What is TripConnect ?

TripConnect now live World-Wide for Hotels, B&Bs and Guest Houses

TripConnect Premium Partner
TripConnect Premium Partner

As of today independent hotels, bed and breakfasts from all corners of the world can advertise directly for bookings on TripAdvisor. Owners will be able to drive direct bookings with zero commission from their TripAdvisor pages. They will be able to bid for clicks on a PayPerClick basis.

This is nothing short of a revolution in the way TripAdvisor promotes accommodation, a new way to get direct bookings.

TripConnect video

If you are a property owner you can use the TripConnect system to show real-time rates and availability with a booking button for the customer to complete the booking.

What will you need for TripConnect to work ?

1. An approved Internet Booking Engine (IBE) like freetobook.

2. A business listing with TripAdvisor

3. A TripConnect account to pay for your clicks

When you have all three of the above you can set your PayPerClick budget and get started. You will be able to set a daily cap on your spend and you can do it for as long as you want. TripAdvisor will give you a forecast for monthly spend so you get an idea of costs.

What is TripConnect ?
TripConnect Premium Partner

As each booking comes in freetobook will show you that it came from TripConnect. You will also get a report from TripConnect showing your click costs and the booking revenue you achieved. This way you will be able to analyse the return on your advertising spend.

Freetobook is a Premium partner of TripConnect and can offer the service worldwide. If you already have a freetobook account you just need to contact TripConnect to setup your account. If you don’t yet work with freetobook this is an ideal time to signup.

 

 

More information on TripConnect click here

To signup with freetobook click here

To register with TripConnect click here

 

 

TripConnect PayPerClick vs Google

Hotels will switch adverts from Google to TripConnect

Google will lose PayPerClick advertising revenue to TripConnect.

Google PayPerClick vs. TripConnect
TripConnect PayPerClick vs Google

In the real world of limited marketing budgets one company’s gain will be another’s loss. The much awaited TripConnect system is a new way for properties to spend advertising money. (previous blog What is TripConnect ?)

Here at freetobook we are predicting Google will lose advertising revenue from property owners. We are already getting a significant number of property owners telling us they plan to switch their Pay Per Click budgets onto TripConnect. It makes total sense to us when you look at the logic, if your money is limited it is probably better spent on TripAdvisor’s new TripConnect system.

Why is Google Pay Per Click inferior to TripConnect ?

1.Google Pay Per Click is wasteful : TripConnect will not show adverts when the property is unavailable. The TripConnect system checks availability and rates with the properties Internet Booking Engine (IBE) before showing the advert. By comparison Google Pay Per Click adverts are not “availability dependent” and will always show, costing clicks when a property is unavailable.

2.Direct into the booking process: TripConnect puts the customer directly into the booking process cutting out wasted time spent browsing, you have all the information to make the purchase…. price, price comparison, availability and a quality ranking. A Google advert provides none of these.

3.Customer purchase point: When a potential customer is searching on TripAdvisor they are beyond the simple Google search “London Hotels” they are looking for “Which London hotel” where would you rather put your money ?

4.Easy ROI Tracking: TripConnect has built in tracking to show bookings completed alongside the costs so properties can easily tack their Return On Investment (ROI). Yes, Google has their analytics but they can require some specialist knowledge TripConnect tells a property what they want to know booking revenue vs. advertising costs.

5.Content rich : A TripAdvisor TripConnect advert is on the property’s TripAdvisor page, content and context rich.

TripConnect Premium Partner
TripConnect Premium Partner

The battle for Pay Per Click advertising revenue from accommodation owners is going to get more interesting with the launch of TripConnect. The freetobook Internet Booking Engine (IBE) is a premium partner of TripConnect so all our customers will be able to participate in TripConnect right from the start.

Our guess is that Google Hotel Finder will be watching TripConnect with their data microscope, after all not even Google wants to see their click revenue start to shrink. However, the lack of connectivity to the world’s property owners, their booking engines and inferior review data are three weaknesses they would need to rectify before a realistic chase can commence on TripConnect.

