services:

  • Maximize Bookings, Minimize Risk: Focus on what matters – running your hotel – while we handle the complexities of metasearch and deliver bookings.
  • Transparent Partnership: Our risk-taking approach shows our commitment to your success. You get a clear return on investment, without the market fluctuations.

Whether you’re already a RateGain CPA user or a newcomer seeking a safer, results-oriented approach, our experts are here to guide you to conquer the new metasearch landscape together.

Predict your hotel's direct revenue surge with hotel digital marketing in seconds

The Future of Hotel Distribution: A Collaborative Approach

The future of hotel distribution lies in a collaborative approach between hotels and technology providers. By leveraging innovative solutions and prioritizing direct guest relationships, hotels can not only survive but thrive in this evolving landscape.

Here are some additional tips for hotels to succeed in the post-CPA bidding era:

  1. Invest in Your Website: Make your website user-friendly and mobile-optimized to provide a seamless booking experience.
  2. Embrace Metasearch Marketing: Metasearch remains a valuable tool for driving qualified traffic. However, explore alternative bidding models like CPC (cost-per-click) or focused campaigns on specific audience segments.
  3. Build a Strong Brand Presence: A strong brand identity helps you stand out from the competition and attracts guests.

Embrace the Future: A Message of Optimism

The changes in the metasearch landscape might seem daunting, but they also present an exciting opportunity. By focusing on direct bookings, building stronger guest relationships, and leveraging data-driven marketing strategies, hotels can take control of their distribution destiny.

We believe that by working together, we can navigate this new era and unlock a future of sustainable growth for the hospitality industry. Ready to take the plunge? Schedule a free consultation with our hospitality experts. Let’s discuss your unique needs and develop a customized strategy to help you achieve your revenue goals in the post-CPA bidding era.

Remember, in this ever-evolving world, the key to success lies in adaptability and a willingness to embrace change. With the right tools and a collaborative approach, hotels can not only survive but thrive in the new metasearch landscape.

Boost your direct bookings with a risk-free hotel digital marketing solution. Just pay when guests complete their stay!