You may have seen Google Hotel Finder listings becoming more prominent in the Google search results and this pattern will only continue. So what does this mean for hotels? Despite being another channel to consider, it’s actually good news as long as you can get your rates feeding direct into the listings. It’s a great way to improve the amount of direct bookings to your hotel website and chip away at the %share of OTA bookings. This article will help you to understand how and why your hotel should be using Google Hotel Finder.
Yes, I’m sure that we are well aware that Google is an important influencer in most travel decisions. In short, Google are making it easier for potential guests to search for hotel accommodation and hotels. This allows proactive hoteliers to be seen prominently in the mix with rate parity before the users get caught too deep in the grasp and OTA like booking.com or expedia etc.
Google plans to make the hotel finder more integral to the results page which in turn will lower the position of even the top “organic” ranking. This means that even if you are organically ranking number one for your Brand name your listing could even well be “below the fold” below ads and hotel finder results.
Listing on Hotel finder allows your hotel to be found in local area search. Your hotel may not be able to easily rank for a broad term like “Hotels in London” but if someone types this in to Google and zooms into your area of London then there is a good chance of your hotel showing.
Google does not charge a percentage of your booking, it’s bid on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) basis. You are able to start getting bookings from as low as a $0.50 cost per acquisition. Of course, in reality you would likely pay more than $0.50 for each booking but the reality is that you can control your threshold. If you are able to make your direct bookings at a lower fee that you are paying out to the OTA’s then you are making progress. Let’s look at this in simple terms:
Receiving 1000 x $250 bookings through an OTA would Typically cost $50,000 in commission (1000 x $250) x 20% = $50,000
Gaining the same reservations through Hotel Finder even at 10% cost per acquisition would save $25,000 and gain you a collection of direct customers with a stronger connection to the brand.
Remember, the OTA’s are able to make serious returns through channels like Google Hotel finder even though they only receive a 20% cut of each booking. Surely a hotel has potential to enjoy decent returns from these channels if managed correctly.
Many hotels notice that their hotel website could be automatically listed but without rates displayed and often hidden in a drop-down menu. Obviously, this will have a serious impact on the click through rate (CTR) of the listing and bookings.
Be assured that this is not the end of the road! It’s not just an arena for the “big boys” and OTA’s, it is possible for smaller hotels and chains to receive good listings and have their rates displayed with minimal if not very small investment.
Google Hotel Finder experts from a team like UP Hotel Agency team will be able to analyse your systems and make recommendations to set-up the easiest way to get your rate feed and ads started on Hotel finder. It’s a lot simpler that you may imagine. As soon as a feed is set-up a verified your hotel will be able to start driving direct bookings.
Meta Channels and feeds like Google Hotel Finder can hold the key to improving direct booking revenue for many hotels. It’s important to work with experts who can ensure that you keep up-to-date with all developments and optimise your campaign for real tangible bookings. Speak to one of our Google Hotel Finder experts today.