TripAdvisor is a Booking Website – Are You a Winner?

Make no mistake, TripAdvisor is a booking website.

Get Online bookings on TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor and Online Bookings

It started off being only about reviews. But you just have to browse it for a few minutes these days as a customer to see that it’s encouraging you to check availability and make online bookings at every turn.

How has this come about? Over the last six months or so, TripAdvisor have been busy developing software that can connect rates and availability to a vast array of booking systems and online travel agents. These links facilitate live rates, availability and booking on TripAdvisor itself. It’s pretty clear (to us at least) that they want every property in the world to be bookable on their website and to do this they have made the connections to as wide a variety of systems as possible.

What does this mean to property owners? Well, one thing is certain: if you don’t have some way to feed your rates and availability to TripAdvisor, you will lose bookings to properties that can. You will not be included in many of the searches customers perform on TripAdvisor and this means that you, the unconnected, will lose bookings to the connected. To win, you have to make sure you are one of the connected.

There is no excuse for missing out. Because TripAdvisor has connected with a massive range of booking engines, every property in the world will be able to get bookings from it. You only have to pick a system and get online. As for cost, TripAdvisor will charge on a pay-per-click basis for clicks through to whichever booking engine you’ve chosen.

So don’t let any more TripAdvisor bookings slip through your fingers or leak out to the property nearby. Get connected via freetobook today.

For More details click here – TripAdvisor Pay Per Click advertising connection

 

 

Tripadvisor Business Listings to have booking and availability Q4 2013

TripAdvisor has just let us know that they are planning to enable properties with business listings to display rates and availability and booking functionality (planned for Q4 2013). An official press release is due later this week from TripAdvisor. No final decisions have been made about what the interface will look like or what the bidding model will be.

This is an interesting addition to the TripAdvisor offering coming hot on the heels of their new meta search rate comparisson. This will give small properties worldwide the chance to show their rates and availability alongside some of the biggest travel companies.

Look out for further details and compare it with the current TripAdvisor Pay Per Click advertising explained in a previous blog.

How do the Changes at TripAdvisor affect accommodation ?

TripAdvisor is changing into a Rate Comparison and Booking website. How does this affect accommodation owners ?

Some accommodation providers could lose bookings from TripAdvisor as a result of these changes, others will gain. Here are a couple of videos to help you understand where you stand.

First Video about the changes, how they look to potential bookers

 Second Video about how you can deal with them

Another couple of blog articles might help you understand the changes. Official TripAdvisor is a Rate Comparison engine. And also 8 Things you need to know about TripAdvisor

 

 

 

 

TripAdvisor Goes Official (now a Price Comparison Website) Press release 5June2013

At freetobook we have been tweeting, facebooking and blogging about this change for months – Now its official from TripAdvisor themselves – they are a rate comparisson site with booking links. (8 Things You NEED to Know about the TripAdvisor Changes)

press release [start]

No More Pop-Ups Crop Up as Hotel Price Comparison Search Finally Goes Live

Applying radical common sense, TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site*, announces the launch of its all-in-one Hotel Price Comparison search, now live

TripAdvisor Show Prices button
Video of TripAdvisor show prices and availability

worldwide.  TripAdvisor *is* the first to match real-time pricing and availability with the more than 100 million original reviews and opinions of TripAdvisor travellers.

“Our bad,” said Steve Kaufer, co-founder and CEO of TripAdvisor. “We want to help travellers plan and have the perfect trip, not drive them crazy with endless annoying pop-ups before they’ve booked it. We are excited to offer real-time hotel prices and availability in one convenient display.”

“I recently searched a popular New York hotel, hit the ‘See All’ pricing link and — expecting to wade through countless pop-ups — I went to grab a cup of coffee,” said one TripAdvisor “member.” “When I came back to sift through the results, there was only one display…one!  Can you believe it? A unified price comparison search is a dream come true!”

