There are millions of hotel searches on Google each day and that means millions of potential bookings. Like thousands of hotels or B&Bs advertising online, you will undoubtedly be looking to tap into that market and increase bookings for your hotel.
According to a Google study by Ipsos MediaCT , 57% of travellers claim they always start their travel booking process with Search. In fact, everyone nowadays seems to start their search for a hotel by jumping on to Google or Bing.
The challenge though is that achieving high rankings in the organic results is more difficult than ever and Google My Business Listing with Google Maps won’t bring you sufficient volumes to make it a success. However, Google Hotel Ads are effective and they will appear below normal text ads and encourage direct bookings.
So, here are some tips to help improve your Adwords campaign and boost your online hotel bookings:
Differentiate ads from competitors
Most hotel ads in the search results are drowning in a “sea of sameness”. There is nothing to differentiate them from the 5 or more other Ads that are appearing in the search results. One ad looks just like the one below it and the one above it and says nothing compelling to the potential customer.
Therefore, searchers will randomly pick any advert and click to see what is at the other end of the ad, hoping to find something unique that will get them to place a booking or show some other kind of interest.
It’s important to realise that your ad is the first thing that a potential customer will see. What impression does it make? Does it make them want to click to find out more about this extraordinary offer that is mentioned in the ad? Or is just bland with no Unique selling point (USP) and nothing to entice the prospect?
Remember First impressions count. Your prospect will judge you by what they have seen in the ad.
So make sure your ad stands out and speaks to their specific needs and in that way, you will be able to connect with and achieve amazing results.
The question remains though, how do you do that though with only 60 characters of headline space, 80 characters of description space and 30 characters of Path 1 and Path 2 space?
Now, this doesn’t require you to be the greatest copywriter or to hire the best copywriter around, although that would be of great help. It does require though that you understand your target market and know what is of primary importance and what is of secondary importance to them and so on.
As a hotel, you will offer many features and amenities and it will not be possible to include all these in your ads. Some you may have to add in the ad extensions like structured snippets, especially if they are of less importance and then have your key benefits and features in the ads.
The most important thing will be to create 3 or 4 Ads per ad group and include your primary benefits or unique selling points to capture your target market and achieve high click through rates.
Get top positions in ad results
Not only will potential customers judge you by what they see in the ad, they will also judge you by your position in the ad results. Being at the top has many psychological benefits. Advertisers that are consistently at the top of the ad results are seen as leaders in the industry and more stable. They are also seen as the most effective at what they do and are trusted more by prospects and clients alike.
It’s hard to be a reputable business if you are constantly beat by competitors and it would be almost impossible to increase bookings for your hotel or b&b if you are at the bottom of the search results
You will be perceived as less of a competitor if your ads are not in the top positions.
Now you may be thinking, surely it must cost a fortune to maintain top positions in the ad results? Yes it costs more to rank higher in most cases, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Your ads will be more prominent in the search results and you will receive more traffic as you increase your budgets and that will lead to increased booking for your hotel.
Being at the top also means more of your ad extensions show up with your ad. The number 1 Ad regularly has more extensions and will occupy more space than position 2 and 3 Ads. In fact, many advertisers now click the top ad and never consider going back to click on ad number 2.
Quickly reach account maturity
To succeed in any form of online marketing, your campaigns need to reach maturity, quickly. And that holds true for Adwords advertising too. The reality though is that most Adwords campaigns are at the infant stage and remain there for many years.
They are characterised by low click through rates, poor quality scores and low conversion rate. This is mainly due to a lack of focus by advertisers and not optimising ads and keywords based on performance. The campaigns remain stagnant for many weeks and months and it still surprises me to find campaigns that I’ve just taken over still running standard text ads (and not the new expanded format).
Competition for hotel related keywords is high and without regularly updating keywords to keep them in line with your search terms report, you will continue to suffer from poor performance and never realise the full potential of your account.
A mature Google Adwords campaign or strategy is evident in a healthy budget that has been updated regularly due to performance; a broad range of keywords added from keyword research and the search terms report; multiple ads achieving high Click through rates; a high conversion rate that achieves the weekly and monthly targets and much more.
Download the full Adwords guide to find out more about creating effective ads for your hotel and increasing guest count.