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Maximizing Google Hotels: Tips for Hoteliers to Drive More Bookings

Maximizing Google Hotels: Tips for Hoteliers to Drive More Bookings
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Discover the benefits of Google Hotels, learn how it works, and explore effective strategies to enhance your listing. From synchronizing your booking calendar to leveraging Google Insights, we cover everything you need to know to attract more guests.
Maximizing Google Hotels: Tips for Hoteliers to Drive More Bookings
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Google Hotels, formerly known as Google Hotel Finder, is one of Google's projects to funnel hotel searches to online booking platforms. Despite Google's continuous efforts to help business owners connect with travelers and tourists, a significant number of hotels still fail to optimize their presence on Google searches. In this blog, we'll explore how hotel managers and property owners can optimize their presence on Google Searches by mastering Google Hotels.

What is Google Hotels?

Google Hotels is a metasearch engine initially launched as Google Hotel Finder in 2011. Through the platform, users can directly check the availability and compare prices of hotel listings posted on various online booking websites indexed by Google.

Google Hotels make it easier for travelers to compare offers, prices, and amenities across numerous online travel websites. While regular Google search shows webpages, blogs, and articles that may be linked to the keywords used by the traveler, Google Hotels only shows listings that the user can immediately book after their research.

sample-google-hotels-search
Sample of a Google Hotels search.

For businesses, Google Hotels is a great way to connect with more clients for free. Compared to other hotel metasearch websites, Google Hotels doesn't charge any commission from property owners. Once a Google My Business account has been made, it will automatically be indexed on Google Hotels.

Before, Google Hotel Finder wasn't that much lucrative when it came to increasing booking rates for hotels. However, today, it's one of the most essential optimization platforms if you want to generate more revenue on your online booking platforms. Recent surveys suggest that 72% of mobile bookings happen after a Google search. That's how much you can lose if you don't optimize your Google Hotels listing.

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How do I list my hotel on Google Hotels?

Adding your business to Google Hotels is similar to setting up your Google My Business account. Here's a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Log in to Google Business Profile Manager
  2. Click Manage Now on the top right corner of your dashboard
  3. Sign in to the Google Account you wish to use for your business profile
  4. Enter the name of your hotel and click Next
  5. Enter the address of your hotel, and click Next. Use a marker on the location of the address doesn't automatically geolocate.
  6. In the Primary Category box, enter and select the category from the available options.
  7. You can choose another category under the Additional Category. For example, if your property also has a restaurant or a bar, you can add these categories to your listing.
  8. Enter a phone number or website URL for your hotel. Then, click Next.
  9. Verify your account.

What are the Google My Business categories for hotels?

Choose a primary category that describes your business as a whole, and be specific. However, Google doesn't allow businesses to create their own category. If the category you want isn't available, choose a more general category that still accurately describes your business. For example, if you have an "all-suites hotel," you can choose "hotel" instead. This helps Google index and rank your listing on Google Hotels easily.

choosing-categories-for-business-google
Choosing the right categories for your business. (Source)

Here are the Google My Business categories under hospitality:

  • Hotel
  • Capsule Hotel
  • Extended Stay Hotel
  • Hot Spring Hotel
  • Love Hotel
  • Resort Hotel
  • Wellness Hotel

How does Google Hotels work?

Google Hotels automatically index Google My Business accounts. To ensure that your listing on Google Hotels will reflect your booking page from third-party websites, make sure that your booking URL is uploaded to your Google My Business account.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Login to your Google My Business Profile.
  2. Search for your business via Google Search.
  3. Click your listing and choose Manage Your Rates within the booking module.
  4. Confirm your booking page URL.
  5. Check the room rates and availability reflected on your Google My Business account. Make sure that it's consistent with your current booking calendar.

The process of synching your Google My Business account to your booking calendar will depend on the third-party website you're using. Regardless of your chosen platform, make sure that a booking URL is placed on each of your available listings.

To learn more about optimizing your Google My Business account, read our article Google My Business Guide: How to Optimize Your Profile.

How does a Google Hotels listing look?

Google Hotels listings are mostly populated with business information from your Google My Business account and pricelists from online booking websites.

To ensure that your business has engaging content that can drive conversion, let's go through the sections of a Google Hotels listing.

Overview

The overview of a Google Hotel listing includes the best deals currently indexed by Google, property photos, Google rating, top Google reviews, and recommendations for your listing. It also features data from Google Maps, such as the exact location of your property and nearby tourist attractions.

sample-overview-google-hotels-listing
Sample of an Overview of a Google Hotels listing.

