Does Google’s “Zero Click Search” Mark the End of Hotel Paid Search Marketing?
— 9 experts shared their view
The Search Engine Journal just reported that 50.33% of searches on Google end up with no clickthroughs to websites because Google provides all the answers a user would need on the first results page itself. Google has become the "Librarian of the Universe" and has amassed more information than all libraries on planet Earth combined. Google has a singular objective: to provide answers - ultra-fast, relevant and straight to the point - to any question a human may have and, of course, make money in the process. With the advance of mobile and voice assistants, these answers happen more and more in the form of "Zero Click Searches" where the answer is provided right at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and the user simply has no need to click and read further. With less than 5% of searches on Google resulting in clicks on paid search listings (Google Ads), does this mean the end of hotel paid search marketing?
Travel & Hospitality expert. Digital Marketing & Strategy Speaker and Consultant
That's an excellent question and indeed, I would tend to think hotel paid search marketing is poised for deep change, but that doesn't mean imminent death. Marketing dollars will shift towards more organic efforts or different paid initiatives. Geo-targeted ads for mobile search should continue to prevail, just like we can expect a shift of efforts towards voice search results, where position zero becomes the Holy Grail on Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices.
And for savvy marketers banking on visual search, there is still room for improvement with Google Shopping ads, Hotels ads and other similar initiatives seeking to get direct online bookings and getting properties and packages out in front of potential travelers.
Last but not least, Google "Zero Click Search" also means back to basics for many hotel marketers with regards to white-hat SEO practices: mobile optimization, site speed, image descriptions, titles, and meta-descriptions, etc. This is too often overlooked as some folks tend to simply spend on ad campaigns without a proper, functional site to begin with...