Google Hotel Ads: The Future of SEM for Hotel Brands

Over the years and across all markets, researching and booking on mobile hotels is as common as shopping for clothes.

Image Source: How Smartphone Usage Is Shaping Travel Decisions – Think with Google,2018

According to Google, across all markets and devices, users say the price is the most crucial factor when it comes to booking a hotel. Easy search functionality and simple booking process is also another critical factor. If the process or the site is complicated, the user would most likely try another site. 

Image Source: How Smartphone Usage Is Shaping Travel Decisions – Think with Google,2018

As a result of this data, Google’s Hotel Ads platform has given hotel advertisers opportunities to be part of the traveler’s decision making journey. With the competitive hospitality industry of today, as a hotel brand, you need to get more traffic from Google as part of a strategy to attract more direct bookings. Apart from helping you decrease your OTA dependency, it also enables you to save on commission. And to achieve this, you must increase your hotel’s presence on search. 

What are Google Hotel Ads?

Google Hotel Ads allows brands to create hotel campaigns that display your hotel prices, which appear when a traveler searches for a hotel on Search, Maps, or Google Assistant. The ads are displayed across all devices. An important note is that potential travelers can see your hotel prices in direct comparison to OTAs on their Google search page. If your prices are attractive enough, they will book directly with you.

According to Google, in the first six months of 2018, this has helped its hotel ad partners across the globe receive 65% more leads year over year.

Why are they important?

Around 4.5 billion searches are made on Google per day, accounting for about 77% of the world’s total search traffic. Even though searches for hotels are just a small percentage of the overall search volume, this still significant. 

So now consider the fact that Google Hotel Ads, distributes hotel prices in real-time, which represents 65% of hotel bookings coming from search engines. Also, in 2018, with a 150% growth compared to the 26% penetration in 2017, Google Hotel Ads has now emerged as the most profitable search platform for the hotel brand, above Trivago and others.

How do they work? 

When a traveler searches for a hotel on Google search, they will see a combination of text ads and an organic list of hotels that appear with photos, ratings, prices, and a map. See the image on the left. 

If the traveler wants to see more hotels, they will click “More Hotels,” this will take them to the full view, which includes a comprehensive view of the hotels, prices, and ratings. In this view, the traveler can further filter by specifying the check-in date, check-out date, number of occupants, and, most importantly, the price range they want. Plus, guest ratings and amenities. See example below.

Image Source: How Travelers Find Hotel Ads – Hotel Center Help
Image Source: How Travelers Find Hotel Ads – Hotel Center Help

After finding a hotel that suits all of their criteria, the user will click on the hotel. Which then sends them to the “Hotel Ads booking module.” (see example below).  The booking module shows the traveler details about the hotel, such as photos, reviews, addresses, highlights, etc. Travelers can also adjust prices by check-in and check-out day, as well as the number of guests. The module also has “Book A Room,” which takes the user to the hotel’s booking site so they can complete the booking. 

Image Source: How Travelers Find Hotel Ads – Hotel Center Help

Travelers can also see and compare prices shown from your website with OTA. Ultimately, if a hotel offers lower rates and additional amenities, they will most likely click on the hotel website. 

What are the benefits of using Google Hotel Ads?


You can attract travelers who are looking for a hotel that matches your destination; this also helps increase your brand’s visibility on search.


You pay for the ad only when someone books a hotel. You can also set your bidding by factors such as travelers’ country, or length of stay. 


Generate more bookings on your website or even on Google with less commission pay-out. 


More revenues earned through Google’s Hotel Ads compared to OTA’s. Google Hotel Ads Commission Program runs on a CPA (cost per acquisition) model. The booking commission is around 10% to 15% per confirmed booking, which is less if compared to OTA’s commission. 


Look to the future with Google Hotel Ads 

OTA’s and price comparison are now becoming popular with travelers. But combine this with the amount of global traffic Google has and their continuous investment on the platform to improve user experience; you can bet that Hotel Ad’s will be the future for travel booking. Cost is minimal, but profits are significant. 


So if you are interested to know more about what Google Hotel Ads can do for your hotel brand, email our team at