Prices

Like a hotel booking platform, Google Hotels allow travelers to check the availability of the listing in line with the pricing. The listing prioritizes the best offers from sponsored websites such as Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, and Hotels.com. Next are non-sponsored web listings such as Good Hotel Club, Stayforless, SuperTravel, and Kayak.

indexed-price-list-from-third-party-websites-google-hotels
Indexed price list from third-party websites.

Reviews

Google knows how important guest reviews are for hotels and properties. For this reason, the Google Hotels listing dedicates an entire page to Google My Business Reviews. Travelers can easily sort the reviews based on the amenities, review date, relevance of the content, and overall score.

To further help travelers examine the property, Google Hotels also provide a link to one of the top hotel review websites, Trip.com.

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Photos

The page shows photos only from your Google My Business listing and not from third-party accounts. Because of this, it's best to ensure that your GMB account has updated photos of your property.

general-description-business-information-google-my-business-hotels
Sample of photos from Google My Business.

About

The About section consists of the general description of your business, the address and contact information, and the amenities. Due to COVID-19, the listing is also optimized to highlight health and safety protocols observed within your property.

general-description-business-information-google-my-business-hotels
General description and business information from Google My Business for hotels.

What are the benefits of Google Hotels?

It's easy to disregard your Google Hotels listing since it's mostly made of indexed information from your accounts on online booking platforms and Google My Business. Despite this, it wouldn't hurt to check your Google Hotels listing every once in a while, especially if you can enjoy the following advantages:

Push your third-party listing.

Only frequent travelers have online booking apps on their phones. Internet users mostly access online booking platforms such as Booking.com, Hotels, and Agoda through Google searches. So, if you want to increase the conversion rate of your listings on these online travel agencies, it's best to optimize your presence on Google Hotels.

Connect with customers seeking hotels within your area.

One of the key features of Google Hotels metasearch is its direct link to Google Maps. If a user within your location uses non-specific keywords like "hotels near me," Google will automatically pull up your Google Hotels listing. This is not the same with other online booking platforms, where users have to specify the location and check-in dates to access their business details.

Access to Google Insights.

Businesses with active Google Hotels listings have access to Google Insights, a data center for Google My Business account owners. Through Google Insights, hotel managers and property owners can get real-time market data, including the domestic and international booking trends in your location, search frequency, top 5 locations of your bookers, and more.

The data generated from Google Insights have numerous applications. You can re-target your offers based on your actual market, scrap or add a listing based on demand, improve your property based on your usual clients, scale your brand, and more. Regardless of how you will use it, these pieces of information are a sure way to boost your revenue generation.

sample-google-insights-hotels
Sample of Google Insights for hotels.

Better search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remains to be one of the leading digital marketing strategies today. With Google Hotels, business owners can easily reach the top spot of relevant search searches without creating numerous content. Hotels no longer need to write articles, do guest posting, and do other SEO techniques just to make it to the top Google search page. Now, all you have to do is to optimize your Google My Business account.

Improved visibility on Google Travel.

Google Travel, previously called Google Trips, is a trip planning service developed by Google for the web. On this platform, travelers can book their flights, accommodation, and activities with the help of Google tools such as Google Maps.

sample-search-on-google-travel
Sample search on Google Travel.

Google Hotels is directly synched with Google Travel. Once a user inputs a location, the platform automatically recommends flights and travel activities. Then, based on the user's viewing activity, Google recommends the top-rated hotels and rental properties in Google Hotels. Having a fully-optimized Google Hotels listing will ensure that your listing will be connected with Google’s recommended flights and travel activities.

Guide clients throughout their entire booking journey.

While online booking websites continue to increase conversion rates of hotels, they also generate a significant amount of drop-off rate.

Potential guests don't push through with their bookings due to numerous reasons: canceled trip, found a cheaper option, saw a bad review, and more. Regardless of the possible causes, accompanying your potential customers through their booking process is imperative to reduce your drop-off rate. With a fully optimized Google Hotels listing, you can ensure that your guests are provided with relevant content throughout their customer journey–from their simple Google search to the actual booking process.

What is the difference between Google Hotels and OTAs?

Google Hotels is just a metasearch engine created to help customers go through hotel listings indexed by Google. Travelers can't book their accommodations on Google Hotels. On the other hand, online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Vrbo.com, HomeAway.com, Orbitz.com, and Travelocity allow customers to book and pay for a reservation.

Google Hotels is created to help travelers go through numerous online listings in the fastest and most efficient way possible. They can find the perfect accommodation for them without the need to jump from one website to another. Since businesses can't really manage their reservations, Google Hotels doesn't charge any commission or posting fees. The platform is free.

