There are millions of searches carried out by potential customers looking for a holiday everyday on Google. The search market is already dominated by Google, and they are now starting to take a much bigger share in the shopping industry, now that they are getting a handle on the hotel sector. This could make the likes of TripAdvisor and Booking.com a bit nervy.
However, the strategy for Google in the hotel market does actually differ from its competitors. It’s not becoming a metasearch engine like Kayak or Trivago, nor is it becoming an OTAs (Online Travel Agent) like Booking.com & TripAdvisor. Instead Google Hotel Ads (GHA) is a platform of inventory and prices. Google does this by utilising many of its programs like Maps, Search and Destinations, to allow potential customers to interact directly with a hotel or company.
So how does Google Hotel Ads Work?
Google Hotel Ads (GHA) is a platform that allows businesses, such as suppliers and travel agents, to submit inventory in the form a data feed to Google. Both creating this feed and its management is the difficult part of this entire process and normally requires expertise or third party integration to help.
Once it’s been approved, the feed can then display hotel information such as; hotel name, location, price, rating (review) and images in the form of a Google Hotel Ad. Here are some examples of ads.
Having all this information allows Google to display relevant hotels in relation to a potential customer’s search query. Google does this by utilising Google Search, Google Maps and Google Destination. The Hotel Ads which appear on google are particularly prominent on mobile.
Google Hotel Ads demonstrate a greater user intent to purchase as a customer is actively looking for a hotel to book. These ads can also be better for user experience a customer. This is because a potential customer is able to view everything in one place before, without having to visit multiple sites.
Why Participate in the Google Hotel Ads Programme?
Technically you could already be participating in Google Hotel Ads through an Online Travel Agent. However, you could be financing the campaign for them. In a similar style you could also be paying an Online Travel Agent in order to place your hotel in a metasearch engine. So you could be paying for everything, yikes!
Google Hotel Ads occupies an essential display window, and Google is shaping up the market to give Online Travel Agents (OTAs) less control. Currently some hotels cannot survive without paying a fee to be on a travel website. Google Hotel Ads can give companies independence to advertise themselves without the use of a middle man, which can potentially reduce the cost. There are three other important reasons to use the program which we will explore including;
- Increasing direct traffic.
- Own the relationship of the customer.
- Grown revenue efficiently.
According to Google, 75% of leisure travelers and 55% of business travelers use its search engine to plan a trip. Hotel Ads would connect you directly with a user on Google when they are actively searching for a destination to book a hotel, rather than relying on a third party.
Own the Relationship
As a potential customer is not finding you via a third party site, a hotel/business is able to control the brand experience better. Customers are going to visit the site directly with a seamless journey from the first touch point through to the checkout. This also helps with knowing the customer better from an analytics and a data point of view. Instead of just receiving a lead/customer blind and not understanding what attracted them to your business.
Grow revenue efficiently
The quality of leads should be really good. Users who are seeing these adverts have already entered key information to signal buying intent, such as when they are traveling and where they want to go etc. It’s also key that a potential customer has seen the price at this point, so by the time they land on the site, they should be ready to buy.
Customers who interact with Google Hotel Ads are likely to be of high value as they are almost ready to buy by the time they hit your site, which can potentially drive bookings to your hotel. There are some interesting stats to come out of google with regards to businesses using Google Hotel Ads:
- 45% higher conversion rate
- 12% overall stronger ROI
- 40% Growth in new customer bookings
- 3 x Stronger return on adspend
- 60% lover cost per acquisition
These are all compared to standard Google search ads. Its clear to see that Google Hotel Ads can be a real positive thing but there is still a lot of work to implement these and to get them working effectively. If you have any questions about anything PPC related, get in touch