Hotel Google Ads
June 6, 2022

Pay-per-click for hotels: what you need to know

PPC campaigns, hotel PPC campaigns, Google ads . . .

What is PPC? . . . if done right and if it's included in your marketing strategy it's part of a magic traffic driving formula that will get you more hotel bookings online.

Here's an overview:

Pay per click advertising, also known as cost per click (CPC) advertising, is a type of online advertising in which advertisers are charged a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it's a way of buying visits to your hotel website, rather than attempting to "earn" those visits organically.

PPC is an effective way to drive traffic to your website, and it can be a very cost-effective form of marketing if done correctly. However, like any form of advertising, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider before deciding whether or not to use PPC.

Some of the main advantages of PPC campaigns include:

You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it's a very effective way to budget your marketing spend.

PPC ads can be very targeted, so you can ensure that your ads are only being seen by the people who are most likely to be interested in what you're selling.

PPC campaigns can be set up and running very quickly, so if you need to drive traffic to your website fast, PPC advertising is a good option.

Some of the main disadvantages of PPC advertising include:

A PPC Campaign can be costly if you don't know what you're doing - if done incorrectly, you can end up spending a lot of money with little to show for it.

PPC requires ongoing management and optimisation of keywords and target market to be effective - if you stop working on your campaign, your results will quickly decline if you don't have time each day to run your own PPC campaign it's wise to consider outsourcing this activity.

A PPC campaign can be very time-consuming, especially if you're managing a large campaign. Often hotel marketers are spread too thin having to cover all aspects of digital marketing so hiring a marketing expert who specialises in digital marketing is a wise move.

Overall, a successful PPC campaign and search engine marketing campaign is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website, make the most from your marketing efforts and it can also be very cost-effective if done correctly.

PPC campaigns for hotels help drive more direct bookings.

Google ads / PPC ads

Most PPC platforms use the same method to get people to click through to your website. The PPC ad and online marketing that most people think of are the Google ads that are presented to online searchers when they 'Google' something. Although in the ever moving marketing world PPC ads now cover much more ground. We now have display ads, re-marketing ads, YouTube ads and all other kinds of social ads which are all technically forms of PPC.

If your current pay per click ppc campaign consists of running single adverts in order to 'get a click' you may be missing out on some of the amazing techniques which you can use to attract previous hotel website visitors which will give you better ppc results. Modern marketers know what works, running single ads with zero remarketing is no longer going to cut the mustard for your hotel.

Although there are many different advertising platforms the most used search engine by a long way is Google so it makes sense if you are going to run PPC to choose Google ads to start with.

If you are yet to start or have struggling campaigns we recommend a full audit and also getting a google ads hotel strategy put together.

Search Engines and Hotel PPC campaigns

Without people using search engines and searching google, PPC wouldn't exist. Over the years there has been a massive increase in search engine usage (we all now know how to use Google). Search engine result page competition has never higher. SEO is still very much needed and if you can get detailed keyword research and search volumes you can use this information to help inform your PPC keyword choice and drive your PPC campaigns.

Search engine optimisation is proven to yield excellent results but if you want to stick your foot to the floor then choose PPC. We liken it to pouring petrol on a BBQ to get it going.

Pay per click ppc advertising technique

Hotel PPC is used by almost every hotel website. Most hotels are turning to driving direct bookings through their websites rather than paying commissions to online travel agencies and booking sites. Online travel bookings are only getting more popular with people turning to organic search results to find their next get away adventure.

The best technique for hotel PPC is to have a solid understanding of your own USP's, what your guests are looking for, and how you can use your ad copy to show that you offer what they need. You also need to know what geographical locations guests are visiting you from so that you can tailor your ads to these locations and help drive more bookings.

PPC campaign examples

So how does PPC stack up in terms of cost vs. reward?

Booking sites generally take between 10% and 25% commission. So let's go for an average of 15% for our comparison.

On a £200 a night room the booking sites will take £30 for themselves.

Let's assume our guests stay for 2 nights on average.

Thats £60 to the booking site in commission.

Let's for simplicity say they drive 100 sales. Thats £6,000 paid out in commission.

Now let's take a look at our PPC campaign option and make it fair, honest and as comparable as possible.

Let's assume that each PPC ad click is going to cost us £3 every time someone clicks.

And we get on average a hotel booking 10% of the time.

To drive a sale that would cost us £30 in advertising costs.

Multiply this by 100 bookings and it's half the cost of the booking sites commissions.

Let's get really clever.

Let's run some PPC retargeting campaigns to people who fit the following criteria:

  • Have visited our website in the last 30 days
  • Have previously clicked one of our ads

Our cost per click to this audience is probably more like 50p per click because it's a specific audience.

10 clicks = 1 booking
10 clicks = £5

So by being clever with our PPC advertising and running standard and re-marketing ads we can generate lots of direct sales rather than relying on the online booking sites for guests. A PPC campaign should drive targeted website visitors that will then turn into paying guests. PPC for hotels is a great choice of marketing activity and should form part of the overall marketing strategy.

Combine PPC, SEO and Social media marketing and you have a powerful cocktail of marketing activities that are all pushing in the same direction.

Do you need some help with your hotel marketing? Unhappy with what your current marketing strategy is delivering?

We'd love to chat over a coffee.

The Hotel Marketing Experts