TripAdvisor now displays an easy-to-read layout of pricing and availability from multiple booking partners in one view. This means that travellers can apply a simple method for choosing top-rated hotels at a great price: research a hotel for their chosen dates of stay, compare options at a glance to select their favorite, and click through to the booking partners’ sites to complete the transaction.

“This was the most logical step in the evolution of TripAdvisor,” said Kaufer.  “Pairing our best-in-class user-generated content with pricing in one display gives a better experience to our travellers and even more qualified leads to our hotel booking partners.”

Book Direct for the best price
Book Direct for the best price

The new price comparison search display is now live for hotels in every country in the world and is available on all TripAdvisor sites and all mobile platforms.

press release [end]

See the freetobook view on this change with our Video and Blog article.

Click here to see the VIDEO

Click here to see the Freetobook view BLOG

Get the news first with freetobook, our online booking solutions empower you to make the most of the online world.

TripAdvisor is becoming a Booking Website

8 Things You NEED to Know about the TripAdvisor Changes

Are you up to speed with the changes at TripAdvisor? Not knowing could lose you bookings.

TripAdvisor is Changing into a Booking Website. If you don’t have online booking you can lose bookings that you used to get from TripAdvisor.

  1. TripAdvisor is now a booking website, you can check live rates and availability.
  2. TripAdvisor will soon be advertising on TV just like other booking websites.
  3. The TripAdvisor home page (Image Below) now asks for a destination and your travel DATES.
  4. If you are on TripAdvisor looking for somewhere to stay they will show you availability and rates from Booking.com, LateRooms, Expedia, your property etc….
  5. You can now advertise your own direct availability on TripAdvisor next to the OTAs(Video Below)
  6. If you don’t work with any of Booking.com, LateRooms, Expedia and you don’t advertise your own availability on TripAdvisor you will lose bookings you used to get from TripAdvisor.

What do you need to do to get your rates and availability on TripAdvisor ?

  1. You need an online booking system that can connect with TripAdvisor.
  2. Alternatively you need to work with an Online Travel Agent (OTA) like booking.com that will advertise your availability on TripAdvisor.

TripAdvisor Show Prices button

Here is a short video to show you how to add rates and availability to you TripAdvisor page using your booking system.

Click Here to see the Video

As TripAdvisor grows their booking strategy you can expect more and more links to the booking process. It is likely that more of the page space on TripAdvisor’s website will be devoted to directing the customer to rates and availability.

This is a copy of the TripAdvisor home page, as you can see its asking for a destination, arrival and departure dates so they can show you rates and availability.

TripAdvisor HomePage

TripAdvisor Pay Per Click advertising
TripAdvisor Pay Per Click advertising

 

 

TripAdvisor Major Upgrade creates delay

We have recently completed an integration with TripAdvisor to enable Freetobook customers to advertise on their TripAdvisor (TA) page. We believe this makes good

TripAdvisor Show Prices button
TripAdvisor Show Prices button for direct bookings

business sense because potential customers visiting your TA page are at a late stage in the purchasing cycle – in other words they are ready to buy, a perfect time to advertise your direct link to them.

 

 

As part of our service, Freetobook provides an interface to show how many clicks/searches you have paid for and which bookings have resulted from the clicks.

TripAdvisor Show Prices click analysis
TripAdvisor click analysis graph and stats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This keeps you in control and gives you the information you need to calculate your profit from advertising on your TA page. The graphs and figures are easy to read and monitor.

What does the new TripAdvisor upgrade mean to the “Show Prices” button ?

TripAdvisor call this upgrade their “meta interface” and it has some big advantages over their older system. Show Prices button is clicked by customers after they have put in their desired dates.

