SEM campaigns, can you beat Booking.com?

sem_special-lodgings

SEM campaigns, can you beat Booking.com?

Here the keys to optimize your campaigns. That will increase your direct bookings. While it seems difficult to win the battle 100%, we will be combating online travel agencies (OTAs).

 

Sick of OTAs fees specially from Booking.com?

Surely, more than once, it has crossed your mind if it is possible to win this battle with solid SEM campaigns, right?

 

Of course, no worries, we are with you. Most hotel professionals are in the same situation.

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What you need to know to launch successful SEM campaign.

Tired of too many OTA’s commissions and loosing revenue and direct customers?

 

Let’s focus on SEM, but do not forget a concept that I had heard a thousand times and that is very true: the importance of SEO.

 

“Yes, SEO is very important”.

 

SEO and SEM are complementary strategies that pursue the same goal: to attract potential customers to our website, therefore, we must plan to optimize results. Every time you hear this, you think: “Ok, but I want to sell! Now! And I prefer work with SEM campaigns.”

 

True, SEM campaigns will give you immediate visibility. But working with SEO also in those campaigns, will be less costly and you will establish a search credibility  in an organic way too. Suggestion: Do not forget SEO.

 

Let’s continue with SEM, which obsesses us so much. A basic and important premise is to have a website programmed correctly (user friendly, fast loading speed, suggestive, intuitive, clear …). It is important to note that you should have a website working properly for this traffic or you will be wasting your effort and invest without getting the expected results.

 

“We need a website perfectly set up to receive visitors and convert them into customers and sales”.

 

And then, we will see key factors to enhance direct hotel bookings with Google Ads.

7 keys to update your SEM campaigns

 

“Less is more”, so instead of listing an endless list of suggestions or tips that are difficult to remember, let’s focus on 7 keys or hacks to optimize your SEM campaigns:

 

  1. The CPC (cost per click) of the brand of our accommodation must be lower than OTA’s CPC, that’s how Google gives us more visibility and relevance.

 

  1. Refine and optimize your “keywords” strategy and constantly monitor the campaign. Google Ads provides a lot of information that we must analyze in detail, for example: how many searchings per word, clicks on your ad, etc.

 

  1. Beware of generic words. Example: hotels for couples center of Seville. If you start to compete with generic keywords, you will lose many financial resources that run the risk of being useless.

“Working with specific keywords will perfectly identify your company.

 

  1. Negative keywords are very useful: Use them. Not everyone pays attention to negative keywords and is a very helpful feature that raise the CTR (clickthrough rate). If we work on the negative words, we will be increasing the number of relevant clicks.

 

  1. Each keyword is unique, treat it as such. “Set a different CPC for each keyword”. Bid for those that give you the best performance and you will be better distributing your budget.

 

  1. Schedule your ads. Analyze your potential customers’ habits and schedule your ads during certain periods of time. In this way, “you will go fishing when there are fish” and optimize your investment.

 

  1. Remarketing. Create lists by specific compartments or by location from Google Analytics. Thus, you can, for example, do specific searches for people who visit your website from a certain population and launch display remarketing only for these leads.

 

Additionally, I have to mention, although what we will discussed in detail in another post: Google Hotel Ads campaigns. They are the perfect complement for Google Ads.

 

“ Always keep in mind that, YES, it is possible to increase the number of direct clients”.

 

It requires a large amount of dedication and patience during the adjustment process. Another option is to let a professional do it for you, if you choose that we can help you in this journey.

 

Hopefully these tips help you. If you need more guidance to drive bookings back to your website let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

Bruno Muchada
Bruno Muchada
bruno@speciallodings.com

Socio y Consultor Senior en Special Lodgings

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