Take away google webinar

WIHP’s Takeaway from “Grow Your Hotel Business Online with Google Tools”

Advertising,  Meta-Search June 28th, 2021

Grow with Google dedicated a session on how to grow your business online with Google Tools on the US market. We believe it will become similar on other major markets. 

As a Google Partner Premier, it’s important to share the main takeaways of the session with you. Some of them can be applied to major markets, and others are specific to the US market. 

Many people are eager to know when they will be able to travel again. Make sure to connect with interested travelers when they will be ready to book by getting your hotel set up on Google. 

How to build a plan for the future of your hotel business?  

There are 4 stages to know to build your plan:

1) Recover: What does travel recovery look like? 

2) Respond: How can Google Free Tool help you? 

3) Prepare: What can you do to prepare for full recovery?

4) Rebound: How can you rebound as your market reopens?

1. Recover: What does travel recovery look like?

Three Key Insights : 

There’s Pent up Demand: Today, people are dreaming about holidays and planning their  travel for when it will be safe to do so. 

Travel during the pandemic has changed: People are looking to travel domestically and will continue to do so even more over the summer period. 

Travel Recovery is on the Horizon (in some markets):  Despite challenges for some markets, Travel Recovery is on the horizon. This year 2021 has seen significant growth on travel intentions as cases are less severe and vaccines are administered.  

Although travel was momentarily put on hold, travelers never stopped  “dreaming.” Internet searches about new places to travel to and “getaways”  in the US market have never been so high. 

In places where travel is starting to resume, users are looking for reassurance on how your business adapted to new sanitary protocols. 

In the US, searches on remote areas closer to nature has risen to avoid crowded destinations: 

« Islands » +6% YoY and « Camping » +49% YoY 

Google noticed a rising interest in domestic tourism in the US:   

 « activities near me » +26% YoY and « Staycation » + 121% YoY (source Google Internal Data 2019 vs 2020, YoY Growth, Global). 

If you want to track the hotel demand for your destination, you can also use Google Hotel Insights tool. This tool allows you to see your hotel destination demand, origin of the demand, and a lot more.

2. Respond: How can Google Free Tool help you?

Google has developed 2 major tools to help hoteliers adapt to the new market dynamics. 

Google My Business: 

  • Manage your hotel information
  • Post updates to your business profile
  • Read and respond to guest reviews

Free Booking Links:

  • Surface real-time room prices and availability
  • Reach potential and existing guests when they’re ready to book
  • Benefit from more direct bookings on your website

Using these tools helps you engage with travelers online and acquire more direct bookings. Your potential guests will get access to up-to-date rates and accurate information on your business. 

3. Prepare: What can you do to prepare for full recovery?

Guests have started to look for hotels to stay at, and, to prepare for full recovery, we advise you to follow the following steps to correctly engage with them:

  • Update business hours: You need to make sure your opening hours are accurate. You need to know that 54% of people are looking for business opening in Google Maps*.
  • Communication on temporary closure: If your hotel is temporarily closed,  you can now mark it on Google.
  • Manage your amenities: Provide the most accurate information on amenities and other attributes to your guests. 
  • Surface what matters: Highlight your flexible booking options in your hotel ads, bring attention to your cancellation, refundability or rebooking policies in your callouts. 

*Source: Google, Grow your Hotel Business Online with Google Tools.

4. Rebound: How to rebound as your market reopens?

Google free tools can help you rebound as markets are reopening. 

Few months ago, Google released free booking links to help hoteliers get more direct bookings through their site. 

  • What are Free Booking Links? These free & new ways to reach potential guests. Your hotel appears in Hotel Booking Links, regardless of whether you advertise on Google. It drives free traffic to your hotel website.
  • How are Free Booking Links different from paid Ads? Free Booking Links look just like Hotel Ads, but placements for Free Booking Links are not bought. Instead, they are ranked using a variety of signals that determine which links are best to show to the guest. In addition to free booking links, you can opt to upgrade your ads to get more direct bookings. 
  • How to get started with Free Booking Links?  You can choose to start with an integration partner. Soon, you will be able to manually share your rates and availability with Google via Google My Business, when the feature will be available. 
  • What are the benefits? You can connect with new and returning guests, sending them to your website to book directly.  

In the coming month, Google plans to expand the dedicated spot for free booking links. You will be able to drive more qualified customers to your site.

If you need any help preparing for recovery, don’t hesitate to contact our hotel marketing experts at contact@wihphotel.com or directly via our website.