New filters in Google Hotel Ads
More tools to improve conversion and communication
Google, continuing to do their bit to help hotels in the current crisis, have been launching improvements and new features for Google Hotel Ads. These updates include two new search filters for both Google Search, and Travel and Maps: Free cancellation and Covid-19 responder rooms (rooms for COVID-19 emergency personnel).
1. Free Cancellation Filter
The “Free Cancellation” filter was implemented just a few days ago and is in the roll-out phase, which is why it is not yet visible to 100% of users who search.
This new Google functionality helps to increase conversion during this current situation. It does this by making it easier for users to search for hotels that offer this type of flexible policies, encouraging the user to finalize the booking as they will feel more comfortable making the reservation, with the knowledge that they can modify or cancel it without problems or penalties, if later (hopefully not) the situation worsens.
It also helps to highlight the hotels that offer refundable rates, since selecting the filter shows a lower number of establishments in the results list.
This is what the filter in Google Travel looks like “not activated”:
And here we can see it with the filter "activated":
As we can see, there is a big difference in the number of hotels after applying the filter and hence the importance of having free cancellation rates within Google Hotel Ads.
We can see the importance of this filter also in the results by hotel.
Prices per hotel example in Google Hotel Ads “without filter activated”:
Google Hotel Ads example with “filter activated”:
As we can see by activating the filter, we remove more than 50% of the competitors, which is an incredible advantage and opportunity.
At the moment the filter does not appear in the Search Knowledge panel:
But as Google has informed us, it will only be a matter of time before they add it to this section.
How should the hotel activate the free cancellation filter?
No need to do anything. If the hotel already has a free cancellation rate, Google Hotel Ads will automatically receive it in the API response and then display the cancellation rate, since we already have the integration ready to send the information to Google.
2. Covid-19 responder rooms Filter
“Rooms for COVID-19 emergency personnel” was the second filter that was recently launched
This new functionality makes it easier to highlight this feature by giving notoriety and more visibility to hotels that offer free rooms or special discounts for health workers who have been struggling during the Covid19 crisis. This helps emergency personnel for policies where they need to distance themselves from their families and thus avoid contagions and provide accommodation near their workplace, etc.
In this way, it also facilitates the search for the toilets of the establishments that offer this type of services or offers.
We can activate this filter in 2 ways:
1. By clicking on the special message displayed informing about the special offer for emergency personnel of Covid-19 in “See hotels”
Example results for "Hotels in Madrid":
2. Entering "More filters" and activating the option:
As we can see, we went from more than 1,823 hotels to just 19. This is a great opportunity.
The hotels that have this type of offer will have a prominent message so users can better visualize this opportunity:
In the search results, this special offer is also highlighted with another message:
How should a hotel activate the special filter for emergency personnel?
It is necessary to configure it in the Google My Business tab and so here are some simple instructions on how to do it:
You have to access the hotel's Google My Business page by logging in with your username and password. In the "Info" section of the hotel you will find the possibility of configuring the "Hotel Attributes".
Clicking on the pencil icon to display a list of possible attributes to include, the first of all related to special offers for healthcare workers:
To include this service, simply click on the pencil icon to edit it. This screen appears with 3 different options to select depending on the availability:
You can also select the "Other" option that allows you to choose between the following options:
Both developments are very important during Covid-19 and can have a lot of impact on sales. In addition to a great initiative by Google, it is a great opportunity for hotels to get more out of their current offers and rates.