Although the events of the last 18 months have transformed the hospitality industry, one thing that hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm of hotel operators to convert more direct bookings. Ashleigh Donald, Co-founder at Halo, discusses with Hospitality News Middle East, how Google has changed the rules of the game with its Hotel Ads.
Over the past few years, Google has been changing the way it works with hotels, and its redeveloped Google Hotels platform, armed with its powerful Hotel Ads, now poses a huge threat to these OTAs and presents a great opportunity for hotels.
By using Google's platform, hotels can leverage their own booking channels, reduce costs, increase revenues and drive loyalty, without being subject to the rules and algorithms of third-party booking engines.
Much of Google’s success has been a result of its focus on the customer experience. Hotel Ads engage future potential guests’ browsing by serving up hotel photos and authentic customer reviews when searching for hotels in a city, sending them to a hotel’s website to book direct.
While OTAs have often dominated the first page of Google’s Search Engine’s Results (SERPs) page, processed reservations and charged their commissions as a result, hotels can now advertise within the framework of Google Hotels and drive reservations directly to their own booking site. Hotel Ads are an integral component of SERP ownership, maximizing as many avenues to book direct as possible.
According to research by Skift, approximately 10 percent of hotel bookings are acquired through Google Ads and Hotel Ads, with the remainder coming from OTAs, direct marketing and other channels.
With a partner who is focused on the customer experience, who has access to more data, more marketing reach than anyone else on the planet and whose name is literally the word for internet search and who now wants to drive direct bookings, hoteliers may have found their perfect ally.
Read the full article, The Key to Driving Direct Bookings on Hospitality News Middle East. Hospitality News Middle East is the go-to source for the latest news, developments and trends in the region’s hospitality and foodservice industries.
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