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Digital Marketing

The prospect of a new AdWords interface has been touted for a good few months now and has finally arrived. It’s been rolled out, at least in part, to most accounts and you should now be able to access some of the new tools once you log on. Google seem to be releasing a few things over time rather than all at once and there are some other tools that will become available over the next year or 18 months.

AdWords has long been a key tool in advertising for hotels and for many marketers, has become the industry standard. One thing to note is that there has been a little tweaking of the terminology on the new interface. Google AdWords allows you to currently toggle between the old and new interface but expect this to change sometime in the very near future. Here are some key changes on the new interface that you might want to look out for.

Promotion Extensions

These give you the option to link to a specific offer in text ads. That means you can use them to promote hotel room discounts or special events that are coming up on your calendar. Google AdWords say that this will make your promotion stand out more to potential customers. The link appears in a bold label on the ad and they are easy to update and edit.

Target Household Income in Search

The demographics tab has had household income added as a targeting measure, all of which shows how your campaign is performing with different customers. This can give marketers working on advertising for hotels a better insight into what works for different income streams.

google-adwords

The Audiences Page

Audience targeting should be a little easier with the new Google AdWords interface and allow you to manage and optimise performance a lot better. It should mean that segmenting audiences according to various parameters is streamlined with the option to customise a lot more closely.

Inclusion of N-Grams

A little change that could well be useful is the introduction of N-grams. Basically it means keywords that receive more attention in searches will show up in a box that’s a little darker than the rest. Put your mouse pointer or hover over the box and you should see a pop-up list of search phrases where the word was used.

Bid Adjustments for Interactions

Click to call ads have been around for a while but you can now adjust how often this appears in a particular ad. When advertising for hotels, whether you use this tool will depend on what you’re advertising and whether connecting via a call is the best option for converting to a sale, for example, encouraging last minute bookings.

Other Inclusions TBA

Not all of the Google AdWords interface is on show right now and there are some changes in the pipeline that we should see in the next year or so. These include:

Better insights between landing pages and performance, particularly when it comes to mobile. A Google attributions interface is expected before the end of the year which should provide users with a better options to understand how marketing campaigns are working.

If you’re tasked with hotel marketing, the changes to the Google interface may not seem ground-breaking but they could provide a new and easier way to create campaigns and measure them. As is so often the case with Google, we’re not getting everything at once so it’s worth looking out for updates, particularly over the next couple of years.

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Digital Marketing
Anyone who’s been in the travel industry for a length of time knows that advertising with Google means they don’t give out their secrets easily, but Oliver Heckmann, head of Google’s travel product and vice president of engineering, may have revealed some of the tech giant’s perspective at the inaugural Skift Forum Europe in London. The forum was aimed at defining the future of travel and attracted some big players—but none as big as Google.

“From our perspective,” Heckmann said in a live interview with Dennis Schaal, Skift Editor, “We see flight search as an upper-funnel product and hotels as a lower-funnel product and our revenue story is that Hotel Ads is the key revenue driver in the travel space.”

This may be a boost for those hotels who have run paid search campaigns with Google. Hotels being a lower-funnel product mean that it’s likely more conversions are made from searches and people are less likely to research online but buy somewhere else.

Google Hotel Ads are clearly the main breadwinner for Google’s burgeoning travel division, with advertising for hotels paying off in the form of customers making bookings through the search engine, delivering money into the pockets of both Google and the hotel they book with. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved, as paid search campaigns with Google, when managed properly by accredited AdWords professionals, can be much cheaper than other channels.

google-search-engine
Advertising for hotels has always been tricky because of the odd space that hotels occupy between selling a service to their customers and making the customer feel relaxed and at home. However, with the increased focus on personalisation, and Heckmann admitting that Google Hotel Ads are seeing “high momentum now in Europe”, there’s never been a better time to run a paid search campaign to attract more guests to your business.

Heckmann also used his interview at the Skift Forum to talk about developing strategy in a world as fast-paced and as full of change as the internet, but it’s what hoteliers have known for years: think like the customer. “If you focus on the user you have a very defensible position to prove what you’ve done, you’ve done the right thing for consumers,” he told listeners. Strategy is still evolving and changing, as are regulations; however, focusing on the guest’s overall experience is one clear path to achieve a good outcome.

One downside of this news being reiterated in the digital realm, of course, is that it can be tough to know how to run a PPC campaign if you’ve never taken part in one before. It typically requires management and monitoring from day to day, and special training for employees to run, to get the results you want from it.

If you want to run a PPC campaign for your hotel but need help managing it so you can get on with the important job of running your business, contact Digital Hotelier to take advantage of our expertise.
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