Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 86 – 10 Things You Need For A Successful Hotel PPC Strategy

by Stuart Butler

These are in no particular order of importance, but they are some of the most important things you should be doing to optimize your AdWords account. We take over a lot of PPC accounts that clearly aren’t following these best practices. Here are 10 things you should be doing to run a successful hotel PPC account.

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  1. Constantly Monitor Your Search Terms report
    1. Don’t waste money on keywords that are not relevant to your hotel
      1. If your hotel has multiple locations
      2. Other businesses with similar names
    2. Don’t waste money on keywords that never convert
      1. Could be something like bed bugs or reviews
  2. Add Negative Keywords
    1. When you create a campaign, use Google’s keyword planner to identify keywords that could trigger your ads unintentionally
    2. Open an incognito window and search some of your keywords to see what ads are being triggered
    3. Use search terms report to see where your ads are being triggered but shouldn’t be
  3. Use & Test Your Extensions
    1. We’ve taken over many campaigns that aren’t even using extensions
    2. Use every extension you can
      1. Call Outs – highlight awards, differentiators
      2. Structured Snippet
        1. Use the amenities structured snippet to list amenities
      3. Sitelinks
        1. Clickable links. Take people to desired page on your site
        2. Use “Book Now” to take those ready to book as deep as possible into the booking process. Probably a rooms page.
          1. If your booking engine is on your domain you can send those ready to book right into the process
      4. In the “New Adwords” interface they offer a Promotion Extension
        1. Can do things like 30% Off and send the user right to your specials page or, if you have it, a page dedicated to that particular offer
      5. Call Extensions
        1. Best with proper phone tracking
  4. Test Your Adcopy
    1. Regularly test new adcopy
    2. Test Countdown Ads
    3. Test new paths –
      1. try keywords related to the search term
      2. Try things like Official-Site or Lowest-Rate
  5. Test Your Landing Pages
    1. The majority of hotels will send PPC visitors right to the home page. This can still be effective but there’s probably more you could be doing.
    2. Try sending user to a specials to see if this increases conversions
    3. Try creating landing pages for certain events (if you’re running an event specific campaign)
    4. Using relevant copy on your landing page should improve quality score
  6. Monitor Performance by Device
    1. Under settings you can view performance by device
    2. See if certain campaigns (like in market campaigns) are getting most of the mobile conversions and set a bid adjustment to increase for those
    3. If you see you are spending a lot on mobile but aren’t getting conversions you should set negative bid adjustments so your ads don’t show on mobile. (look at this on an adgroup level)
    4. Then you should look into why you aren’t getting mobile conversions and consider a new booking engine
  7. Monitor your keyword bids
    1. You aren’t the only one running on your particular keyword set so make sure you are keeping competitive bids for your top converting keywords
    2. You don’t want to be pushed out of the top 4 ads because your competitors out bid you and you didn’t notice.
  8. Use Remarketing Lists
    1. Email list remarketing
      1. You worked for it. Use it.
      2. Tailor your keywords, ads, extensions and even landing pages to that audience. Try testing welcome back messaging
    2. You can use it to create look-a-like audiences. Leverage the massive amount of data Google has on all of us and set these up
      1. You can do this with
  9. Understand Geographic Targeting
    1. Use GA/Adwords to see where your traffic is coming from to choose the right locations
    2. Use in-market audiences for last minute bookings
    3. Don’t be afraid to run your brand in a broad area but closely monitor your search terms. Use the Geographic info in the dimensions tab to see
  10. Look at your opportunities
    1. Both Google and Bing offer “Opportunities”
    2. They can offer some great insight but you shouldn’t blindly accept all of them.
    3. They can show where it might be helpful to break up some of your adgroups based on relevance
    4. They can also suggest keywords that aren’t relevant and would have you wasting a lot of money

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