On the 9th March 2021 Google did something completely unexpected, they launched “free booking links”, taking everyone by surprise… after all this is Google offering hotels free direct bookings by showing their rates and availability with a live booking link. No conditions attached, no requirment to pay for advertising and available everywhere.
Want fewer OTA bookings and more direct bookings?
No one else comes near Google in terms of traffic volumes and search influence. The booking levels on Google Zero or Google Hotel Ads clearly suggest you’ve got to be in that game.
We saw it as a “no brainer” and within 10 days Google Zero was live for free direct bookings on Google. Now just 6 months on Google Zero has delivered:
10,000+ free bookings
That’s £ millions in zero commission bookings! Bookings that would have come via the OTAs if Google Zero wasn’t there. A similar level of bookings are generated as phone bookings or website bookings because showing your live direct rates acts as an incentive for guests to contact you.
Your live availability on Google is amazing
We’ve seen Google Zero bookings in 30 countries with over 1500 businesses receiving bookings. A handful have even taken over 100 bookings each and across the board the booking values are high. This all adds up to very strong start and there’s much more potential particularly if you get things right.
Getting it right means:
- Activate Google Zero and or Google Hotel Ads
- Your direct rates and availability must always be the best (uniquely)
- Your Google My Business should be up to date with reviews responded to etc. see our earlier blog with tips:
Reducing OTA commission means competing with the OTAs for those bookings. The best (and only) place to do that effectively is on Google. That’s why we prioritise Google development, we got it live quickly with free trails and now continue to build and expand the service…. all because it is working and growing right now!
What is coming?
1. More data to monitor and improve your performance on Google
2. Greater flexibility to move between Google Zero and Google Hotel Ads
3. Reports on Google Hotels Ads showing how well your rates are performing on Google searches versus the OTAs. A great tool to ensure your direct rates are always the best.
It’s great to show the booking numbers that prove it’s worth putting more effort into Google as a channel, if you’re not doing that you’re losing out on direct bookings.
Find out more and activate (freetobook customers) Google Zero get started.
Don’t have an account yet ? register for a freetobook account !