Google Ads for Hotels and Resorts - marketing Tips and strategies

2019 Jan. 04

In this series of industry-specific Adwords practices, today we will discuss how to create and manage a successful AdWords campaign for Hotels and who are targeting new customers.

Is Investing in Google Ads a good choice for Hotels?

Even though it is an expensive industry for AdWords, yet the returns are equally rewarding for Hotel and Resorts. It is a little tricky to bid for hotels as cost per click and cost per conversion is high and the industry is highly competitive. But, on the bright side, google search is the first touch point for research or booking. Hence, it is a great place to have your presence for your potential customers.

In my opinion, AdWords for Hotels and Resorts is a field that should be taken very seriously. Despite the high competition, it is worth to invest in. If you’re practicing in any of the niche businesses like Hotels, Inns, Resorts, Motels, B&B’s, etc, then pay-per-click marketing is a viable way to bring traffic to your firm.

If you are someone in the Hotel business and you haven’t yet set up an Adwords campaign for your service region, you are practically missing out on a lot of potential customers. Having said that, It is very important to use this tool efficiently or else it may end up costing you.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the basics and the best industry practices in AdWords for Hotels and Resorts.

Right PPC Keywords for Hotels

Choosing right keywords for your AdWords campaign can be a challenging task. It comes with confusing questions like should you go for long tail keywords for more visibility or more mainstream keywords with the high competition? The key here is to strike a balance between the two. You should target both long-tail as well short tail keywords. It will help you to get the most out of your campaign. There are 4 major practices for hotels to keep in mind:

  • Though most of the Hotels cover a wide range of services, it is recommended to use Keywords which are most relevant to your business offerings. For example, if your Hotel (Hamilton) is based out of San Jose:

    For your case, let’s consider a sample set of keywords you should use:

    • Hotel San Jose

    • Stay San Jose

    • Best Hotel near me

    • 24-hour Hotel

    • Downtown Hotel

    • Hamilton stay

    • Hamilton Hotel

Note: Avoid using one-word keywords which are highly searched for, as these search terms aren’t very informative about the kind of services you are offering for your prospect.

For example, if you use Hotel as a keyword for Hotel stay, your ads can be triggered for search terms like, Hotel Pictures, Hotel Room Decor, Hotel Jobs, Hotel Job Qualification, etc. which are not even close to what you want to target for. Therefore choosing the keywords carefully is very important.

  • Though you must be tempted by the high search volume of common keywords, do not underestimate the power of long tail keywords. Irrespective of the fact that they have small search volume and are too tedious to work with when you’re creating a campaign, they offer higher conversions at a lower cost as compared to common keywords. They are like low-hanging fruits which can offer an easy win with a low cost and the least competition. For example, if you are Hamilton Hotel in San Jose, considering the above cases, long tail search terms for your services can be as follows:

    • Best Hotel in San Jose

    • Cheap Hotel in San Jose

    • Hotels near me

    • Downtown Hotel San Jose

    • 24 Hour check-in hotel

    • Corporate Event Hotel

    • Instant Hamilton Booking

    • 5-star hotel in San Jose

      Above are a few examples of long tail keywords. As I mentioned, it can be tiresome to work with long tail keywords as it takes a long time to research and accumulate such data for your campaign. However, AdNabu can help you automatically create all the relevant long tails keywords using the basic keywords we defined earlier within minutes.

  • Another thing to keep in mind is the match type of keywords targeted

  • Statistics show us that exact match type gives maximum conversion at minimum cost, but it has the least coverage of all. Similarly, each and every match type has its own benefits and shortcomings. Using all the match types while structuring your campaign is considered a wise choice.


AdNabu takes care of this from the very beginning itself. It creates the structure of the campaign such that each keyword type has 3 different AdGroup (one for each match type) ensuring that you target the right keyword for the right search term.

An advantage of using Broad Match Modifier over Broad match

Broad match modifier (a.k.a BMM) is a variation of Broad match. Broad match triggers ads for all searches around the keyword, keyword idea, synonyms, grammatical forms as well as related words, etc. BMM gives you much more control over the search terms for which your ads will be a trigger. It excludes synonyms but allows variations. For Example, If you target Broad match-type for keyword Book Hotel, it might be a trigger for the search term like Book which may not be relevant for you. Instead, BMM will ensure that the word Hotel and Book are present in the search. AdNabu automatically creates campaigns which use BMM instead of Broad match.

