Google has been offering flights and hotels in their travel search results for nearly a decade, and now they’ve added vacation rentals! This is great news for property owners and managers as it means that they’ll be able to compete at the highest levels, right where millions of travellers type in their search queries and look for accommodation on the daily. But how does the Google search experience work and how can you benefit from distributing your vacation rentals on Google? Find out below or download our extensive eBook.
What are Google travel searches and how do they work?
In 2010, Google launched a feature that allowed for hotels to appear directly on the search results page when someone typed in a query such as “hotel in Barcelona”. A few years later, Google expanded this service to flights, taking a large step towards an all-around travel booking experience. Now, in response to popular demand, they’ve also started showing vacation rentals directly on the search results page.
By eliminating a bunch of the steps involved in booking a trip, Google is aiming to provide travellers with a seamless experience. But how does it work?
When travellers search for accommodation in Google Search and Maps, they are presented with a variety of hotel and, as of recently, vacation rental options (these results are separate from paid ads and the websites that rank on the first page).
Google travel search functions as a search engine within a search engine: travellers can put in their destination and dates, and even set filters without having to leave the search results page.
Hotel ads are pulled from OTAs and other providers that Google partners with, including Expedia, HomeAway, Hotels.com and TripAdvisor. Google has introduced a new feature – called Facilitated Bookings – exclusively for hotels that allows travellers to finalise the booking directly on the search results page. This takes yet another step out of the process, making the booking process even quicker and smoother.
In the case of vacation rentals, listings are displayed from OTAs or provided by channel managers – a handful of Google’s trusted vacation rental technology partners, such as Rentals United. Once the traveller picks a rental, they are redirected to the booking site or the website of the channel manager where the ad was pulled from, where they can complete the booking process.
Why should you distribute your vacation rentals on Google?
Having your vacation rental properties appear on Google is a fantastic way to diversify your distribution. This new, high-potential channel could earn you a significant increase in booking and revenue. Remember, millions and millions of travellers search for accommodation on Google every day, and the number of searches with the intent of finding vacation rentals is continuously increasing!
To demonstrate why you should look at Google as a major ally, let’s look at some of the results that hotels have seen throughout the years.
According to a Case Study in the Google Hotel Ads Center, Choice Hotels saw a 75% increase in bookings and a 93% incremental increase in revenue thanks to Google Hotel Ads. Another hotel group, AccorHotels experienced a 20% increase in traffic, a 65% increase in bookings and an 84% increase in revenue.
Google has also confirmed the increase in business benefits for hotels: “Our Hotel Ad partners are happy with the volume of leads and bookings – in the first six months of 2018, the number of leads to partners grew 65% year over year.”
If you choose to start distributing your vacation rentals on Google, you could be the next inventory owner reporting incredible results!
Benefits of expanding your distribution to Google
The biggest benefit of distributing your vacation rentals on Google is undoubtedly the global reach that the search engine guarantees. Your rentals will be visible to millions of travellers or search on Google each day.
You’ll also be targeting a highly-qualified audience. People who search for accommodation on Google are doing so with the intent of planning, comparing and booking trips.
Another major plus is that you’ll be getting direct bookings with no commission fees: Google doesn’t charge you for sending travellers your way (at the moment).
You will also benefit from a huge boost to your brand recognition. Google Search is a new opportunity for promoting your independent vacation rental brand and tapping into new sources of traffic.
Last but not least, you’ll see your guest experience improve: you’ll be the owner of the guest relationship in its entirety, from processing payments to dealing with communication and more.
Who is it for?
If you’re a vacation rental property manager looking to
- diversify distribution
- expand visibility
- compete on the highest levels
- boost your brand recognition and
- grow your company,
you will benefit from connecting your properties to Google.
Here’s how you can make sure that travellers start seeing your properties when they search for accommodation on Google.
How to list vacation rentals on Google via Rentals United
Rentals United is one of the few technology providers that Google has selected to work with, which means that by connecting your properties to Google through our platform, you’ll start seeing them appear in search results in no time.
Here are the four main steps to connecting your vacation rentals to Google:
1. Log into your Rentals United account and connect your properties to Google in just a few, easy steps. Follow our checklist with detailed instructions.
2. Once you activate the connection, Rentals United creates an ad for each of your listings. We send Google your availability and prices for 330 days (required by Google). Your ads go live within 2 days.
3. When a traveller clicks an ad, they are redirected to the Rentals United Book Direct page where they can complete the booking.
4. Charge the guest as specified in your own policy via your payment processor system of choice and manage guest relationships.
For more information, check out our Google partner page where you’ll learn how to expand your vacation rentals distribution to Google!
Download our complete guide to Vacation Rentals on Google and find out how to reach millions of travellers who search on Google every single day!