Some marketers think they have a solid justification for not bidding on independent luxury hotel names in Google AdWords.
Their rationale is "why pay to bid on a brand name keyword? People who are Googling the hotel name are already aware of it and want to stay there."
Over the last year, many hotels in this space have approached us with an issue directly linked to this.
Despite all their online marketing efforts to increase traffic to their hotel website, the number of new visitors has been dropping.
What is PPC brand bidding for independent luxury hotels?
PPC brand bidding for hotels means third party online travel agencies (OTAs) are bidding on your branded keywords or your branded terms. Their ads appear when your brand name is entered as a search term.
Many browsers don’t realise they are clicking on a 3rd party ad and not your own website. The result is that you lose traffic to your site.
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Why do hotels need to bid on their own brand name in AdWords campaigns?
People Google your independent hotel name because they likely don't know your website URL or don’t have a direct link to click on.
Paid ads always appear at the top of the results page so when a prospective guest searches for your hotel name there is a good chance they will click on a result from an OTA.
You could choose not to bid on your brand name, but you are significantly reducing the likelihood of a browser booking directly on your website.
If you don't bid on your hotel brand name, someone else will. The budget for the PPC ads is easily outweighed by the extra revenue you'll receive through not paying commission to OTAs.
Why doesn’t our SEO strategy help our hotel appear at the top of the results page?
Advertisers are paying to receive premium placement. Accordingly Google places paid ads first on the page and organic (free) results come below the ads.
This means that even if your hotel website ranks as the first organic link in search result pages, there could be 3 or 4 PPC ads above it.
Human behavior dictates that many users simply click on the first link that they see without thinking about whether it is your hotel website or a competitor third party site.
The result? You lose revenue and potentially lose forever that customer as a direct booker. If a browser downloads an OTA app, they may never use a hotel’s own website to book again.
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What are the benefits of brand PPC as a part of your independent luxury hotels online marketing strategy?
- Dominate the results page by showing up twice – one paid and one organic listing.
- Allows your hotel to compete effectively with OTAs.
- Helps to generate a culture of direct booking.
- Get higher clickthrough rates (CTRs) which improves conversion (and revenue) and also improves your organic ranking.
- Helps you find other modifiers which searchers include when they're looking for your site e.g. services, location.
- Provides a measurable return on investment.
- Generates better quality of traffic.
Should your hotel start to run brand PPC campaigns?
The answer is almost certainly yes. However, they need to be carefully setup and be well managed.
It is easy to throw money at PPC without getting results. Some points to consider:
- Do you have optimised landing pages?
- What is your quality score and do you know how to improve it?
- Is Google Analytics setup correctly to measure ad performance and return-on-investment (ROI)?
As an experienced PPC agency specialising in independent luxury hotel marketing, we have a proven track record in delivering brilliant ROI from brand PPC.
To generate more direct bookings and boost revenue for your hotel, contact us today