Last year, Google introduced a way for hotels to show free booking links. This month, Google announced an expansion of its free booking links. These free links are now available on Search and Maps.
The travel industry is certainly showing signs of recovery since the pandemic, with “Spring break“It’s close to the size it was in 2019.
As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, Google has announced new advice to help hotels connect with and reach people who are willing to travel.
Free reservations on Google
Consumers may have ways to research travel. Whether they’re searching on Google.com or within the Maps app, hotels and travel partners can now expand their reach with free booking links.
This update allows users to choose from more options than before. Once the user clicks on the link, they can complete their reservation on the website of the hotel or travel partners.
Why the change?
Since the introduction of free hotel booking links, travel and hotel partners have seen notable benefits, including increased user engagement. Everyone from small and boutique hotels to large travel agencies have seen the benefits.
‘myhotelshop’, one of the booking engines, has seen a 30% increase in bookings over the summer of 2021.
New reports available
With the expansion of free booking links in Search and Maps, new reports are now available.
Within your Hotel Center account, you will see the click Report Free Links.
In the future, Google will add additional metrics, such as:
- Reservation value
Additional software updates
Google has made a due change to participation prices and availability. From April 2022, individual hotels can manually enter rates and availability through their Google Business Profile. There are certain eligibility requirements for this feature:
- Work verified on google
- The site has online booking enabled/available
This update eliminates the technical requirements that were previously required to update the information.
If you want to start using this feature, you must fill out the interest form from Google, which can be found here here.
Another benefit of updating prices in your Google Business profile is that your unique offers are highlighted at the same time. Local Posts for Google Business Profile allows you to share real-time updates on specific topics that matter most to travelers. Ideas could include:
- Any changes or updates in hotel policy due to COVID-19
- Special features your hotel offers, where competing hotels don’t
- View the best photos and videos of the hotel property
The travel industry is leaps and bounds back to pre-pandemic levels. Google has updated its hotel booking experience to benefit both the advertiser and the traveler.
Since a traveler can book directly through your site, it removes additional barriers to completing a booking. This can help increase your conversion rates as well.
By creating more free booking link space, you can get additional competitive bookings at no cost to you. If you are not using this program yet, get started by contacting Google through their interest form.
Source: The Google
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