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The paradigm shift brought about by the digital age has changed the landscape of the hospitality sector. Nowadays, before making a trip, your customers spend a lot of time researching hotels to stay in, restaurants to eat at, and places to visit. This means it’s crucial for hotels to show up on Google when people are searching for places to stay. Google is essential for hotel marketers and revenue managers because it has over 92% (at the time this blog was written) of the global search market share. However, big hotel brands and online travel agencies often occupy the top spots in search engine result pages (SERP), making it harder for smaller, independent hotels to be seen.
To ensure that your hotel is seen at the top of search results on Google, you’ll want to focus on Google Search Ads. You may have already utilized Google Search Ads, but what you may not know is that Google Hotel Ads (GHA) provides more precise targeting.
What Are Google Hotel Ads?
Google hotel ads is a platform within Google, that is designed to present users with an overview of hotel options that best match their travel needs. These ads feature information on hotel availability, pricing, and a comparison of booking options across multiple third-party platforms, such as Traveloka.com, Agoda.com, and Booking.com, allowing travelers to make informed decisions about their accommodation choices.
To Learn More Hotel Digital Advertising: Digital Advertising for Hotels Business: Beginner-Friendly Guide to Follow
Where Will Your Google Hotel Ads Be Shown?
If you would like to learn more about these 3 points, please visit this Google Ads Help article.
1. Hotel Searches on Google
When a person searches for hotels on Google, they will encounter a blend of paid ads, denoted with a “Ads” label, and free booking links. If the traveler clicks the “View all hotels” or anywhere on the map, they will be directed to a comprehensive list of results that includes hotel photos, reviews, prices, and a more extensive map of property locations. If traveler searches for a particular hotel, they will be provided with information about that specific hotel, along with links to book a room for their chosen dates.
2. View All Hotels on Google
When traveler conducts a hotel search on Google, they are presented with a range of options. By clicking the “View all hotels” or anywhere on the map, they are taken to a more comprehensive set of results that feature both a list and a map. This provides them with a visual representation of the hotel properties, including their names, photos, pricing, and ratings.
The results can be filtered by a variety of parameters, such as the check-in date, occupancy, price, user rating, amenities, brand, hotel class, Eco-verified, and more. This allows the traveler to tailor their results to their specific needs and preferences.
By clicking on a particular hotel, the traveler is redirected to the hotel details page where they can access more in-depth information such as availability and booking options.
3. Hotel’s Detail Page and Booking Links
As a traveler searches for hotels on Google, clicking on a specific hotel takes them to the hotel details page. This page serves as a comprehensive resource for all things related to the hotel, including important details such as its contact information, amenities, photos, and user reviews.
Additionally, the page features a “booking module” that provides travelers with various options to book a room at the hotel. This module lists different prices and booking links for a specific check-in date and room occupancy, with paid options labeled with an “Ads” badge and free options listed under “All options”.
By clicking on a hotel booking link, travelers are redirected to a website to complete their booking, allowing for a seamless and efficient booking process.
Benefits Of Google Hotel Ads
Better targeting towards active trip planners. Your Google Hotel Ads visibility depends on your availability and this means you are less likely to get redundant clicks. Make sure travelers know your rooms are available and ready to book by targeting those in the midst of planning a trip.
Better reach. Your hotel will be seen by a large audience on Google Search and Maps, making it easier for travelers to find you.
Compete against OTAs. Google Hotels Ads are dominated by Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). By using Google Hotel Ads, your hotel will have a higher chance of earning direct bookings, and saving money on commissions. We will talk a little bit more about this on the next point.
What Is The Benefit Of Using Google Hotel Ads Compared To OTAs?
Online travel agencies (OTAs) follow a commission-based business model, meaning they charge a percentage of the room rate for each booking made through their platform. On the other hand, Google Hotel Ads adopt a cost-per-click (CPC) model, where they charge for each click that leads to their website. This potentially lowers the cost per bookings for your hotel by not paying commissions to OTAs. Google Hotel Ads also provides a pay-per-conversion & pay-per-stay pricing model. The pay-per-stay pricing model was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to battle uncertainty. This pricing model only charges hotels when customers’ stays are completed.
