Taking on the OTAs with Google Advertising

The Issue:

On a Google search for “Chine Hotel Bournemouth”, the top result is a sponsored or paid for ad for booking.com.

Google results: "Chine Hotel Bournemouth"
Google results: “Chine Hotel Bournemouth”

THE illustration below is common enough sight: the first few results of a search for a particular property – in this case the Hotel Chine Bournemouth – take a potential guest to paid-for ads from online travel agents such as booking.com and expedia before they get to your own website.

Much of the reason behind the first few ads is not that they have specifically sponsored that hotel but have sponsored the words Hotel Bournemouth. This is called a broad match search: anything with those words will be elevated to the top of the findings list
e.g. Great place to stay Bournemouth, hotel or Chine Hotel Bournemouth.

A Possible Solution:

Of course, you can’t compete with that: it’d be way too pricey for you to pay to ensure you are at the top of a search for Hotel Bournemouth. But you can afford to pay for a search made on an exact match of your hotel name. Anyone typing in the name of your property into Google will then appear at the top among these OTA-sponsored results.

One advantage of paying for an exact match is that it is relatively cheap, and you are also only picked up by people who are directly trying to find you. Even though you are paying someone who would potentially find you anyway, you are getting a direct booking rather than one made via an OTA costing you commission.

The second big advantage is you have complete control over the wording. With natural search, Google decides what to display, but with a pay-per-click search you yourself write the text that will appear in your advert – perhaps with Great Christmas Offers or Two-for-One deals. You can thus control your presence on Google ads.

You are essentially sponsoring your own name.

It makes sense for you to join OTAs who use this method in order to drive relevant traffic quickly and cheaply to their website by bidding on key words directly linked to the name of your B&B or inn. You can hire an agency to help you, or you can do it yourself with online help from Google. In addition, if you look around the web you’ll often find free £75 offers to get you started.

Just follow this link to get you started.