Google Announces “Things To Do” Listing & Ad Unit (for Travelers & Travel Agencies)
Good News!!! Now, Travel Agencies Have a New Way to Attract Travelers and Make Additional Revenue. Google Introduces a New Listing and Ad Format for Attractions, Activities, and Tours. Learn What “Things to Do” Ads Are, Where They Will Appear on Google Search, How They Will Look Like, and How to Get Started.
As we are gradually nearing the end of 2021, more vaccines are rolled out and more travel restrictions are being lifted across the world. After living in isolation for more than one year, more people than ever are dreaming and yearning for beautiful places to visit, interesting things to do, and enjoying new experiences. It is also clearly reflected in their pattern of searches on Google.
Over the past 12 months, Google observed a dramatic growth in searches for “activities near me” and noted that specific queries like “ziplining” and “aquariums” have globally grown by 280% and 115%, respectively.
Google Made It Easier for People to Search for “Things to do”, “Activities near me”, & “Places to visit”
Google always focuses on helping people find everything easily with just a click. So, it has also responded to this rapid growth in the travel and tourism sector. Recently, Google announced a new listing for attractions, tours, activities, tickets, and more on Google Search.
So, now when you will search on Google for attractions like “Taj Mahal Agra”, you will not just get the general information about Taj Mahal, you will also find booking links for basic admission and ticket options if available.
In the upcoming months, Google will further enhance the search experience of its users by showing information and booking links also for experiences in a destination, such as wine tasting in Paris or bike tours in Loire Valley.
Google Introduced a New “Things to Do” Ad Format for Businesses to Generate More Revenue
Google is also introducing a new “Things to Do” ad format. This new ad feature will help businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry drive additional revenue and more bookings. This, in turn, will help these businesses recover from the extreme loss that this industry suffered due to the international travel ban and travel restrictions over one and half years.
Advertising and marketing teams of businesses can display more details, such as prices, images, and reviews to attract more customers and expand their reach even further.
Hence, while the new listing will help people easily and quickly find things to do, attractions, and tours, it also presents a great opportunity for tour and travel agencies to boost their recovery from the pandemic shakedown, and eventually revenue.
What are Things to Do Ads? Where Can I See Them? How Do These Ads Look Like?
Things to Do Ads are the advertisements that will appear on Search in response to queries made about things to do (near me or a particular place), attractions, tour activities, travel tickets, and other similar searches.
These ads will display the key information, such as basic information about the point of interest, tickets and their pricing, reviews, photos, and even booking links. Things to Do ads appear at the top of the SERP, above the search results.
For those wondering about how Things to Do Ads look like, here is the screenshot shared by Google.
Image Source: Google
Google Invites Online Travel Agencies and Technology Providers to Help People Find the Best Travel Options
Google is currently working with various partners, including online travel agencies and technology providers to make accurate and more information directly available on Search. Google also invites you if you also offer services for attractions, tours, or activities and want to participate.
The ultimate goal of Google is to help people find and compare all the best options for travel. Hence, by becoming a partner of Google, you, as a travel agency, can provide detailed info about things to do, tours, and attractions, and can also promote ticket booking links free of cost. What’s the best part, it has a very high chance to help you make more bookings and earn additional revenue.
But, how do I know if my business is the right fit for Things to Do Listing and Ad Setup? Check out Google’s Things to Do policies.
What is the Success Rate of Things to Do Listings?
Google is optimistic about Things to Do listings as it is achieving success with the free hotel booking links introduced in March this year. While it is still early phase, Google found that free hotel booking links create more engagement for small and large hotels that have partnered with Google.
According to Google,
“Hotels working with WebHotelier (a booking engine) witnessed more than $4.7M in additional revenue alone via free booking links this summer.”
So, when you partner with Google as a travel agency, you can also expect to receive bookings for your services right from Google at no additional cost and make more money. In a world where you don’t get anything for free, it will be amazing to be able to promote your ticket booking links at zero cost, increase your customer base, and recover & grow your business.
What is the Cost of Participating and Becoming a Partner with Google?
By becoming a partner, you can promote booking links at zero cost. However, to run Things to Do ads on Google, you will be charged only when someone clicks on those ads. You can use all bidding strategies (that you have been using for search campaigns) for Things to Do campaigns as well, except for Target Impression Share. The rank of an ad will be determined by an auction depending on the partner bids and the quality of the ad.
How to Get Started with Things to Do Ad Campaigns
Things to Do ads are designed for tour and travel agencies (and similar businesses) to help expand reach to their travelers who show interest in a particular activity, attraction, tourist spot, or even a particular city or country. These ads simplify the work of advertisers by eliminating the need for ads creations and targeting keywords within your campaign. Google will automatically use data from your inventory feed depending on the group ad label.
With Things-to-do ad campaigns, travelers can:
- Find attractions, tours, and things to do near them or a particular city/country
- Feel inspired by attractive photos, imagery, views, and landscapes
- Visit your website to book tickets or find more details
For that, you need to connect with Google and provide your business information and product feeds. Then, Google will match your inventory with what relevant travelers and potential customers are searching for on Google.
To get started and learn more about Things to Do searches and ads, you need to fill out Google’s partner interest form. But before you do that, Google encourages you to first connect with one of its approved connectivity partners that you can find here.