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Frequently Asked Questions about Google Hotel Ads

What are Google Hotel Ads?

Google Hotel Ads are "smart" ads that show a property's pricing and availability, and a link to book in results for Google Search, Maps, Assistant, and Google Hotels. Most importantly, the ad includes a link directly to your ThinkReservations online booking engine for the guest to see availability and complete their booking with their selected travel dates.

What are the benefits of using Google Hotel Ads?

Using your own Google Hotel Ad enables a prospective guest to "book direct" with the property instead of with an OTA. ThinkReservations will automatically show availability and pricing information in the ad direct from ThinkReservations. Using Google Hotel Ads is the only way for Google to know your rates and availability. Google isn't exclusive; If you are connected to an OTA, that OTA is also going to have ads. However, if a visitor clicks on your ad, they are taken directly to the ThinkReservations booking engine where you can upsell them on your packages and items. When they book, you get all the information you would expect because the ad-clicker ultimately ends up at the same place - your online booking engine.

Using Google Hotel Ads, and your budget amounts are marketing decisions that are specific to each property's strategy.

How do I get started with Google Hotel Ads?

To learn more about getting started with Google Hotel Ads, or GHA, click here.

How do I disable or enable my Google Hotel Ads campaign?

You can verify or change the status of your campaign in ThinkReservations here.
Settings > Google Hotel Ads
The STATUS will show as "Enabled" if you currently have an active campaign, and "Disabled" if you're not currently using Google Hotel Ads. Change the status as you see fit and click the Save button below to commit your changes.

How much does it cost to use Google Hotel Ads?

The fee to enable and use Google Hotel Ads through ThinkReservations is based on the number of billable units your property has. For example, if you have 10 or fewer units, the price is $29/month. Our Google Hotel Ads campaign is Cost-Per-Click, or "CPC". This means that you pay for every click, whether the visitor converts to a booking guest or not. In ThinkReservations, you control your MONTHLY BUDGET, your average DAILY SPEND, and the MAX COST PER CLICK to maintain control of how often your ads appear, and how much you spend on your campaign to get bookings. The payment is sent to ThinkReservations, and ThinkReservations pays Google on your behalf.

What is the "Free" booking link?

Google offers what they call a "free booking link". Google doesn't charge for interactions/clicks on your free booking link ad. Your ad is only shown under the "All options" section of your Google business Overview and Prices tab. Don't expect the free ad to show on the Google Search results page with the paid ads. The free ad is shown in addition to any paid ads. If you have a paid ad, you will also have a secondary free ad. Google will not pay for the integration fee, so the property is still responsible for paying the monthly integration fee to ThinkReservations when using the "free" booking link.

How do I enable the "Free" booking link?

The "free booking links" are enabled by default. There is no additional fee for you to take advantage of these!

Is there a fee to charge my credit card when funds are added to my campaign budget?

No. There are no extra credit card fees.

Are bookings made through my ad subject to the ThinkReservations Channel Manager commission?

No. Reservations that book through Google Hotel Ads, similar to those that book through Tripadvisor's TripConnect CPC are not charged a channel manager commission. There is a fee to use Google Hotel Ads and for the clicks on that ad, but nothing extra for the booking.

How are my bid amounts adjusted?

Google uses powerful machine learning to automate your bids based on your budget, daily spend, and max cost per click. A large part of your bid is determined by your budget settings.

What should I set as my budget?

This is something that will be very individual for each business and depends on your marketing budget. However, some recommendations are to set your Daily Spend to be 1/30th or higher of your Max budget. So to figure your daily spend, divide your monthly budget by 30. For example, if your monthly budget is $400, then your daily spend should be $13 or more. Another recommendation is to set your max price per click to at least $2-$3 and test. This will allow your ad to display often and get your results you can use as a jumping-off point. Measure your results and make adjustments as this one will require a bit of finesse to see if your ad is getting good placement and clicks. We recommend you aim to be in the top 4 positions. When Google shows your property, the top 4 are shown and the rest are only seen when you drill down.

Where do my ads appear?

After someone searches for a hotel (or for hotels in an area) on Google Search, Maps, Google Hotels, or the Assistant, they'll see a hotel search module with hotel photos, names, prices, and a map. When they select a hotel, they'll see up-to-date prices and links to book that hotel for the dates and number of guests they select. After a traveler clicks on a hotel in the Hotel search unit (part of Google Search), they can click through to the Hotel ads booking module.

Is Google Hotel Ads somehow linked to my Google Account?

No. You do not need to even have a Google Account to enable Google Hotel Ads. It's not possible to link your Google Hotel Ad to your Google Account.

How do I track the performance and effectiveness of my ad?

The report in ThinkReservations called "Google Ads Campaign" will tell you useful information about your campaign:

  • Date - The date the ad was clicked. This is updated retroactively for up to the past 30 days. Google Hotel Ads counts the first click, unlike Google Analytics which counts the last click.
  • Clicks - The number of clicks on your ad taking guests to your booking engine.
  • Impressions - The number of times your ad was exposed to a prospective guest.
  • Cost - The cost for the clicks for that date.
  • Conversions - The number of confirmed bookings generated.
  • Conversion Value - The subtotal of the confirmed bookings generated.
  • Budget Increase - If your budget was increased manually by "adding funds" or the monthly addition bringing your budget to your monthly total, you will see by how much in this column.
  • Balance - What your balance is for this date.

Google Analytics will tell you how many bookings, and the amount generated for those bookings. Traffic and bookings are tracked in two ways inside your Google Analytics account:

  1. Referral / Source: / CPC
  2. Campaign: googlehotelads

Transactions on your Google Analytics can be attributed to either the referral/source or the campaign. In ThinkReservations you will be able to see how much you have spent on your ad for a date range and compare that with the number of bookings that are a direct result of your campaign. In Google Analytics, you can also see information about visitors that click your ad, including the city they are from. Please reach out to your marketing company for more on how to use Google Analytics. The report in ThinkReservations is under the category Google Ads Campaign.

Where do I see details on my campaign budget and spending?

There is a report in ThinkReservations that will tell you information about your campaign performance and your budget. We have plans to improve this report in the future. The information in this report comes directly from Google. You can view it here.
Reports > Google Ads Campaign

How do I control what pricing and availability are shared with Google?

The visitors that click your ad will be taken directly to your online booking engine. You cannot control what pricing and availability is shared with Google because it comes directly from what shows on your booking engine. You can control whether or not you display Room Bundle information. Displaying room bundle information allows Google to show all rooms and their respective rate types on the pricing tab of your Google Hotel listing. Not displaying room bundle information means that the pricing tab of your Google Hotel listing displays ONLY the lowest rate available on your booking engine without a coupon code or customer group. Visitors will still be able to enter a coupon code or customer group if they know the code to get a lower price. It's not possible to give a special price to those that see your ad on Google.

How often does pricing sync with Google?

Google irregularly asks ThinkReservations what the price is for a check-in/check-out itinerary. Google builds up a cache (think of it as memory) of pricing on their side. Google controls how often they reach out to ThinkReservations to inquire about pricing. They say they use machine-learning algorithms to determine the best time to update pricing.

What are the requirements for my property to be eligible for Google Hotel Ads?

To be eligible for Google Hotel Ads, your property must have the following:

  • Rooms in which paying guests can stay
  • A physical presence and fixed location that is open to the public
  • Fixed walls and plumbing
  • A minimum stay requirement of no greater than 7 days

Common examples of ineligible properties include apartments that require long-term minimums, campsites where guests stay in tents, and RV parks, where guests bring their own RV.

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