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Hotel PPC: A complete guide

  Posted in Digital Marketing  Last updated 27/05/2024

What is hotel PPC?

Pay-per-click advertising, commonly referred to as PPC, is an effective way to generate more bookings on your website. This hotel advertising strategy needs to be well considered and effectively implemented in order to increase your site visitors and conversion rates.

A hotel PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, or hotel search engine marketing campaign is an advertising campaign in which a hotel targets a keyword to promote their website to a specific set of online searchers.

The number of clicks the link receives dictates the amount that is paid for the campaign, making it a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your hotel website. However, it’s important that your hotel PPC does more than simply generate a tonne of clicks. It needs to attract motivated travellers who are interested and highly likely to book a room at your hotel.

Here’s everything you need to know about PPC for hotels.

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What is Google pay per click? 

Pay per click (PPC) is a form of online advertising in which you only pay when someone clicks your ad. It is the system used across Google Ads, from the text ads that appear on the results page to the image ads that appear across the internet via the Google display ads network. A bidding system determines which ads and advertisers are featured.

A key part of your broader hotel search engine marketing (SEM) efforts, hotel pay per click marketing allows you to instantly secure a spot at the top of the Google results – something that can take months or longer with an organic SEO strategy (which forms another key part of SEM).

Go big on Google Ads with help from SiteMinder

Learn more about your business and guests with SiteMinder Insights, and use this knowledge to develop PPC ads that earn more clicks and drive more business.

Learn more

How should you choose a hotel PPC keyword?

The heart of any hotel PPC marketing campaign is the keyword. It’s important you perform adequate research about the target audience and their online search habits before selecting a keyword for the next hotel PPC campaign.

Keywords need to be relevant to your brand, but also specific enough to reach the target audience that is most likely to book with you.

For example, you would want to include popular versions of your keyword search phrase as well as long-form versions identifying specific locations and other important details.

Using Google adwords for hotels

Once you’ve completed your keyword research, you’ll need to set up your hotel PPC marketing campaign. Google has worked hard to make AdWords (now simply called Google Ads) accessible to the average user, although partnering with a digital marketing agency can help to maximise the return on your advertising investment.

In terms of hotel campaigns, Google Ads requires every user to create an account. Once you’re logged in, campaign creation and hotel PPC management is simple to learn – yet tricky to master – through the Google Ads dashboard.

A PPC campaign is an effective way to get more of your guests to book direct.

Why should you choose PPC for hotels?

Hotel PPC is an easy and cost-effective way to increase your site traffic and conversions. While your SEO strategy will help improve your rankings on the search result page, your hotel PPC campaign will improve your visibility and boost traffic among your most motivated market segments. Learn more about market segmentation from Nutshell.

It is an advertising technique that can be easily customised to meet the needs of your brand, and it can be employed across all of your website landing pages, social media profiles and email marketing campaigns.

It is also not uncommon for OTAs to bid on hotel brands in their own PPC campaigns. A quick glance at your auction insights brand campaign in Google Adwords will tell you whether OTAs are bidding on your hotel brand and how their ads are performing against yours. To counter the sales lost to OTAs bidding on your brand it is important for you to be bidding on your own brand too. You can also bid on your hotel brand and the name of the OTA to try and recapture some of the lost traffic.

Why use Google ads for hotel campaigns?

Why use Google AdWords for hotels? Put simply, Google is the gatekeeper of the internet. It boasts a search engine market share of over 90%, so nine out of every ten potential guests will use Google when they search for accommodation.

It is critical that your property comes up as a result when they type ‘hotel [your location]’, and as it guarantees you a spot at the top of the page, Google Ads is one of the most effective ways to do so.

Image representing Hotel PPC

How can you improve your hotel pay per click marketing?

If you have created a hotel PPC campaign that is driving traffic but not converting visitors into customers, then it’s time to look at ways you can adjust this campaign. Here are five effective strategies to increase your conversions:

  1. Exclusive deals: Offer a discount or promotional code via Google Ads. Not only will this encourage conversions, if you put a time limit on the offer, it can also encourage a potential guest to book quickly.
  2. Mobile-friendly: Every PPC campaign should be mobile-friendly, as an ever-increasing number of potential guests are now looking for and booking hotels from their smartphones and tablets.
  3. Remarketing campaigns: A remarketing campaign sees targeted ads being shown to people who have previously visited your site. Remarketing campaigns keep your hotel top of mind, and can build familiarity and trust with your brand, which can lead to bookings.
  4. Monitor competitors: Analyse how your direct competitors using Google Ads. Consider how you can replicate what they’re doing well and capitalise on what they’re doing not so well.
  5. Seasonal trends: Craft your ads around seasonal trends. Tell guests why they should choose your hotel and area at certain times of year. Be willing to increase your advertising budget a little during peak season to secure more valuable bookings.

What should you do with your hotel PPC results?

At the end of each PPC campaign, it’s important that you track your metrics and analyse the data that is generated from the campaign. Today’s hotel PPC campaigns are more refined than ever before, offering insight into the demographics of each site visitor that arrived at your hotel website.

You can learn about which types of visitors booked immediately, who abandoned the page entirely, and who spent the most amount of time browsing. This will help you redefine the purpose of your future campaigns.

By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.

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