Prerequisites and basic settings to start a Google Property Promotion Ads and Google Hotel Ads campaign
Prerequisites before connecting to the metasearch websites
Contrary to the OTAs it is YOU as a property that have to do the job about marketing your hotel and managing your content on the Google channel.
It is a lot of work to be done before going on the metasearch websites.
Information about my property and around
- An optimized website
- Clear sections
- Responsive design: user friendly for people navigating from desktop, tablet or mobile devices
- With all the information about your property: location, check-in and check-out times, facilities, restaurant, menus, events, activities in and out of the hotel, a team presentation to reassure the prospects with human faces (Human Being optimization)
- A Googlemybusiness page with all the relevant information
Location on google maps, facilities, pictures, contact information, events in the hotel. The more information possible the best.
- High quality pictures
Of the hotel but also of the facilities in and out of the hotel, some dishes pictures if there is a restaurant etc. Like in storefront shops your hotel has to be very sexy to invite prospects to enter your shop!
- Video content
You could also provide some video content to make your hotel likable on youtube. Video content will appear on the Google account that can also be used on your website. This is a more and more popular format.
- Customer reviews management
Like in a restaurant, if you have 0 customer reviews it is like you have no clients in your restaurant, not good. But if you have a lot of reviews, they have to be of great quality to give information about what is good in your property. If some customers are rude or not very objective it is important to show that you care about it and give an answer. Sometimes you will also need to report abuses to google. Some companies are specialized in helping you to manage it on Google but also on all of your property channels. We call it e-reputation. It is what people will look at before choosing between you and your competitors on a hotel list.
To summarize :
It is important to reserve as much as possible contents and high-quality contents that are better than the ones given to the OTAs to your website and your Googlemybusiness account.
Also, it is very important that you make sure that your e-reputation is very good as even if your property is displayed on the Propriety Promotion Ads and Google Hotel ads programs if you have a lot of bad reviews, you will spend a lot of money and not convert. At the end of the day, your competitors will still perform better than you on the google programs.
Information about my rooms, packages, services, activities to be booked
- Product channel management
You should propose better products on your “direct channels” than the OTAs to have more chances to convert the prospects after the redirection on your website landing pages such as package offers or rooms with extra services that are special offers that you reserve to your direct clients.
You don’t necessarily have to lower all your rates. You also can add extra services to your offers to make them more attractive. Make your offer very sexy !
You can also propose services and activities in or out of your property as options to add to your rooms reservation to complete the package.
- Rate channel management
You should propose some exclusive prices that are available only on your direct channels to compete with lower prices than on the OTAs. Anyway at least one of the double occupancy offers should be at a lower rate than on the OTAs as it is one of the two metrics of the Google ranking on Google Hotel Ads along with the bid amount.
- Optimized booking process
- Clear sections
- Responsive Design
- With all the information about your rooms, rates and services
- High quality pictures
- Available offers
You have to check that your offers are available and not “on-demand” because it is like if you tell someone with an advertisement: “Come to our shop but you will only get the wrapping not the object !”
You will lose money and not convert doing so. So it is very important to present only available offers on the metasearch websites.
- Accurate prices with mandatory options and taxes included in rates communicated to Google
Indeed, Google checks the price accuracy to ascertain that the user will pay what is displayed in google at the end of the reservation process.
To summarize :
Another time, before going to the metasearch websites, you have to be very good about your hotel but also your room contents. Your offers should be sexy for the prospects, with availability and well marketed, the information given accurate so that the experience is good between the metasearch and your website.
This question about the navigation experience is key for google to keep google users attached to them so it is indeed particularly for mobile users one of the reasons they developed “book on google” to allow people to stay on the same environment that is to say Google from the initial research through “Google Property Promotion Ads”, to the choice of your property through “Google Hotel Ads” until the final booking through “Book on Google”.
Usually, on the classic OTAs they handle all this marketing work but on the metasearch it is YOU as a property that have to do all these efforts to promote and manage your distribution. It is very very important to understand it before even thinking about connecting to Google Property Promotion Ads, Google Hotel ads and choosing your website redirection or the book on google option.
Main information about the programs “Google Property Promotion Ads” and “Google Hotel Ads”
About Google Property Promotion Ads
This program is at a higher level than the hotel search in the funnel process. It is a tool to market your property when a user is looking for a destination. When a user plans its trip so really before entering the booking process. It multiplies the chances for you to be known by the travellers who don’t know your property yet!
What are the participation models available in “Property Promotion Ads” program ?
Participation models are the same as the “Google hotel ads” program ones. (CPC, PPC pay per conversion, PPS pay per stay) however this section is independent from the Google Hotel Ads one.
Is it possible to use a different participation model than the one used in “Google Hotel Ads” program ?
