3 Stay22 Integration Ideas to Try on Your Travel Blog

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on June 10, 2024.

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When it comes to utilizing Stay22, you are likely familiar with their popular tools like deep linking, maps, and the POP popup tool in the Let Me Allez toolset.

While you can likely make a great deal of money on your travel blog utilizing these tools in conventional ways, for this one, we wanted to look a bit deeper with some unique integration ideas and data analyses you may want to consider.

From figuring out what booking service your audience actually prefers to A/B testing ListView and Maps, to creating customized booking widgets with Optimized Redirect, we have some fun ideas in this one!

Note: This article was sponsored by Stay22. As always, all opinions are our own. Some of the methods provided in the below article require analysis or install methods not inherently included in Stay22 products. There may be other ways to get to the same result than the examples illustrated below, however. If you have an alternative idea, comment and share!

Identify the Booking Service Your Readers Use Most

Stay22 Data

As Stay22 has many brand partners, including Expedia, Booking, VRBO, and more, you may be wondering if a certain provider performs better for your audience over another. What works for Site A with a USA-based audience may not be the same as Site B with a strong European audience or Site C with an Asian audience, so our selection of booking services can impact our conversion rate significantly.

If you recommend Booking links but your audience actually prefers Expedia, you may be leaving money on the table as they open a link, see Booking, and subsequently close the page because they just don't shop there.

So, how do you find out what works best for you? We have some ideas!

First, we head to the analytics dashboard on Stay22 and look at the data there. While direct links made with the Allez tool will likely favor the program(s) you have selected, naturally, it is the POP tool under LMA that may be more insightful here.

Here, look at all the bookings made under the Product column labeled LMA. Do you see any immediate trends in booking that differ from your deep linking practices? For me, very quickly after installing LMA, I saw an immediate spike in Expedia and Hotels.com bookings. This was a surprise to me because I had zero direct links to these services on my sites.

Diving down into a data analysis further (looking at the tracking tags I set up for LMA scripts, which, for me, were exclusively used for POP at the time), I found a statistically significant number of bookings on Expedia above all others. Well, that's a surprise! 

This is because POP bookings use Stay22's proprietary AI to determine not only when a traveler is likely to book but also identify the best service for them. I must admit how surprised I was to see so many Expedia and Hotels.com booking links on my sites with a US-based audience because I simply never link to those services. Analyzing my data on the backend, I found that an incredibly high percentage of my POP bookings were Expedia, with Hotels.com and Booking.com trailing behind.

After seeing this data, this led me to test more Expedia links using the Allez deep link builder. Wouldn't you know it, I started getting more sales as I was likely recommending a better company for my audience!

  • Note: As of now, Stay22's analytics dashboard labels all products within the Let Me Allez suite as LMA in the Product category. This may include Optimized Redirect and others now. We're told more product clarity will be coming in an analytics update soon. But for the time being, your account rep can get an export of your data with POP data included as a separate column!

But what if you have audiences from all over the world? Do readers in France prefer another network over readers in the USA or Canada? You can look at that, too!

Stay22 Excel Analysis

Our second analysis technique, which requires a bit of Excel knowledge here, utilizes Pivot Tables with your exported data. Here, simply highlight all of the selected data found in the Excel table, go to Insert->Pivot Table, and select a blank cell to the right to insert the table.

When building the Pivot Table, I drag the Provider metrics in the Rows box, User Country in the Columns box, and the User Country in the Values box, which should default to Count of User Country (but can be adjusted to other calculations if you wish). When finished, a table will be generated that organizes a list of country IDs and the number of bookings you have received on each respective service.

Depending on the size of the table, you may wish to analyze it further with graphs or other charts; however, as mine was fairly compact I just visually looked over the data for trends.

Also note that this is just one way to organize the data. Pivot Tables are incredibly powerful for data analysis. There are many ways to organize data with and without Pivot Tables that can get to the same net end view- this is just one method I personally like.

  • For those with premium ChatGPT subscriptions, you may be able to ask the service to see if any trends are present in Provider vs User Country in GPT-4, too- this didn't seem to work as well in free models, though.

When scrolling through the data organized in a table like the above, it was much easier to see where my bookings came from over my entire history on Stay22.

To no one's surprise, 82% of my bookings were from the USA, with Canada and Great Britain each pulling 3-5%. Of all my Booking.com reservations, only half were from the USA and the other half being a high percentage of sales for readers in the EU. But my Expedia bookings were 76% from the USA and Hotels.com were 90% from the USA! In absolute terms, Expedia bookings also beat out Booking.com considerably, too.

All of this points to the fact that the USA audience is the highest-converting for me, and they seem to prefer Expedia over Booking. But for non-USA readers, which are much, much smaller, Booking had a bump but Expedia was still a strong contender.

So if you couple this with your knowledge of your site and audience (possibly in tandem with other analytics software), you may start painting a clearer strategy of what to target. If Booking works well for European audiences and you have articles that do better with Europeans, perhaps link Booking there. If your performance was like ours and you have a strong USA audience with content regularly read by Americans, well, maybe you want to target Expedia!

The sky is really the limit here, but only by doing data analysis can you paint a clear picture of your audience and then decide the best approach to move forward in a targeted fashion.

