Google Hotel Ads
This page is about the menu (SETTINGS) CHANNEL MANAGER > GOOGLE HOTEL ADS and explains the interface with Google Hotel Ads works and how to connect.
1 What is Google Hotel Ads?
Google Hotel Ads allows you to showcase your hotel via adverts across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices on Google.
2 How it works
Certified Google Hotel Ads Integration Partners like MASTERINSOFT bid a commission on your behalf. Google will display the highest and the next highest bidder directly in the ad. The four next highest bidders will be shown after the guest clicks on “More”.
If your commission bid is competitive, Google will provide a link to your direct booking page in their search results.
You only pay commission for confirmed bookings resulting from the search result, not pay per click etc.
An important part of your marketing strategy on Google is to make sure that your property has a well maintained profile on Google, with pictures, descriptions, etc.
3 Who can use Google Hotel Ads
Googles guidelines are that the property should have all the following:
- Rooms in which paying guests can stay
- A physical presence and fixed location that is open to the public
- A staffed front desk open during normal business hours
- A minimum stay requirement of no greater than 7 days
- Google Hotel Ads is a hotel platform and does not respect minimum stay restrictions. Google checks for a one night stay on each date, if they do not find availability for one night they usually assume the date is closed and do not check any further including for stays of 2 or more days. Google pricoritizes also properties which have availability in the near future.
MASTERINSOFT has to be the booking engine used on your web site. If you use a different booking engine than MASTERINSOFT on your web site Google does not allow you to use Google Hotel Ads via MASTERINSOFT.
Before using the service Google must match your property with the information they already have.
This process may take Google a few weeks to complete.
Google will use
- The icon for your property on Google maps. Go to Google maps and click on the icon. Update your information to line up with the information in MASTERINSOFT.
- Your business listing. We recommend you check that this is complete and up to date with the same information you have in MASTERINSOFT. If you do not yet have a Google business listing please create one.
- Go to SETTINGS-PROPERTIES-DESCRIPTION and check you have entered
- Property Name
- Address – if you have multiple properties Google expects a different address for each property.
- Phone Number – if you have multiple properties Google expects a unique phone number for each property.
- Latitude ‘Latitude’ and ‘Longitude’ have to reflect the actual location of your property.
Google will not accept data which does not contain all of the above information.
This information needs to match exactly the information in your Google business listing. If you have multiple properties Google expects a unique address and phone number for each. You can not use the same address and phone number for more than one property.
- Go to SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->GOOGLE HOTEL ADS click on ‘View Mapping Data’. Also open your Google Business listing and check that this information matches exactly the information in your Google businnes listing. If you do not yet have one set one up.
- Go to SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->GOOGLE HOTEL ADS and set ‘Notify’ = Notify so Google can match you.
4.2 Deposit Collection
In SETTINGS->CHANNEL MANAGER->GOOGLE HOTEL ADS there you can set options for deposit collection
- “Default” uses the “Booking Type” set in SETTINGS->PROPERTIES->BOOKING RULES
- “Instant Deposit Collected” hides payment options (offline payments, credit card number collection) which do not send an instant payment notification to MASTERINSOFT on collection of funds.
- “Deposit Collection” allows all deposit collection types you have enabled for bookings from Google without affecting your normal booking rule for non Google bookings.
Deposit collection options can be setup at SETTINGS->PAYMENTS.
4.3 Landing page
The MASTERINSOFT booking page is opened when a guest click to book on Google.
The conversion rate depends largely on the quality of your landing page.
You have the option to set up a dedicated layout which is used as landing page for Google. The default template 7 is a good starting template which already contains a map. This help explain how to set up and customise your layout.
Click on “Landing Page” to check that your landing page is suitable as your landing page and contains all information a guest booking your lodging might want to see:
- Provide your logo or at least your property name
- Show at least one high quality picture for each room
- If you use a header picture or slider make sure it is not too high so that at least the first room displays without scrolling
You might consider adding the following information:
- Contact details
- Google map
The Google Ad will be shown in all languages allowed on your booking page.
You have the option to add URL parameters for the landing page in the “URL additions” fields. For a list of available parameter please see here.
Make sure you activate all languages that you accept bookings for, in SETTINGS->BOOKING PAGE->INTERNATIONALIZATION. Guests searching in languages you do not support on your booking page will not be able to make a direct booking.
Once Google has matched you we can send your bid. To bid you will need to have enough credit in your MASTERINSOFT account. We recommend maintaining enough credit to cover the largest expected commission and setting up auto payments in SETTINGS-ACCOUNT BILLING. When you do not have enough credit in your account all ads may be turned off.
- Choose a group of rooms
The rooms you are sending to Google should be your most economic double or twin rooms and have sell priority in SETTINGS-PROPERTIES-ROOMS-SETUP set to highest so it is at the top of the booking page. Dorms are not allowed. Google Ad does not support multiple room types. They will only show one room type make sure you use your best value room types to compete.