Yes, of course. The choice of the participation model can be different from the one used in Google Hotel Ads.
What are the metrics used in the “Google Property Promotion Ads” program?
The metrics are your rate competitiveness, the bid, and the quality score.
Can I compete on keywords in the “Google Property Promotion Ads” program?
No. You can’t compete on the keywords, it is Google that examines the keywords based on your GoogleMybusiness page. So this page should be completed and updated as much as possible. Google prevents you from bidding on services you don’t propose by managing the keywords linked to your property.
You are just able to present your property to the program.
About Google Hotel Ads
The program is at a lower level than the PPA level when the traveller knows where he wants to go and is looking for your property and your offers.
What are the participation models available in “Google Hotel Ads” program ?
- CPC: Cost per click: it could be risky if your average shopping basket is low. It could be very good for the 4 or 5* properties as the ratio between cost per click and conversion amount will be better for 4 or 5* properties. But obviously, bidding depends more on the number of your competitors in your destination and on your property as well.
- PPC : Pay per conversion: it is less risky but be careful, the conversion rate is transformed in eCPC and if it is low, your CPC could be lower than the reserve bid (bid level on which you have to be higher to win the auction) and it is likely as a result that you won’t be displayed.
- PPS: Pay per stay (formerly Google Hotel Ads Commission Program): same as PPC but you just pay for the stayed reservations. In this program you have some rules to respect such as having a lot of conversions before going on it. Indeed, Google wouldn’t risk giving user clicks to those commission based ads if other advertising players such as OTAs are willing to pay cash in advance for those clicks.
With PPS Google provides a way to capture new bookings while minimizing expenses.
For most hotels, a commission is a commercialization expense and a CPC is a marketing expense so it may be easier for you to go on metasearch with the commission model without the need to ask for budget to your financial department.
Why should I go to the metasearch websites?
Having a multi-channel strategy is a very important element in your e-distribution strategy. You have to multiply chances to get reservations from diverse sources. According to your particular situation, you can choose which participation model is best for you at least at the beginning and test. However, it is very important in any way to participate in these programs.
A key element to take into account is also your cost per acquisition for each distribution channel to know how much Google performs compared to other OTAs and your own website. You have to analyse with your technology and marketing partners your results to improve them step by step.
Should I go by myself on the metasearch websites?
I would recommend you not to go by yourself on the metasearch websites as it is a lot of work analysis unless you’re a connectivity and marketing expert and you have a lot of time to spend on it to add at the prerequisites that are going to take you already a long time to manage perfectly.
Technological partners have automation tools to analyse bid competitions, which multipliers to use in which circumstances, how to manage the budget, how to send the precalculated prices, how to respect the price accuracy etc and also the team experts that are managing marketing campaigns on an everyday basis for a long time !
Even some technological partners specialized in connectivities associate with other players even more specialized in marketing automation and analysis as it is not only a technical interface. This interface is more about marketing automation than an easy connectivity like the classic OTAs.
Even technically, the way to precalculate prices is different from the other OTAs as it is about itineraries: just one message which resumes everything: one date, one length of stay and a rate associated or closure for each itinerary from 1 up to 14 days.
Whereas for classic OTAs the channel managers send the rates per room per night per period in one message, the information about the length of stays in another message and availability in another one.
Which is the best option between redirecting travellers to my reservation pages or “Book on Google” functionality?
It depends if you have an optimized website with a good reservation process with a lot of information, pictures, pages optimized for mobile users (responsive) etc. I would suggest you not to choose the “Book on Google” option so that you can propose your options, services and more information than the ones displayed in the “book on google process”.
That’s why it is very important to have optimized reservation pages as mentioned in the prerequisites.
However it is good to activate it if your website and booking pages are not well optimized (responsive) and especially on mobile devices or slow.
The travellers will be able to complete the reservation directly on Google without leaving the Google environment so the chances to convert could be better than when a user is redirected to an external website which is not reassuring for them.
This makes the reservation process smoother for the user and you may get more conversions.
Even with the “Book on Google” functionality, you will still get the reservation details, the contact information of the guests. Google transmits all these information as it is you as a property who confirm the booking to the travellers.
So it is still interesting as the travellers remain your clients so that you can use it to build your loyalty program.
Google: Opportunity or super OTA without the after-sales service? Which cost for my property visibility in the long term? Is it worth it?
We do not have a clear answer to that. It is a really good opportunity as for now but what if in a few years the commission level is very high and the OTAs weaker than today because Google became the new big OTA who knows everything both about the travellers and about the properties. A player that we can‘t avoid anymore?
We all ask ourselves these questions as Google is more and more powerful in every part of our life and also relevant. It is indeed because Google proposes services that are relevant, they are continuously testing new things to adapt their strategy and get better and better with the time, that we continue to use their services with great pleasure.