A must-have in your marketing strategy: Google Ads
A high position in the search results pages (i.e. SERP: Search Engine Result Page) guarantees a better click-through rate (CTR: click-through rate, i.e. the ratio between the number of clicks on a link or an ad and the number of times it is displayed). More than a third of Internet users do not distinguish between natural and paid results. They tend to click on the first links of the search results which are therefore Google Ads ads.
The recent evolution of SERPs in favor of sponsored links leads to a loss of power of natural results (SEO); this must be counterbalanced by the implementation of a Google Ads campaign to perpetuate the visibility of the official site. Even on queries with little competition, such as those related to the name of the establishment where the hotel's website is already well positioned in SEO, it is wise to strengthen its presence through sponsored links: an optimal occupation of SERPs will inevitably generate more conversions. As advertising represents the majority of Google's revenue, Google will continue to favor paid search, as demonstrated by the addition of the 4th link above the natural results. It is therefore essential to get as close as possible to this trend by running paid search campaigns.
Reclaiming your brand name
According to Google Search Console data for the last 3 months and on a panel of 10 independent hotels in France, 48.3% of website traffic comes from requests containing the hotel's corporate name.
Each Internet user searches differently, but a trend is emerging. The potential client will visit several hotel distribution or e-reputation sites to find the best value for money. In order to get more information, he will then consult the official website of the hotel by entering the name of the establishment in question in the search engines. However, the first sponsored ad for any query of the type "hotel + establishment name" is often that of distributors, hence the interest for the hotelier to regain control over his establishment name. Especially since OTAs' commissions are not negligible, sometimes up to 35% of the reservation amount. In order to avoid brandjacking, it is possible to register the name of your hotel as a trademark with the INPI. This must be done in all countries where the establishment wishes to be protected, using all spelling declinations.
Definition of "Brandjacking"
The act of using an establishment's brand by taking advantage of its reputation. In the case of a hotel, the OTAs have taken the habit of communicating on the name of the hotel to get the maximum number of reservations on which they will be commissioned.
An investment that is easily measurable, profitable and adaptable to the available budget
ON THE NAME OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
The cost per click (CPC) on the name of the establishment represents a reasonable investment compared to that on generic requests. A budget of 10 € per day can be enough to protect the brand name of a hotel.
Google provides tools to know the average CPC of a request. It is therefore easy to plan a budget dedicated to the implementation of these campaigns. The performance of a campaign is easily measurable. It is possible to know exactly how many clicks and bookings have taken place thanks to the integration of a tracking code provided by Google AdWords in the dedicated space of your booking engine.
A click on the company name is also more likely to generate bookings than a click on a generic ad. The Internet user who types in your establishment name knows your hotel and is already interested in it. The reservation is therefore more likely to be successful.
ON GENERIC SEARCHES
It is also possible to run so-called "generic" campaigns in order to capture Internet users looking for a particular geographical destination (city, in the center, near the train station), a hotel category (according to the number of stars, luxury, cheap), with certain services (spa, restaurant, parking). This implementation of generic ads can be relevant depending on the season to announce the reopening of a hotel, to highlight a special offer, to inform about the implementation of new services or simply to be present on the queries "hotel + destination", reinforcing the natural referencing.
The cost on these generic requests is generally higher because of a stronger competition.
What is the interest of running Google Ads campaigns for a hotel? Without a presence on the Internet and advertising, a hotel is invisible to a very important potential of customers. The presence on the Internet can be done via the website but also via a space dedicated to advertising which allows to go up more in the search results. At the local and international level, it is necessary to run campaigns on Google Ads to move up among competitors and distributors, which are practically all doing Google Ads. Those campaigns also provide greater credibility. Without an advertising presence, any retail store will lose customers.
Are campaigns in the independent hotel sector on the rise? Yes, searches related to the tourism sector are constantly increasing year after year. Of course, there is an increase in visits and bookings depending on the seasonality from quarter 3 onwards, but the overall trend is to increase searches, especially via mobile.
What are the differences between a hotel that manages its campaigns itself and the work done by a specialized agency? A hotel owner who wants to manage his campaigns internally needs a dedicated person who will take care of adjusting budgets, adding/removing keywords, writing new ads almost daily. It is therefore economical to have them managed by a specialist agency that will set up realistic objectives according to the search traffic of the keywords, and not according to their importance.
For the management of a big campaign on Google, I go every 30 minutes on the interface to make sure that everything is going well.