5 PPC tips to boost traffic to your website
5 PPC tips to boost traffic to your website
16 JUNE 2014 7:22 AM

Using pay per click can be an overwhelming task and can bleed your budget if you aren’t thinking strategically. Here are five tips to get the ball rolling.

We all know how crowded the travel and hospitality industry is. From individual hotel properties, chains and online travel agencies, there isn’t a lot of room to stand out. So what do you do when you have your search engine optimization buttoned up and you still can’t beat your competitors? Give pay-per-click options a shot. Below are five tips to get the ball rolling.
1. Run branded ads
“Why should I bid on my branded terms if I already rank organically?”
Answer: Because your competitors and OTAs are bidding on your terms.
The world of PPC has become a bit dirty over the years with everyone battling to get ahead. You can try to work with the OTAs you have agreements with to stop them from bidding on your terms (or even turn them in to Google if you feel they are breaking trademark guidelines), but you might not have much luck, and it’s important to stay on top of your branded environment. Aside from competitors bidding on your terms, there are reports that show the benefit of having a paid and organic presence.
2. Think niche
Everyone is bidding on “INSERT YOUR CITY hotels.” This drives up the cost. If your budgets are limited and you can’t battle with the big boys, take some time to brainstorm a strategy around niche markets you may be able to target. 
Are there any upcoming events in your area for which people would need a hotel room? Or maybe you are located in a good weekend getaway spot? If you’re lucky enough your hotel might have been featured in a movie or might be a historical hotel and you can tack onto relevant traffic from these terms. 
Whatever the niche, don’t assume no one is searching for it. Even minimal traffic can drive great returns if it’s the right audience. 
3. Location targeting
While it might sound great to target the world with your ads, your PPC budget probably doesn’t support that. Use analytics to identify where most of your converting traffic comes from and to identify where you are getting new visitors from. By narrowing down where your ads show you can focus your budget and get the most bang for your buck.
4. Negative keywords
Everyone seems to know about them, but few use them well. 
When executing a PPC strategy, be sure you keep a close eye on your “Search Queries” report to identify keywords that you are getting traffic from that don’t meet your overall goals. By consistently updating your negative keyword list you can ensure you are getting the click traffic you want and not wasting money. 
5. Remarketing
A tried and true paid technique is remarketing. Remarketing ads are the ones that follow you around after you’ve visited a website. People are getting more accustomed to comparison shopping, so remarketing ads are a great way to get back in front of them after they’ve already checked out your site. To entice them even further you can try reeling them back in with a special rate or discount.
Running PPC can be an overwhelming task and can bleed your budget if you aren’t thinking strategically. Be sure you are consistently analyzing your results and placing your budget where you will get the best return. 
Brooke Snow joined the SEO world and Anvil Media, Inc. back in 2010. As a digital strategist at Anvil, Brooke is responsible for the creation and execution of various client online marketing strategies, specializing in Local SEO as well as in various industry verticals including hospitality and education. As an alum of the University of Oregon School of Journalism with a major in Advertising Brooke started her career at more traditional advertising agencies managing client work ranging from interactive web projects to print and collateral.
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Columnists published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.

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