is undoubtedly one of the most popular “mapping” tools used when planning a trip.
Did you know that travellers can now book their hotel directly from search results without ever leaving the Google site?
Seize this new opportunity of attracting more bookings by learning how to manage it smartly for your hotel!
The different Google Apps and Services
With travel businesses spending
a massive amount of money
advertising on Google, and the word “hotels” being part of
the 100 most popular
keyword searches, Google is more than ever highly motivated to take its share of the cake.
So let’s have a look at the different relevant Google tools, services or applications to be aware of:
allows travellers to search for the location of any city, tourist attraction or tourism business, and can help with calculating itineraries.
Google Maps is accessible from the Google search engine when you click on the “map” tab, and also via the dedicated mobile application for phones and tablets.
Google My Business
Google My Business
is where you sign up to manage the details of your hotel profile which then appears on all Google’s applications, such as Google Maps.
Google Hotel Ads
Google Hotel Ads
is the Google advertising solution for Hotels. You can choose between two pricing models: cost-per-click or cost-per-conversion.
Book On Google
Book on Google
is an option from your Google Hotel Ads account (at no additional cost). It allows your hotel to have a direct “booking button” which appears on the Google profile from the search results.
Google Trips is a travel planner application that allows travellers to get some inspiration for their future trip,
manage their reservations, and access practical information during their trip, even while offline without internet connection.
It doesn’t offer the “book on Google” feature yet, but who knows in the near future?
Make your hotel appear on Google Maps
You haven’t signed up on Google Maps yet your hotel already appears? This is normal.
Google robots are always searching the web to continually and automatically enrich Google Maps.
Additionally, any Google user can add their own information.
The time has come to take control of this information.
The good news is that it’s easy and free! By
signing up on Google My Business,
you’ll be able to add your hotel’s exact location, contact number, email, website link, photos, and other details you think potential guests might find helpful.
Here are two most important things you need to follow through with:
Make sure to get verified
For the ownership of your business to be validated by Google and your listing to publicly appear on Google Maps and other Google applications.
You will be sent a code via post which you will have to insert to confirm your verification process.
Add photos smartly
hoose only high-quality photos with a minimum resolution of 720px by 720px that do not have excessive filters.
The photos must represent an accurate view of your hotel if you’d like Google to list them and appear on search results.
Before uploading, be sure to rename your photos with relevant keywords that identify your hotel and makes it easier to find
by Google robots. We would suggest uploading at least the following three photos:
- Profile picture: An actual and representative photo of your hotel (not a logo).
- Cover photo: A wide-angle scenic shot with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- Logo: Your hotel’s official square-shaped logo.
Thanks to Google My Business, you can now access extensive analytics on people’s interactions with your hotel.
This includes whether people are indeed trying to find you on Google Maps;
the number of views your listing receives from online searches; the number of clicks on your contact details; the number of visitors to
your website, etc.
Add a direct booking button
Like TripAdvisor, Google now offers a new kind of “hybrid metasearch” solution.
In simpler words: All hoteliers prefer direct booking to OTA (online travel agencies, such as Booking.com or Expedia) commissions.
If your hotel uses a booking button on its website (connected to a channel manager), there is the possibility to link it to the Book on Google button which allows a direct booking from Google search results.
How does it work?
Setting up the Book on Google feature comes at no additional cost if you’re already using Google Hotel Ads.
However, Google will then either charge you a commission of approximately 12 to 15% for delivering acquisitions using the CPA (cost per acquisition) model or charge you with the CPC (cost per click) model.
Is it worth it?
This solution is still more affordable than OTA commissions if you’re already using the Google Hotel Ads.
If you are not, then paying for the platform might increase this cost to almost the same as your OTA’s.
Depending on your hotel, it may or may not be economically worthwhile, but bear in mind that unlike OTA’s, you will be directly in touch with your guests during the entire process.
You will have access to their emails and be able to send them the actual booking confirmation email and relevant information before and after their stay.
When managed properly, this can represent a unique opportunity to establish an engaging interaction with your guests and guarantee a return booking.
If you don’t opt for the “Book on Google” button, OTA’s prices and links to book your hotel will still appear on searches anyway.
Whether you’re opting for the Book on Google direct button or not, we strongly recommend you take the time to fill in your Google My Business profile correctly.
The rankings of hotel search results are determined by relevance, distance and prominence, but also by reviews that previous guests have written about your establishment.
Be sure to
start sharing a google review link and to send it to guests after their stay (as you’re doing for TripAdvisor).
Frequently asked questions for hotel owners about Google.
It’s a must for small and independent hotels to be present and control Google as much as possible - and at HotelMinder we can help you make the most of it!