Hotel Pay-per-click(PPC) costs have surged in recent years and are eating up large portions of digital marketing budgets. The cost-per-click for hotel ads continues to rise with large OTAs bidding on brand names as well as the best bottom of the funnel keywords. How are hotels supposed to compete for direct bookings without paying even costlier OTA advertising costs? Lumi Luxe lays out 5 steps to improve your Hotel PPC strategy & maintain efficient cost-per-clicks.
1. Do not overbid for any keywords. Numerous digital marketers and PPC managers believe the best way to beat out competition is to ensure the first position for those bottom funnel keywords. This just doesn’t work unless your marketing budget compares with giant OTAs like TripAdvisor.com or Expedia.com. You will burn through your campaign budget rather quickly trying to achieve the top position consistently. With a combination of a modest bid and good quality scores, you can minimize cost-per-action (CPA) and often improve conversions while your position drops.
2. Take advantage of Google’s new responsive ads. Google recently released responsive ad formats where the advertiser can now show users ads with more significant context. With the choice to include up to 3 different headlines instead of the usual two, and shows up to two descriptions instead of the usual one. Search Engine Land goes into further detail how Google lets you write as many as 15 headlines that will be rotated to “best fit” the search query.
3. Set up a Target CPA Bid Strategy Experiment. If you have a good understanding of what an ideal CPA for specific campaigns should be this could be the money-maker for bid strategies. Set up an experiment in AdWords to a/b test your current strategy with the new Target CPA one. At Lumi Luxe, we have seen positive results using this approach for numerous clients, utilizing this strategy with specific non-brand campaigns that lowered our average position a full rank but CPA & CPC decreased. Conversions varied at first being lower in the first month but after three months exceeded our previous year’s conversion numbers at a significantly lower CPA.
4. Create numerous remarketing lists based on offers, deals & specific rooms. Remarketing continues to be a great conversion driver for hotel PPC campaigns, with even better CTR’s. The best remarketing ads recall the precise room, offer or deals they left off on. More personalized messaging resonates with those on the cusp of booking and can quickly get them to reconsider and come back.
5. Don’t forget to expand your audience. It is easy to target vacationers, people looking for a deal or a specific destination. It is more strategic to determine those closely related keywords that really do expand your audience without realizing it. For example, the term “honeymoon” and it’s associated searches aren’t always targeted as part of an initial strategy, but yet continue to have steadily increasing performance. Other terms such as bachelorette or group vacation, consistently perform well, yet numerous hotels and resorts do not dedicate a page or section of their website to them. These and similar travel-related events in life cannot be overlooked in your keyword research.
Let us help you and your brand effectively manage the ever-changing landscape of paid search. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can work together to create a successful strategy for you! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org