What benefits will your hotel get from Google Ads?
Google has an unrivalled advantage when it comes to traffic: an estimated 4.5 billion searches are made per day on Google, accounting for 77% of the world’s total search traffic.
Google Hotel Ads is a meta-search platform originally called Google Hotel Finder that was launched in 2011. The platform displays your hotel rates in direct comparison to the OTAs, enabling you to showcase your hotels on Google, across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. It is effective to attract audience to your website.
By providing Google with up-to-date information on pricing, availability and room types, it can show relevant hotel ads to future guests who are actively searching for accommodation either on Google Search or Google Maps.
1. What are the benefits from Google Hotel Ads?
Drive direct traffic
According to Google, 60% of leisure travelers and 55% of business travelers use its search engine to plan their trips. That’s a lot of traffic, right? Once a user clicks on your Hotel Ad, they’re taken directly to your hotel’s booking page, which significantly increases the stream of direct qualified traffic to your website.
Own the guest data & future relationship
Due to the increased chance of direct traffic and bookings, you own your guest data and have the opportunity to nurture the relationship long after your guests have checked out. Once you have their contact details from a direct booking you can engage them with future marketing activity and loyalty programs. All the while having full control over their brand experience.
By the time a user clicks on your Hotel Ad and is redirected to your site, they have most likely already filtered according to specific details like price range, availability, location, services, rating, etc. This means that they are a highly qualified lead before they even get to your booking page.
2. How does the hotel ads bidding work?
Google uses an auction model similar to the AdWords auction model:
- When the user selects a hotel property, the list of partners who have provided prices and bids for that property are selected
- From the initial list, partners who can best serve the user (in terms of language, support for currency, device, etc.) are retained.
- From the filtered list, partners with similar prices are grouped into buckets and are ranked in ascending order of price
- Within each price bucket, the partners are then ranked based on bid value. The top four to six partners (depending on sites) based on this ranking are shown in order
- If a partner is bidding lower than the reserve bid, he will not show, regardless of its price bucket.
A base bid is either a fixed fee per room night, or a percentage of room rate total. But on top of base bid, you can specify a bid multiplier for a variety of factors. You can adjust the multipliers to increase or decrease your bids for a specific Google site, user country, device (mobile or desktop/tablet) and length of stay.
3. What can you do to increase conversion?
Google My Business Profile
Providing you complete your listing of hotel features properly, Google My Business makes your hotel website more likely to be found first on Google so keeping this up to date has never been more important. This is a free listing that optimises all your hotel’s information into the right fields and makes it easier for travellers to get the details they want. This includes your hotel’s address and phone number, Google maps geo-marker, hotel photos, guest reviews, and other relevant information such as amenities.
One thing that might help you stand out is your reviews. Google Reviews provide star-ratings and reviews for your business which increase your opportunity to attract visitors to your website. These reviews are curated from various sources across the internet and are surfaced within your Google My Business listing. With the importance people place on peer recommendations nowadays, we’d encourage all hotels to work on a strategy to increase the number of reviews they’re getting online and of course increasing the quality of these reviews through great service.
Rate parity issues can unfortunately be a common problem and can hinder your campaign success. Properties with high impressions can see very low conversion rates when the rates are not in line with competition. Unsurprisingly, users tend to choose the lowest price.
In order to ensure that a campaign is not negatively impacted by rate issues, it is important to regularly monitor rate parity and make sure wholesalers are not unbundling rates designed to be sold as part of tours or packages on OTAs.
In summary, price-comparison sites are extremely popular today with travellers. Couple this with the level of global traffic Google has, and their continuous investment in the platform and its user experience, and you can be sure Hotel Ads will go from strength to strength. The cost is minimal, but the rewards can be great.
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