  • One of the mistakes that marketers commit often is using location-specific keywords exclusively. They might end up losing a lot of relevant searches.
    For example, if you are a Hotel based out of San Jose and targeting for keyword Hotel stay in San Jose, you will miss out on potential clients searching for term Hotel stay, best Hotels, etc. It is hence highly recommended to use main keywords like Hotel Stay in your campaigns. You can add location-specific keywords to your campaign but they should not be the only ones.

Best Negative Keywords for Hotel

The importance of negative keywords cannot be ignored, especially when each click costs a fortune. Though accumulating Negative Keyword is an ongoing process, but to begin with, below are a  few points to consider.  

  • Negate all the services which you do not offer and people might search for it. For Example, if you do not offer services like Swimming Pool and Non A/C Rooms, it would be best to put them in negative keywords list.

  • Negate all kind of Hotels you are not. For Example, B&B, Resort, 7 Star Hotel, etc

  • Negate all the keywords which are not giving you conversions or have the cost per conversion too high to be profitable. You have to keep an eye on such keywords during reporting and assessment or you can use AdNabu which automatically recommends you to pause such ineffective keywords

What is a good landing page for you?

A landing page should use numerous parts such as trust badges, result-oriented headlines, explainer videos, testimonials, etc. Such landing web pages are aimed at driving visitors to take a worthy action.  Since every click will cost you a fortune, there’s no room for an error when designing a landing page for your business. Below are some Do’s and Don’t to follow:

Do’s for good landing Pages

  • Use headlines with words of authority such as award-winning or 1 Million satisfied customers to inspire trust in the potential customer

  • In your headline, add the location of your property. It will immediately add to the confidence of the prospect that they are at the right place.

  • A headline focused on services and amenities for customer rather than the Hotel is more likely to achieve better conversion

  • For Hotels, a click to call  button on the top makes it easier for the user to reach the Hotel

  • Use of words like Free consultation or request job estimate to allure the visitors to try your service. It also helps to calm their anxiety

  • Have very limited field to fill on the form (not more than five). This makes it hassle-free for the customer.

  • Have your call-to-action button at the bottom of the form. It should be tailored to match the offer like price list and a time slot to select (for example, see the image below)

AdWords landing page sample for Hotels.png

  • For content, have 2-3 bullet points. Showcase your awards, achievements or for how long you have been giving services, customer testimonials, etc

  • Add an informative video educating the prospects about what are they entitled to and what are the best services and amenities at the property.

Dont's for good landing pages

  • Avoid using logos with a clickable link to return to the homepage easily

  • Do not design Disappearing label for field name (for example, see the image below) instead simply name the fieldAdWords for Florists landing page Don't

  • Do not have text-heavy landing pages. It is very unlikely that your potential client will read through the entire thing. Instead, add a few important pointers

  • Avoid multiple outbound links or multiple CTA on the same page as it can distract the clients.

Structuring Google Ads for a Hotel


Ad copy is extremely important because it is the initial touch point where the content of the ad compels the client to click on our ad instead of the competitor’s Ads. Below are the few points you must keep in mind:

  • Your ad contains 4 sections. Firstly the Headline 1 (character limit 30),  You should make sure that your headline is tailored as per the prospect’s search. Ideally, the ad title should include exactly what they were searching for. For example, Looking for a Hotel? or Best Hotel in San Jose or Room starting @$79,  etc

  • The next part of the ad is Headline 2 (character limit 30). It is separated with headline 1 by a hyphen(-). The best way to utilize this section is by encouraging the prospect to click on the Ad. A clear call to action should be included here. For example, Half price Hotel‎ or Hamilton Exclusive Deals or  Lowest online rates or Call our Hotel for Deals, etc

  • Followed by the two headlines is the Display URL where you have an option to customize it with 2 Path fields - Path1 and Path2 (up to 15 characters each). Make sure the display URL is relatable to the type of Hotel or room the prospect is seeking for. For example, www.HotelWebUrl.com/Hotel/Suitewww.HotelWebUrl.com/Hotel/San-Jose, etc. Please note the display URL need not be a valid URL as it is only for aesthetic purposes.