Why Is It a Good Idea To Run Both Search Ads & Hotel Ads?
Google Search Ads are activated by specific keywords. These ads primarily consist of text, which can be less appealing for driving people to book. Google Hotel Ads are directly linked to a hotel’s Google My Business account and are integrated within Google’s Hotel Finder platform. Google hotel ads also provide more information about your hotel, alongside images. Google Search Ads are good at driving traffic to your website, however, Google Hotel Ads functions primarily to drive bookings. Running both campaigns will increase your hotel’s marketing campaign reach and be present in various touchpoints of your customer’s journey.
How To Get Started With Google Hotel Ads?
Create A Google Business Profile
To learn more on how to create a Business Profile for your hotel, you may read Google: Get started with a hotel business profile. To ensure that your hotel is easily found by travelers, Google requires accurate information about your property. This helps guests find, contact, and connect with your listing. Furthermore, Google needs to verify that the authorized owner or manager is responsible for managing the online representation of your hotel.
Set Your Hotel Rates
When your hotel’s Business Profile is complete, your hotel’s information will be displayed on Google Maps and Search, but without pricing information. Your hotel information will allow potential customers to find your hotel, while your hotel rate will enable direct bookings from your hotel’s website.
There are 2 ways how you can set your nightly rates. First, is using a connectivity partner. Second, if you prefer not to use a connectivity partner, you may set your rates manually through your Google Business Profile. To learn more about rate sharing on Google, you may visit Google: Hotel owners starter guide.
Setting Prices With Connectivity Partners
If you’re looking to showcase your hotel’s pricing and availability on Google, a connectivity partner can assist you with this process. These partners can include central reservation systems (CRS), internet booking engines (IBE), channel managers (CM), and property management systems (PMS). See Google’s list of connectivity partners.
For those working with an existing partner that’s already integrated with Google, simply fill out Google’s interest form and reach out to your partner directly or via the “Contact” button on their website. Request that they begin transmitting your rates and availability to Google.
In case your partner is not yet partnered with Google, fill out the interest form and specify your connectivity partner. This way, Google can initiate contact with them and help get them integrated.
Create and launch your Google Hotel Ads
After sharing your rates with Google through your Business Profile, free booking links will automatically start showing in your listings. After completing the previous steps, you can create Google Hotel Ads by visiting your Google Ads account. Google Hotel Ads tailors your advertising approach based on the size of your business, budget, and target market. Your Hotel Ads will feature your hotel name, rates, and compelling text callouts that showcase the benefits of booking directly through your site.
Optimize Your Hotel Listing For Better Google Hotel Ads Performance
To maximize the effectiveness of your Google Hotel Ads, it is crucial to maintain accurate, up-to-date information that is relevant to your target audience. This involves various elements, such as:
Accurate Property Details: Make sure your property details, such as location, contact information, and room types, are correct and current.
High-quality Images: Utilize high-quality, professional photos that accurately depict your hotel and rooms. This will help entice potential guests and create a positive first impression.
Room Descriptions: Offer comprehensive descriptions of each room, including specifications on size, bed type, and available amenities.
Guest Reviews: Encourage guests to leave feedback on popular platforms such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google. Highlight positive reviews on your Google Hotel Ads listing to build credibility and enhance its appeal.
Measure Your Google Hotel Ads’ Performance
Once your hotel listing is optimized, you need to check the results and see if you’re hitting your targets. Google provides all the necessary tools to help you track your success and make the most of your investment. Here’s what you can use:
Google Analytics: Keep tabs on website traffic and see just how many bookings come from your Google Hotel Ads.
Tracking conversions: Find out how many bookings are being made as a direct result of your Google Hotel Ads.
Performance reports: Get the full picture of your Google Hotel Ads campaign performance, including key metrics like impressions, clicks, and bookings.
For smaller or growing hotels, we believe it is almost a necessity to run Google Hotel Ads. Google Hotel Ads will allow you to receive reach/visibility that can be hard to reach due to competing with hotels with bigger names. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this guide, you can optimize your listings and measure your success, helping you to get the most out of your Google Hotel Ads campaign.
To Learn More About Hotel’s Digital Marketing Strategy: How to create a digital marketing strategy for hotels: A step-by-step guide 
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