  • Was your data inconclusive here? An alternative idea to test is creating masked links via the Pretty Links Pro plugin. Not only do we love this one because it lets you curate links in a dashboard where you can swap out links across all instances in a few clicks, but they also have a fun A/B test feature in the Pro tab under Dynamic Redirection (rotation)! Create two or more links to services on Stay22 (with a trackable campaign ID), pop them into one Pretty Link used on your site, and wait to see if the data points to a clear winner after a sufficient number of clicks!

A/B Test ListView vs Maps

You may be aware that Stay22 started as a map company that incorporated live hotel pricing for affiliate sales. But over the years (and with great success), the company has expanded to offer many more products that we know and love today.

One option that we have been enjoying that is also somewhat less well known is their ListView alternative to maps (a live example should be loaded above). Here, instead of showing a map with live pricing, the widget changes to show a selection of hotels in a card-style format whose size and features you can control.

Personally, I like this approach a bit more than maps, if only because it gets a recommended property in front of a reader that much faster. With maps, you may have to do more to encourage a reader to click around. But by recommending a specific product, they may be inspired to click just a bit more.

But it is worth noting that the ListView tool does not have an easy builder on the Stay22 database like maps. The iframe is just a bit different than maps, and can be made using the following code (which appears to add a “viewmode=listview” variant to the normal map code):

<iframe src=”https://www.stay22.com/embed/gm?&aid=[YOURAID]&address=[ADDRESS]&campaign=[CAMPAIGNID]&checkin=&maincolor=FFFFFF&fontcolor=&viewmode=listview” id=”stay22-widget” width=”110%” height=”460″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>

Replace the following:

  • [YOURAID] with your Stay22 tracking AID.
  • [ADDRESS] with the address or location you want to show (e.g. “Downtown Pittsburgh” works for me)
  • [CAMPAIGNID] with any tracking code you'd like associated with ListView (e.g. “PittsburghListView”)

As these are manually created, if you have any issues, we recommend contacting your account rep for assistance if you have any issues.

So, what about A/B testing? One tool we really love to embed widgets on our site is AdInserter. This widget logic plugin has a lot of control over insertions either at the middle of content, end of content, via shortcode, etc. and can incorporate display logic based on things like category, tag, post ID number, and so much more. (Admittedly this one comes with a modest learning curve.)

Within any given code block of AdInserter, you can also add the |rotate| command that will cycle between two or more prompts on your site. So if you want more real-time A/B testing of maps vs ListView over simply running it a bit more manually (e.g. running maps for a couple months and ListView after for a couple months), this could be a great option to try out!

  • I have even created custom sections at the end of every post on my travel blog utilizing Ad Inserter's tag logic (which I use for countries). Custom maps and ListView integrations on a country-to-country basis? We're in!

Create a Custom Booking Widget With Optimized Redirect

Booking Widget
An example booking widget on my travel blog.

One affiliate prompt we have seen become increasingly popular over the years is a simple block of links that reminds your readers to book their trip.

These can be quite simple prompts, like my generic booking card shown above, or a bit more customized and re-used on posts from country to country, city to city- often with more topically specific recommendations (say, recommended hotels, price ratings, destination-specific copy, etc.).

But what you don't see in my above block is that the first four links (flights, hotels, apartments, and rental cars) all utilize Optimized Redirect feature. These links are coded simply to go to global landing pages on Expedia and VRBO for those respective products (e.g. Expedia.com/flights). But, through AI, they are autodetected and re-routed to the destination landing page that matches any given article.

So on an article about Oaxaca, for example, the flights link pre-loads results for Pittsburgh to Oaxaca (my home airport to Oaxaca). The hotels link on Expedia and apartments link on VRBO pre-populate recommendations in the city. The rental car link also loads options in Oaxaca, too! Sadly, the only link not redirected in this one is day tours, if only because my preferred company, Viator, is not partnered with Stay22 at the time being.

Still, you can likely see why this is an interesting idea. All I had to do was create one block of a semi-generic booking card to insert on my sites, and Stay22's Optimized Redirect did the rest to help serve a better product to my readers. There was no mucking about creating hundreds or thousands of affiliate links. There were no manual edits in all articles sitewide (or even replacing links on Pretty Links Pro)—just link to the original destination page and let the script do its magic.

So, why not create your own booking card (generic or specific) and let Optimized Redirect work for you in helping give your readers a subtle push to make a sale. While this one feels like a volume play (improving low conversion rates of large volumes of clicks), over time, sales can indeed add up!

  • I use the AdInserter plugin to manually insert this booking code about 33% down the page in all articles, too!

Overall, these are three unique ways to take your Stay22 sales to a new level. By learning more about your audience, finding services they prefer, and testing new products, we hope your sales will skyrocket like ours did!

Do you have a unique way to incorporate Stay22 products and/or hotel booking tools on your travel blog? Comment below to share!

Looking to get more out of Stay22? Be sure to download our Stay22 handbook (PDF) with everything you need to know about the network!

This article was sponsored by Stay22. As always, all opinions are our own. Mention This Week in Blogging at sign up and receive an extra 5% commission on your base revenue share! Additional terms and conditions may apply.

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