Part One: The Basics of Branded Campaigns
The online travel agencies like Expedia and Booking.com are a blessing and a curse. As hoteliers, we need the OTA’s exposure power to generate bookings. On the flip side, they are our competitors for direct bookings. How do we combat the OTA’s millions of marketing dollars and sophisticated site algorithms? Utilize Google Adwords.
Create Branded Adwords Campaigns
Branded Adwords Campaigns precisely target users looking for your hotel and brand. Focus campaigns and keyword targeting around variations of your hotel name and brand to capture potential guests who are higher6 in the booking funnel. If they are looking at your property as a possible place to stay, they are past the research phase of finding a hotel. Make sure your ad shows up above the OTA’s search campaigns. This type of campaign generates strong ROI’s and are less expensive per click because your quality score will be higher than an OTA’s campaigns targeting your guests. With a healthy campaign, your ad will show over 90% of the time in search for your branded terms.
Use Offers and Promotion Options
You have a deal for 20% off your best available rate. How are potential guest going to see your amazing deal? Use the Google Adwords Offers and promotions extensions. The features of the tool allow for an expiration date, eliminating the worry of shutting the campaign off when the offer expires. Your offer will show on most desktop searches and 50% of mobile, depending on your max budget for cost per click and competition. To get more bang out of your marketing dollars, create deals that target specific geographical segments, and focus your budget in those areas.
Develop Direct Path Landing Pages
Compliment your amazing branded campaigns with landing pages. Use your on-page Google Analytics data to find what your website users like to view the most on your website and the highest converting paths. Incorporate these elements with high quality visuals and the details of your amazing offer. Add a button to book the deal directly through your booking engine.
Check your Trademarks & Agreements with the OTA’s.
Google will allow distributors of your product to target your brand regardless of trademarks. For some products and services, this works well for a business. However, you can stop the OTA’s from using your brand if you have a trademark. Review your contract with them, this will most likely be included in the agreement. Hoteliers overlook this option not understanding the effect it has on direct bookings. In conversation with Expedia representatives, they explained you can ask for your trademark to be off the table in search campaigns in your agreement. Always use the Google Ad Preview tool when creating ads and find out if OTA’s are targeting your brand search terms. If you don’t have an agreement with the the OTA’s to use branded search terms, use the Google AdWords Complaint form to have the ads removed. If you have a strong brand, you will find smaller OTA’s and resellers targeting your direct bookings who you do not have a contract. By using the complaint form or contacting your Google representative, you can have these ads taken down.
By using your brand name as targeted keyword searches, you can gain in expensive exposure and be the number one in search for your hotel with an excellent ROI.
- Posted by Melissa Conn
- On September 18, 2018
- 0 Comments