Today, most hotel searches start on Google and 80% of guests decide on accommodation online. Therefore, every time you see a hotel rank in the top three results on a Google query is not only because of a good search engine optimisation (SEO) plan but also because the hotel has an effective Google Ads campaign underway.
Google Ads is the largest and most widely used online advertising platform. It helps businesses to reach any individual who uses Google to search for information on brands and services. Here are some of the best practices that you should take into account once your Google Ads campaign is live.
Nailing the right keywords will help your ad campaign reach the relevant target audience. As hotels do not have a large budget compared to online travel agencies (OTAs), you are better off selecting keywords that are available at a lower price. Additionally, long-tail keywords are more relevant and drive more conversions (compared with more head keywords). For instance, ‘Hotels in Bangalore’ is a head keyword and would be costly as compared to ‘Hotels near IIM Bangalore’ or ‘5-star hotels near IIM Bangalore’. The ranking of keywords changes everyday, and therefore, keyword bidding on Google is a continuous process! (Long-tail keywords are search queries with three and over words that have low search volume, are specific and are far less competitive. Head keywords, in comparison, might only be one or two words at most.)
Also, you can designate negative keywords to your ad campaign. This helps to prevent ads from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. For instance, if you add the word ‘budget hotels’ to your ad campaign, you are telling Google Ads to not display your hotel for any search query containing the term ‘budget hotels’.
Keep in mind that conversions from Google Ads’ depends on devices. Our finding is that for hotels, the cost-per-click (CPC) is lower for mobile phones than for desktop. This indicates competition is lower on mobiles, and also conversions. Therefore, when optimizing campaigns for low CPCs, ensure that your website traffic does not fully migrate to mobile phones.
Geo-targeting is a method of delivering relevant ads to consumers based on their geography. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdowns across the globe and restrictions on travel. For a hotel which caters to international guests, it’s effective to target ads at locals in this scenario. Additionally if you are heavily dependent on certain geographies like Canada, the US, you can accordingly focus your Google Ads’ spend on those regions.
A great ad copy
Your hotel ad copy might not win a Pulitzer, but it has to be a unique piece of art and science that gives you an edge over other competitors who are bidding for the same set of keywords. A great ad copy can reduce the cost of your Google ad. Google only earns when someone clicks on the ad. Therefore, an ad that gets more clicks will ultimately be displayed at a lower cost. Ad Extensions You can expand your Google Ad with additional information called extensions (call buttons, location information, etc). This typically will boost your ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. As Google Ads selects which extensions to show in response to each individual search on Google to increase the reach of your text ads, you must use all the extensions relevant to your business goals.
Landing page optimisation
Optimise your landing page before creating a Google Ads campaign. Why? The customer journey is crucial here. Their keyword search should lead to a catchy headline and description that speaks of their query, is creative enough for a click, and lands them on the correct ‘end’ page, from where a purchase can be made. For example, if you are running a discount for hotel rooms, your ad should land on a page that contains the details of the offer, and not in the descriptive page of the rooms without any mention of the offer.
The next important requisite in a landing page is strong call-to-action (CTA) widgets that help convert visitors into customers.
Quality Score is the rating that your website acquires depending on the user experience that your ads provide when a user searches for your keywords. Google determines how your ad should rank depending on your QS — the higher your score, the better will be the placement of your ads.
With a lower QS, your ads will get traffic but at a higher cost. To have a stellar QS, all you need to do is to incorporate the aforementioned best practices into your ad.
Use Google Ads retargeting
Retargeting in Google Ads remarkets your ads to visitors who had interacted with your website but did not convert. According to studies online, a website visitor is likely to convert to a customer if he views your ad at least seven times. Tracking these users around the web and targeting them with your ads is more effective in optimizing conversion results.
Make your customers your top priority
Remember, at the end of the day, your ads are designed for humans and not for bots. Optimization of Google Ads is a continuous experiment and we need to keep the end users in mind.
The Simplotel advantage
Phew! Seems like a lot of work? We got you covered! At Simplotel, we have an amazing team of digital marketing managers who are always focused on increasing the success of our clients (Read Rhythm Lonavala hits 25% of total occupancy from direct bookings). We run effective Google Ad campaigns, follow the latest market trends, and assure optimal ad spends for all our customers. Sign up with us and broadcast your Google Ads campaign to the farthest reaches of the planet.