Over the last years, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic, Google has offered various free tools for the travel and hospitality sector to help tourism professionals.
From the classic Google Trends to one of the most recent such as Hotel Insights, various articles have showcased them. Here we have selected the most interesting Google tools forming a kind of travel toolkit to easily review trends, search interests, usability and visibility optimization within Google. And while there are many more, the following ones are perhaps the most useful for the travel and hospitality industry.
COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports
COVID-19 Mobility Reports allows you to view local mobility reports on COVID-19. These reports provide information on the latest 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 geographical areas and classified into various categories of places: retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces and residential.
As the data indicates, the situation has improved across all segments for some countries, although it is still far from pre-pandemic data.
Google for Hotels GuideBook
One of the most interesting and newest Google tools is Google for Hotels GuideBook. It is not a tool but rather a guide for hoteliers on the best practices for management. It is made up of 4 sections with resources to help you set up your hotel on Google.
The first section, ‘101: Getting your Business Online’, covers Google My Business and Google Maps, and how to list your hotel for free on Google using its most basic tools, which are often not fully exploited by hoteliers.
The second section, ‘201: Promoting your hotel with Google Ads’, covers Google’s advertising tool par excellence. 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, ‘301: Getting direct bookings from Google’, is about Google Hotel Ads, and helps understand how this tool works, what is needed to show prices, and how to obtain greater visibility.
The last, ‘401: Hotel Ads Advanced Features’, is a more in-depth section on Google Hotel Ads that covers 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 for travel and hospitality professionals that explains in great detail the 4 pillars to gain visibility within Google’s search results.
Hotel Insights with Google
Hotel Insights is one of the latest tools from Google and is dedicated, as its name implies, solely to the hotel industry. The tool allows analyzing data from searches related to hotels on Google by region, comparing in real-time to the previous year in order to help hoteliers choose the right marketing strategies for this upcoming and much-expected recovery process.
It is a simple and intuitive tool with guides and tips on digital marketing, and highly recommended for small and medium hotels.
At the moment, Hotel Insights is so far only available in English and Italian, but all regions and countries across the world can be searched.
Hotel Insights offers a very interesting section on digital marketing resources, explaining and reviewing concepts to get the most out of Google My Business and Google Maps, best practices on hotel reviews, tips for web usability, and how to optimize the performance of the hotel in Google Ads and Google Hotel Ads.
This tool provides data on a destination’s popularity and gives us an idea of which regions, countries or cities generate more interest among travelers. It also provides information on how demand is changing in different countries of origin.
Destination Insights can identify potential increases in demand, which can help shape and define the best digital marketing strategy for your travel business.
This search engine allows you to discover potential customers for your hotel by browsing new promising markets classified by country and consumer behavior.
With Market Finder you can keep track of demand trends and optimize your investment and strategy in new potential markets.
How to use Google’s Market Finder – First, go to Market Finder and enter your hotel’s website. Market Finder will offer categories automatically to classify your site. Confirm the categories or add others that you consider relevant. Confirm the recommended international markets for you and finish the process by adding your domestic market. Choose up to 3 potential markets you are interested in. Start browsing the data of those markets: economic and sociodemographic profile of the countries selected (with information updated every 35 days), monthly searches across the selected categories, Google Ads recommended bids, active users, household net income, shopping behavior and much more.
Nowadays, there is a clear upward trend that highlights the importance of the domestic market in comparison to the international, at least while the pandemic continues.
These newest Google tools prove that the company is trying to get closer to small and medium hotels to assist them in improving their presence within the most popular search engine either through free or paid tools.