AdWords Advertising for Hotels & Resorts | Tips & Best Practices

Digital Marketing Bangkok

The hotel industry is a unique industry when it comes to Google AdWords. Pay Per Click advertising for hotels, resorts and hostels can be expensive as the industry is highly competitive but don’t let this scare you. Returns are equally rewarding if you manage your campaigns well. Let’s go over some best practices to optimize your return on investment.

Should your hotel invest in Google AdWords?

According to a research-report from Google, 75% of the people use Search when they are looking for a hotel (or resort). Competitiveness aside, Google Search is the first touch point and the right place to present your business to potential customers.

With the immense competition from booking agents, hotels chains and platforms such as AirBnb, search marketers in the hotel industry need to bring their A-game. We don’t want to waste budget on low quality keywords and unqualified visitors. Here’s how to attract qualified visitor for the right price that are most likely to book your hotel making investing in Google AdWords worth

Tips and best practices

Here are several best practices for hotels and resorts to improve AdWords performance.

Advertise on your own name: To do, or not to do ?
Old skool thinking goes: why paying for an ad for people that already know me, and searching for my hotel?  Your potential guests is probably looking for a link to book your hotel.  Chances are that there will be several OTA's that are offering such a link above the organic results.

Advertising on your own name is probably the cheapest possible campaign that you can create.  Your ad is the most relevant ad that is being offered resulting in a higher click through rate and lower Cost Per Click and the audience likely to book your hotel.  A best practice is to create a separate branded campaign where you can monitor Search Impression Share and Cost per conversion.

Broad match modifier
There a several types of inquiries when people are searching for a hotel, ranging from a broad- to very specific inquiries.  Use Google's Broad Match Modifier to target people that are searching for things that your hotel has to offer.

  • Hotel Bangkok rooftop pool
  • Koh Samui resort infinity pool
  • Paris hotel near Eiffel tour
  • Singapore 4 star hotel shopping mall

Negative keywords
Similar to the broad match modifier, you want to exclude non-relevant searches.  Use negative keywords to exclude inquiries that are not relevant to your hotel or resort.  This way your ad won't show to people that are searching for a ''hotel Singapore with garden'' when you don't have what they are looking for :).

Outperform booking engines and OTA's
Do you want to outperform OTA's on specific searches?  Google offers a bidding strategy that can land you on top of the Ad section beating any OTA or hotel that is bidding on the same keywords.  Simply use the bidding strategy ''target outranking share'', enter the website that you want to outperform and the percentage.

AdWords outrank hotel

Hotels near me / last minute bookings
People searching for last minute hotels and ''hotels near me'' are among the top 20 of most hotel-related searches.  Dedicate a certain amount of your budget for a last-minute campaign.  This is where you use AdWords geo-targeting.  Specifically target people that are in close proximity of your hotel and searching for a place to stay.

These are some simple best practices that have a proven track-record in my campaigns.  Ofcourse, the performance of AdWords campaigns come and go with testing, analyzing and optimizing.  Keep on tracking and testing which keywords, Ads, location, devices, bidding strategies etc. work for your hotel to get the most out of your budget.


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