  • The next major field is Description (character limit 80). It gives you ample space for your ad’s message. Here, clearly define the value proposition and specialty of your service that distinguishes you from the other competitors in the market. For example, Extravagance With Green Standards. Guiltless Luxury, Book A Room Now. or New Deals Just Added. Going Fast! Save Up to 70% @Hamilton or Your Home Away From Home. For a Day, A Week or Longer

  • Finally, the Final URL is the first page the prospect reaches after clicking on the Ad. Instead of using the home page as a final URL, ensure that the prospect lands on the specific section of your website that relates to his initial search or service they need. For example, if someone looking for Honeymoon Suite then your final URL should reach directly to the page with available suites at your property and not the generic home page, preferably with a price list and discounts the customer can avail.

  • An effective sample ad:
    AdWords ad copy sample for Hotels.PNG


Which ad extensions should a Hotel use?

Google ad extensions add life to your ads and make them look more professional and trustworthy. When used the right way, they can lead to better visibility for your potential customers and hence makes you easily approachable. Ad extensions work differently for different Industries. Some deliver a better result than others. For the hotel industry, best working extensions are:

Location extension


Location extension enables Hotels to add a physical location besides their ads. This helps you in numerous ways:

  • Having a physical address adds to the authenticity of the service offerings and reassures your customers that you are genuine.

  • Encourages customers who are near your location to contact you.

  • Also making it easier for people to navigate their way easily to your Hotel.For example
    AdWords location extension For Hotels.PNG

The Sitelink extension enables Hotels to add extra links to share achievements or additional sub-categories of services (in-case targeting for a generic keyword).

  • This makes easy for the customer to relate their requirement and highly likely for them to click on your ad.

  • Adding to the relevance of the ad copy itself, it redirects the customer directly to the most relevant page that encourages them to take a step further

  • For example:
    AdWords sitelink extension for Hotels.PNG

Callout extension

Callout extension gives Hotels an additional 25 characters of space to add beyond the basic description of the add. It is recommended to use this space to encourage the prospect to take action.

  • Some examples for hotel services are #1 Hotels in town, Best Hotels in CA, Free cancellation, Ultra fast Booking, etc.

    AdWords callout extension for Hotels.PNG

Call extension

Call extension allows Hotels to add a contact number to their Ads. It works much effectively for mobile devices as Google adds a clickable call button to the ad. This allows the customer to call you instantly. For Hotel, it is considered to be very effective because usually, clients have personalized requests/ questions which encourage them to call. For example:


AdWords call extension for Hotels.PNG

Structured snippet extension

Structured snippets allow advertisers to describe brief and specific features of the product or service offerings. It provides viewers with a direct access to the information about the nature and variety of services offered. In case of Hotel, structured snippets can show potential clients the specific information such as neighborhoods where the Hotel offers services, service catalogs, insurance coverage or even special offers.

AdWords Structured snippet extension for Hotels.PNG

Conversion Tracking for Hotels

Now that the campaign is ready to work its wonders, conversion tracking is very important and the last thing to set up as it will help you analyze your performance and optimize later. Depending on the business type, different conversion types are tracked. For a Hotel, it mainly works in two ways:

Conversion Pixel

It helps track which keywords resulted in leads. This can further help in optimizing your campaigns. Setting up conversion pixel required some amount of technical effort (You would need the person handling your lead page). Having said that, benefits of results from it overpowers the hassle. Here is a guide to help you setup conversion pixel.

Call conversion Tracking

This will help if you are allowing customers to make a business call directly from their phone. Calls are extremely beneficial for a Hotel and luckily Google makes tracking calls even from a website easy. Check out how to setup call conversion tracking here.   

Conclusion


This was a short guide to get started with your AdWords campaign if you are a hotel or Resort owner, keeping in mind all the best practices for you. The Hotel industry is one of the industries which are highly benefited from AdWords, though the results may or may not be visible through online transaction. In case you haven’t tried your hands on AdWords for your business, we suggest you to consider setting a campaign right now!

If you are still not sure about how to start or to take your AdWords campaign to next level, sign up with AdNabu & automate campaign creation and optimize within minutes.

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