Back to Basics: Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is the act of improving the
visibility of your website in the search engine results pages
(SERPs). It incorporates search engine optimization (SEO) and
pay-per-click (PPC) listings. SEM is a key advertising initiative,
so here we’re diving into the PPC basics that you need to


The PPC portion of SEM refers specifically to the paid promotion
of your website. Appearing above organic content, the goal of PPC
listings is to increase your website’s visibility by offering
prime real estate at the top of the SERP. Google Ads is the most
popular paid search platform used by hotel digital marketers.


Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second
on average or 3.5 billion searches per day. An effective PPC
strategy can help your website listing stand out by leveraging
search trends data to uncover insights into which keywords users
are searching for on the path to booking with your hotel. You can
then bid on keyword phrases that are likely to be of interest to
your target audience, creating effective PPC campaigns that
generate quality traffic.

Accounting for 10-15% of a hotel’s overall website revenue,
PPC ads can be one of the most effective digital marketing
initiatives. The simple text ads appear at the top of SERPs and
place your hotel front and center with travelers who are searching
for your brand and related destination terms. Ad extensions appear
directly below with additional information presented differently to
user based on the search algorithm.


While launching a PPC campaign is fairly straightforward, it’s
important to have a strategy based solidly in keyword research to
ensure standout ads that generate traffic to your website.
Selecting the right keywords and phrases is the core of any PPC
campaign and can determine where and when an ad will appear. While
you can launch ads on your own, working with an experienced hotel
marketing agency will ensure your PPC and SEO initiatives are
aligned with a comprehensive SEM strategy to achieve a higher


You should be running campaigns that effectively target people
in different phases of the travel planning journey. This will
determine how to measure success. For awareness and consideration
campaigns, which generally focus on upper-funnel and niche
destination keywords, you should be looking at impressions and
clicks. Measuring impressions and clickthrough rates can show
whether or not your ads are relevant to users searching for the
keyword phrases you’re bidding on. If these numbers are low,
you’ll need to make adjustments accordingly to ensure your ads
are being shown and that users are clicking through.

For direct response campaigns, which focus on branded keyword to
drive bookings, you should look at bookings, leads completed, and
click-to-calls. These KPIs have a monetary value associated, which
will determine exactly how well the campaigns performed.

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Basics: Search Engine Marketing
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Source: FS – All – Hotels – News
Back to Basics: Search Engine Marketing