About commissions (per stay) for Hotel Ads

Commissions (per stay) (formerly GHACP - Google Hotel Ads Commission Program, also known as Pay Per Stay) is a bidding strategy for Hotel campaigns. This bidding strategy allows partners to pay only when the guest stay has actually occurred, removing any risk of cancellation for the partner.

How commissions (per stay) bidding works

Commissions (per stay) helps partners leverage the power of Google’s machine learning to acquire guest stays.

Partner sets a commission rate (% of booking value) using the Commission bid strategy at the campaign level.

Then, Google’s bidding algorithm calculates a maximum Cost-Per-Click (CPC) bid intended to achieve an average commission equal to the partner’s target.

To help improve performance in ad auctions, the commissions (per stay) strategy adjusts bids using real-time details such as the end-user’s device and location, Google property, geographic location, itinerary, and hotel price.

At least every month before the end of the billing cycle (the 17th of every month), the partner uploads a reconciliation report containing actual guest stays. The partner is billed based on the set commission rate for guest stays.

Note: Campaigns using commissions (per stay) will have zero costs reported in Google Ads and will be billed out of the Hotel Center billing pipeline.

Requirements

Your account must be approved and meet the following criteria in order to set up commissions (per stay) campaigns. Once approved, you can migrate your campaign.

Note: Your account must be approved by Google in order to gain access to create a campaign.
  1. Complete your billing profile in Google Ads and Hotel Center. Account costs will be billed out of Hotel Center.
  2. Set up conversion tracking with transaction specific values.
  3. Set your conversion action category to “Purchase”.
  4. Submit a reconciliation report at regular intervals.

Getting started

Note: You can migrate Hotel Ads campaigns by logging into your Hotel Center account and using the migration tool to copy your campaign to Google Ads or follow the instructions below to migrate from your Google Ads account.

Approval

Access to the commissions (per stay) bid strategy requires approval from Google. Please contact your Google sales account manager or contact our support team.

Set up conversion tracking transaction values

Submit your transaction data using the global site tag with the following required parameters:

'start_date'
'end_date'
'id'
'value'
'currency'

'value' is used to compute the cost for each conversion. If 'value' and associated 'currency' are not provided, Google will use the default value in the conversion settings, and the bidder will adjust bids accordingly.

Note: The conversion transaction values are only for hotel campaigns.

Configure your landing page URL (optional)

Hotel Ads includes the following new landing page URL parameters to support commissions (per stay):

(PAYMENT-ID): Resolves to a pre-defined string “commission”, or Google’s assigned IATA number (for example, "01234567") if you use a commissions collection agency. To change the formatting of your IATA number or pre-defined string, contact your TAM.

(IF-PAYMENT-ID): Resolves to "true" for hotels using commissions (per stay) bidding; otherwise "false". If "true", then values following this condition are inserted into the URL. Otherwise, values following the ELSE directive are inserted.

For more information about building landing page links, see Building Dynamic URLs.

Example 1

The following example shows the new parameters in a landing page URL definition:
http://www.partnerdomain.com?hotelID=(PARTNER-HOTEL-ID)&checkinDay=(CHECKINDAY)&checkinMonth=(CHECKINMONTH)&checkinYear=(CHECKINYEAR)&nights=(LENGTH)(IF-PAYMENT-ID)&bookingSource=(PAYMENT-ID)(ELSE)(ENDIF)

For a hotel using commissions (per stay), this resolves to:
http://www.partnerdomain.com?hotelID=ABCDEF&checkinDay=15&checkinMonth=07&checkinYear=2015&nights=3&bookingSource=123456789

For a hotel not using commissions (per stay), this resolves to:
http://www.partnerdomain.com?hotelID=ABCDEF&checkinDay=15&checkinMonth=07&checkinYear=2015&nights=3

Example 2

<URL>http://www.partnerdomain.com?hotelID=(PARTNER-HOTEL-ID)&checkinDay=(CHECKINDAY)&checkinMonth=(CHECKINMONTH)&checkinYear=(CHECKINYEAR)&nights=(LENGTH)&bookingSource=(IF-PAYMENT-ID)commissions(ELSE)GoogleCPC(ENDIF)</URL>

For a hotel using commissions (per stay), this resolves to:

http://www.partnerdomain.com?hotelID=ABCDEF&checkinDay=15&checkinMonth=07&checkinYear=2015&nights=3&bookingSource=commissions

Set up commissions (per stay)

Note: You can’t use an existing campaign for commission (per stay) and must create a new campaign.
  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the left navigation panel, click Campaigns.
  3. Click the plus buttonplus, then select New campaign.
  4. Select Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.
  5. Select the Hotel campaign type.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Set your campaign settings in the campaign Settings page. Learn about each setting.
  8. In your campaign’s Settings page, select Commission for your bid strategy.
  9. Under “Pay for”, choose Guest Stay.
  10. Click Save and continue.

