Google hotel Ads is a metasearch engine that has now surpassed Trip Advisor in the Hotel industry. For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, it collates accommodation search results from a variety of sources. When a traveller is looking for accommodation either in Google search or maps, this aggregated list is displayed to facilitate their choice.
The paid results for Google Hotel Ads show at the top of the search. It’s important to note a couple of things here: OTA’s will display your rates, availability and room types in these paid search results, with the option to book through them. However, your website direct booking link will ONLY be displayed in these paid ad results if you have a connectivity partner such as HiSITE to connect to Google Hotel Ads.
With Google Hotel Ads you are not selling your rooms directly as you would with an OTA. You are effectively paying to display your own hotel website or booking engine alongside the OTA’s.
It’s also not just hotels that can benefit from this. They also list holiday homes and vacation rentals under a separate tab.
Setting up an effective Google Hotel Ads campaign can be complex. For this reason Google recommends using one of its select network of integration partners to help you get started.
Firstly, you need a connectivity partner to facilitate the upload of your inventory and availability. We recommend HiSITE Channel Manager to connect you to Google Hotel ads.
Obviously, properties wanting to take advantage of the instant booking facility need to have a direct booking tool available on their website. HiRUM’s Platinum Booking Form is an effective and easy to use booking facility.
Once established, your direct to property link will be tagged as the “official website” to help your booking form stand out from those third party resellers who are also advertising your inventory.
Give yourself the best chance to compete with the OTAs by providing Google with as much relevant information as possible. Add lots of high-quality photos of your property, and ensure that the description and amenities on your Google My Business page are up to date and accurate. In addition, it’s even more important to monitor and respond to guest reviews as these are prominently displayed in Google Hotel Ads.
COVID restrictions have brought with them a new kind of traveller. The uncertainty around travel means many potential guests are hesitant to outlay deposits up-front, and shy away from bookings where they may be charged a cancellation fee. Google Hotel Ads have added a filter for “free cancellation” to cater to those reticent travellers. Considering ‘free cancellations’ and ‘no upfront deposits’ is worthwhile if you are looking to maximise your booking volume.
Another great tip is to keep an eye on your competitors in GHA. Take a look at how they are pricing their rooms, what amenities they are listing, any offers they might be promoting and their overall marketing approach. This may help you to refine and finesse your listing even further and give you a better chance of winning the booking.
Google Hotel Ads is a vital inclusion as part of your distribution channel mix. It is now the dominant metasearch engine in the market, with 64% of the market in 2019. It continues to go from strength to strength. Case studies and testimonials from properties who have used it show some incredible ROI results.
Importantly, it offers the opportunity for travellers to book directly with you. You capture and own the guest data for remarketing purposes. Shortening the path to a direct booking makes metasearch advertising an irresistible proposition when it comes to your marketing budget. It’s a seamless process and conversion is high.
Not only that but if your guest books direct with you, you save OTA commission fees and you retain ownership of your guest’s data for remarketing purposes. You also reduce the chance of your potential guest being exposed to your competitors product, as they are when booking through an OTA, and losing the booking altogether.
If you are unsure how to setup Google Hotel Ads for your hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or vacation rental let the team at HiRUM help get you started. HiRUM is a proud GHA integration partner and we’ve helped many properties increase their visibility and secure more direct bookings.
HiRUM’s Google Hotel ads connection also gives you the benefit of paying only when a guest books and stays at the property, rather than cost-per-click advertising. The result for you is more bookings through Google with no risk of paying for clicks that don’t result in booking revenue.
We can also help to make sure that your website has an effective booking engine to take full advantage of this new opportunity and ensure you convert your lookers to bookers! In addition, our industry-leading channel manager integrates with all the major travel metasearch engines and OTAs.
To advertise through HiRUM’s Google Hotels connection or to learn more about this channel, drop us an email or call Sally on (07) 5574 4990.
This blog was first published on 24th October 2019 but has been updated on 24th March 2021.
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