Whether you are running a large hotel with 500 rooms or a small boutique property, you can’t have failed to notice the changes taking place in the property reservations landscape. With its recent overhaul, Google’s own travel meta-search platform, Google Hotel Ads, could prove to be a game-changer for all manner of accommodation looking to increase their occupancy rates. Let’s take a look at the all-new Google hotel booking system and what it means for accommodation providers.
While it’s previous incarnation, Google Hotel Finder, has been around since 2011, the platform got a major overhaul last year with enhanced hotel search, map functionality and a cleaner, more user-friendly look with lots of property images.
When you consider the travel research process for the average consumer, the first thing they usually do is a Google search on their destination. Previously Google acted in the same way as other meta-search engines and simply provided accommodation listings and room rates and displayed the aggregated results for travellers to compare. Now Google is also offering a ‘Book On Google’ button, meaning that travellers effectively never have to leave the Google platform to make a property reservation.
By providing Google with up to date information on your room types, pricing and availability, Google Hotel Ads will display your property’s direct booking room rates alongside the rates found on OTAs (Online Travel Agents). Properties wanting to take advantage of the instant booking facility need to have a direct booking tool available on their website.
If bookings are made directly with the property from the ‘Book A Room’ button, the property does not pay anything unless it converts into a booking. The benefit of this from a property owner’s perspective is that you ‘own’ the guest right from the outset, rather than the OTA, so the cost could be viewed more as an advertising fee.
And early evidence and feedback from property owners on the effectiveness of metasearch advertising is extremely encouraging, particularly in terms of direct to website clicks and conversion rates.
According to Google, 60% of leisure travellers use a search engine when planning a trip*. That’s 12% more than any other tool available including hotel websites and OTAs. That’s a heck of a lot of traffic!
When it comes to increasing your reach and potential to drive new bookings online, you now cannot go past Google Hotel Ads. It allows you to showcase your hotel in local search results on Google.com.au and in Google Maps, across all mobile and desktop devices. Travellers’ will see your ads when they are actively looking for accommodation in your area.
In addition, it offers the opportunity for travellers to book directly with you, bypassing the online travel agencies (OTAs), allowing you to capture more bookings direct, on your own website.
Google has partnered with a select network of integration partners only to connect hotels to this service. HiRUM is proud to be one of these and can provide Google Hotel Ads setup for your property.
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