Digital marketing for hotels has continued to grow over the years and many are seeing…
PPC advertising for hotels is seeing a resurgence with many businesses having paused or closed down their campaigns during COVID lockdowns. But now, as people travel more and look for hotels, the demand continues to grow and some businesses that are running pay per click (PPC) campaigns are seeing better performance than before.
Whether you’re already managing your PPC campaigns on platforms like Google Ads or looking to relaunch, you can do this effectively at an affordable cost.
And there are many tools that will help you with this. Some are within your PPC platform and others are third party research and bidding tools.
In this blog post I list some of the best PPC campaign management tips for hotels. Follow these guidelines to manage your campaigns or to set up new ones if you need to.
1. Setup conversion tracking
One of the first things to do as part of your campaign management is to setup conversion tracking. This will help to track all PPC traffic for your hotel campaign and you can optimise your ads effectively.
And you should consider setting up goal tracking in Google Analytics and import the goals into your Google Ads account for conversion tracking. First, you’ll need to make sure these two accounts are linked and you can do that in the admin section of your Google Analytics account.
And using one of the goal templates, you can setup goals to track online bookings, submissions on the contact form and any other relevant action for your hotel.
2. Add new negative keywords
Check for new negative keywords as part of your campaign management to block searches that are not relevant for your campaign. You can do some research to find negative keywords and the best place to find them is in your search terms report which is under your Keywords tab.
Regularly adding negative keywords will improve the targeting of your ads and you’ll see an improvement in click through rates (CTRs) and conversions.
And it also means you’ll not waste budget on searches that are irrelevant.
Part of your PPC advertising plan for your hotel should include continuous keyword research to find new keyword opportunities. A helpful tool that is free and has powerful features is the Keyword Planner tool that is in your Google Ads account under Tools & Settings.
You can check for new keywords for different locations that you are targeting. And then add the ones that you feel are most relevant. Next to each keyword you’ll see how competitive it is and how much you’re likely to spend for the top placements.
And you are also able to get search volume and forecasts for how they could perform.
4. Update bid strategy
PPC advertising for hotels should focus on using the right bid strategy. As you manage your campaign, you’ll need to review the bid strategy you’re using and continue to check for opportunities to change it to improve performance.
There are automated and manual bidding strategies in your Search campaigns. A recommended bid strategy to start with is Maximise Clicks, so you can get as many clicks as possible for your budget. This is an automated bid strategy.
But you may want to test a manual bid strategy too. Manual CPC is good if you want to have more control over your bids, and want to set this at the keyword level. Just be aware that this will take up more of your time and is not as efficient as an automated bid strategy.
5. Check Recommendations
The Recommendations page, formerly known as Opportunities, is a page where you see recommendations to improve your campaigns. These recommendations are tailored to your campaigns to improve performance through Google’s machine learning capabilities.
And in there you’ll see recommendations for bidding & budgets, keywords & targeting, ads & extensions and many more. But you’ll only see the most relevant for your campaigns and you can apply or dismiss them according to your requirements.
And doing this will help to improve your Optimisation score. This score is an estimate from Google Ads of how well your account is set to perform and updating them increases your score and brings it closer to 100%.
6. Do competitor analysis on other hotels
PPC marketing for hotels should include regular research into competitors to see what keywords they are appearing for. Using a platform like SERanking will help you to look into the keyword strategies that other hotels are using, and that will help you create yours.
Also, in your campaigns you’ll see the Auction Insights report that shows you which hotels you are coming up against. In this report you’ll see how often you appear in the top and absolute top positions at auction time. You can access the report from the Keywords or Ad Group tabs in your campaign.
7. Check Quality Scores
Quality Score is a diagnostic tool that shows you how your keywords are performing at auction time. The score ranges from 1 to 10 and the higher the better. So, your campaign management work should focus on increasing your scores up to 10 for as many as possible.
To improves your scores you’ll need to work on the three factors that contribute to them:
Expected Click Through Rate
Landing Page Experience
And for each of the above factors you’ll see a rating of Below Average, Average or Above Average. So, to improve your quality scores, you’ll need to improve these ratings.
For example, if a keyword has a Below Average Landing Page Experience, then you should check your pages to improve them. Check what the bounce rates are and see how engaged visitors are and make adjustments.
Get in Touch
I’m a PPC specialist and I help hotels and other hospitality businesses promote their services to customers searching online. I’ll be happy to discuss your requirements and you can reach me by using the contact form below.