Search engine Google has rolled out several news ways to make trip planning, including searching for hotels quicker and easier, for its users. The advancements mean benefits for hoteliers and hotel marketers looking to better serve their guests and generate more online bookings.
Travel seems to be a sector that Google is taking a closer look at, with a view to improving its offerings. We’ve already seen extensive research from the search engine into the evolution of the booking process and the presence of micro-moments and mobile-centred research and reservation within the guest sales cycle. It took this a step further last year by rolling out suggestions for search users to save money when using Google Flights and hotel search on Google. Its hints to users included being flexible on dates. This is great news for potential guests, who feel comfortable that they’re getting the best deal and can access your best rates and book with confidence. As a hotelier, this means more bookings and better conversion rates, with fewer abandoned carts – so far, so good.
The next evolution in this thought process is a newly updated flight and hotel search function, which is now live on the search engine. This is what you need to know as a hotelier or hotel marketer:
• Google Hotel search will now display a nightly rate to guests when they are searching in calendar view.
• There’s also a price trends diagram which shows rate trends and how prices per room average out over time
Google’s move to show the cheapest dates for its users searching for a hotel as part of their trip planning is good news for hotels. This time-saving tool means online shoppers can see at a glance how much their stay will cost them.
The calendar takes the leg work out of price comparison, making it quicker and easier for potential guests to see at a glance the rate per night of alternative dates. This function means budget-conscious travellers who are happy to be flexible with the dates of their stay can book the room they want, in their preferred hotel, simply by taking a calendar view of rate per night.
As a hotel marketer, this view is only of benefit – you’ll no longer lose out as guests shop around or see would-be reservations taking off to a competitor because of a price spike in one night of the stay.
The upgraded hotel search function also makes it possible to pick up new reservations simply due to your location. Google says, “When you’re trying to choose a hotel, you can now see hotel prices on a map to quickly identify the best areas and hotels for both your budget and itinerary needs. You may find that a hotel just around the corner from a museum you’re interested in is available at a great price.”
While the map view is intended to make life easier for travellers, there’s lots of potential to use it to your advantage and capitalise on your location, driving more bookings from new sources.