Digital Degree of Success Using Paid Search to Capture Branded Visitors
This concept is sure to spur debate among anyone that is savvy – but its worth discussing. Often times hotels feel that they have such a strong brand that they do not need to bid on their own brand keywords in Google AdWords or other paid search markets. I agree that in some cases a brand may be so strong or so small that a branded paid search campaign is not needed. However, consider this: If a 3rd party site, such as an OTA is making 10% on a $300 booking, is it worth spending $.15 to potentially capture that visitor and not have to pay commissions?
In many cases, the answer is yes, and in fact, the Return on Ad Spend for many branded hotel campaigns can be in the hundreds if not thousands of a percent. You don’t have to spend a lot to earn a lot, and the potential payout to 3rd party sites is the opportunity cost of not running a branded paid search campaign. Another positive feature is that you can control the booking and conversion experience and send visitors directly to a page that fits their needs.
Starting a branded campaign. Send visitors as far along the booking funnel as possible. They searching for your hotel by name, so likely they’re further along the booking process. You can test running and not running a campaign and see if your organic search gets an up-tick, but there’s proven statistics that an organic and a paid listing equates to higher combined click through rates. This means consumers are not going to 3rd party OTA sites, which means higher margins on booked rooms for you.