Let’s say you have a really awesome tool like Koddi that aggregates all of your hotel property performance on Google’s Hotel Price Ads (HPA) and you decide to start dicing your data to see how to increase your booking volume.
One of our go-to tricks is to pull all of the properties that have good rate parity but have a low impression share. Google is really awesome to provide “price bucket” in their reporting (see screenshot) which tells you where your price ranks among the competition.
*Totally made up sample report from Google
0 is the most competitively ranked rates, 2 is the least, -1 indicates that your property didn’t show because your bid is below reserve (i.e. the minimum bid to participate in an auction). As HPA gurus, we obviously want to make sure that our competitive properties in price bucket 0 are capitalizing on the eligible impressions, but what next after you’ve done that?
There is a lot of opportunity to be had in that -1 price bucket. The challenge? We have no idea how competitive these rates are. Maybe you bid down your ski destinations in the summertime, but now fall is coming and you want to see where to start opening traffic up. You can raise bids across all the target properties, but you’d have no idea how that will perform. You could potentially rack up a lot of spend on hotels that aren’t competitive. We like to take calculated risks, so we suggest collecting data before spending money.
Our objective is to minimize risk while collecting rate parity data. The solution is simple: set your bids to default on the target properties. Your bid is no longer below minimum; it’s at minimum. This means that you’ll more than likely be in slot 4 on the menu, buried behind competitors. You’re not likely to get traffic, which means that you won’t accrue much spend, but you’ll collect all that golden price bucket data. What you do with it is up to you!
We’re definitely looking forward to the day when (and if) Google gives us an alternate flag to reveal rate parity without exposure…but until then, hopefully our work-around helps you manage your campaigns more effectively! Let us know if we can help you solve any other HPA challenges!