person looking at tablet holding mobile phone illustrating the importance of google organic booking links for hotels

In March 2021, the search engine Giant Google introduced organic booking links to help hoteliers connect with potential guests directly through their search results. By providing prices and availability, hotels now can appear in the hotel booking module for free, along with paid hotel ads.

NB: This is an article from Bookboost

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Furthermore, Google assured that those who paid for Google Ads will not be prioritized over those who don’t.

According to Google, the primary goal behind this move is to improve users’ travel experiences by showing them a wider range of hotel prices, which will help them choose the best place to stay.

This allows users to book hotels without needing to visit an intermediary website, such as an online travel agency (OTA). Essentially, Google is providing a direct booking channel on their platform that is entirely free for hoteliers to use.

Why should you utilize Google’s organic booking links?

Organic bookings are highly desirable for several reasons:

Increased direct bookings

One of the primary advantages of organic booking links is that they drive direct bookings to your hotel’s website. By eliminating the need for users to visit intermediaries, not only you have a higher chance of converting potential guests into actual bookings but you are also the one interacting in the first place with the visitors and get the chance to use more formats than with OTAs.

Cost savings

Unlike paid advertising or commissions paid to OTAs, Google’s organic booking links are entirely free. This means that you can save a significant amount of money on marketing expenses while still attracting direct bookings. Particularly for smaller hotels or independent establishments with limited marketing budgets, this can be a game-changer.

Therefore, your marketing budget can be allocated towards additional activities that will help to keep boosting results.

Improved control and ownership of guest data

When users make a reservation through an OTA, the OTAs usually keep the ownership of the guest data. However, with organic booking links, the booking process takes place directly on your hotel’s website, allowing you to retain ownership of the guest data.

Why is this important? Because it gives you more control over your marketing initiatives, enables personalized guest interactions, and facilitates future direct communication. Once guest data enters in your system, you can use your hotel CRM to create personalised campaigns targeted at those guests or activate entire guest journeys.

Enhanced brand visibility

By appearing prominently in Google search results, your hotel gains increased visibility and exposure. This exposure helps raise brand awareness and positions your hotel as a viable option for potential guests.

5 tips to increase organic direct bookings

Now that we understand the importance of organic bookings, here are five tips on how to increase them.

Optimize your Google My Business profile

To ensure that your hotel is eligible for organic booking links, you need to claim and optimize your Google My Business profile. Make sure all your hotel’s information is accurate, including contact details, website address, and opening hours.

Don’t forget to upload high-quality images and encourage guests to leave reviews. The more complete and up-to-date your GMB profile is, the better chances you have of generating organic booking links.

Read the full article at Bookboost