OTAs are revenue driven and they will do everything they can to take bookings from hotels so they can charge the commission. This includes paying to take away your brand traffic so that they get the booking, not you. A move that clearly shows these OTAs are not a hoteliers friend.
To demonstrate this point, let’s say someone searches Google for ‘GuestiQ Grand Hotel’ with the clear intent to book. Booking.com is bidding on this keyword, so, the first thing the searcher see’s is a Booking.com search result that looks like your hotels result. This person clicks on the ad and books a room at your hotel. The result? Your £200 revenue booking becomes £170 (assuming 15% commission), with Booking.com netting a neat £30 for that £1 click. £30 may not seem like a big deal but if over 5 years, that happens 10 times a week, that’s £78k directly handed over to the OTAs in commission. So, what’s the solution?
Are they bidding on your brand? (Easy method)
The first way is very simple, just search your hotel name on Google! We’d advise you start by just searching on Google search. An example of an OTA bidding on a hotel brand can be seen below:
If in your case, no ads show, try Google search in incognito. Still nothing? Try this anonymous ad preview tool. Still nothing? You may be in luck! But this doesn’t mean they definitely aren’t…to prove this you will need to try the advanced method.
Are they bidding on your brand? (Advanced)
For this one, you need to act proactively, not re-actively. By this, I mean you need to set up ads for your brand terms. Once you’ve done this (read till the end for special offer in getting this sorted..) you need to wait a few days for some data to gather. Then, click ‘auction insights’ from the left hand menu. In here, you will see a list of advertisers bidding on your brand campaign. If it’s just you, hooray! If not, you know who all the culprits are…
How to stop the OTAs
The easiest way to stop OTAs bidding on your brand is just to ask them politely to stop. This may or may not work, depending on your relationship with them. If it doesn’t work, you will have to fight fire with fire, meaning, you need to throw your hat into the advertising ring. The good news is that Google will recognise you as being the most relevant result when you bid on your brand name and therefore, for every £1 you spend, OTAs will need £10, meaning it’s only a matter of time before they stop bidding on your brand and leave you alone.
Todays blog won’t be a game-changer but it might just save you £50k+ directly over 5 – 10 years which in our opinion, makes it worth taking action today. If you’re reading this and you would like a hand setting up your brand ads, we are happy to do this for you for just £49, just for reading this blog <3 just mention this when getting in touch.