By 80 DAYS | November 1st, 2018
Over the past few months, Google has been experimenting with different layouts and design for hotel search results and as of October 29th it looks like they have rolled out a new design for this service.
The new design still shows a map of hotels in your desired location, but the details of the hotels have changed from a list to a “card” layout that is much more visual and gives even greater prominence to prices.
In addition, once a user clicks on a hotel they are now taken to a new page that has extensive information about the hotel and local area.
What does this change mean for hotels?
With the new, more visual layout, Google are looking to steer more of their searchers to this service and, by proxy, on to their Metasearch and Book on Google features.
Whilst hoteliers should of course already be paying attention to this area of Google’s search results, the changes make for a good time to refresh yourself and ensure your hotel is being well represented and making use of the available features. In particular:
Now that images are such a prominent element, make sure that you’re showing off your best angle.
Limit the possibility of Google using Streetview or customer photos as your main representation by claiming your hotel listing and uploading official photography.
Reviews on Google are not new, but the new design makes this element stand out more.
Make sure you’re paying attention to these as you would on TripAdvisor. If you aren’t already, you should be reading and responding to customer reviews on Google – both good and bad – in a professional, positive manner.
Hotels with Metasearch booking options will show a price prominently in search results; Google are clearly eager to push more traffic toward Google Hotel Ads.
You may therefore wish to consider advertising your website and direct booking channel to avoid OTAs dominating this space. (See 80 DAYS’ Metasearch advertising service)
This change does mark an interesting step forward in Google’s continued effort to keep much of the hotel booking process within their own ecosystem, and whilst we applaud them for looking to make the online booking process as simple as possible, hoteliers should be mindful that if they aren’t up-to-date with changes of this nature then they risk losing out to the OTAs and, worse still, the competition.
If you’d like to find out more about how your digital presence can generate more attention for your hotel, please do get in touch.