Aside from this, another major distinction between Google Hotels and OTAs is that Google Hotels doesn't allow businesses to promote their listings through various marketing campaigns, except through Google Ads. Hotel managers and property owners can't run last-minute deals, seasonal discounts, and other booking promotions to increase their booking rates.

To learn more about the top online booking websites for hotels, read The Best Hotel Booking Sites to List Your Hotel in 2023

How to optimize listing for Google Hotels?

Here are some ways on how you can maximize Google Hotels to generate more revenue:

Optimize your Google My Business account.

Needless to say, the most effective way to optimize your listing for Google Hotels is to keep your Google My Business account updated. Make sure that it has updated business information, property photos, and a list of amenities. Aside from this, a steady flow of Google Reviews can help you increase your Google search ranking.

Optimize your third-party listings.

As mentioned a while ago, Google Hotels display the current rates of your listings based on third-party booking platforms. For this reason, it's crucial that you optimize your account on these online booking platforms, especially your price list.

Aside from this, you should ensure a fully synchronized booking calendar. Since Google Hotels also display your property's availability, an error on your booking calendar might prevent Google from indexing your booking URL. Thus, barring your potential guests from reserving your property.

Explore Google Hotel APIs.

Google has created the Google Hotel APIs, a complete guide on how hotel managers and property owners can provide hotel pricing data for Google search results. While this is mostly for website creation, following Google Hotel APIs will allow Google to easily index your content and link it with your Google Hotels listings.

For instance, Google is very particular about the following website content: rates, inventory, availability, tax and fee, and promotions. Aside from this, Google also allows you to maximize your availability by creating room bundles, conditional booking rates, private rates, and more. To learn more about Google Hotel APIs, click here.

sample-hotel-lists-xml-google-hotel-apis
Sample of hotel lists in XML from Google Hotel APIs.

Respond to Google reviews.

It's undeniable that the format of Google Hotels listing highlights Google Reviews. Aside from showing property's Google on the Overview tab, there's an entire page dedicated to Google Reviews alone. Since your Google Hotels listing is linked to your online booking platforms, your Google Reviews also affect your listing on third-party websites.

While you can't control what your guests will post about your property, you can decide how reviews would reflect on potential clients through your responses. Your reply can emphasize the positive reviews of your guests, and it can also mitigate the negative effects of bad reviews.

Want to learn more about responding to Google Reviews? Read How to Respond to Every Google Review in Seconds

Maintain an engaging Google Hotels listing with an AI review reply generator.

Optimizing numerous booking listings is challenging as it is; imagine if you're doing it on top of other hotel chores. Because of this, it's imperative to automate select optimizing tasks such as replying to Google reviews. Lucky for you, an AI writing assistant can write engaging replies on your behalf.

MARA AI Review Reply Generator can craft well-written replies to your Google reviews within seconds. Just copy the review, paste it on the message, and your AI assistant will automatically generate a fully optimized response.

power-of-mara-ai-review-reply-assistant
The power of MARA AI review reply assistant.

Here are some of the benefits of using MARA across your online booking platforms:

  • Achieve a 100% response rate
  • Improve overall rating
  • Reduce response time and cost
  • Respond with a personal touch
  • Reply to reviews on foreign languages
  • Increase online reputation

Want to learn more about MARA AI Review Reply Generator? Click here to register for a FREE account.

Final Thought

The internet is now brimming with numerous ways businesses can generate more revenue. While the sheer number of these strategies can be overwhelming for hotel managers and business owners, going through them is essential to ensure that your business is future-proof. If you don't know where to start, improving your Google Hotels listing is a good option. After all, Google doesn't really have to prove itself when it comes to generating large numbers of bookings for hotels.

This article is part of our hero content on "Mastering Google Reviews - A Complete Guide."

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I use Google Hotels?

Businesses can use Google Hotels by creating a Google My Business Account. On the other hand, travelers can easily access Google Hotels by using Google search or going to https://www.google.com/travel/hotels.

What are the benefits of Google services in the hotel industry?

Google My Business, Google Reviews, Google Hotels, and other Google features for the hotel industry allow businesses to funnel hotel searches to their respective booking platforms. This increases the conversion rates of optimized listings indexed by Google.

How does Google Hotels search work?

The metasearch algorithm of Google Hotel automatically links Google My Business accounts to relevant searches, either by location through Google Maps or through relevant keywords. While guests can’t directly book their accommodation on Google, each GMB listing is synched with third-party websites for reservations.

How does Google Hotels make money?

Google Hotels doesn’t charge any commission or posting fee for businesses. It generates revenue through Google Ads, which operates on a cost-per-click model.

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