Pay-per-click advertising has become an essential part of hotels’ marketing strategies. Since users look at the top results first, and generally don’t even scroll to the bottom of the first page, ads in the first few slots generate the most clicks. Of course, since advertisers pay more for the top spots, these clicks are more costly. Hoteliers looking to improve their pay-per-click advertising strategy can get started with these basics.
- Use Bidding Tools to Make the Most of Your Budget. Google AdWords provides tools that allow you to automatically outbid someone else and to make sure your ad appears on the first results page. Familiarizing yourself with these tools will help make your campaign more effective.
- Adjust Your Daily Budget as Necessary. Using programs like Google AdWords and Bing Ads, it’s easy to change your budget and where your marketing dollars are allocated. Jeff Reynolds, president of Paraday Communications, recommends keeping your initial budget small until you know what is converting your guests. You don’t want to waste your budget on clicks that don’t result in bookings!
- Use Specific Keywords. You might find that guests searching “Hotels in Boston” convert less compared to guests searching “Hotels near Boston Harbor” and that keyword should therefore receive fewer allocated marketing dollars. The benefit of using more specific keywords is that there are fewer advertisers bidding on them, keeping the cost-per-click lower than on broad keywords. That being said, don’t stop bidding on broad keywords or you’ll lose guests to your competitors who do choose to bid on them.
- Don’t Forget to Target Your Brand Keywords Too! While general keywords are important to capture guests who may not know your property, bidding on brand keywords is essential for capturing guests who do know your hotel or resort. OTAs and sometimes even competitors bid on your brand name in hopes of generating bookings on their sites. Neglecting to bid on your own brand name might result in fewer direct bookings and lower bid prices for your competitors.
- Make Your Ads Interesting. It doesn’t matter if your ad is at the top of every search result, if it’s not interesting to guests, they won’t click on it. Use numbers and exclamation points in the title to capture guests’ attention and make sure the ad copy is interesting and catchy.
Keeping a close eye on your PPC Campaigns and adjusting them as necessary will help increase exposure to your resort and generate more conversions. Targeting specific keywords that your guests are searching will utilize your marketing budget effectively.
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