Over the past several months Google has tried to improve its hotel search results, so travellers can find information quicker and hotels can generate more qualified leads.
Senior program manager at search engine Tom Mulders said: “As a continuation of these efforts, we’re announcing a few more changes to Hotel Ads on Google: broader availability for the Google Hotel Ads Commission program, an expansion of the Book on Google feature to more partners, and the inclusion of more amenity information within Google search. With these changes, we’ll be retiring the dedicated site for Hotel Finder this week, as users are now able to access the hotel information they need right from Google search.”
Making it easier for more hotels to generate qualified leads from Google
“Earlier this year we started testing the Google Hotel Ads Commission Program with a small set of independent hotels. With this program, these hotels are charged on the industry-standard commission basis rather than cost-per-click, making it easier for smaller, independent hotels to use Google Hotel Ads. Today, we’re announcing that more hotels can participate in this program now that we’ve partnered with leading hotel technology solutions providers.
“Seekda, one of the participating hotel technology solutions providers, helps us offer hotels a risk-free way to reach a massive audience efficiently. “Google Hotel Ads allows hotels to be there when a traveler is ready to book, and pay only when a booking is made or consumed,” says Klaus Niederacher, General Manager and COO at Seekda. “This new commission model gives smaller chains and independent hotels the option to participate in the highly effective Google Hotel Ads, without having to manage CPC bids and budgets.”
So far, Google claims its new program has successfully driven bookings for hoteliers. According to Scott Koehler, senior vice president, product and operations at TravelClick: “Since March, hotels enrolled in TravelClick’s Demand Services program have seen, on average, a 56 percent year-over-year increase in revenue driven by Google Hotel Ads. The evolution from a pay-per-click to commission model has increased hotel revenue.”
Making bookings easier for hoteliers and consumers
Mr Mulders added: “In 2013, we launched Book on Google on mobile devices to make it easier for users to book hotel rooms directly from their phone. Now, we’re expanding the availability of Book on Google, bringing it to desktop and tablet devices and making it easier for more hotels to participate.
“With Book on Google, Google facilitates the booking payment transaction. The hotel partner owns the guest relationship, including sending the confirmation email, answering post-booking questions, and handling changes to the reservation or cancellations.”
Mr Koehler said: “Given the successes that our hotel clients have experienced with Google Hotel Ads, we look forward to offering additional Hotel Ads features to our hotel clients globally, including Book on Google.”
Book on Google is currently available to all Hotel Ads partners and works for users in the US.
Bringing more hotel information to search
“Earlier this year we announced improvements to hotel search across Google so users can find information like availability, prices, and reviews right in the search results and in Google Maps.
“This month, we’re adding information about hotel amenities for locations in the US and we’re working to add this information for 24 more countries through next year. This means that users will now see whether a hotel has things like free WiFi, free breakfast, parking availability, a pool, or a business centre, right in search.
“We’re focused on helping travellers find information and choices about hotels, while making it easier for them to select and book the hotel that’s right for them. We’re also committed to helping partners connect with travellers when they are ready to book, across devices and Google platforms. We hope the changes announced today will make planning that next trip an even easier click away.
Could these new programs benefit New Zealand hoteliers?