Google is making it free to appear in Hotels booking links.
Millions of travelers around the world search for hotels on Google every day. Start with free booking links to surface real time room prices and availability to potential travelers at no charge from Google.
Free booking links appear on the hotel booking module alongside hotel ads when travelers look for rooms at a given hotel.
Reach potential customers and drive more direct bookings
With your hotel’s free direct booking link displayed to users across hotel search on Google, travelers will be able to book directly with your property. You control the guest experience
on your site and collect the guest data.
Difference between Google Hotel Ads (paid listing)?
Although Google gives you fantastic opportunity for Free booking links, be aware that OTAs will also be there with their links so to get more reach more guests looking for your property. So Google gave you opportunity to bid with direct booking link to be displayed to more potential guests. This is called paid listing and it is possible using "Google Hotel Ads" campaign under "Google Ads" system. Works similar like CPC campaign in Google search, but drives traffic to certified Google booking engine - your direct booking engine.
Be aware that by using Google Hotel Ads campaigns you can reach up to 10 times more potential customers and searches under your direct booking engine. Especially if your price is fine, you can expect more direct reservations.
Advantages of paid listing:
- The paid listing performs much better, driving over 85% of traffic and 90% of conversion. Your free listing will help to drive more traffic but it will not replace the bookings you get from your paid listings.
- Your paid listing gives you total control over the targeting of your ad, resulting in much high conversion from highly targeted traffic.
- Free Booking Links do not show up within the hotel knowledge panel which is the most engaged area of Google Hotel ads. Free listings will only show up within Google Travel immersive pages where users have to click view more rates, and so the potential for traffic is much reduced.
Impressions from one small hotel in Croatia
One small hotel (4 stars) located in Central Croatia has started using Google Metasearch and Google Hotel Ads 4 months ago. Since joining it received 19120 unique new sessions - searches for room with visit to Booking engine. Hotel set up Google Hotel Ads campaign with small daily budget (totally spent 200 EUR) and joined received more than 15 direct reservations from direct / first visit. Tens of reservations are made in second or later visits to website where first came from Google hotel search. If hotel looks just for those direct (first step) reservations, ROI on campaign was over 2000% (or amount spend on campaign was less than 5% of generated revenue). Although total number of reservations can seem very low, if hotel's direct booking link wasn't there, hotel probably would get OTA reservations for same period with commission over 600 EUR. Maybe the number of OTA reservations would be lower, but in any case, Google Free booking links + Google Hotel Ads (if we look campaign spent amount as commission) in combination generated revenue with lower commission.
Google has partnered with WebBookingPro to make it easy to get started?
Follow 3 steps to enable Google direct bookings
Update your Business Profile on GoogleMake sure your Google My Business profile is verified and up to date with your hotel information. Here is a
guidebook to help you get started.
Opt-in your rates to show up on GoogleConfigure WebBookingPro to send content, availability, rates and promotions to Google in real-time
Get more direct bookingsYou will start getting direct clicks on your website, so travelers can book directly with your hotel.