Vacation rental News
Google Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide to Boost Your Direct Booking Conversion
Google Vacation Rentals filter launched in 2019, showing a high interest in the vacation rental accommodation offer as a standard search that users were already making.
Since its launch, Google commented that searches for ¨beach rentals¨ and ¨staycations¨ have grown in the last year by 100%, according to Phocuswire.
Now the search giant is diving right into the vacation rental lodging market, connecting with Vacation Rental Channel Manager partners such as Avantio and offering Property Managers for now a commission-free option to list on Google Travel. The connection is coming soon!
If you want to take advantage of this new feature that Google offers through your Channel Manager but not quite sure how it works, we have put together a full guide for you so you can maximize the use of this new sales channel:
What are Google Vacation Rentals Listings?
The Google Travel Desktop platform is becoming a one stop shop for Google users to plan and manage all their travel plans.
As Richard Holden, Vice President of Product Management at Google points out in his blog for their users
¨Our goal is to simplify trip planning by helping you quickly find the most useful information and pick up where you left off on any device. We’ll continue to make planning and taking trips easier with Google Maps, Google Search and google.com/travel—so you can get out and enjoy the world¨
The search giant, with its powerful data driven and machine learning algorithms, aims to give users a travel platform based on their interests and preferences.
And with the growth of searches for vacation rentals, now they are focusing on boosting the industry through its vacation rental filter.
Benefits of Google Vacation Bookings
Reach a worldwide audience
With a global market share of 92.47% as of June 2021, as per Statista´s report on the global market share of search engines, it is clear that Google is where you will find a worldwide audience.
Users not only will they find your vacation rental via google.com/travel/ but if they search directly on Google they will get a list of options:
So make sure that you are taking care of your SEO for vacation rental to help Google find your properties and promote them via organic search.
Furthermore, they have some great marketing tools for their partners to take strategic decisions through the Google Travel Analytics Center.
Get traffic directly to your website
If you are already connected to a vacation rental Channel Manager, such as the one that Avantio has, Google can be yet another sales channel you can connect to and consider for your direct booking strategies.
When you promote your properties, you will find a button that links directly to your web.
The good news is that currently publishing your units through Google is completely commission free!
But you will need to be prepared. Make sure you have a professional vacation rental website design so properties show up on the Google vacation rental filter.
- Make sure to have an SSL certificate. Google penalizes non-secure websites and guests will not feel confident to book with you.
- Each of your properties should have its own URL in your website to help Google recognize them as separate units that they can promote.
- Use readable URLs that do not have search parameters such as question marks and numbers.
Build your brand reputation and client trust
As you probably know, reviews today are worth more than any advertising technique you might use. People trust other users’ opinions.
So before you connect your properties through your channel manager to Google, make sure you work on getting as many positive reviews as possible.
Google will take the reviews on your website and show them in their property page.
Though it is a long process, it is worthwhile because it will boost your reputation and you will gain travelers’ trust.
How does Google Vacation Rentals work?
Now you will be able to compete with Hotels with the vacation rental filter, as guests are able to search for both vacation rental properties and hotels to compare prices.
But besides prices, you can also compete with other features that hotels might not have through the vacation rental specific amenities filter such as pet friendly property, kid friendly, if it allows a large group, if it has a hot tub.
So make sure to brush up your amenities list on your Vacation Rental Management System.
Other filters Google has made available are multiple rooms, higher occupancy and approximate location on Google maps for security purposes, lodging types, price, rooms and guest ratings.
How do I get my Vacation Rental on Google Vacation Rental Platform?
If you have fewer than 5,000 properties, Google recommends that you connect with them via their approved connectivity partners, such as the Avantio Channel Manager.
Property image requirements
To give their users the best possible experience Google recommends you have a minimum of 8 photos with at least 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, and 1 common area.
But share as many as you can to get a competitive edge!
Also, take into account the quality of the pictures. Here are the requirements:
- Minimum resolution: 1024 x 683 px.
- Recommended resolution: 1920 x 1080 px.
- File format: JPG, JPEG, PNG.
- Orientation: Landscape.
- Less than 4K pixels for width or 4k pixels in height.
Attributes of the Properties
According to Google’s Referral Experience Policy the prices and availability that are cached on their side should match the same ones shown on your webpage.
Take into account that google has a Price Accuracy Score which will check the newness of the Google price cache from your website.
Google Vacation Rentals is a great opportunity to reach millions of international travelers commission free.
But to be successful make sure you have a professional website, and make sure to take care of your on-page SEO (the content, titles H1 and H2 tags etc.) and image requirements.
Also, within your PMS and Channel Manager do not forget to review all the filter parameters that Google uses to find the best match for the user’s search:
- Guest Rating
- Lodging Type
Follow all the advice in this guide and start increasing your visibility and direct bookings.
Avantio is one of the preferred connectivity partners of Google. If you would more information about our stable and robust Channel Manager one of our team can show you around your software.