Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 35 – Are You Making These Top 10 Hotel PPC Mistakes?

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There’s no doubt that PPC for hotels is one of the best and most effective marketing channels available for your hotel.; however, far too many hotels and hotel marketing agencies are making some very avoidable mistakes when managing their campaigns. Learn which one your hotel should avoid in this episode of the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast.


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Show Notes:

  1. Tracking

    • We see quite a few hotels, mainly independents, running PPC without the ability to track its ROAS.
    • It’s extremely important to know
      1. If your current strategy is profitable
      2. What keywords & adcopy are most profitable
      3. You need to know if you’re making money as well as knowing where are the best places to spend your money
  2. Not running on Brand Keywords

    • This is a great way to get more direct bookings.
      1. Not bidding on your brand opens it up for the OTAs to run on your brand names and take all of your potential visits and bookings
      2. Use terms like “Official Site” to create trust within the searcher
    • Fairly inexpensive when done properly. You can get easily get high Quality Scores
  3. Negative Keywords

    • This is an issue with almost every account we take over and it’s something we monitor regularly with our existing accounts
    • This is especially important for hotels that share similar names to other hotels, or the same name but in a different town.
      • Example: Say your brand is Hotel X and you’re in Albany. And let’s also say there is a Hotel X in Orlando. Simply adding Orlando, Florida and FL as negative keywords will eliminate a lot of unqualified clicks.
  4. Geotargeting

    • Geotargeting is another great way to avoid unqualified clicks.
      1. You can geotarget your campaigns to your most profitable areas and eliminate areas that generate clicks but no bookings
    • We’ve also seen hotels use this to create a sense of familiarity with searchers
      1. Geotargeting to a city or state allows you to put that city or state in your adcopy easily. “Check Out Our Exclusive Deals For Our Visitors From Albany”
    • You may also find that certain areas respond differently to different adcopy. Geotargeting is a simple way to serve different ads to different areas based on what they’ve shown to engage with.
  5. Regular Testing

    • Another common mistake we see if when hotels create their adcopy and never vary from it.
    • It’s important to identify what’s working, but it’s equally as important to understand what’s not working, pause it, and test a new version
    • You may find through your tests that there is adcopy that converts much better
  6. Bidding on keywords that are too broad

    • This is a quick way to spend money on unqualified visits.
    • Many PPC campaigns will start with broad keywords so they can identify keyword opportunities, but they’ll never take their findings and start using exact terms.
    • Using more long-tail, exact match terms will decrease CPCs and bring in more qualified visit
  7. Not taking advantage of seasonal or event driven ad copy

    • This is especially important for hotels whose occupancy varys greatly depending on the season or around local events
    • It makes the ad much more relevant and timely
    • It sets you apart from the competition. This works very well if your hotel combines room rates with tickets to a local event.
  8. Not using Sitelinks & Other Extensions

    • Adwords offers plenty of opportunities to expand the real estate and overall usefulness of your ad.
    • At a minimum you should be using Sitelink extensions which allow you to add links to other site sections such as Amenities, Specials, Room Types, Book Now
    • Other extensions allow users to click to call the front desk or call center directly. Just be sure you can attribute that revenue back to PPC
    • There are many more useful extensions like location extensions, review extensions, callout extensions, etc.
    • Be sure you are using extensions and remember to test these regularly
  9. Looking at the wrong KPIs

    • We realize that many of you are not in the weeds with your PPC, but make sure what metrics you’re seeing in your reports are a true measure of success.
    • Looking at CTR is important to determine what ads are getting the most clicks per impression
    • Conversion Rate is an even bigger factor. If you see your ads have a great CTR but a low CR you know you have a problem
      1. For example you could feature a Vacation Giveaway in your ad copy. While you may get more people to click on that, you may not see any conversions.
      2. A high CTR and low CR may uncover a roadblock on your website where you are losing visitors
      3. Always look at these two metrics together for a better picture of how effective your adcopy and site are
  10. Not matching queries to landing pages

    • You want the searcher to find the information they are looking for in the shortest amount of time possible.
    • If you are running on exact match brand terms, it makes sense to send those searchers to the homepage. If you are running on keywords like “4 bedroom condos in Myrtle Beach”, you want to send that person to the 4 Bedroom condo page, not the homepage.
    • Same goes for specials and deals. If searches are looking for your brand name + specials or deals, send them to a Specials or Deals page on your

Fuel will be Speaking at the December HSMAI lunch → Digital Trends for 2017

  • Wednesday, December 14th
  • Ocean Creek Resort in Myrtle Beac


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