In searches by destination on Google Maps the two top results are showing Promoted Hotels, identified as Ads.
The Ad tag already existed in the first two positions. When, in the past, we asked Google about the way to invest to get this prominent position, they used to tell us that, even if it said Ad, it was in fact an organic result over which Google had no commercial control and, therefore, it was not possible to invest in order to appear in these slots.
This has changed and you can now advertise in these prominent slots.
Google has launched a pilot test with a reduced number of partners and it will soon be open to more participants.
It is important to note that, since it is a new advertising space, despite being in a well-known environment, it generates new demand for the direct channel, competing with other hotels and other sellers
How are GHA Promoted Hotels shown?
They benefit from the following characteristics:
- They are placed in the top two slots, on the top left of the page. It is a great advantage for destinations with thousands of rival accommodations.
- It identifies them with the Ad tag, followed by the advertiser’s name
- By clicking a Promoted Hotels advertisement on the left, the usual GHA results will drop down like in the Google My Business console of Local Universal (following the green arrow on the image), with the advantage that only the Promoted Hotels partner will be visible with all the brand characteristics (logos, call-outs), as well as occupancy descriptions, rates, etc.
The rest of partners (OTAs and other advertisers) will be hidden under the link View more rates.
How does the investment work?
- It will work with the CPC model.
- Google will create a new campaign subtype to invest in Promoted Hotels. It will be managed from the GHA console or from the new Hotels Center after its full merger with Google Ads (the old AdWords).
- Since it is a new CPC campaign subtype, it will not only be clients who currently invest in GHA CPC who are able to invest but also those who chose GHACP (commission model) or CPA (cost per acquisition). These last two shall be included in Promoted Hotels campaigns on top of their existing GHACP or CPA campaigns.
- The first click on one of the Promoted Hotels adverts on the left will be free. The advertiser will only be charged for the click if the user clicks on the usual GHA results on the right-hand side of the image.
- Any provider can participate, not only the hotel’s direct channel. This creates a somewhat strange situation because if the advertiser is an OTA, not only will it be promoting its price and channel but also the hotel itself by boosting it to the top two positions of that particular destination. However, on the other hand, it will place its prices as the only ones visible in plain sight for that hotel.
We believe that it can be an excellent showcase for searches by destination on Google, ideally designed for advertisers who are looking for maximum visibility in these spaces. The real costs and return of investment for this new advertising space can be analysed later on. We dare to predict, though, that it will not be cheap for destinations with a high level of competition. Nevertheless, it is partly an investment in destination search, more generic, and since we should consider it as such, we must not expect the same level of profitability as in brand campaigns.