The Booking.com affiliate Search Box is one of the most useful affiliate products you can have on your website. Easy to implement and customise, the designs available in the ‘Products’ section of the Partner Centre are also optimised to help you attract more bookers.
Where to put your Search Box
As a general rule, visitors are most likely to begin the booking process on pages where you promote a destination, activity or property.
It’s best to place your Search Box either within the navigation menu or somewhere above the ‘fold’ (the part of the page customers do not need to scroll down to see), as these are the places visitors are most likely to click.
You should navigate the page as if you were a regular visitor and ask yourself: “Where would I expect to find a tool to start the reservation process?”. If the Search Box is where you’d expect it to be as a user, then you’ve done a good job.
Customising your Search Box
Choosing the right size
You have two alternatives. You can choose the ‘Responsive’ option, from the ‘Choose a size’ menu, that will adapt the search box to any screen size, automatically.
Otherwise, you could choose one of the sizes available in the Search Box Builder. These have been designed to the optimal width-height ratio.
Choose a width that fits your layout and avoid customising it too much.
The perfect size should make the Search Box easily visible without interfering with the user experience. Our suggestions take this key aspect into consideration.
|Size||When to use it|
|320px||For small screen devices, like phones, held in portrait mode.|
|480px||For small screen devices, like phones, held in portrait mode.|
|600px||Smaller tablets, like the Amazon Kindle (600×800) and Barnes & Noble Nook (600×1024), held in portrait mode.|
|768px||Ten-inch tablets like the iPad (768×1024) held in portrait mode.|
|1024px||Tablets like iPad (1024×768) held in landscape mode, as well as certain laptop and desktop displays.|
|1200px||For widescreen displays, primarily laptop and desktop browsers.|
Customising your heading and sub-heading
The same way a catchy headline attracts attention to a newspaper article, a good heading and sub-heading can attract bookers to your Search Box!
The pre-made Search Boxes we provide not only have the perfect height-width ratio, but also a unique set of elements designed to work best with each size.
For example: the 400×300 px Search Box includes unique selling points (USPs) and a catchy sub-heading that the 300×250 px size can’t accommodate without appearing cluttered.
We recommend using: “987,000 hotels, apartments, villas and more…” (like in the search box above) as your sub-heading. It shows relevant information for the user and also demonstrates that your site can help any type of traveller.
If your website is focused on a specific accommodation type, such as apartments or B&Bs, customise the headline to reflect this: “Search for the perfect B&B from 987,000 accommodations”.
Colours are very important. Generally speaking, you should focus on colours that make the Search Box stand out from the rest of the page.
There are two techniques you can use to style the Search Box successfully, depending on your goals:
If you want to complement, use colors that already exist on your site, but don’t exactly match the background where the Search Box is placed.
If you want to contrast, choose colours that stand out against the background of your site. Contrasting is always the most eye-catching, so we recommend using a style with the Booking.com palette: a yellow background with a blue button.
Pre-applying filters can be very useful, especially if you want your visitors to only see the types of accommodation you advertise on your site. But it’s important to strike a balance. Too many filters risk narrowing the search results too much, resulting in fewer bookings.
If a visitor to your site searches based on destination, we’ll usually show them a variety of accommodation types to browse. For some destinations, if you limit the number of properties with filters, this list can be very short.
The example above is taken from our partner Barcelona.com. Search 1 is completely unfiltered, and brings up 3.633 properties.
Search 2 was filtered for ‘Holiday Homes’ and only yields 148 results for the exact same dates. That’s a big difference!
Creating an accommodation-specific Search Box
In Advanced Settings, you can not only set a predefined destination but also a specific accommodation name.
If you are promoting a particular accommodation and want to create a search box for it, you can select ‘Activate pre-fill’ and then simply type the name of the accommodation into the ‘Pre-fill a search destination’ field. Click ‘OK’ and the accommodation name will automatically appear in the search field.
Can I replace the Booking.com logo with my own?
We’ve found that showing the Booking.com logo leads to more bookings. This is due to the familiarity of the brand, which builds trust and confidence. It also shows your visitors that you’re working with the world leader in online accommodation bookings. For these reasons, the logo cannot be removed.
How can I set this up?
Visit the Partner Center to create your Search Box now!
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