This week at Google Marketing Live, Google announced that Hotel Ads will be joining Google Ads, you can find more details from Google’s announcement here and we were fortunate enough to have access to the alpha version of this product, and we’re excited about its potential.
“We’ve seen Google Hotel Ads Traffic steadily grow, with our partners experiencing an average 31% increase every year. The upcoming AdWords integration will uncover new insights that will allow us to scale our clients’ reach and bookings even further,” said Deep Kohli, Senior Director of Client Services at Koddi.
How are we preparing?
As an alpha partner, we have had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the new experience fully. Even though it’s still early, there is a fair amount of pre-work that needs to happen for a smooth transition. For that reason, we are focused on early testing, integration, and implementation.
From a technical standpoint, we have adapted our product suite to be compatible with the new APIs. We have also begun to update our platform with new features and automation capabilities that will allow our clients to take full advantage of new capabilities without becoming bogged down with new complexities.
From a management standpoint, early access has allowed us to flesh out new strategies for campaign management. Our clients will have some of the earliest opportunities to experiment and test the new features that accompany this transition. Smart advertisers should begin light testing while still maintaining their current approach. While it’s natural to want to move quickly with new features, significant shifts should wait until the Google Ads experience is at parity with the current offering.
Hotel Ads will be launching an open beta later this year, and Google has released an interest form for advertisers who want to participate. Advertisers that are considering testing the new format should prepare for a few changes.
What are some of the biggest differences?
A lot will change, but some of the new features that we are most interested in include:
- Campaign Organization – The recent launch of Hotel Campaigns on Google Hotel Ads changed the way advertisers organize and group properties. The transition to Google Ads will further simplify and streamline the management under this structure. Hotel groups allow advertisers to group hotels by essential attributes, such as brand or market.
- Bidding Control – Hotel Ads has long been a pioneer in this regard, and the Google Ads transition is set to expand upon that. The change will extend advertisers’ control over bidding levers unique to hotels like the length of stay, check-in day, and audience bidding across organizational units.
- New Hotel Center for Hotel Price Feed Management – New tools will simplify and streamline the processes of troubleshooting and fixing issues with data feed quality.
Google Hotel Ads Rolling Into Google Ads
(Image from the Google Ads Blog)
What does this transition mean for travel marketers?
Since 2010, Hotel Ads has lived in a space similar to, but distinctly separate from, all of the other Google advertising channels, such as display and paid search. The unique needs of the hotel space warranted such an approach. With the size that the program has grown to, Hotel Ads have become a staple of an effective digital marketing strategy.
Bringing hotel ads into Google Ads should streamline the process of managing an effective marketing campaign across multiple channels. Just as customers do not experience these ads in a vacuum, neither should they be managed in a vacuum. This should give travel brands a better understanding of their customer’s journey from discovery to booking.
Furthermore, we anticipate that Hotel Ads will be the benefactor of years of feature development. We believe that Hotel Ads features like audience targeting, budget management, and callouts will see enhancements. These ongoing improvements will then allow advertisers to be even more effective in how they communicate with their customers.
The official date of the complete transition has yet to be announced. Google has announced an upcoming beta that we expect to be available soon. Advertisers who have been using Hotel Ads for a while should consider applying to join the beta. There is likely to be an adjustment phase as things transition over, and the sooner that advertisers get started, the better.
We are really excited to see what this transition will ultimately mean for the Hotel Ads offering. Google Ads staples like dayparting, landing page testing, and call out copy suggestions seem like natural expansions that will greatly benefit Hotel Ads.
Koddi provides digital marketing technology for the travel industry. Travel brands and agencies leverage the Koddi platform and its fully automated and customizable reporting features to manage ad campaigns for hundreds of thousands of hotel properties. Learn more at www.koddi.com.