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Using Reserve with Google to Increase Online Bookings

Last updated on August 20, 2020
8 minute read

Skill Level


With over 90% of the global search engine market share (SEO Tribunal), Google continues to revolutionize the way people find websites like yours. From displaying important company information on Google My Business to offering services like Google Analytics to track website success, the search engine giant makes it easy to promote your tour, activity, and attraction business. 

Utilize these tools to get more customers and market your tours and activities to a wider audience through Reserve with Google. As a FareHarbor client with online availability you are able to give customers the option to book a tour directly on Google, resulting in bookings flowing seamlessly into your FareHarbor Dashboard. All the customer has to do is click “buy tickets” and complete their booking in a few simple steps. 

Besides ease of use, the biggest benefit of Reserve with Google is that it helps attract more customers — for free! This guide will cover how to use Reserve with Google to get more bookings, additional benefits for your business and customers, as well as how Reserve with Google works with OTAs and FareHarbor. Take these steps to increase bookings in no time!

Benefits of Using Reserve with Google

As a tour and activity operator you’ve likely put a lot of time and energy into a digital marketing strategy through search engine optimization, paid advertising, email marketing, or other tactics. And while those strategies are all important aspects of running a business, they all depend on one bottom line — driving customers to your website to make a booking. 

That’s where the simplicity of Reserve with Google is evident — customers can make a booking without ever visiting a website. With one to three of your most popular activities available on the platform along with a clear CTA like “buy tickets,” Reserve with Google is the prime spot to drive customers who want to book in as few clicks as possible. Customers can see a brief description of the activity (so there’s no need to search your website), read reviews, and see a schedule to book the time that’s best for them.

As we detailed in our intro to Reserve with Google guide, this service is currently free to FareHarbor clients and uses the same customer booking fees and credit card fees as booking through FareHarbor on your website. Using Reserve with Google is like working with the world’s largest OTA to sell tours and activities without having to pay a commission fee!

Google makes it convenient for customers to book through channels like Google Search, Google Maps, or Google Assistant, resulting in more bookings for you. Google’s varied payment methods are also beneficial to everyone. Customers can pay in full during the booking, click reserve to pay in person, enter their payment information at checkout, or enjoy the convenience of using their Google Pay profile, which sends the payment information directly to FareHarbor. Other benefits for the customer include Google Calendar and Gmail reminders about the upcoming activity.

How Does Reserve with Google Attract More Customers?

Reserve with Google can lead to more bookings because it reaches a much wider audience than a website. When people search for tours near them or type in keywords associated with a certain business, they can view related businesses listed on the SERP. Having access to reviews and other business information right from the search page saves customers time since they don’t have to compare multiple websites. It also creates an additional conversion funnel and a channel to generate new leads and bookings. 

This also takes the guesswork out of defining a target audience. Reserve with Google makes a business visible to anyone searching for a related query, creating the ability to target searchers who might not have been considered in your original target audience. By widening your audience you have the ability to capture new visitors and get more bookings.

Since Google is used by the vast majority of tour and activity searchers, offering a “buy tickets” button on a Google listing provides more exposure and gets your business in front of thousands of local Google users searching for “things to do” in the area. Customers using Google Maps to get around are also one step closer to booking when searching for specific tours or activities near them. They can instantly see whether or not the activity will fit into their schedule, tightening the booking flow and increasing conversions.

Finally, Reserve with Google makes it easy to track results and measure success. Google provides booking insights to see how a listing is performing compared with other booking channels.

Pro tip: To make your business listing even more visible on Google, it’s imperative to get lots of positive reviews. Encourage customers to submit Google reviews to beef up your listing.


How Does Reserve with Google Function with OTAs?

Already sold on Reserve with Google but wondering how it integrates with OTAs? You can still use this service with FareHarbor and your OTA and reap the benefits of increased bookings.

OTAs like GetYourGuide, Musement, and TripAdvisor have integrations with Reserve with Google just like FareHarbor does. OTAs may also distribute your tours and activities throughout their network of partners, which could include Reserve with Google, depending on the contract signed.

When working with an OTA that uses Reserve with Google, make sure to have the integration enabled in FareHarbor as well. This is important because bookings made through FareHarbor’s integration will be commission-free, whereas OTA bookings will have the standard commission. This way, you can enjoy increased bookings without extra commission fees!

You won’t know if a booking is from TripAdvisor’s website or through Reserve with Google since it appears in your Dashboard the same way, but no matter the source — using OTAs with Reserve with Google gets more exposure for your business. 

Next Steps

Ready to get more customers and bookings? Contact FareHarbor Support to get integrated with Reserve with Google. Make your most popular tours more visible, reach a wider selection of potential customers, and see more bookings flow into your Dashboard. Get started today!

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