google logo with spotlight reflecting the importance of the company for hotel marketing

Last week, (May 27th) Google had their Marketing Live event.

NB: This is an article from gcommerce

For those that are unfamiliar with the event, these generally feature some updates from Google that are worthwhile to pay attention to. Here, we will review some of the top takeaways for hotels from Google Marketing Live 2021.

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Google Hotel Ads Shared with Text Ad Feeds

This was probably the announcement from Marketing Live that will have the most impact for hotels. Prior to this update, Google Hotel Ads (ads you see with the ability to adjust dates stayed) and Text Ads (ads you see on the results page of Google) were entirely separate. Now, Hotel Ads can be featured within Text Ads. This is a clear signal that Google is investing more into Hotel Ads and attempting to increase exposure and visibility for this channel. If your hotel is not currently using Google Hotel Ads, you could be missing out on an opportunity where OTAs will capture the valuable direct bookings in this space.

What Does Google Hotel Ads in Text Ads Mean for Hotels?

There are many things to speculate about in terms of competition, ad volume and performance. For example, if you are not on Google Hotel Ads, will that impact your quality score or CTR if you are not sharing pricing data with Google text ads? Will this increase in price data impact CTRs for hotels? Will it increase search volume as more people “price shop”? Will it decrease volume on actual Google Hotel Ad searches as more people find pricing info directly in their search results? 

While there is a lot that we can guess, the obvious reason for Google putting Hotel Ad data in Text Ad results to promote bookings through that channel. We are not entirely sure how this new feature will work yet, but generally with more exposure comes higher potentials for costs. GCommerce will certainly be evaluating this feature for our metasearch clients. Stay tuned to our blog as we should be posting updates on these changes from Google and impacts we are seeing from these announcements.

Expansion of 1st Party Customer Match Data

For those that are unfamiliar with Customer Match, this allows you to upload customer email lists and then remarket to those audiences within Google’s suite of ad services. If you have been following the changes with 3rd party cookies/data and the discussion around data privacy, this one will seem like a natural progression. Google is expanding the rules around uploading 1st party data, making it easier for advertisers to target these users. 1st party data is different from 3rd party data as it is information that you are collecting directly from your customers (email, website, forms, etc) rather than from a 3rd party service (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). 

Google Ads Insights Page Now Includes Demand Forecast

This could be helpful for hotels looking at when to increase or decrease their advertising based on demand; Google now offers a demand forecast with their Insights Trends. As we discussed above, increased demand generally either means increases in costs or less visibility. Knowing when these demand increases are likely to happen can help you plan and forecast spend for better returns.

Screenshot of Google Ads Insights page

Google Ads Image Extensions

Google Ads image extensions were previously in Beta for most customers and GCommerce has been testing these with our clients where they are available. Initial results show that Image Extensions have higher CTRs than any other extensions other than Location Extensions. After the Google Marketing Live announcement, Image Extensions will be rolling out for all accounts. 

Screenshot of Google Ads Image Extension

Target Return on Ad Spend Bid Strategy Now Available For Google Video Ads

As advertising becomes more reliant on Artificial Intelligence and data modeling, it is important to be able to test these robust tools to see which ones are most effective at improving your marketing. We have been regularly testing different bid strategies for hotel marketing and having another one for us to test with Video Ads is another tool in the kit that we can utilize to drive improved results for clients. 

Read rest of the article at gcommerce