The Ultimate Guide to PPC For Hotels

The competition between independent hotels is as equally fierce in the online digital world as elsewhere. This makes it hard for them to earn high placements in the organic search engine rankings. 

Hotel marketers are often asked to predict the future. 
  • Is this offer going to sell?
  • How much revenue will an advert generate?
  • What publications work best to reach specific markets? 

If you want to take the guesswork out of hotel marketing and attract more guests to your property, consider running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns for your independent hotel. 

Targeted, cost effective, and precisely measurable hotel PPC advertising is a must-have medium for modern marketers. 
luxury hotel direct online revenue

Improve Marketing ROI Across Channels through Targeted Messaging

Google ads offer several different platforms across the web. In this overview, we will focus on "Search Ads".

How does PPC Work for Independent Hotels?

If you want better visibility on search engine result pages, you need to consider advertising on search engines like Google. The little icon that says "Ad" next to a result shows that all the top listings are there due to PPC advertising. The effectiveness of this approach is that users are shown ads on Google's search pages which are highly relevant to their needs. 

As a bonus, businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad. Driving quality website traffic with excellent return on investment, search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC marketing. 

These campaigns allow hotels to compete with OTAs for better visibility and generate direct bookings through their own website.

As an advertiser, you are in control of your budget at all the times and able to make changes at a moment's notice. 

What makes your campaign performance exceptional? 

Get the top tips from this best-practice guide on how to drive more direct bookings for your independent hotel with PPC services. 

Tip 1: Bid On Your Brand Name

Googling something is now such a regular habit it can be almost an unconscious act. Browsers type in what they are looking for and they are brought directly to the search engine result page. 

When a potential guest searches for your hotel name and the first thing they see is a PPC ad, they may click on it without thinking. 

Often guests arrive at a hotel without knowing whether they have booked directly or via a third-party.

The crucial thing to understand is that meta search engines and OTAs routinely bid on your hotel's name as part of their digital marketing strategy

Even though they searched for your brand name, browsers might not be clicking on your result.

You must be proactive with your own PPC campaign. 

Protect your property by setting up brand PPC campaigns so ads will appear when keywords related to your name are typed into a search bar. 

Brand PPC advertising generates quality traffic with high conversion figures which lead to more direct bookings.

Tip 2: Write great ad copy 

Which ad copy would entice you to book a room? 

A hotel that 'provides high levels of operational management'? or one that promises 'personalized attention, 24-hour butler service and great rates'? 

While PPC campaigns are highly technical, they also demand a creative flair for copywriting.

Think of your guests before signing up on your ad copies. Make sure that they focus on your unique features and highlight what sets your hotel apart from competitors. 

Always include powerful calls to action to inspire an immediate response. 

Ad space is limited by strict character count so make the most of your online real estate. Mix in a few ad extensions to expand your message. 

Tip 3: Choose your keywords carefully 

Keywords are at the heart of your PPC advertising – they determine when and where your ads will appear. Choose them well. 

Always consider the risks and rewards for each keyword.

Bidding for popular generic keywords such as 'hotels in New York' will eat up your budget very quickly without significant results. 

But one potential reward is that it has huge traffic to capitalize on and turn into bookings.

Bidding on long tail keywords like '5-star hotel in New York with rooftop', containing three or more keywords, is a good approach to keep a tighter control on what searches your ads will appear for.

While the search volume of these keywords is much lower, the cost is also greatly reduced. 

These ads tend to produce higher conversion rates as they match the target audience requirements closely. 

Tip 4: Stand out with unique offers 

In addition to compelling copy, your PPC ads need to feature irresistible offers to attract clicks. 

The best way to highlight these campaigns is to create site link extensions that can take people to specific sections of your website. 

Max out all possible Google ad extensions, where you can offer more hotel details beyond the basic headline and hotel copy.

The idea is simple: the more your hotel ad stands, the more your ad gets clicked on. 

With easy scheduling and simple editing, management of your sitelinks is very straight forward. 

If you want to highlight upcoming events such as Black Friday or a January sale, add a countdown widget to your ad. 

Tip 5: Spend time on your quality score 

A higher quality score means better ad position and lower prices. 
concentrate on the three key components:
  • Ad relevance 
  • Clickthrough rate 
  • Landing page experience 

The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to users, the more likely your ad is to get top quality score. 

Tip 6: Land a punch with your landing pages 

A compelling landing page is the pillar of a rock-solid online advertising plan. It has one purpose only – to convert. 

It might be a sale, a sign-up or a prompt to the next stage but it is designed for action not awareness.

You may produce amazing ad copies or get impressive visitor numbers, but if your landing pages are just an afterthought your campaigns will never reach their full potential. 

The best performing pages are built on a simple layout with clean, minimalist design. 

The content must be relevant to and coherent with the search query and the ad copy which brought the user to the page. For example, use the same image(s) in the ad and on the landing page. 

Remember to tailor content specifically to mobile users.

Help customers along the purchasing path with call-to-actions to improve conversion rates and increase direct revenue. 

Tip 7: Think mobile, live mobile

As browsers increasingly move to mobile devices, to get the best PPC marketing results create separate campaigns for your mobile audience. 
Even more importantly for the travel industry, when customers look up a hotel on their phone, they are likely to be last-minute bookers in urgent need of a solution. 

Deploy action-oriented keywords, specific calls to action, or unique offers to motivate these users. 

Make sure to test your ads for mobile compatibility before you publish them. Then, you will see a lower cost per click (CPC) from the host platform and higher click-through rates across the board. 

Overall, your ad will perform better if you optimize it for mobile viewing. 

Tip 8: Never rest on your results – keep testing

The secret of long-term PPC success is endless work. The crucial factors you need to focus on are:
  • Keywords. Concentrate on high achieving keywords while losing poor ones.  
  • Ad copy. Experiment with ad copy on unique selling points to see what really speaks to your audience.  
  • Landing page experience. Try different calls to action for CTR improvement. Run A/B tests to tweak landing pages for better conversion rates and never stop testing.  

Ask your PPC agency for regular optimization by a Google certified marketer. The more information is collected in your account, the more opportunity for improvements. 

Stay positive about PPC

Our final word of wisdom? Be patient. 

Expect a minimum of a couple of months to get your PPC advertising up and running - it will be worth the wait.
As a hotel marketing agency, we see steady growth in paid traffic which continues to deliver reassuring revenue increase year after year. 

If you need help with the campaign setup or optimization, feel free to reach out to Aró Digital.