Today, Google is one of the leading hotel search providers. It seems like they’re bringing out new tools to help searchers find their perfect hotel all the time. The challenge for hotel marketers is understanding the tools available and knowing how to use them more effectively than the competition.
Google Ads has three PPC features that are particularly powerful for hotel marketing. If you aren’t using these already, reconsider. If you are already, here are a few tips to level up your PPC game and get better return on your paid ads.
1. Native Gmail Ads
Native Gmail Ads are ads that appear in your Gmail inbox. This is a powerful tool because, according to research, 66% of consumers check their email multiple times per day. This gives you plenty of opportunity to put your ads in front of your audience.
There are 900 million Gmail addresses out there, so native Gmail ads have the potential to give you huge reach. They are also expandable, giving you much more space to show off your hotel than other forms of PPC advertising. The expanded ad comes with a variety of template options, as well as custom HTML formats, which allow you to create a variety of unique ads.
Most of your usual display targeting options are available to Gmail ads, such as keywords, demographics and affinity audiences, so you’ll be at home when it comes to building your campaigns. Plus, as Gmail ads have become more refined, the targeting is getting much more sophisticated, allowing you to maximize your click through rate.
The best thing about Native Gmail Ads is that you already have lots of data to draw on to create successful ads: your emails. You can use everything you’ve learned from your email marketing campaigns to achieve a good open rate and apply that thinking to your Gmail ads. This gives your ads a much faster and higher return on investment.
Top Tip: Use Emojis!
They boost email open rates by around 30% and can do the same for Gmail ad CTR!
2. Ad Variations
Which call to action is better: “Book Now” or “Book Today?” Ad variations can help you find out. Using this Google Ads tool, you’re able to review the performance of different versions of your ads and apply the successes across your account. Ad variations save you time and boost efficiency by allowing you to make changes quickly.
Your CTA is one of the most important aspects of your ad creative. Ad variations allows you to experiment with the position and the copy of your CTA. You’ll soon be able to discover whether your call to action is better positioned in Headline 1 or your Description.
You can also make variations to your hotel features to see which gets the best results. For example, you may find that “5 Star Service” works better than “Inclusive Mini Bar” in your ads.
Ad variations are best used when you want to test one change across multiple campaigns or your entire account, while campaign drafts and experiments are best to test multiple simultaneous changes on a smaller scale.
Top Tip: Use Filters!
Ad Variations gives you lots of ways to filter your changes, giving you total control.
3. Campaign Experiments
If you want to make lots of changes across your campaigns, you should be using Campaign Experiments. This Google Ads tool allows you to test new ideas without overhauling, and potentially ruining, your active campaigns.
Campaign Experiments essentially allow you to split test your ads. This tool allows you to get real life data points that you can use to adjust your hotel advertising. No need to speculate, simply test!
When your experiment is live, potential customers have a chance of seeing your experimental ad, rather than your normal one. The chances of this occurring will depend on how you split the traffic share. Once you have statistically significant data to draw on, Google will send you an alert, so you know that the data you use to assess your experiment is valuable.
You can adjust the impression split and the end date of the experiment, so you have complete control over your experimental campaigns.
The biggest benefit of using Campaign Experiments is that it allows you to test with less risk. This is especially important if you’re experimenting with successful campaigns. But with Campaign Experiments, you can share a portion of your already-established budget to test the new direction and potentially make your campaigns even more successful.
Once you’ve finished your experiments, don’t forget to keep a record of what you tested. Keep records in your AdWords account or collect them in a spreadsheet to refer back to when creating and testing future ad campaigns.
Top Tip: Test Your Bids!
Experiments allow you to play with how aggressively you’re bidding. So don’t forget to test this too.
These three Google Ads features are a vital part of the complex paid search mix. The hospitality and tourism industries are competitive, yet varied spaces, challenging for even seasoned marketers. But Google has tools to help you get the results you need. Just remember: practice makes perfect and keep on testing!