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3 steps to optimize your hotel’s pay-per-click strategy

The success of your hotel’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising strategy depends on its ability to reach the most qualified users with enticing offers, helping your hotel stand out from the competition. Follow these 3 steps to build the most effective PPC strategy for your hotel:

Refine your keyword strategy

Just as you’d want to build a house on a solid foundation, the foundation of your PPC campaign is a relevant keyword strategy with enticing ad copy. The Sabre Digital Experience team uses the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which returns average monthly searches as well as a suggested bid amount, allowing you to select the most relevant keywords for your hotel.

To maximize your investment and drive the most qualified traffic to your website, consider choosing keywords based on your property type, location and target market segments. For our partners, Sabre Digital Experience specialists regularly review hotels’ search term reports to refine keywords, including negative keywords to identify unqualified searches we can remove from campaigns.

Your campaigns should also direct users to offers that are tailored to their needs. We recommend that hotels have different landing pages for different segments. For example, a hotel that offers both golf packages and spa services ought to have landing pages for different PPC promotions based on golf- or spa-specific keyword searches.

Define your audience

It’s important to regularly review search traffic for your hotel to see not only where most of your searches are coming from, but where the majority of your high-value customers are located – and what types of offers they’re most receptive to.

We recently reviewed a PPC campaign for a hotel in Florida to see how we could improve their conversion rates. While most of their search traffic came from users in Florida, we found that users outside of Florida were spending more time on the site and their conversion rates were significantly higher. Digging a little deeper, we also found that users from New York City booked longer stays, usually traveled by air and were most receptive to special offers that included an extra night’s stay or “stay longer, save more” offers. However, users from Texas tended to book shorter stays and were more receptive to special offers focused on amenities.

We also know that more people than ever are shopping for hotel stays via mobile devices. According to recent Google data, 51 percent of hotel search queries are coming from mobile versus 43 percent from desktop or tablet computers. Meanwhile, 55 percent of clicks on hotel ad content are coming from mobile versus 35 percent on desktop and tablet. This is why it’s so important to have a dedicated mobile advertising strategy, as well as top placement for your mobile ads. Space is limited and mobile users are less likely to scroll down to see your ads.

The best way to capture mobile device users’ attention is to provide a special offer just for them. In one case study, a hotel that promoted up to 40 percent off rates via PPC on mobile devices saw their ROI from online mobile bookings increase by 300 percent, and the promotion generated 150 percent more calls than in the previous period.

It’s important to understand who your customers are, then optimize your PPC campaigns to match their needs – making sure that the offers you show users are most likely to capture their interest and give them reasons to want to book with you.

Chart new opportunities

The newest and greatest opportunity in PPC is the ability to act on information from guest personas. In Google AdWords, we can see the number of impressions and clicks broken down by gender and age group. This breakdown gives you the opportunity to adjust or remove your bids for specific age ranges so that your ads reach only the customers you want to target. You can also target ads to specific customer segments based on demographic information.

For instance, you may want to tailor your promotions to specific customer demographics you want to engage. Those most likely to be seeking family-friendly vacations might be shown a promotion for free or reduced nights, while other travelers may be more receptive to promotions focused on events, amenities or attractions, depending on their demographics. Based on how much information you have on your guests, you can adjust ads and promotions to better meet their needs and give them an extra incentive to book with you, right now.

It’s also important to consider new channels that can help you reach additional travelers, such as other search providers or a specialized remarketing strategy for search ads. There are always opportunities to refine your campaigns to reach more customers with engaging, targeted and timely offers.

Contact the Digital Experience Team today and find out how we can create a more solid and profitable PPC strategy for your hotel or chain.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Hayes
Senior PPC Marketing Specialist
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