7 FREE GOOGLE TOOLS TO HELP YOU MAKE DECISIONS
In recent years and especially since the beginning of the pandemic, Google has offered numerous free tools to help guide tourism professionals, and especially hoteliers.
From the classic "Google Trends" to one of the most recent such as "Google Hotel Insights", various articles have been written about each of them, although few have compiled the most relevant ones in just one.
That is why we wanted to group the most interesting ones to form a kind of “Google Travel Toolkit” to which we can go from time to time to review trends, search interest, usability and visibility optimization within Google.
There are many more, but we are going to highlight 7 of them as the most important.
Covid-19 Mobility Reports
Covid-19 Mobility Reports allows you to view local mobility reports on Covid-19.
These Reports provide you with information on the changes that have occurred in people's mobility as a result of the restrictions to combat Covid-19.
The reports show trends in movement over time, sorted by geographic areas and classified into various categories of places: shops and leisure spaces, supermarkets, pharmacies, parks, transport stations, workplaces and residential areas.
Google's Local Mobility Reports can help you identify the dynamics of your market.
Let's see, for example, the mobility situation in Spain 1 year ago, by different categories:
Let's compare with the data updated today:
As the data indicates, it has improved in all segments, although still far from the old normality data.
Google for Hotels GuideBook
One of the most interesting and recent is Google for Hotels GuideBook. It is not a tool but rather a guide to guide and offer hoteliers good practices.
Google for Hotels GuideBook is made up of 4 sections with resources to improve your hotel's visibility on Google.
The first section (101: Getting your Business Online) deals with Google My Business and Google Maps, and how to show your hotel for free on Google with its most basic tools, which are often not well exploited by hoteliers.
The second section deals with Google Ads, Google's advertising tool par excellence (201: Promoting your hotel with Google Ads). It is an extensive guide that explains very well and in simple words how Google Ads works and how to get the most out of this tool.
The third section deals with Google Hotel Ads (301: Getting direct bookings from Google), and helps us understand how it works, what you need to show your prices and how to achieve greater visibility.
Finally, there is a somewhat more advanced section on Google Hotel Ads (401: Hotel Ads Advanced Features) that talks about advanced bidding techniques and the benefits and risks of using each of them.
Without a doubt, Google for Hotels GuideBook is a very good initiative, which explains in great detail and above all in simple words, the 3 fundamental pillars to achieve visibility within Google.
Hotel Insights is a recent tool and is dedicated, as its name suggests, solely to the hotel sector.
It allows you to analyze search data related to hotels on Google by region, comparing in real time against the previous year in order to help hoteliers orient their marketing strategies in this recovery process.
It is a simple and intuitive tool that has guides and tips on digital marketing. Highly recommended especially for small or medium hotels.
At the moment it is only enabled in English and Italian, but all regions and countries of the world can be consulted.
Let's look at an example from the Cancun area in Mexico:
As we can see, the interest in searches related to hotels in Quintana Roo is 10% lower than last year, a very positive figure given the circumstances.
And if we zoom we see the following:
In this case, we clearly see the difference compared to 2020, during the onset of the pandemic.
In addition, it shows us where that interest comes from:
and from which countries the interest has increased compared to last year:
Finally, Hotel Insights offers a very interesting section of digital marketing resources, explaining and refreshing concepts to get the most out of Google My Business and Google Maps, good practices on hotel reviews, tips for web usability and how to optimize the performance of your hotel in Google Ads and Google Hotel Ads.
It is a tool that provides data on demand for destinations and gives us an idea of which regions, countries or cities generate the most interest among travelers. It also provides information on how demand is changing in different countries of origin.
Destination Insights can help identify potential increases in demand and thus guide our digital marketing strategy.
Let's see an example that shows the interest of the destination Spain for the international market:
Como podemos ver, es una demanda que no termina de arrancar. Por contra, si analizamos por mercado de origen doméstico, vemos otra tendencia:
This search engine allows you to identify potential customers for your hotel, discovering new promising markets, identified by country and consumer behavior.
With Market Finder you will be able to identify new demand trends and optimize your investment and marketing strategy in new markets.
How is Market Finder used?
1. Access Market Finder and enter your hotel's website. Market Finder will offer you some categories automatically to classify your web page.
2. Confirm those categories or add others that you consider relevant.
3. Confirm the recommended international markets for you and complete the registration by adding your domestic market.
4. Select up to 3 potential markets that you are interested in researching.
5. Start exploring the data of those markets: economic and sociodemographic profile of the countries you selected (with information updated every 35 days), monthly searches of the selected categories, recommended bids in Google Ads, active users on the internet, behavioral data shopping and much more.
Google Trends helps us measure the degree of interest in a search over time and also allows us to compare it with other searches in the same period or with the same search in different periods.
For example, in this case we compare the word "hotel" during 2021 (on the way to the new normal), 2020 (the year the pandemic started) and 2019 (an excellent year for tourism).
In this example we see how interest in the word "hotel" in 2021 has grown a lot in recent weeks compared to 2020, approximately x3, which is excellent news although we are still far from the interest in 2019.
The important thing about this example is the upward trend, so we will see what happens in the coming weeks and months.
Test My Site
Test My Site allows you to evaluate the speed of your website on mobile devices. Year after year, Google has been setting the bar higher, forcing websites to be faster and more adapted to mobile devices.
Google is very interested in supporting the tourism sector and especially hoteliers in their recovery, and that is why it has been making all these resources available to us.
You are making a great effort to express yourself in a language that the hotelier understands, moving away from technicalities.
Google is trying to get closer to small and medium hotels to help them in the recovery and, obviously, with the aim of increasing their presence within Google, either with free or paid tools.
In any case, these tools are very interesting, some to be consulted on time and others for day-to-day, such as Google Ads or Google Hotel Ads.
I hope this article has served to order a little more all these resources.