We’ve mentioned the importance of running a niche site before on this blog – it can be the key to success, helping you to become an authority in your own corner of the busy travel marketplace.
Chameleon’s filters make it easier than ever to develop your own niche travel site, allowing you to change the hotels shown on your site with a few clicks.
These filters will have an impact on all aspects of your Chameleon inventory, from search results to deep links – so ensure that you only exclude properties with these filters that you don’t want to appear anywhere on your site.
To reach the hotel filters section of the Chameleon control panel, log in to the affiliate center, click Control Panel and go to the Hotels section of the Products drop down menu. Once this has loaded, click Properties to display the filter options.
These filter menus work in different ways – let’s look at them one by one.
The first of these filter menus is amenities. The options in this section have an AND relationship with each other. That is to say that if you select multiple options here, all of these amenities must be available in a property in order for it to be displayed in search results.
The amenities section used well can help you to display the right results for your niche effectively – a family site may want to only display hotels which offer babysitting for example, and this allows you to do just that. It comes with a word of warning though – selecting too many options here could over-restrict your results, which could impact upon your bookings – so be careful, and make sure that if you are selecting a number of amenities that you do some test searches.
The next filter menu is the types section. This allows you to specify the types of accommodation your search results return, and in contrast to the amenities menu the relationship between these selections is OR – that is, a property only need satisfy one of the selected criteria to appear in search results. This means that by nature, selecting more property types will return more results – so choose as many types of accommodation you are happy to offer!
The final of the three checkbox filter menus is theme. Again, this menu works on an OR relationship – so a property only has to satisfy one of the selected criteria to appear in search results.
Things to note about all these filters
The first thing to note is that the select none option on all three filter menus will return all results – so if in doubt, select no filters. You can always change these as your site develops and if you are not operating in a niche which can be catered for by these menus (for example a geographical niche), then it is best to leave them all blank.
The select all option will effectively do the same thing as select none for the theme and type filters – it will return all of the options. Beware of choosing select all on the amenities menu, however, as this would severely restrict your search results, returning only properties with the full list of amenities.
The most important thing to know about using these filters is that across the three menus there is an AND relationship in operation. That means that if for example, you were to select Pool, Babysitting and Spa tub in the amenities menu, Hotel and Villa in the type menu and Business, Airport and Boutique in the theme menu, you would only return properties which were:
- A Business, Airport OR Boutique themed property
- AND Hotel OR Villa accommodation
- AND had a Pool, Babysitting service AND a Spa tub available.
As you can see, just this small selection of filters from each menu could prove restrictive when searching in niches, so it is always best to test your filter criteria is producing enough results for your needs before committing to them.
A final and important note – remember when you set up your Chameleon filters that any excluded property amenities, types or themes will be excluded from your entire site – you will not be able to create deeplinks to properties or search results which do not meet your filter criteria, or promote them through our merchandising tools. Only use filters if you are happy that the properties you exclude are to never appear in your inventory. And as always, we heartily recommend making this an ongoing process – set up your filters, test your results from them, and adapt them to improve your results by including or excluding criteria which will better match your customers’ needs.
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