How to Run a 5-Star Campaign for your Luxury Hotel on Google AdWords: with Video!






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How to Run a 5-Star Campaign for your Luxury Hotel on Google AdWords: with Video!

In this post, we’re going to show you how to run a Google AdWords PPC campaign if you’re in the tourism industry.

PPC, short for ‘Pay-per-click’ is a form of online advertising that leads people to your website. PPC ads can run in search engines (Google, Bing), banners (display) (Network Partners of Google) or on social media (Facebook, Instagram). It’s called pay-per-click because when someone clicks on your ad, you, as the advertiser, pay. 

For step-by-step instructions on how to run a Google AdWords campaign, no matter your industry, check out this simple guide.

I’m a marketing manager that works in the hospitality industry – I am responsible for ad buys on search and display networks for a five-star property located in Dubai. Can you give me an example of an effective, yet easy-to-execute campaign I can run on Google AdWords?

It is possible to run an AdWords campaign for a hotel using ‘Google Hotel Ads’. However, in order to launch your Hotel Ads campaign, you’ll need to work with an authorized Integration Partner. They provide your hotel’s rates and availability to Google.

Alternatively, you can run a search campaign without an Integration Partner and in this post we’ll use a live-example of a Google AdWords campaign you can run yourself as a (digital) marketing manager for any of the big, Dubai-based five-star hotels, whether you’re Jumeirah or the Movenpick.

All the information provided herein is also relevant if you decide to use Google Hotel Ads as the format for ad groups, keywords, targeting and bidding strategies are essentially the same. 


Check out this 12-minute video guide if you’re not too keen on reading!

1. Pre-Launch Preparation: We won’t repeat what we’ve already written about the pre-launch preparation, you can find it here – basically, you’ll need to setup an AdWords account, determine the ‘type’ of campaign you want, and determine your goal

Goal: For our purposes, we are assuming that you are an advertiser for a 5-star hotel chain that seeks to promote a ‘Dubai Luxury Hotel Stay’.

2. Get to know the competition. Who are the other players in your industry? What keywords are they using? Use SEMRush or the Google Adwords by going to the Keyword Planner and typing in your competitor’s website. This is what we got when we searched for the Grand Hyatt, Dubai.

Keyword Plan

3. Define your audience.

Audience = The intersection of Buyer Persona + Buyer Journey

You’ve determined your buyer personas to be business people, newlywed couples and families. You’re seeking to target them in the decision stage of the buyer journey, meaning that these buyer personas are ready to make a booking and so your ads will show for purchase-ready individuals in search.

4. When you target your audience, aim well. Specify the location of your audience, the devices they are on, and the time you want your ads to reach them.


As many hotels are now targeting local UAE residents for staycations, you could target families in the UAE. As the top three source markets for tourism in the UAE are India (metropolitan and emerging cities), KSA and the UK, we suggest specifying these geographic locations when targeting all three buyer personas.

25. Keywords. Probably the most important word in this entire guide is this word, ‘keyword’. Make sure your keyword analysis is both studied and thorough. Again, use Google’s Keyword Planner or a tool like SEMRush. The following are best practices for keyword selection:

a. Your keywords should be a combination of long-tail (Best price Honeymoon Package Dubai) + short-tail (Dubai Honeymoon) keywords.

b. Balance low-volume and high-volume keywords. High-volume keywords mean, for example, there are 100,000 searches for that keyword every month (Dubai 5-star Hotel). But this means you will have to bid high and spend a lot if you only use high-volume keywords. Balance this with low-volume keywords which don’t cost as much but better guarantee that people’s searches correspond to your offerings (Weekend Honeymoon Suite Package Dubai Marina with Spa), meaning a higher click-through-rate.

c. Bid in line with your bottom line. Here’s the simple math you need to do:
*What is my cost per click for the keyword? ($4.50)
* What is my conversion rate? (4.68% is the industry average for travel/hospitality on Google Search)
* What is the revenue from a sale? ($180)

Therefore, the Cost of a Conversion = CPC/Conversion Rate * 100 

= 100/4.68 * 4.50
= $96
Therefore, the Return on Investment = Sale Revenue / Cost of Conversion
= 2:1


This is a decent enough ROI, but you need to make sure it matches your bottom line. 

6. Ad Groups. Following the ad structure of ‘Campaign – Ad Group – Ads’, within the campaign of ‘Dubai Luxury Hotel Stay’, you can create the following ad groups, showcasing the different kinds of suites relevant to your three buyer personas.
o Honeymoon Suite
o Business Suite
o Family Suite

Each of these ad groups will contain specific ads (creatives + copy) that you choose to run on the search network and that will show when someone searches by specific keywords.

7. Keyword Variations
a. Use the Keyword Planner to determine the keywords/ad group that would work best – use a general phrase to describe your business or enter your website for each ad group. Therefore, the ‘Honeymoon Suite’ ad group could have the following keyword variations:

o Romantic Honeymoon Package Dubai
o Dubai Honeymoon Suite
o Dubai Hotels Honeymoon Suite
o Honeymoon Package All Inclusive
o Book Honeymoon Package Now
o Best price Honeymoon Package Dubai
o Spa Package Dubai

b. Determine the ‘Match Type’ for the Keyword
Exact – Query must be typed in exactly (‘Close Variant’ for the same means Query must be typed in exactly, but can include misspellings or other variants)
Phrase – Query must be typed in correct order, even if additional terms before or after the query
Broad – Query can be typed in any order and will potentially show ads for similar searches

c. Define the applicable ‘negative keywords’
In our case, since we are a luxury hotel stay, the negative keywords we can include will be ‘cheap’, ‘bargain’ or ‘discount’

d. Pay attention to the following metrics in the Keyword Planner:
* Average monthly searches
*Competition. This shows you how many other advertisers are using this term
* Top of page bid metrics, showing you exact bid amounts to rank high or low on the first page of that term. By clicking ‘Add to Plan’ you can easily add them to a new ad group

Keyword Plan - Monthly Searches

8. Ad Extensions. Add them, always. Telephone no., sitelinks, location etc. so Google will show it where relevant.


Image courtesy of PPCHero

9. Create the Ads. It’s obvious that you want to make your Call-To-Action compelling, and relevant to what people are searching for.


Check out this ad from the Four Seasons when googling for “Dubai Honeymoon Suite Package”:
You’ll note that they’ve included all the relevant ad extensions as well.

10. Track Conversions using ‘AdWords Conversion Pixel’ and analyze in Google Analytics (simply click on ‘Admin’ in Google Analytics and then Select ‘AdWords Linking’).

11. Launch!

12. Analyze & Optimize
a. Check Budgets and adjust Bids
b. Keywords – Drop old, poor-performing ones, add new ones.
c. Recycle ads that worked well. And drop those that didn’t perform.
d. Don’t forget your Landing Pages. If some ads showed high click through rates, but low conversions – then maybe you need to work on optimizing your landing page towards increasing conversions.
e. Adjust Parameters – keywords, audience, location, device settings.

That’s all there is to it. 12 steps to a 5-star campaign!

If you want advice on the best campaign for your hotel brand, or just want to tweak existing ads, drop us a short message and we’ll help the best way we know.

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