Zero to Hero: Why Google Zero is essential for your property

If you signed up to Google Zero on day one count yourself as a hero.  You made the right choice.  Global giants like Google don’t often give small businesses a leg up, but when they launched their free booking links it certainly felt that way.  Why? Google Zero is an opportunity to redress that balance between the OTAs and hotel owners.   

By offering your direct rate right up there next to the OTAs, hopefully at a more favourable rate, potential guests are immediately drawn to you., Of course, it’s not the full solution to a direct booking utopia but it is a significant step in that direction.   

Google’s goal was to ensure that they could always show the best (direct) rate, so they remained relevant (dominant) in travel search.  They’re also using it as a funnel into their paid ads, a sort of demonstration of value for those sceptical of the cost per click model. 

Anyway, here we are 3 years later with over 120,000 commission free bookings and counting.  Google is now the 3rd biggest channel on freetobook.  Google Zero should be treated as a basic essential for any business. If you’re on the OTAs then you need to get your direct rate out there sitting snuggly next to the OTAs and if you don’t need the OTAs you still need your direct rate out there on the busiest website on the planet… it’s a no-brainer. 

It’s a two-way street! To get the most out of Google Zero, it’s important to invest some extra-special effort in your listing. Here’s what you can do; show off your property with high-quality photos, update your descriptions regularly to highlight any special amenities, and encourage guests to leave Google reviews – make sure to respond to all reviews.  

By investing in your listing, you’re showing Google you’re committed to providing a great guest experience. This increases your chances of ranking higher in search results and attracting more potential customers. After all, if you’re not putting your best foot forward, why should Google prioritise your listing?