Google is the number one search engine. It receives millions of queries every day from people searching for information about different topics. Many are travel related, which include queries for tours, activities and attractions. To enhance travelers’ experience in finding and booking experiences, the big tech has invested in a solution called Google Things To Do.
In this article, you will learn why GTTD is a promising platform for tour operators and the requirements for you to list your tours on it.
Google is by far the most popular domain on the web. According to Similarweb (2023), it received more than 80 billion visitors in January. People usually spend 10 minutes on it per visit, and during this time they check 8 pages on average.
Hotel Business research (2021) found that nearly 70% of Americans use Google for travel searches. The same study shows that 69% of consumers use Google to find local business information.
Not surprisingly the majority of travelers turn to Google during the planning phase of their buying journey. According to the company, the average traveler spends 13% of their time online conducting travel-related activities.
I believe these are enough reasons for you to consider investing your time and money in Google. Now let’s dive deeper into Google Things To Do.
Aiming to make travel research and booking experience user-friendly for travelers, Google has launched Things To Do. It is a platform that enables tour operators to show their products directly on Google’s result pages.
GTTD interface is divided into four modules, each one having a specific display format and requirements. The modules are:
This is a new ad format for operators who are using Google Ads. The ads can appear above the search results or elsewhere on the page. They show various details including photos, prices, your company’s name, and a booking link for the activity.
Things To Do campaigns simplify the advertising process by removing the need to create ads and target keywords within your campaign. Instead, Google automatically uses data from your inventory feed based on the ad group label.
The Things To Do booking module is designed to show users entry ticket prices to various attraction points of interest (such as museums and theme parks) as well as provide an easy way for users to compare prices between various OTAs and the official ticket provider.
This module is triggered for eligible POIs where Google has the official ticket prices. Guided tours are not eligible for the POI booking module, however, they are eligible for the operator booking module and the experiences module.
This module provides a way for tour operators to display their products on their own Google Business Profile entry. Alongside the tour operator products, tours provided by this operator via different OTAs are also displayed.
Tour operators must have a listing on Google Maps for this module to surface. If your business is not there, you should register a Google Business Profile and fill out the required information.
The Google Things To Do experiences module is designed to show users the various guided tours and experiences related to a particular point of interest.
For example, if you search for San Diego, this module will display a handful of experiences that one can book at this destination.
You already have your website, your work with OTAs, you sell through social media and you have partner resellers. Why do you need another sales channel to worry about?
Well, besides Google being the main search engine nowadays, here are a few more reasons why you should consider listing your tours on Google Things To Do:
As mentioned, Google is the most popular search engine. It receives more than 8.5 billion searches a day. Most likely your target customers are searching for things to do right now on Google.
GTTD gives a new display option for your products, which makes it easier for travelers to spot your offers when searching for things to do.
Direct sales are cheaper for your business. By using a booking system you will pay a smaller commission compared to selling through OTAs.
You pay nothing to have your products displayed on Google Things To Do. So you have no excuse to start using it right now.
GTTD comes with a new ad format that is focused on travelers searching for experiences. That is an opportunity for you to lower your CPC and increase your conversions.
Your GTTD listing has an official website badge next to it, which makes it easier for customers to identify if they are booking directly with you rather than a reseller, such as Viator.
Adding your tours to Google will give you more backlinks to your website which helps with your SEO efforts.
In order to list your tours and activities on Google Things To Do first you need a connectivity partner. That could be an OTA, a channel manager, or a booking and reservation system, like Orioly.
If you already sell through OTAs, chances are that your tours are being displayed on GTTD and you don’t even know. The reason is that many popular OTA’s, such as Viator, Get Your Guide and Tiqets, are Google partners.
Unfortunately, you still pay their high commission when you receive a booking listed on GTTD via OTAs.
If you want to unleash GTTD’s full potential, this is the right option for you. The reason is simple, by connecting to the platform through a booking system or channel manager you are cutting out the middleman, which means all bookings you receive are direct and commission free.
Another advantage is that you own your customers’ data when you receive a direct booking. This means you can use the information they give you during the booking process to upsell or nurture a relationship aiming for future bookings.
But just having a website connected to one of these systems does not guarantee that Google will show your offers on GTTD. There are a few requirements you need to pay attention to:
If you have all the mentioned above, great job! Now just wait for Google to display your inventory on GTTD interface.
Google made available guidelines for tour operators who want a direct listing on GTTD. The recommendations below were taken from Google’s official page:
Google is not only the biggest search engine, but it also has been investing in solutions for the travel industry over the past years.
Google Things To Do is a result of this work. It was developed to simplify the booking journey by connecting travelers and tour suppliers. Having your inventory listed on this platform is definitely a great deal for your business if you are a tour operator.
Do you want a listing on Google Things To Do but you are missing a connectivity partner? Or, do you want to make the most of this platform by saving money with direct sales?
Check our plans and start selling through Google with one of the easiest and most complete booking solutions on the market.
on April 5, 2023
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