7 Hotel PPC Strategies for 2016

The reduction of on Adwords first page ads has led to increased competition. Naturally, this has led to higher cost per clicks. In order to run a cost effective campaign, there are a few strategies that you will need to employ:

1. Brand Strategy–In the travel hotel space, most travelers will begin there online hotel search at an online travel agency like Booking.com, Expedia.com, or TripAdvisor.com. These OTAs have a massive budget to spend on generic and brand terms. Once users find a hotel they like, the next likely step would be to search using the Hotel’s brand name.  At this point, the hotelier must have multiple points of conversion on the first page. Utilizing brand keywords will give you the advantage of excellent quality scores since the bidding strategy is based on using your brand keywords to send traffic to the brand website. You will pay much less for your keywords due to the high relevance. With good ad copy, your CTR will be higher than your competitors .  The majority of your opportunity  will be in the last part of the funnel. For more on this go to Google’s Customer Journey brand_traffic_001

 2. Remarketing–Don’t  expect that the user to book instantly after viewing your website. Travelers are savvy and will often shop for cheaper rates for up to 15 days prior to booking.  Using tactical banners with attractive offers that offer a compelling reason to book direct will give the hotel a competitive advantage over it’s competitors. Using timers will also help to compel the user to not missed that awesome book direct deal!

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3. Rate Parity –Often hoteliers have variable rates for different channels. These rates should be updated in advanced to ensure these are in parity to the OTAs.

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4. Facebook Ads for MICE and F&B–If you are planning on highlighting your hotel’s inventory for meetings and events or restaurants. Its a good idea to use advanced targeting features in Facebook to target professionals such as business travelers, personal assistants, and event planners.

5. Utilizing Ad Extensions–Google allows for a variety of extensions to be used for hotels such as amenities and review extensions. These not only allow you to highlight the properties features, it also increases your front page real estate by maximizing the space in your ads.

6. Geo-Targeting–Its very important in travel to focus on user intent. Most people already know the area in which they would like to stay. There is an option in Adwords to target people interested in your target location . This will allow you to focus on user with strong intent while weeding out those higher in the research phase of the booking process. This will ultimately help you save money. The key is to know your most profitable customer demographics and location.

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7. Device Bidding— Research still supports that the vast amount on online bookings happen via a desktop. Whether it be people feeling more secure or mobile device screen, these are barriers. So,  booking growth on desktops still seems to stable regardless of the marketing penetration by mobile devices. Therefore, you should increase device bidding options for desktop user who s are likely to be more down funnel.    Check out this report form Skift Mobile and Desktop Booking Share.

For more on Air and Hotel PPC Strategies

Bonus: If you are really on a tight budget your can try ad scheduling. This is also known as day parting which will help you improve your budget spending.  This feature only shows your ads during times when you feel you have the strongest conversion potential.

Gaelim Holland

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