How Google Hotel Ads are changing the direct bookings game for independent hotels

Google Hotel Ads display in the property’s Google profile. Next to the property name, the ad reads ‘Official site’ and boasts a lower price than OTA rates to promote users to book direct.

Let’s face it. Google Hotel Search and OTAs continue to squeeze properties and encroach on bookings. Large brands like Hilton and Marriott are putting an emphasis on “book direct” campaigns, and can compete to some degree with the Expedia’s of the world based on their brand, loyalty programs and perks across a portfolio of properties. But small hotels, B&B’s and independent inns don’t have the ability to throw millions of dollars at celebrity ad campaigns.

Enter Google Hotel Ads. We know from the customer journey to making a hotel booking, and from plenty of studies on the OTA “billboard effect,” that potential guests will turn to Google to find just the right place and vet out places to stay. For most small properties, the Google search results have been overrun with competition and ads from OTAs – even for the property’s own name. One weapon that small properties have to fight for this precious real estate and compete for direct bookings is to use a Google Hotel Ads campaign.

Gain back your direct bookings with Google Hotel Ads

We have seen time over time that when guests have the option to book direct, they will. Our research showed an astounding 65% Click Through Rate. When a larger portion of your Google search results are being syphoned away to OTA ad space, it is crucial to offer a clear and concise option for users to book direct.

Cost per booking is significantly less than OTAs

While booking engine conversion does play a role in the overall cost per booking, we have seen an overall average cost per booking (ROAS) of 10%. Compared to the industry average cost per booking of 18% for OTAs, Google Hotel Ads allow you to gain direct bookings for less than an OTA reservation. With Google Hotel Ads, you can say bye-bye to OTA fees and run your own booking campaigns!

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Google Hotel Ads display for an inn that does not partner with OTAs. As a result, their price is the only option and does not have to compete for direct bookings.

The benefits of a direct booking far extend the added revenue

When a user books directly with you through the Google Hotel Ad, you are not only winning the direct booking revenue, but now you own the guest experience. From the second they book with you, you are the point of contact and can ensure that your guests’ every need is fulfilled. By directing users to your booking engine, you also offer your guests options for packages, upsells, and add-ons that will not only add additional money into your pocket, but enhance the guest experience. After your guest completes a booking with you, they will receive YOUR confirmation email and your pre-stay emails and you are in charge of the guest experience instead of a 3rd party. Long after your guests stay with you, you can keep in contact with them with your monthly newsletter and promote repeat bookings as you have their actual email address.

Getting started with Google Hotel Ads

In the age of instant gratification, it has never been easier to complete your marketing strategy. Want to learn more before you commit? Read about How Google Hotel Ads Work and how they can elevate your property’s direct bookings.

Google Hotel Ads displays in the Google Hotel Finder.
Tags: bookings, Google ads


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