About two years ago we talked about the launch of Google Promoted Hotels, a Google feature that has constantly evolved since then. Although it was initially a product geared towards new openings, it is now being relaunched with the clear goal of giving hotels greater visibility, and it has changed its name to Google Property Promotion Ads or PPA. Let’s take a look at what makes it such an interesting feature and all the details it has to offer.
What are Google Property Promotion Ads?
They are a new group of ads that let you publicise your hotel in a prominent position among Google search results. The privileged location of this advertising space is a unique display window within Google Maps and Google Travel, as it increases the visibility of your hotel and the chance of getting bookings.
Unlike Google Hotel Ads, which activates when a user searches for your hotel by name (and Google presents the hotel’s My Business profile), Property Promotion Ads come into play the minute the user searches for hotels in a certain destination (“hotel in Madrid”) or by concept (“hotel with spa in Seville”) and the results, therefore, include lots of hotels instead of just one.
These are users who are still deciding which hotel to book, and it helps you position your hotel in a way that could influence the user’s decision. That means we are now one step higher up the funnel and it’s the first time that, with the new Hotel Ads platform, you will be able to access “new demand” clients, i.e., potential clients who don’t know you yet.
So far, practically the only way hotels could access new or incremental demand was by bidding for generic searches on Ads, through OTA’s, or by using specific features of metasearch engines such as TripAdvisor Sponsored Placement.
Where are Property Promotion Ads shown?
For now, they are shown on both the desktop and mobile versions of Google Maps and Google Travel.
In Google Maps, clicking on them opens up the Google Hotel Ads booking module, which shows only the price of the advertiser. The prices of the competition are hidden behind a link: “view more rates”.
In Google Travel, the first click redirects the user to a new sponsored hotel landing page called “Sponsored” within Google Hotel Search, which makes it easy to access the rest of the hotel’s information. Unlike on Maps, here only the prices of your website are shown, and not those of OTA’s. There is no “view more rates” option, as these are contained within the “Prices” section. This makes it a more attractive option and it boosts direct sales, as the CTR’s will be higher.
PPA in Google Hotel Search with new landing page and “Sponsored” tab, which shows direct prices and not those presented on other channels.
How many Property Promotion Ads are shown?
In the desktop version, two ads are shown in the first two positions of the results.
In the mobile version, however, to not fill up the entire screen with ads in one go, the ads are interspersed among the results, so users will encounter them as they scroll down.
How much do Property Promotion Ads cost? What types of bidding can I use?
Property Promotion Ads do not have a fixed price. Instead, they use bidding, just like Google Ads and Hotel Ads.
The available types of bidding are the same as the ones used for Hotel Ads:
- The classic CPC or “cost per click”.
- Two commission-based systems than can be applied in different moments:
- Commission (per conversion) o Pay per Conversion. A fee that can be applied, and paid, at the time of booking, regardless of whether the booking is cancelled afterwards. Google used to call this model CPA.
- Commission (per stay) o Pay per Stay, formerly referred to by Google as GHACP (Google Hotel Ads Commission Program). A net cancellation fee, payable after the client’s stay. It is the most similar to an OTA commission.
The first click was free on Promoted Hotels. Is this still so with PPA?
That’s right. The first click on an ad is for free. It will only cost money if you click on one of the rates inside the ad; then it is CPC. In the case of Commission per Conversion or Conversion per Stay bids, costs will only apply in the event of a transaction.
Which is the best type of bidding for my Property Promotion Ads campaigns?
Hotels have always struggled to make campaigns targeting users in the higher strata of the funnel profitable. It makes perfect sense. A hotel or chain only has a limited number of properties and the chances that any given user would choose specifically one of those are low indeed. That is why campaigns targeting the higher strata of the funnel are usually left in the hands of OTA’s.
But Google is now offering a type of bidding that is perfect for participating in these campaigns: the so-called Commission (per Stay), which is the classic post-stay fee, removing risk of cancellation (used and understood by all hotels). It is without a doubt the most recommendable type of bidding to begin with. If further on you want to optimise, you will always have time to move on to other models.
What is the difference between the new Property Promotion Ads and the old Promoted Hotels?
Apart from the new name, these are the differences:
Do I need to have active campaigns on Hotel Ads to be able to bid on Property Promotion Ads?