Use the Hotel Ads API

Creating a Commissions (per stay) campaign using the Google Ads API is similar to creating other campaign types in Google Ads. For more information, see Add hotel ad.

There are specific settings needed for PaymentMode, BudgetType, and BiddingStrategyType. See Google Ads API Beta (listed under GUEST_STAY) for the settings.

Create a reconciliation report

You can create a reconciliation report that can be uploaded using the Hotel Center. These reports reconcile your account with Google to pay your invoice and upload a CSV file (your "reconciliation report") to Google monthly, weekly, or every two weeks.

To avoid double-charging, when uploading a new reconciliation file, please ensure that it does not contain any guest stays that have already been reconciled in a previous file.

Upload a reconciliation report

After you’ve created a reconciliation report, you can use the Hotel Center to upload the reconciliation report or use the Reconciliation Reports API.

If Google is not satisfied with the accuracy of your reporting, we may, with at least 7 days' notice and on reasonable grounds, request that you provide documents or records required in order for Google to determine whether your reports or payments made were accurate at the time. If you fail to provide such documents or records, or if Google is not satisfied that they demonstrate the accuracy of your reporting, Google may stop displaying ads for your hotel.

Best practices

Data Volume: To get the best performance with commissions (per stay), each campaign needs to have at least 10 conversions per week. Consider merging campaigns if you have any campaigns that are expected to get fewer than 10 conversions on a weekly basis.

Reliable conversion tracking: Conversion tracking must be implemented on all devices and points of sale. Any conversion tracking outages can significantly impact campaign performance. Don’t remove your conversion tracking code from your website or move it to a different location while the campaign is running. If you change your conversion tracking code, please allow our algorithm at least two weeks to readjust.

Setting up your commission percentage targets: To determine the right percentage of booking value for your campaign, consider property-level historical performance based on click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI. Your targets can be set between 0% and 100%.

Consistent reconciliation: You can submit the reconciliation report to Google at least once every 30 days and by the 17th of the month. We recommend reconciling more frequently if possible.

Ramp up time and campaign performance: Allow each campaign to run for at least 7 days before evaluating performance and making any changes. Try to avoid frequent and drastic changes while the campaign is running (including commission percentages, targeting, and active properties in the campaign) to prevent performance volatility.

Property groupings: Commissions (per stay) campaigns may perform better when properties with similar performance expectations are grouped together. We recommend looking at historical data comparing conversion rates and click-through rates to determine the most optimal property groupings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is commissions (per stay) different from commissions (per conversion)?

There are two major differences:

  1. Unlike commissions (per stay), commissions (per conversion) will optimize for the value of bookings without considering the possibility of cancellations.
  2. With commissions (per conversion), you are charged a percentage of booking value for conversions, not guest stays.

Are any bid adjustments compatible with commissions (per stay)?

Currently, only device bid adjustments set to -100% work. Country-level targeting can be separately set for the campaign.

Why does my Hotel Ads booking link not show up higher in the placement?

Just like with any other bid strategy, your ad placement depends on your bid relative to competitive bids in the same auction. If there are a lot of advertisers bidding to be displayed in Hotel Ads for a popular property, your bid may not be competitive enough to out rank other auction participants, and your Hotel Ads booking link may be lower in the ad placement or it may not be displayed at all.

What can I do to improve my ad placement?

You enter each auction with a calculated CPC bid, based on the fixed commission rate that you provide. You can change the commission percentage and participate in the auction with a different calculated CPC.

How are commissions (per stay) campaigns billed?

Commissions (per stay) campaigns are billed on the 18th of every month based on reported guest stays in the advertiser’s uploaded reconciliation report.

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