Featured Article - Generate More Revenue with Google Adwords
Today’s online consumers typically search the Internet from multiple devices, from multiple locations, at various times of the day, utilizing multiple search engines. With such a variety of searches, all search engines are getting increasingly more sophisticated at segmenting the traffic. However, 97% of all U.S. Internet queries take place on just three search engines – Google, Yahoo, and Bing – and Google alone dominates with 86% of all domestic searches. The global search engine market share is very similar. Accordingly, we pay close attention to changes at Google and the impact those changes have on our digital services clients.
Recently, Google introduced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns in response to the need for having a multi-device pay-per-click (PPC) strategy. Without such a strategy, hotels would fail to speak optimally to each unique Internet searcher. Replacing Google’s pre-existing Legacy Campaigns, AdWords Enhanced Campaigns is now available to all advertisers and allows a business to manage multi-device strategies with new settings and improved reporting capabilities.
So why should hotels incorporate a PPC strategy in the first place? As an hotelier, it can be difficult to know where to place your digital marketing budget for the best return on that investment. There are plenty of ways to apply your marketing dollars, but none have the instant results quite like pay-per-click advertising. Using paid advertising platforms such as Google AdWords allow businesses to receive prominent positioning within the search engine results for targeted terms (i.e. “boutique hotel in Denver Colorado”).
The paid advertising model is simple. The advertiser targets keyword phrases and creates an ad copy. When a user’s search query contains the targeted keyword phrases, the search engine displays the ad copy on the search engine results page. Ideally, the ad shows between the first and third position above or to the right of the organic search results.
When a searcher then clicks on the ad copy, he is directed to the landing page determined by the advertiser. In exchange, the search engine charges the advertiser for that click (lead) from a predetermined daily budget that is selected and controlled by the advertiser. The cost per click will vary depending on the competitiveness of the targeted keyword phrase.
Pay-per-click is a beneficial channel to have in your online marketing program because it allows your business to gain visibility for competitive terms which may not be feasible organically and to capture new visitors to your website. By incorporating PPC strategies in the overall online marketing plan, RezStream has been able to generate additional revenue for clients by enhancing the quality of the visitors with targeted relevant terms.
Since Google is the search engine of choice, what does a Google AdWords paid ad look like? For example, when you conduct a search in Google for “boutique hotel in Denver Colorado,” you will see the following result on your screen.
In this case, the Oxford Hotel is bidding on the phrase “boutique hotel in Denver Colorado,” and Google has agreed to display the ad prominently in their PPC section of the search results screen. In exchange, The Oxford Hotel will pay Google each time a searcher clicks on the displayed ad.
Based on the previous Google AdWords Legacy Campaign settings, it was optimal to set up individual campaigns featuring specific budgets to support the different mobile devices and locations being targeted. Segmenting the campaigns out based on these needs required a fair amount of time from the advertiser to set up and manage. With Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers will now be able to manage all these various settings from one campaign. Let’s take a closer look at how this is done for mobile bid adjustments.
Mobile Bid Adjustments
One big change introduced by Google’s new AdWords Enhanced Campaign settings is the option to adjust the bid amount for smartphones (mobile devices excluding tablets). Notice below there is no percentage adjustment associated to computers and tablets because Google AdWords bundles both computers and tablets together. Therefore, ads will automatically be served to desktop and tablet users uniformly.
When it comes to adjusting the bid for smartphone users, it’s also important to take a close look at how your website displays on a smartphone. RezStream suggests visiting your website from a smartphone to get an idea of how “thumb-friendly” your site is to mobile searchers. Every desktop website should have a dedicated mobile site to convert mobile users at a higher rate. If the current desktop site is what renders on a smartphone, and it loads at a very slow rate and is extremely hard to navigate, then it may be best to exclude your paid ads from displaying on smartphone devices altogether.
In addition, RezStream encourages every mobile website to offer a mobile-friendly booking engine for both tablet and smartphone users to optimize conversions. Although studies indicate that users think they want to see the desktop website display on their tablets, RezStream has found that redirecting both smartphone and tablet users to a mobile-friendly booking engine increases online conversions for hotels.
Location Bid Adjustment
Similar to mobile bid adjustments, Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns offers location bid adjustments. Therefore, if a business notices their peak online conversions are occurring from a specific location, the advertiser can adjust the location bid settings to increase awareness in that geographic area. This is just another feature Google has provided advertisers to optimize budgets and conversions in conjunction with the other new targeting settings. When it comes to managing paid accounts, RezStream always places an emphasis on at least one location for a business, but will add an extra-targeted location, if needed.
Mobile Ad Copy
Another key part in advertising across mobile devices is making sure the ad copy reflects the user’s need, which is why it’s important to design ad text specifically for mobile searchers. For example, assume that Bob is conducting a search for “hotel” from downtown on his smartphone at 10PM and that Sally is conducting the same search for “hotel,” but from her home in another state on her desktop at 11AM. The difference is that Bob’s intentions are likely to locate a hotel for the night, whereas Sally is more likely to search for a hotel for her upcoming vacation! These different buying intentions have required advertisers to serve better ad copy based on the searcher’s location, device and time. In the upgraded AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers now have the ability to create mobile ads within the various ad groups to deliver ad text that speaks better to the searcher’s intentions.
At RezStream, we are excited about Google’s new features for fine tuning online advertising. Google identified and addressed several needs based on the ever-changing online world and we expect more enhancements to come. Google’s goal is to provide their users with the best online experience and results. As these changes continue to roll out, RezStream will pay close attention in order to optimize our client’s online marketing strategies for conversions.
Currently, RezStream is in the process of upgrading and optimizing all paid accounts to Enhanced Campaigns. If you are interested in learning more about paid advertising via Google AdWords, please contact us at 866.360.8210 and/or visit us at http://www.rezstream.com/reach-us
About the Author: Liz Day is a Digital Services Account Manager for RezStream and plays a vital role in the company’s Internet marketing client management. Liz is involved in search engine optimization, pay-per-click account management, website content writing and design critique, and social media options for her clients. Liz also helps RezStream stay on top of the Internet marketing field by compiling competitor analysis and watching travel trends for customer benefit relevance.
Employee Spotlight - Joe Jenkin
What do you do here at RezStream?
I am a Graphics and Media Specialist for RezStream. My tasks can vary from day to day, but usually involve me designing websites, creating custom graphics, or going out on location and shooting photos/video of a property. I also work with the marketing team on design, content and usability to help conversions and make sure the client’s vision is clear. Visit our photography section online to view some of my work.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Well, I would have to say I love the process of creating. Whether designing a website, composing a photograph or editing a video, I love taking a product from concept to reality and show it off to the client. I take great pride in my work and still get excited during the creative process. And that is how I know that I LOVE what I do!
Where would you go in a time machine?I think the 60’s and early 70’s would have been a fun time to enjoy. I imagine time moved a lot slower back then, and the music was phenomenal.
What is your favorite quote?
“Nobody ever remembers who finished second at anything.” - Jack Nicklaus
If you were a brick in the wall which brick would you be?I would be a brick at the bottom for foundation and strength. Gotta start somewhere…
What was your favorite Halloween costume?