- Set the maximum commission you are prepared to pay for bookings direct from Google hotel ads.
- Under “Commission Due” you can choose if the commission is due at the time of the booking or when the guest has completed the stay.
- The Maximum allowed booking value will show the total value of bookings allowed for your account at the selected Bidding level. If this is too low, you can raise it by adding funds to your MASTERINSOFT account.
Commission bids can be changed but every time you change the commission your property will go offline for a few hours.
It is not always possible for us to bid at every level so your actual bid may be lower than your bid setting, in this case, you will be charged the lower bid commission. Your bid will not be higher than your bid setting.
Changes to bidding commissions can take some time to propagate through to Google, bookings with commission at the old bid level are possible until the change fully propagates.
4.5 Price sent to Google
The price sent to Google is the lowest price price for 2 people from offer one and offer 2 from your direct booking prices. A 2 person price is compulsory. If no 2 person price is supplied the room will send as unavailable.
Prices for 1, 3, 4 , 6 and 8 guests will also be sent if they are defined.
If you have set a multiplier percentage for the Google bookings, the price will be adjusted by this amount.
If you have compulsory taxes or fees, these will be sent in addition to the price to create the effective end price.
Guests coming from Google will be shown this price by Google and expect to pay the same price on your booking page.
You can set a multiplier to adjust the prices sent to Google if required. The multiplier only works on the room price not on the fees and upsell items.
Payments to Google are made by MASTERINSOFT, you are not required to pay Google directly.
- Commission is charged on completed bookings originating from the advertisement even if the guests books directly at a later point of time.
- If deposit collection is used, the commission is only charged after the deposit collection completes.
- If required, currency conversion will be done at market rates at the time of booking to calculate the commission in your account currency rather than booking currency.
- If you are based in Germany or the EU and have not provided us with a valid EU Vat Id, the commissions will effectively contain VAT at your countries local rate.
If you have set “Commission Due” = “On Booking” Google will l charge their commission even if the guest cancels a booking or does not show up. We recommend you use deposit collection at the time of booking and appropriate cancellation policies.
- Commission Bid = None
- Notify = Disable
7.1 What is CPA?
CPA stands for cost per acquisition meaning you pay a commission per booking which is only paid when you receive a booking. This model is different to the regular CPC (cost per click) meta search model where you pay for each click regardless whether a booking is made.
7.2 What is the commission?
You can set the maximum commission you are prepared to pay.
7.3 How is the commission calculated?
Commission is calculated on the room price not including upsells (fees and taxes setup as upsells are exempt).
If you are in based in Germany or the EU and have not provided us with a valid EU Vat Id Vat will be added to the commission.
7.4 What happens with cancellations and no-shows?
- If you have set “Commission Due” = “On Completed Stay” Google will refund commissions paid on cancelled bookings or no-shows. Contact us via a support ticket before check-out date and we will arrange the refund.
- If you have set “Commission Due” = “On Booking” Google will NOT refund commissions paid on cancelled bookings or no-shows. We recommend you use deposit collection to protect yourself from the risk.
7.5 Where are bookings made?
Google redirects to the hotels booking page. Charges and all other matter related to the booking have to be handled by the hotel. The booking page is opened when a guest click to book on Google. Redirecting to a different location is not possible.
7.6 How do I pay?
The invoicing of this system is centralised through Google partners such as MASTERINSOFT. Commissions will be charged to your MASTERINSOFT account instantly when there is a new booking from Google. This means to bid you will need to have enough credit in your account. Currency conversion might be done when your account is charged.
7.7 What happens when I do not have credit in my MASTERINSOFT acccount?
Guests will not be able to book if you do not have credit in your MASTERINSOFT account to pay for the commission. If you have not already done so we recommedn you set up auto payments in SETTINGS -> ACCOUNT -> BILLING. Please make sure you select an amount. If you choose ‘None’ we can not charge your card. Commissions will be deducted in real time so a booking might trigger the auto top up.
7.8 How do I know that a booking originates from Google?
Google will charge the commission you bid on all bookings originating from Google. These bookings have the referrer “GoogleHPA”.
7.9 How does Google know when a booking comes from Google Hotel Ads?
Google leaves a cookie in the user’s browser. If this user carries out a booking while the cookie is still active, the conversion is reported to Google when the booking reaches the Confirmed or New status, i.e. after deposit collection has succeeded.
7.10 How can I check how my campaign is performing?
Google provides a weekly report which you can access when you click on “Weekly Performance Report”.
7.11 Why is my Ad not showing on Google?
Check the following items:
1) Make sure your property matched with a Google business listing.
2) Make sure you have enough credit in your MASTERINSOFT account to pay commissions.
3) Make sure your booking page supports the language of the Google search.
4) Your bid might be too low so your ad is now shown. This happens when OTAs also bid on your property We recommend you raise your bit by one point every week until you reach a competitive level.
5) Google Ads default to a one night minimum stay and tend to perform best for near term bookings with short stays.