The larger Google grow, the more arrogant they become. And yet, hotel marketers are waking up to the fact that Google is not the only answer for driving online revenue.
Google often speaks to many hotels and chains like it’s a no brainer that they should increase adwords spend. Can hotels continue to dance with Google without considering the other options available? Independent hotels and many brands feel cornered into thinking that this is the only option and they need to play aggressively in this game to stay afloat and compete for the diminishing pool of transient guests.
The more hotels competing for the same keywords increases the cost of the marketing and likely the return from the investment (ROI). Also, in a lot of cases hotels can’t afford to be in the mix early in the search funnel when trying to perform alonside the OTA’s with infinitely more online budget. What adds to the frustration is Google’s lack of sensitivity to trademark protection. Are they becoming the new Microsoft?
Getting it right comes down to establishing a set of KPI’s that you can judge your adwords performance again. Consider setting goals such as Cost of Acquisition, ROAS and then take time to compare that to other online channels and realistic returns. You maybe suprised that Google might not always provide the optimal return for your extra dollars (there’s definitely a sweet spot and a point of diminishing return with spend)
It’s time to get smart, so consider these channels seriously:
- Banner Advertizing through behavioural targetted networks
- Increasing spend on the GDS (against the trend but hey if the ROI is better who cares)
- Investing more into SEO and Gateway Pages / Building out content on your site
- Afilliate Schemes
- Sponsoring other highly relevant niche websites
- Reinvesting money into convertidng the customers that already hit your site (what happens to the 99 that leave without booking? why didn’t they book)
- Social Media Strategy
- Profoessional Email Marketing Campaigns
I’m not suggesting that you do not use Adwords, just be very concienscious that it’s not always the answer to pour extra investment into a single channel that increasingly becomes less affordable and in turn less effective and offers a noticeable diminishing return.
Take time to find the sweetspot for your Google spend and then seek out other channels that may be able to provide your hotel with increased exposure and bookings.