Advertising your hotel online is a great way to generate bookings. With so many channels though it can be hard to know where to begin. Don’t worry, we will tell you where you should start with a very tight budget and where to grow with a larger budget
1. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR WEBSITE
If you want to get great results for paid ads, you are going to need a website that showcases the best of your property. To start with review your website for the following elements:
- Is it easy to navigate your website on both desktop and mobile? E.g. is it easy to find out more about your room types?
- Are your unique selling points highlighted? Whether it is your unique location, your award-winning food, or just an incredibly friendly team that guests rave about, you will want to highlight the main reasons why guests should choose your hotel. People have so many options that you will want to focus on your unique selling points.
- Is it easy to find your special offers? You will want people to easily find the main offers that you want to push such as your summer sale.
- Is it easy to make a booking? It is amazing how many times I visit a hotel’s website and it is confusing to make a booking
- Does my website load quickly or slowly? The slower your website, the lower your conversion rate will be as people may close the page and look elsewhere.
Once you are happy with your website, you are ready to get started with ads!
2. PAY-PER-CLICK ADS
The beauty of advertising on platforms such as Google & Facebook is that you can set and change your budget as you please. Plus, you only pay when a user clicks on your ads. The platforms also have advanced targeting capabilities to reach audiences most likely to be interested in staying at your hotel.
If you have accurate tracking, you can easily see how much money your campaigns make. With search ads on Google Ads, you can bid on certain keywords that relate to your business or service you are providing. You can create tailored clickable ads to appear in Google’s search result pages. Advertisers must pay Google for each click, which is one of the ways that Google makes its money. You will notice that many OTAs (Online Travel Agents) such as Booking.com bid on hotel-related keywords on Google.
3. BRAND KEYWORDS
The first type of keywords that you will want to create Google Ads campaigns for are your brand keywords (people searching for variations of your brand name) You may be wondering why do I need to bid on my own brand name? Because you are not the only one bidding. OTAs will also bid on your brand name, so customers may book via them instead of directly on your site. They may even recommend other hotels to them. Sometimes, even competitors bid on your brand name and you don’t want to give your competitors that opportunity. Ideally, you will want to be in the first position for these searches.
4. GENERIC KEYWORDS
The 2nd type of keywords that you will want to target on Google is generic keywords (e.g. if you are a 4-star hotel located in Clare, it could be people searching for terms such as “4-star hotels in Clare”).
You could also target category searches (e.g. if you are a country house hotel, you could target people searching for “country house hotels Ireland”). The key starting point is to ensure that you are getting in front of potential customers by targeting keywords that are relevant to your hotel. Targeting very broad keywords such as “Ireland hotels” is very unlikely to lead to success. You will nearly always make a better return on your ad spend from brand campaigns than generic campaigns, but your generic campaigns get you in front of people who are not already interested in your hotel.
5. GOOGLE HOTEL ADS
Google Hotel Ads is an advertising platform that displays the rates and availability of your official website alongside OTA rates and availability. When a guest uses Google Hotel Search or searches for your property, Google Hotel Ads display a direct booking option with your property’s rate. The main benefits are they improve your visibility on search engines, and they drive direct bookings to your official website.
6. REMARKETING ON THE GOOGLE DISPLAY NETWORK & FACEBOOK
The average conversion rate for hotels in Ireland is about 2% conversion rate. Remarketing allows you to reach the other 98% of other visitors that didn’t convert. The most common remarketing strategies for hotels are to run Google Display Ads and Facebook Ads. The Google display network are a group of more than 2 million websites, videos, and apps where your ads can appear. The most common type of ads that you will see on the Google display network are the banner ads below. You can target not only people who visited your website and didn’t convert but also those who visited your booking engine and didn’t convert.
You can also advertise to people who have visited your website.
These four campaign types would be essential starting points for any hotel but if you have more budget, there are a few more paid advertising campaign types and channels that you can try.
7. OTHER CAMPAIGN TYPES
1. Other meta-search channels – Apart from Google Hotel Ads, there are other meta-search channels that you can advertise on such as TripAdvisor’s TripConnect and Trivago. Just like Hotel Ads, you show your website’s rates alongside the rates for OTAs. For example, when people visit your TripAdvisor profile, you can show your rate alongside the OTAs.
2. Facebook prospecting – As well as using Facebook for remarketing, you can also show your ads to people who haven’t visited your ads on Facebook. There are over 2.7 billion users globally on Facebook that you can reach and there are advanced targeting options (such as demographics, interests, and behaviours) that help you to reach audiences that are most likely to be interested in your hotel.
3. YouTube– If you have a nice video that showcases your property, you can run ads on YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google so you can create YouTube ads within Google. You can run remarketing ads on YouTube as well as a range of other audiences.
Author Bio: Katie McGarr is one of the resident writers for SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin, a firm offering an extensive range of digital marketing and website services to businesses across UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing.