|Looking for a good hotel affiliate program|
New travel website looking for a highly recommended hotel affiliate program
I have a new site that focuses on tourist attractions in Sydney, Australia. I thought that it might be useful for my visitors to locate hotels/accommodation that are close to these attractions. I will be adding a hotel section and so I'm looking for a good hotel affiliate program.
I have done a bit of research and found a few, but it would be nice to hear some opinions on a few good affiliate programs. It would save me a fair bit of time instead of trialing each one.
Thanks in advance.
Welcome to WebmasterWorld!
There are quite a few different hotel affiliate programs, and what works great for one person might not work so good for another. Best thing to do is to sign up for the ones you've researched, and see which converts best.
BTW our forum here is a bit different from other forums in that specific program and URL drops are discouraged as it leads to spam drops, "me too's", and flame posts from competitors, so we try not to get specific about which program is "best". Again, testing for your specific site will show you which is best.
Since your site focuses on Sydney, Australia, it would make sense to compare affiliate programs that have a strong presence in Sydney. Hotel affiliate programs vary in their coverage, and a program that pays a great percentage won't do you much good if it has few hotels in the area that you're writing about.
Another thing to keep in mind is the user experience. Some programs just supply bare-bones search forms, others provide dry lists of bullet points about hotels, and still others entice the user with detailed, nicely illustrated Web pages or even mini-sites about individual properties. Unless you plan to create elaborate hotel descriptions on your own, you might want to look for an affiliate program that does that for you.
I would also make sure that the program you choose really does offer good value. Don't just look at your commission. People have become quite sophisticated about hotel rates. They may make the booking, check around and then cancel (if there's no penalty) once they find it cheaper. It's also better for your own brand if you partner up with the one that offers the best deals.
Thanks everyone for the great advice!
eljefe3 - Thanks for the warm welcome :) I'm still researching and looking at different programs. Also cheers for the heads up regarding this forum. I have asked around in other forums but didn't get a reply. I was actually hoping for a few recommended affiliate programs but I appreciate the advice.
signor_john - Thanks for the tips! I have been focusing my search on hotel affiliate programs that have a strong presence in Australia. I will try to see which one offers more hotels in Sydney.
RibaRiva - Thanks as well for your advice. I'm trying to find one that offers both good value and good commission. I guess it's just that I don't want to waste time implementing and testing one affiliate program only to find out that I wasted my time. It's also good to mention that a lot of these affiliate programs have certain requirements before joining.
After a few trials with 2 Australian sites ( it seems that the results are about the same with one leading slightly. The implementation was simple; I just took their general search boxes and stuck it into a newly created hotel section. The good thing about the other program is that you can do a white label and it will look like the booking process happens on your site. However, since the 2nd site compares different sites and therefore returns better prices, they have a higher conversion. Obviously, they canít control the booking process as they are simply a price comparison service. The white label is available but you will still have to show the comparison table with different sites and thus will loose your visitors. Then again you will not disclose their brand, so if people want to compare then in theory they should come back to my site.
There is one other site that I was really interested in , but frankly they donít seem to have an affiliate program. I know that they have a huge inventory of hotels and apartments in Australia because I have personally used their site a few times to book for accommodation. How can that be though, they are probably the most well known here in OZ? Am I missing something or they just donít offer one at all? I have written to them but did not get a response. I did find out that they gave a white label to NineMSN before, so they must have the system ready.
Anyway, Iíll post later on to tell how I went with the company that doesn't appear to have a program. Also it is much appreciated if anyone knows other affiliate programs that target the Australian market. Thanks again!
[edited by: eljefe3 at 8:45 am (utc) on Feb. 13, 2009]
[edit reason] no URL or program drops please per TOS [/edit]