Google Hotel Ads- A Smart Idea for Your Hotel?

Did you know that google has designed the Google Hotel Ads tool specifically for hotel owners to boost their visibility on the search service and increase direct bookings? While it still works something like the metasearch portals the industry is used to, it also allows for some versatile direct visibility and drives traffic directly to your online marketing presences. Today the experts at Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency break down Google Hotel Ads for you.

The Direct Booking Advantage 

While metasearch portals can be a great idea for a hotel business, there’s nothing better in online marketing than being able to boost your organic visibility and direct bookings. Especially on a market-dominating search engine like Google.

This is the key advantage to Google Hotel Ads. It will display your official website link on the list, allowing interested parties to book directly through your booking engine. However, it doesn’t completely eliminate itself as a third-party in the equation. It will display availability and price through both its own search and Google Maps.

Activating a Google Hotel Ads Campaign

There are some caveats, too. To activate a campaign you must:

  • Have a fully completed Google My Business profile. This is what they will showcase to your interested clients, so you need to be vigilant regarding reviews, photos, and other details.
  • Your booking engine must be a Google Partner like RoomCloud. This facilitates the integration with the Google Hotel Ads campaign you create.
  • Google also allows the searcher to choose only rooms offering a refundable rate, so for maximum visibility, you should have one on offer.

Provided these are in place, when you appear on Google Maps or through their search, and have an active campaign, a tab will open that shows all your details, including relative price and the direct link to your website. Notably, you will still appear if you don’t have a campaign running, but without this critical social media marketing link to your own resources. Interested parties would have to book through an OTA (online travel agency) instead.

Google Hotel Ad campaigns let you pay by the classic CPC, or cost-per-click model. They also offer a CPS, or cost-per-stay, option. This works like a commission model, where you pay a percentage to Google for each confirmed reservation. 

Is Google Hotel Ads Worth It?

Up to 75% of travellers use metasearch portals to find their accommodation for the trip, so anything that pushes you into their line of sight is a great tool. Additionally, hotels already using Google Hotel Ads are reporting anything from 10%-30% of their revenue coming through the platform. It’s a cost-effective digital marketing choice that can make a big difference, particularly as it only shows your hotel in a tight radius of where the interested party is looking- and as we all know, there’s no point in appearing to people who aren’t interested in your product!

What can you do to get the most from your campaign?

  • Keep the campaign running: This seems obvious, but remember- it will only show your listing for dates you have available, so it will help you fill up empty dates.
  • Keep your rates cost-effective: Allowing travellers to seek out the most cost-effective rate is the entire purpose of the Google Hotel Ads model, so the better yo perform against the competition, the more likely  it is to pay off for you. Of course, you don’t want to lead a race to the bottom, either, so there is a balance to be struck, but keep this in mind when planning your campaigns.
  • Use a flexible budget: Keeping a flexible budget in the campaign can help generate the critical budgets you need. Remember, on the commission (CPS) model, you will only pay on guaranteed bookings, so this should assist greatly. A wide budget will help you appear when relevant, and hopefully fill those rooms.

As with all things digital marketing-related, Google Hotel Ads likely won’t be the be-all and end-all of your online marketing efforts. But it can be a great tool in your overall marketing efforts. If you’re looking to craft a winning online marketing campaign for your hotel business, the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team is always here to help.