Maximize Your Hotel Metasearch Strategy with Google Hotel Ads

Using Google Hotel Ads is a part of an effective metasearch strategy.

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April 6, 2023

For hoteliers looking to drive direct bookings, metasearch is a great tool to include within a wider, multichannel, hotel marketing strategy. It has the potential to be one of the most powerful marketing channels available for travel brands, with 94% of travelers using metasearch engines when booking their accommodation. It helps travelers with one of the most important factors when considering travel: price. 

A metasearch engine consolidates rates from a variety of booking platforms, including hotel websites and online travel agencies (OTAs). Marketers can then bid on the ad space, from which a traveler is directed to the brand’s own website to make a booking.

Top Tip: Metasearch is an effective way to reach new guests and begin the process of building a relationship with them. Marketers who implement metasearch with Sojern see an 8% lift in direct bookings, up to 72% of which are incremental, meaning our customers cannot reach them through the other digital marketing channels they run with us

What Are Google Hotel Ads? 

The Google Hotel Ads (GHA) solution is a hotel-specific metasearch engine used by marketers to attract travelers to their property. Being a Google offering, it comes with the capability to sync across Google’s suite of products, including the main search engine, Google Maps, Google Travel, and the AI-powered Google Assistant. It is an essential tool for hotel marketers. 

How do Google Hotel Ads Appear? 

As travelers are planning their trips, they often use Google to find out more about a particular property, or to get inspiration for hotels in the area. They may also be looking on Google Maps to get a better idea of location, or even filter through YouTube to watch user-generated footage to get a better idea if the hotel will be suited to their needs. During their search for a property, GHA presents a search module within these environments which includes a selection of hotel names, images of the properties and their facilities, room prices, and a map displaying their location. 

If a traveler is interested in a particular hotel from the list displayed, and clicks through to it, they will be presented with a list of the latest rates and the option to book the hotel by selecting the number of guests, and the trip dates and duration. They will also see text callouts that highlight the unique benefits of booking directly via your site, rather than through an online travel agent (OTA).

This process makes it very quick and easy for someone to book their stay, giving hoteliers the benefit of gaining the booking directly, meaning they manage the customer relationship from there on out.

Google Hotel Ads with Sojern

Sojern was the first travel-focused Google Certified Marketing Partner. With a focus on customer success from both sides, the partnership has grown even stronger over the years, allowing Sojern to manage Google Hotel Ads (GHA) exclusively on behalf of hoteliers to maximize direct bookings. Sojern takes care of the set up, making it easy for marketers to include this important metasearch solution into their multichannel strategy. 

Here a some of the key benefits hoteliers get when activating a GHA strategy with Sojern: 

  • Get coverage on the leading metasearch provider—Sojern sees up to 80% of metasearch bookings driven by Google (varies depending on region).
  • Highly-efficient return on investment (ROI)—only pay for the ad if someone makes a booking, and only pay once, regardless of how many channels Sojern reach them on.
  • Maximize your multichannel strategy—Sojern customers drive up to 4X more direct bookings by running all digital marketing channels with us.
  • Secure travelers searching for your hotel, or a hotel in your location.
  • Encourage travelers to book directly on your site, shifting traffic from OTAs, and as a result, reducing costs.
  • Tailor prices in real time by availability and traveler itinerary.
  • Automatically fine-tune bidding by device type, origin country, and trip duration. 

What Are Hotel Free Booking Links?

Hotel free booking links appear if the hotel is already part of an active price feed, as unpaid links, ranked according to their convenience to users. The ‘free booking links’ module allows hotels increased visibility and complements existing metasearch campaigns. When you are up and running with a metasearch campaign on GHA, you automatically benefit from an additional boost in hotel bookings driven by free booking links which appear in the hotel page pricing results, which users access through Search, Google Maps, or Google Travel. We recommend confirming your Google My Business page is up to date to make the most of Google’s free booking links.  

Top Tip: Despite the name, sometimes free links are not free if your marketing partner charges you for using them. It is important to look out for this, and to know that Sojern never charges for bookings driven through free links on GHA.  

Example: Hotel Captain Cook is a metasearch advertiser and their listing appears in both the metasearch and organic listing module. In addition, because Hotel Captain Cook is a metasearch advertiser, they also appear at the top of search results and on Google Maps.

GHA is a powerful way for hotels to generate direct bookings, with the added benefit of an additional free boost in traffic driven by free booking links. If you are looking for a way to get in front of a new audience of travelers at a time when they’re ready to book, Google’s metasearch tool is the next step you should take if you haven’t already. It offers marketers the power associated with owning the traveler relationship and data, which will be even more critical in the future cookieless world.

Looking to launch GHA? Get in touch with our team of hotel marketing experts!

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