  1. A neat interface showing customers your available rates on searched dates as provided by various suppliers.
  2. If you are not available (sold out or closed) you will not show on the list and therefore no click charge can occur from the “Show Prices” button.
  3. You only pay when the customer clicks the (Book) button

See an example of the new “meta interface” page below.

Clearly this has major advantages to advertisers. You will not pay if the customer is searching for dates when you are full or closed, nor will you pay if they are speculatively checking rates and availability. You only pay if the customer clicks on the (Book) button. Obviously a click on a (Book) button is far more valuable than a click on a (Show Prices) button.

With the new “meta interface” (live API) click prices will be higher than for the old system but the number of clicks will be far lower. There will also be a different price for TripAdvisor’s mobile pages. We are currently busy completing the new integration to the “meta interface” which we are confident will be a great benefit to freetobook customers.

The Meta Interface page is fed by the live API. A customer will see this when they enter dates and click the (Show Prices) button.

TripAdvisor Meta Interface results

Meta Interface TripAdvisor live API results (example)

 

 

1) The top 4 advertisers with a live API are shown in Cost Per Click price order

2) The top paying advertiser (Expedia in this case) is highlighted with a bigger box, different coloured ‘book’ button, one additional room type shown and a marketing tagline (in this case “120,000 hotels all over the world”) which is provided by the partner

3) Other advertisers with an API who are not in the top 4 show at the bottom with a price

4) Advertisers without an API show at the bottom as a text link

5) Advertisers with an API who did not have availability show, but you are not able to click on them (in this case LateRooms)

 

TripAdvisor book now button for direct bookings

Direct commssion free bookings on Trip Advisor

Just mention the name “TripAdvisor” to independent businesses and you are guaranteed to get some interest. Businesses have to take a pragmatic view when considering what tools and partners they need to make themselves more successful.

TripAdvisor book now button
TripAdvisor Show Prices button can link to your property

TripAdvisor is without doubt a very powerful influencer for your customers because it helps them gather information from other customers i.e. people just like them. Lots of studies have shown that people value and trust the advice of friends and family far more than anything else. That’s not new, since time began we have always asked for the advice of those closest, those who you trust.

Like most things on the internet it’s not perfect but that doesn’t lessen it’s importance to your customers. Good businesses engage with their customers, listen to their feedback and react accordingly and TripAdvisor provides one of the platforms to do that. Time invested in that is money well spent because it’s highly visible and highly searchable. Managing your reputation is critical in this increasingly connected world.

Many businesses rely heavily on their reviews to attract new customers and now there is a way to get direct bookings, not just referrals, from your TripAdvisor page. It’s not free but then TripAdvisor is not a charity, it provides a service to you and your customers.

You can place a direct link to your booking engine on your profile and every time a customer searches your availability you pay TripAdvisor – a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising model where each search is a click. The service is currently only offered on a wholesale basis i.e. individual properties can’t do it themselves they have to go through a service provider and properties do not need a business listing.

The direct link is valuable because customers are usually at the end of their purchasing cycle when they are looking at your profile….so they are ready book. When you consider all the marketing that has preceded that point i.e. providing a service that encourages reviews, advertising in different places etc. you can see that you are about as close to “closing the sale” as you will ever be. That’s where you have to make it easy for the customer…..search and book here!

The service is offered on a 3 month trial basis. TripAdvisor will give you a cost per click and estimated budget required for those 3 months based on their history of your page. How do you know you’ll get value for money? Well, you don’t at the outset, but at freetobook we will track and monitor every search and booking to give you a definitive return on investment. It’s that level of information that gives you the control to make a 100% informed decision on your marketing spend. If you have already invested heavily in your marketing this is well worth a try.

Booking and traffic leaks

Drip by JRonaldLeeGetting prospective customers to your website can be an expensive process. Once you have them, you need to keep them there and focused on the booking process.

A leak is an unintended entrance or escape. Make sure visitors are not leaking from your website, as it could be costing you bookings and or commission.

Continue reading “Booking and traffic leaks”