An estimated 4.5 billion searches are made on Google each day, which accounts for nearly 77% of searches worldwide. While a smaller percentage of those are for hotels, this amount of traffic offers many opportunities to grow your independent hotel, bed and breakfast, or vacation rental bookings through Google Hotel Ads. However, Google’s ranking algorithm can get a bit tricky, so here are quick insights to get you started.
Google Hotel ads are a metasearch service offered through Google. When a traveler searches for hotels, they will type in phrases like “hotels near me.” From this search, Google will populate a list of hotels directly on the search engine results page. For hoteliers, it’s a great way to drive direct bookings.
Mastering this technology is key to running a successful Google Hotel campaign. In order to appear within the top results, you must qualify for an auction. This means when an end-user inputs a certain phrase, Google fetches rates and then starts an auction. Each hotel will “bid” on the phrase and the winning bids will be shown to the end user. This process can be automated or manual. Inclusion in the auction depends on several factors:
To run your ads, you’ll need to select the right budget and bidding amounts. Your budget will set a spending limit per day. The maximum cost-per-click bid is the most you’re willing to pay clicks on your ad, and will influence the amount of traffic as well as your total return on investment (ROI).
Another option is a shared budget. This is best when you have several campaigns or a seasonal campaign. If you’re not sure what budget to set, Google provides a “view recommended budget” option.
While having the highest bid is part of winning an auction, there are several other strategies that depend on search terms, property type, revenue goals and many other factors. However, in general, higher bids are likely to get more traffic, while lower bids will receive fewer clicks and conversions. If your goal is to gain clicks or generate website traffic, there are two types of cost-per-click strategies:
In addition, there are two other bidding strategies that don’t focus on clicks:
The bidding process can be complicated, but the great news is that Google Hotel Ads offers flexible, customizable advertising. You control your budget, where the money goes and can readjust as needed. Furthermore, you can specify your targeted demographic so precisely that your bids will never be wasted on the wrong customers. The best part? Google Hotel ads are highly profitable: in 2017, the average return on ad spend was 10 X.
If you need some help managing your Google Hotel Ads, we’d love to offer a hand. We’ve partnered with Koddi, an award-winning software company that powers 400,000 unique properties, to help you grow your online presence through our metasearch services. We handle the advertising so you can focus on delighting your guests. If you have any questions, please feel free to call!