Hotel PPC: Pay-Per-Click Advertising 101

Hotel marketing can be expensive, but hey, that doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know! If you haven’t looked into pay-per-click advertising (PPC), here’s a primer on its advantages and disadvantages. Hotel PPC can easily fit into your marketing budget because you’re the one in control of what it costs – as long as you know exactly what you’re doing.


  • No web site overhaul required
    Search engine optimization (SEO) requires on-site adjustments, fresh content, keyword changes to each page, and other changes.. In contrast, PPC advertising typically doesn’t require any additional work on your hotel’s website.
  • Quick Results

Hotel SEO can take between 3-6 months to gain traction in search results. With PPC, you can jump to page one rankings almost immediately, depending on your budget and keywords, which brings us to our next point.

  • You decide the budget
    Set a maximum bid per click, based on research of typical bids for your target keywords. For example, Google AdWords suggests a bid of $2-4 for some popular hotel-related keywords. Then set a limit on how much you want to spend per day.
  • Easy to set up
    The process to set up PPC advertising is relatively simple. For example, there are only a few simple steps to set up PPC advertising through Google AdWords:
    – Create a Google account and password (or use an existing account).
    – Open a Google AdWords account.
    – Choose a budget.
    – Create a short, snappy ad with a to-the-point headline, such as “Historic Boston Hotel.”
    – Build a list of search terms and keywords customers typically use to find your hotel, and set location parameters.
    – Enter billing information and click to start the campaign.
    – Check back occasionally to see which keywords are getting the most attention, and tweak the list as needed by adding new terms and deleting unproductive ones.
    – Especially for hotels, it might be a good idea to set up two separate campaigns, one local and one global.


  • Easy to go hog wild
    Remember that you must pay for every potential customer’s click, even if they don’t end up booking a stay. Make sure your keyword list is carefully honed so you don’t burn through your budget too quickly.
  • Ad burnout
    Over time, web users have become immune to enticing PPC ads. That’s one reason impactful ad copy is so important. Even if the ad is only ten words, you might want to get a professional PPC specialist to help you get the best results.
  • Selecting the right marketing partner
    Search for an online marketing expert, and the results page will be crowded with potentially fly-by-night firms who claim to know what they’re doing. Look for a firm that knows the ins and outs of your particular industry – hotels!

Why trust your hotel PPC campaign to anyone else? At Smart eHotels™, we’re all hotels, all the time. Contact us today!

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