Are you working hard to get more online direct bookings, only to find out that huge Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. are taking most of your online reservations?
If so, you are not alone. The truth is that over 76% of online bookings happen via OTAs, so yeah, you’re right, you might get the feeling that you do all the work, and someone else is taking advantage of it.
Lots of hoteliers are struggling to win over those direct bookings and to reach their customers online. However, Google is here to help you with it. Last year Google made major improvements on hotel booking process on Google search. It became a lot easier both for hotel advertisers – now hotels can be visible and run Google Hotel Ads on Google search results page and Google Maps, and for customers – they can get relevant information about the hotel and most importantly instant booking options right away on Google search results page across all devices. So just hang on, and find out how Google Hotel Ads can help you drive more direct bookings.
Google Hotel Ads, formerly known as Google Hotel Price Ads has for a long time been a beta program only with OTAs included, which is the reason why you mostly see OTAs in the booking options.
What Is Google Hotel Ads?
Google Hotel Ads, is sort of Google’s “hidden” service for hoteliers, because its rather technical to get started. You might know of Google AdWords and Google is and has been pushing it a lot. Why? Because any kid can get an AdWords campaign started (but probably not a good and successful one), whereas to get a Google Hotel Ads campaign started you’ll need the help of an integration partner and his platform, so room rates and availability etc. is being updated frequently.
It’s a service you can see live every day in Google Maps and search results, but it’s in 99% of the cases “only” directing the users to the large OTA’s like Booking.com, Hotels.com and Expedia, etc. And Google is not offering this service to the hotels as a self-service service like Google AdWords. Google Hotel Ads allows customers to browse hotel room availability, prices and booking options directly in the Google search results page and Google Maps, across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. For hotel advertisers – allows to be visible in the booking options section, using PPC (pay-per-click) ads, what drives direct bookings from Google search just within one click.
Let’s take a look how Google Hotel Ads looks from customer’s & hotelier’s perspective!
How to setup Google Hotel Ads
Since you cannot use this service as a self-service, you have to choose a integration partner, who will do the setup for your hotel to run ads and appear above the competition. There are not so many integration partners who have been granted access to work with Google.
Therefore you can choose an integration partner depending on your preferred pricing model: PPC (pay-per-click) or commission for each completed reservation.
When you’re done with setup process, you have to choose bidding model. As mentioned before there are two kinds of it:
1.PPC (pay-per-click). It’s a very well known model, especially if you’re running campaigns on Google Adwords you probably already know what is it all about. You simply choose the set a percentage for the click price for one click and set the daily or monthly budget. This is one of the ranking factors – in which position you’ll be shown on search results page.
2.Commision. It’s all the same as the commission you pay for OTAs like Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc. You will only pay when a reservation is finalized and confirmed. Comparing to the OTAs the main and most significant advantage is – you can set the commission rate yourself!
The integration process is quite difficult – and this is one of the main reasons why Google have Integration Partners and not allowing users to do it by themselves.
In simple words let us explain to you how we do the integration in practice: we take your hotel through the process of the integration between your hotel’s PMS, Booking Engine or Channel Manager, make sure your hotel is tracked properly in Google Analytics and that your presence in Google My Business is looking great and following best practice. We take care of all setup service, campaign optimization and management, whilst AdsHotel – provides the platform and technology. The platform with its unique core features enables Hotels not only to connect and advertise but also to improve revenue and generate new bookings and let hotels compete in the same Internet ecosystem of OTAs.
What’s in it for you?
1. Easy maintenance
- You get detailed reports, which helps to analyze data and measure the effectiveness of ads. Within its easy dashboard, Hotels can fully understand how each channel is performing to maximize revenues.
- Paying ads by CPC model – you pay only as much as you want, never overpaying. You can decide daily, monthly and annual budget.
- The campaigns are set individually, regarding country, language, devices and etc. This variety of settings allows to optimize campaigns in order to allocate bids more efficiently.
2. Ads on Tripadvisor, Trivago & Kayak
- It is an easy way to advertise on Tripadvisor, Kayak, Trivago and Skyscanner!
- You can run ads on these metasearches and even on lower rates, than directly on Tripadvisor and other partners’ website.
3.Increased direct bookings
- Right on time – you’re there when people are looking for you.
- Winning over your direct bookings from OTAs. More direct bookings straight from search.
- Better ROI (return on investment). Fewer expenses in long term results.
Hilton Hotels is one of the greatest examples:
Hilton has been using Google Hotel Ads for their 4,200 hotels since 2011, and has seen outstanding results, with a 45% increase in conversion rate.
To be or not to be
Fillipo Fasolo one of the partners from the leading metasearch platform – AdsHotel says:
It’s a new era for hotel advertising. Adshotel, metasearch platform, easily connects your hotel to the travel portals and compete with OTA’s in order to get direct bookings.
Indeed, Google Hotel Ads is a huge step forward in Hospitality Industry, it is even considered as one of the most effective tools to win over your direct bookings and compete with always demanding OTAs. And if you’re not doing it by yourself OTAs is probably doing it for you at this moment. And if you haven’t checked your hotel on Google search – find out now whether you have an issue.
If you think this article was any help to you, please do not hesitate leave comments below.