A new consideration – Google Hotel Finder
Google recently entered the world of travel with Hotel Finder, a tool that allows you to search for hotels in an area and then filter those results by date, price and user rating. Due to the ever-growing power of Google and the inevitable migration of such tools to the Android platform this is likely to become a key consideration of your hotel marketing.
We love the feature whereby when you are searching in a location the ability to define the area that you would like to search, using Google maps and the shape tool. A tool that you can drag and adjust so that the area you want to stay in is included. Particularly useful as sometimes the location areas set by online travel agents are too large, or you would be happy considering staying a bit further out.
Another key benefit of the system is it allowing you to select a list of hotels compare and shortlist then. This is enhance with a neat feature from Google that compares the price that is shown, to the average price over time indicating the percentage change up or down, this representing the value you are achieving at that property at that time.
While Google Hotel Finder has only been rolled out at this stage for hotels in the USA, it raises some interesting questions that need to be considered for when Hotel Finder comes to a city near you, which we all know will be soon!
- Channel Management: Google Hotel finder aims to serve availability and cost in real time. Are the OTA’s that you are listed with working with Google? Do you have a strategic approach to channel management and how will it fit into Google Hotel Finder?
- Are your hotels images up-to-date and relevant? Google pulls a selected number of images into the results.
- Reviews? Collates the reviews in similar way to business listings for all to see, are you confident in the management of your online reputation?
- Average Rates? Specials and offers are now going to need to be more transparent than ever as the comparison feature compares today’s listed rates to average rates over time.
All in all it’s pretty exciting to see how and if Google’s foray into the travel sector will fare, only time will tell, but we think that those that embrace this first and work with Google are going to see results not only on Hotel finder but increased visibility in site rankings and overall hotel marketing efforts.
If you like to have a chat about how you can prepare for Google Hotel finder or how you increase your hotels presence online, strategies for selling through online travel agents or just a general catch up let us know, we would love to hear from you!
As always we welcome your comments.