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PPC budget strategy for limited budgets
Boutique hoteliers constantly face a challenge: how do you advertise your hotel when you can only allocate a limited amount of budget? Standing out in the hotel industry is getting harder and harder, and competition in the online arena is also heating up. Getting your hotel featured on the first page of Google might feel like an impossible mission but there is no reason to feel discouraged just yet. You do not need to spend big bucks on your PPC campaign to be successful. By following the tips and tricks below, you will be able to manage your PPC strategy so that it maximizes the benefits of your budget regardless of its size.
What is PPC?
As a website owner, one of your primary goals is to get your website found on the Internet. There are many ways to accomplish that. One of them is Search Engine Optimization (SEO); another is through social media, and you can also use a PPC campaign (or an AdWords campaign).
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a way of digital marketing in which the advertiser pays a fee each time one of their ads is clicked – hence its name. For many hoteliers, especially non-branded properties, a PPC campaign can be expensive. For example, some keywords might cost a few dollars, while others only a few cents. But there is some good news: if you set up and optimize your campaign correctly, you will be able to cut costs!
Your campaign needs clear goals
As with any monetary investment, you want to get the maximum benefit out of your resources, and the way to do that is to set specific goals. What would you like to achieve with your campaign? How do you propose to achieve it? This will give you a benchmark against which you can track the success of your PPC strategy, as well as help you avoid overspending and incurring unexpected extra costs. Dedicating a few hours to outline the outcome of your campaign is critical for its success.
Your campaign needs resources
After defining your goals, it’s time to think about how much money you will be able to allocate initially to your campaign. You need to establish your baseline budget. We recommend that you start with an amount that you are comfortable spending each month, then adjust this number at any time after launching your campaign once you start gathering data.
Once the budget you set for a specific period is utilized, Google will stop displaying your ad. Therefore, if your ad is very effective and you spend your daily budget in a few hours, your ad won’t be shown for the rest of the day.
One important concept to understand when estimating your budget is your average cost-per-click, which is the average amount Google will charge you when one of your ads is clicked on. Google Keyword Planner is a handy tool that can help you find cost-per-click estimates.
Your campaign needs researched keywords
On campaigns with limited budget, keyword performance is paramount. You should start by carefully researching your keyword list to spot the best opportunities to reach your target audience. You want to include the most popular search terms, as well as long tail keywords which allow for more specific targeting. Longer and more specific phrases tend to be used closer to a point-of-purchase.
Google may also provide suggestions on some keywords used by web users searching in your location. Make sure that your keywords are relevant. Otherwise, people will click on the ad, only to then realize that the site is not what they are looking for and leave.
A good idea to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign is to continually review the performance of your keywords. By analyzing your keywords, you can quickly see which have been effective and which have not. You can then reallocate your budget to avoid wasting resources on low-performing keywords.
Your campaign needs targeting
Geo-targeting will also help you to save money and get the most out of your PPC budget, while at the same time improving the relevance of your ads for your audience. Do not forget to set the location you want your ad to be shown in. In order to avoid unwanted clicks, we also recommend selecting the language of your target audience and to exclude areas that you do not want your ad to be shown in. The location tool is versatile, as it will also tell you how many users are in the areas that you are targeting and excluding, so you can decide if your target audience is too big, too small or just right.
Your campaign needs a good Quality Score
Your Quality Score is Google’s own rating of your ads, including the quality and relevance of both your keywords and your ads. It is about how much value your campaign is providing for your prospects. Your Quality Score plays a significant role in determining the cost, effectiveness and success of your PPC campaign. There are several things you can do to improve your Quality Score:
- Create relevant ads for your target audience
- Focus on the right keywords
- Keep your ad groups organized and structured
- Refine your landing pages to be helpful and relevant to each ad
- Focus on ad copy to improve your click-through rate (CTR)
Once you start building your Quality Score, you will be able to save money.
The key for a successful PPC budget strategy is to constantly review performance to make sure your hotel is allocating its resources in the most effective way possible. Implement these suggestions and maximize your budget’s full potential – however small or large it may