No. You can bid on PPA without previously having a campaign on Google Hotel Ads. However, it is an unlikely scenario, as you will usually have active Hotel Ads campaigns so as to have a presence both in the planning phase (PPA) and in the Booking phase (GHA) of the conversion funnel.
Can I use different types of participation for Google Hotel Ads and for Property Promotion Ads?
Yes. As they are different campaigns within Google Ads, you have complete flexibility to choose the combination that best suits your needs: CPC for Hotel Ads and Commission (per Stay) for PPA, CPC for both, or whichever type you choose.
Can I share my budget between Hotels Ads and PPA?
Yes, you can do it through the option of sharing budgets between different Google Ads campaigns. However, we recommend you manage them separately, as this way you will be able to assign specific budgets to different campaigns based on your goals and results.
How do I start a Property Promotion Ads campaign? Are they already available?
They are already available. To start a campaign, you need a Hotel Ads provider that offers that feature. All Mirai clients on the Commission Program or GHACP (the new Commission per Stay) can already use Property Promotion Ads with the same commission model.
Can I do it from my Google Ads console? Or do I have to ask my Hotel Ads provider?
For now, to activate your Property Promotion Ads campaigns in Google Ads they need to be activated by Google via a whitelisting process. That is why access to these campaigns must be managed by your Hotel Ads provider. This process is expected to be temporary and you will soon be able to activate your campaign directly from your Google Ads console.
Are Property Promotion Ads available in all markets?
They are available all over the world except in certain UK (google.co.uk) and French (google.fr) points of sale.
Are Property Promotion Ads also available for OTA’s? Or are they only for direct sales?
Property Promotion Ads are available for hotels with a direct channel as well as for OTA’s.
Just like Google Ads, it will all end in an auction where the bid, the competitiveness of the price and the quality score will all be taken into account. The good news is that being the first source of information about the hotel raises your quality score. If the direct channel is tagged on Google as an “Official website” it implicitly makes this access more attractive than the rest, raising a relevant indicator like the CTR (click-through rate). However, maintaining a high-quality score requires much more and even if yours is the direct channel, you could still have a low value here.
Google Property Promotion Ads is already available for Mirai clients. We have activated PPA campaigns under the commission mode, so you do not have to anticipate investment and you will only pay for those bookings that actually materialize.
How can I control the keywords I am bidding for?
You cannot. If you have active campaigns on Property Promotion Ads, Google will consider your hotels as candidates to show the user. It will look for the keywords the user has searched for in your Google My Business profile and that is why it is important to keep it updated and as complete as possible.
It’s a bit frustrating to not have a clearer idea of which keywords to bid for and how much to bid for each one (you might want to bid more aggressively for some keywords than others), but it’s not possible. But it also seems to make sense from Google’s perspective to do this, as it avoids bids for services that your hotels does not really offer or destinations where your hotel is not present.
Can I use all the Ads bid multipliers for Property Promotion Ads?
All of them: device, location, time of day, booking in advance, duration of the stay and user interaction with the date calendar. This way, Google offers as much flexibility as possible, covering a wide range of optimisation options.
How can I monitor the performance of my Property Promotion Ads campaigns?
You can see the results and main KPI’s of a PPA campaign on the Google Ads console, just like with any GHA campaign. You can also customise them and operate with them.
Remember that with Promoted Hotels, data were not separated from GHA, so it was practically impossible to know how your ads were performing. Now, with PPA, by setting it up as a separate campaign within Google Ads, we will have the chance to see and analyse the performance independently.
Are Property Promotion Ads available for “Vacation Rentals”?
No. Right now the product is only available for hotels and similar businesses (establishments with a fixed reception desk, for example). It is not available for what Google calls “vacation rentals” or independent apartments.
Property Promotion Ads are a great opportunity to boost the direct sales of hotels, as they help hotels gain visibility and access new demand and, therefore, more bookings. The wide range of types of bidding permitted by Google, and especially the Commission (per Stay) option, make this a highly attractive advertising space. Furthermore, this product perfectly complements Hotel Ads and Google Ads, which gives you a greater control over all the spaces users visit.
Not participating in Property Promotion Ads is a valid choice, but what will happen is that the space will be occupied by another hotel, which will then have the chance to gain a client that would have otherwise been very hard to win over. Once more, whether you take advantage of this opportunity or not is up to you. And with the Commission (per Stay) model, it seems a more than reasonable thing to do.