Updated January 2023 – Almost all travelers share similar practices when preparing to travel, regardless of whether they’re visiting the town next to theirs or a country on the other side of the globe. Some of these things are relatively straightforward, such as packing your luggage before embarking on a trip. Others, like researching your destination, take much more time and forethought. 

Luckily, Google has completely transformed the way that travelers prepare for their vacations. Gone are the days of planning long train trips through paper timetables that may or may not be up to date. Nowadays, planning each and every detail of your vacation is as easy as typing a sentence into Google. 

And with the launch of Google Things to do, this process just got even easier for both tourists and the businesses catering to them. 

What is Google Things to do?

Replacing the older ‘Google tours & activities’ operator’s tool, Google Things to do is a new search experience for tours, activities, and attractions that enables direct bookings through a supplier’s website and other booking channels. It helps users discover new experiences and sights by simplifying the travel research and booking process. For travel businesses, this presents a valuable opportunity to promote their tours and attractions with increased visibility and engage with consumers.

With Google Travel Things to do, partners can display their individual travel products and services in a digestible format that appeals to searchers. As the Google search engine results page highlights these products and services for relevant searchers, Google Things to do actively increases travel business’ online reach and helps drive direct bookings in the process. 

Google travel things to do

Here’s an example of how this works when someone Googles tours and activities in a certain location.

Maria is traveling to New York in the summer, so she uses Google to search for the Statue of Liberty. At the top of her results page, a ‘tickets’ tab will appear. She can then click on this tab to be shown a list of ticket options for the Statue of Liberty. Each option is linked directly to the ticket supplier’s checkout page, ensuring a quick and simple payment process.

If she continues to scroll down, Maria will be presented with a variety of other relevant experience listings around the Statue of Liberty. As with the tickets, each listing is linked directly to the experience supplier’s checkout page.

How to list your products no Google Things to do

How Google Things to do drives bookings for tour operators

The benefits of Google Things to do extend beyond just appearing on the search engine’s result page for relevant users. Here are a few examples of how engaging this nifty tool could help your travel business grow.

Build trust with an official site badge on your listing

The official site badge that comes with having an experience listing with Google Things to do helps you stand out from your competitors. This is especially when your listings are placed side by side. Considering that consumer preferences have shifted towards direct bookings over reseller bookings, the official site badge may directly increase your direct bookings. In fact, a recent study by GlobalData also found that 39% of consumers prefer to book directly, rather than through resellers. It’s likely that this number will continue to grow with each passing year. 

Drive direct bookings with Google

Since the launch of this platform, Google will now direct searches to your website booking form to complete a booking (however, it’s important to note that this option is only available for tours and activities providers that use an approved connectivity provider like Rezdy). Tours and activities providers also have an opportunity to display a bookable link within searches for major attractions and points of interest.

Increase site traffic and rankings by appearing on Google knowledge panels

Although not specifically mentioned by Google, it is likely that setting up a Things to do listing will have positive SEO implications on your website, similar to Google Business Profiles. Your listing will provide you with a referral link from Google, which is always a positive sign for SEO. Additionally, by driving more direct traffic, you are signaling to Google’s algorithm that your website is useful, which is extremely valuable when boosting your SEO.  

Boost marketing ROI with a free-to-use digital channel

While Google has just released a new ad format for Things to Do to drive further traffic, you can still access Things to do without using this paid option. This means that reaching more customers and increasing website engagement doesn’t have to come at the expense of a hefty price tag.

Run targeted ads

Google tours and activities

Google has also introduced a new ad format for Things to do. Using this ad format, your listings will appear as advertisements above the search results. These ads will show more in-depth details including photos, prices, your company’s name, and a booking link for the activity. It’s worth noting that this new ad format is very similar to Google Shopping Ads – which now win 85.3% of all clicks across US online retail according to Adthena Search Advertising Report.

How to use Things to do

Excited to start using Google Things to do? Follow these simple steps to get your listings up and running.

Connect to Google Things to do

First thing first: connect your tour booking software to Google Things to do. With Rezdy, this step is as easy as clicking on the ‘Add Agent’ button in your software.

Update your Google Business Profile

An up-to-date Google Business Profile ensures that your business has an official presence on Google, which will help later down the track.

Optimize product listings with relevant and helpful information

Within your Rezdy booking software, you can easily update your product descriptions, images, and prices to ensure that your listing will capture the attention of Google users.

Create optimized landing pages for products

Match your listings and meta information to relevant landing pages that will provide users with further booking details. 

Run targeted ads

If you decide to advertise is Things to do, you can now set up your campaign. With Things to do campaigns, you can set a budget, select a bidding strategy, and customize the audience that your ads will be displayed to.

Manage your products

Monitor traffic and keep an eye out for issues or opportunities to optimize your listings.

Connect with Google Things to do via Rezdy

Rezdy makes it easy for travel businesses and activity operators to capitalize on the numerous benefits of listing your products and services on Google things to do. With Rezdy, you can optimize your product descriptions for Google, ensure consistent pricing across various channels, and monitor your booking data through a single, easy-to-navigate platform that accommodates third-party integrations.

Sign up for a free 21-day trial today and experience for yourself how Rezdy empowers travel businesses to drive direct bookings through Things to do.

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