Google Hotel Ads and Google Free Booking Links allows guests to book directly through your own website, instead of via OTAs. Once connected, Google will display your prices and link to your website from Google Search, Google Maps, etc. You need to have a Google Business Profile account in order for your hotel to be visible to potential customers. For help on getting started, try the Google guidebook.
How are Free Booking Links Different From Paid Links (Google Hotel Ads)?
Free booking links display information similar to paid booking links, but the main difference is simple: hotel ads are paid links, ranked according to Google’s ad auction, whereas free booking links are unpaid links, ranked according to their value for the user. Google may show free booking links alongside hotel ads within the existing booking module. Hotel partners pay no fee for free booking links, and Google doesn’t collect any payment for placement or user engagement with these links.
Learn more about free booking links in this Google article.
Requirements for the Connection to be Established
You have to meet some requirements before you can connect to Google Hotel Ads or Google Free Booking Links. As Google will monitor these before accepting a connection, it’s important to make these changes before activating the connection in Sirvoy.
- The hotel contact details that you have added here in Sirvoy must match those you have entered on your Google Business Profile.
- Your Google Business Profile needs to be updated with pictures, descriptions, etc.
- The registered property category on your Google Business Profile must be one of the accepted ones. Only categories such as “hotel” or “resort” will ensure that a connection can be established. “Vacation rental” and “apartment” are examples of categories that are not eligible for a connection. Also, you need to meet the qualifications for a lodging business. Please see this Google article for a full list of accepted categories and qualifications for lodging businesses. Some of these require you to:
- Have all the rooms in one location.
- Have a front desk where new arrivals check in.
- Have permanent on-site management at all times.
- Welcome walk-in customers.
- Your home page needs to show, with descriptions and pictures, that you meet the above-mentioned qualifications.
How to Connect Your Sirvoy Account to Google Hotel Ads or Google Free Links
- Go to Settings -> Channels -> Google Hotel Ads and click “Edit”.
- Select “Only Free Booking Links”, or for paid ads, the bidding method you want to use (CPC or CPA), which includes Free Booking Links. (You may want to start with a low bid and raise the bid if your ads are not showing. A higher bid may be necessary if the same room rate is offered by other OTAs.)
- If you have multiple booking engines in Sirvoy you can specify which engine to use.
- If preferred, enter the URL for the page where you have installed the Sirvoy booking engine on your website, for example http://hotel-website.com/book-now/. If you don’t, only the booking engine itself will be displayed (hosted by Sirvoy).
- The ad costs will be deducted each month from your account balance in Sirvoy on behalf of Google (currency conversion may apply).
We recommend a minimum bid of $1-2. Please note that Google will charge your bid per click and per night.
Select the maximum percentage that you are willing to pay in commission. The ads will be automatically optimized, so please allow some time before evaluating the result or changing settings.
Google will only charge commission for completed bookings. However, commission will be charged even if the booking is cancelled later on. Therefore, when setting your commission percentage, make sure to take into account the average cancellation rate for your property. For example, if you have a cancellation rate of 10% and have selected to pay 8% commission, the actual ad cost for the completed stays (9 out of 10) would be 8.9%.
When reviewing your account statement in Sirvoy you will see this reserved amount, as well as your actual spending on Google Ads for the current month. If the available balance drops below zero, your Google Ads will stop displaying and the account balance will be flagged as negative, until you refill your account balance as usual.