Pay-Per-Click Advertising: The Basics for Your Hotel


Although the main aim for businesses with regard to search engines is to appear organically in their listings, it is also possible to achieve a ranking by paying for the privilege. This is known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and it has been around for a number of years now. If you’ve heard of Google Adwords or similar services offered by other companies, then you’ve already heard of PPC.

However, if you’re unsure about how it all works and how it might apply to your online hotel marketing strategy, let’s take a closer look. What is PPC? PPC is a way of advertising online in which advertisers pay for advertisements only when they are clicked by web users and so have resulted in a visit to their website. With search engines, companies usually bid on keywords that are relevant to their target market and so pay varying prices, while content sites typically just charge a fixed price per click. In recent times, social media portals such as Facebook have also adopted PPC to allow businesses to showcase their wares on people’s news feeds. PPC ads will be displayed when someone’s keyword query matches an advertiser’s list of keywords or content and are usually called sponsored links. They appear above the organic results on search engine results pages and are often highlighted in a different colour.

To calculate the revenue achieved by PPC, the formula ‘PPC (£) = advertising cost (£) / ads clicked (#)’ is used. How to carry out a hotel PPC campaign To implement a successful hotel PPC campaign, you’ll need to do a number of things, starting with the addition of keywords that are relevant to your business. For instance, you might go for ‘hotels in the Algarve’ to ensure you cover specific traffic to your site. You should also add negative keywords, which are the non-converting terms, to improve relevancy and reduce the chances of wasting money.

Another key thing to do is to split your ad groups into small, relevant categories so that your click-through rate and quality score are both improved and so that you can create specially tailored landing pages and ad text. Leading on from that, you’ll need to refine your landing pages so that the calls to action and content align with the search queries that brought your visitors to you in the first place. Key points to remember When setting up PPC ads, you should always ensure that they will lead visitors who click on them to a page that’s relevant to their search by creating tailored landing pages and product pages. If a PPC ad click lands on your website’s homepage and users find they need to trawl through for the page they were looking for, they probably won’t bother sticking around.

Also, avoid the urge to direct your web visitors to a page that asks them to sign up to your mailing list or carry out some other task in exchange for information. Not only is this annoying, but it’s also penalised by Google and so could have an adverse impact on your campaign. Another good point is to spend a little extra time on coming up with ads that are specifically targeted towards the split ad groups we mentioned above. It might reduce your traffic, but it should ensure that your ads always appear when people carry out specific, relevant searches – and that could lead to more bookings. Why is PPC advertising good?Studies have shown that people only click on paid links in Google searches six per cent of the time, which means that 94 per cent of clicks come from organic results achieved through good content marketing. It can also be expensive. So, why bother with PPC at all? Well, there are certain circumstances in which it can be really useful.

For starters, it’s fast; traffic can be generated within just a few minutes of launching ads, in some cases.That makes it ideal for specific advertising campaigns such as short-term offers like sales or new services that you need a bit of a buzz for.PPC can also represent good value for money if you think carefully about your keywords. Where you can find niche words or phrases, you can make low bids for those words and then drive good levels of traffic in for a relatively low cost.

Essentials for good PPC campaigns

  1.    Always track conversions, whether that’s sales or desired actins lick newsletter sign-        ups.
  2.    Review costly keywords and remove them if you’re already achieving good organic            rankings for the same words.
  3.    Set a sensible budget that’s always less than the total profit per click.
  4.    Ensure good spelling, grammar and punctuation in your ads – if they’re going to be            displayed prominently, you want them to stand up to scrutiny.
  5.    Don’t get tempted into a bidding war for keywords by deciding you must be number one    for them, as it can cost thousands.

PPC should always be considered as part of a broader marketing strategy and implemented with a quantifiable goal in mind. Focus on conversions and you could achieve a successful campaign – but manage PPC poorly and you may waste a lot of money.