Google Hotel Ads is a paid service that allows accommodation establishments to show real-time rates and availability on the Google Search results page and Google Maps.
Google Hotel Ads are linked directly to the brand’s online booking engine and have the potential to be an invaluable source of direct bookings. Importantly, these ads can help hotels and other accommodation establishments save on the hefty commission they pay to OTAs.
The primary place where your Hotel Ads will appear is on the results page of Google’s search engine. Ads trigger for brand-specific queries (e.g. “Sunshine Hotel”) and more generic queries specific to a particular location (e.g. “Hotels in Cape Town”). Travellers will be able to see the name of your business, compare your direct rates with other OTAs and check availability for certain dates.
Another place where Google Hotel Ads can display is on Google Maps. Once again, users type in destination or brand-specific terms, following which they can click to learn more or book online. Did you know that Hotel Ads are the only way to drive bookings from Google Maps? At the moment, Google Maps represents approximately 10% of the traffic generated by Google Hotels Ads.
When a traveller searches for hotels on Google.com, and then clicks “View [number] hotels” (or anywhere on the map), they will be directed to a more complete list of results. This is known as the Google Hotels Search platform. Not only can ads be displayed here, but users will also be able to provide intended dates of travel, number of guests, required amenities, maximum budget and much more.
Many online users have come to rely on the Google Assistant, which allows for voice searches or typed commands. This is the final place where Google Hotel Ads can be displayed.
When setting up Google Hotel Ads, advertisers can choose between three bidding strategies. The cost will depend on the volume of searches related to your brand and location, your properties rate parity – users will usually click the cheapest result and often the bid strategy is based on a cost per click model and finally the rate of your property and number of conversions.
It’s impossible to predict the cost but you can set a maximum spend and then review the performance.
We recommend starting on a R3000 per month budget and then adjust from there
It must be noted this is a relatively new platform however we expect it to grow significantly in the next two to five years, and the learnings by being early to the game will be very useful.
You pay when a traveller clicks on your ad. Bids can be adjusted for location, device type, length of stay and more.
You pay only when a traveller books your hotel, depending on the payment model you choose.
You pay only when a traveller completes a stay that was booked through Hotel Ads. This is similar to the OTA model. (Only available to select partners).
The most obvious, yet most exciting, benefit of Google Hotel Ads is the opportunity to increase the number of bookings for your accommodation establishments, or simply put: getting bums in beds! Information is displayed in an easy-to-digest format and the steps from searching to booking are drastically reduced.
More direct bookings means less commission paid to the various OTAs. As we all know, when searching on Google, ad space is often dominated by OTAs. By running your own Google Hotel Ads, you can entice trip planners away from OTAs and generate bookings directly on your website, thereby saving on commissions.
Many travellers looking for a hotel, B&B or lodge in a specific destination will begin their search on Google, so it makes sense to try to reach these people with the use of Google Hotel Ads. Your property will receive higher visibility across the various Google Platforms, which already receive huge volumes of traffic from people actively planning trips.
By utilising Google Hotel Ads, accommodation establishments get more valuable information about their guests, such as contact information, even after they’ve checked out. Having direct communication with customers increases the possibility for up- or cross- selling related products and engaging them in other marketing activities prior to or after their stay.