The power of Google Ads for Hotels

Features | 14 Apr 2024

What to look for in classic Google search ads How can you attract undecided customers to your hotel? And what are Performance Max campaigns good for? Find answers to these and other questions here!

Google is unavoidable if you want to promote your hotel online. That much is clear.  


In a recent live stream, we discussed what you need to know to kick start 2024 with Google in the right way.  


We were joined by guests Aldin Basic, co-founder and CMO of Ezy Hotels and Thierry Geissmann, founder dig.id Switzerland  


Both shared important background information about various Google advertising services and practical tips for your next campaigns. 


We've gathered the key talking points here for you, so that you can get even more out of your ads from now on. 


Google – the dominant force in online searches 


Google's financial figures reveal that revenue from advertising accounts for the lion's share of its profits. This paid advertising is displayed on Google search results pages. This is extremely lucrative for Google, as it has been the most widely used search engine worldwide for years.  


It wasn't until 2023 that this shifted slightly when Bing incorporated an AI component into its search engine Nevertheless, Google remains the undisputed market leader.  


But the company is not resting on its laurels. It is always testing new ways to give users a better experience and find even more relevant results for their search queries.  


For business customers using advertising, this means they regularly need to adapt their strategies to algorithm changes and also test Google's new products. It's the only way they are able to keep up and continue to achieve good results. 


This may sound like a lot of effort and possibly additional costs, but the work pays off. If you stay on top of Google, you can dramatically increase your visibility and generate more direct bookings.  


Still relevant: Classic search ads for hotels 


We all know them: the top results labeled "Sponsored" These are search engine ads. Although Google did not specifically develop them for hotels, they are extremely useful for our industry.  Depending on the approach and chosen keywords, their goal may be to increase the online visibility of a hotel or to generate more clicks and reservations.  


Depending on what you want to achieve with Google Ads, you have three options:  


  • Brand campaign: This targets specific keywords related to your brand and hotel name. Often, these keywords are less competitive, and you have a good chance of having your ad appear at the top. 


Here, for example, the Hotel Adula has placed an ad under its own name, even outranking Booking.com. 


Another advantage of brand campaigns is that customers who specifically search for your hotel name or brand already have a strong interest in your property. If these people click on your ads, the likelihood of reservations resulting from these clicks is higher.  


  • Keyword campaign: Here you use specific keywords relevant to your hotel, your offers and the surrounding area, e.g. “Spa hotel on Lake Geneva” or “Family hotel Zermatt with pool”  


The more specific the keywords, the better. This addresses specific target groups and their interests, directly generating more qualified clicks. The better your offer fits the needs of the people searching, the better your chances of direct bookings.  



Here, for example, Hotel Europe Zermatt ranks at the top. A look at the website shows that the hotel matches the search query well with its family rooms and pool.  


  • Broad campaign: Of course, you can also use generic keywords, such as: “Hotel in Zurich”. However, for most hotels this approach is less helpful. These keywords place you in fierce competition with the OTAs, resulting in higher costs.  


You often reach a broad audience, with only a small fraction showing genuine interest in your hotel. While this approach boosts visibility, it might not resonate with the right target audience. Overall, the likelihood of these broad campaigns leading to increased reservations in the long run is slim.  



For the keyword “Hotel in Zurich”, the competition among major travel providers is so intense that it would be challenging and expensive for a single hotel to successfully place an ad here. 


“Determining the best option for your hotel isn't something you can predict in advance. Ideally, you should collaborate with an experienced partner who can point you in the right direction when setting up the ads. Then, test different approaches and continually optimize,” suggests Thierry during the livestream.  


Aldin adds: “No single campaign is perfect. Align multiple campaigns and run them concurrently. It’s essential to always analyze your results and adapt your approach accordingly.” 


Retargeting: Staying in potential customers' memory 


Very few customers make bookings during their initial visit to your website, Retargeting can help as reminders for these undecided travelers.  


You can achieve this by running Google display Ads (such as banners) that appear to users on other websites after they've searched for specific keywords or visited your website. This ensures your potential guests are reminded of your hotel repeatedly. 


Two examples of banner ads that are part of a retargeting campaign. 


The advantage of retargeting is that you can reach individuals who have already shown an active interest in your hotel and staying with you. With the right ads, you significantly increase the likelihood of these people returning and actually booking with you. 


The next step: Performance Max campaigns 


Google offers the opportunity to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) through Performance Max to optimize your campaigns.  


To get started, you need to share information about your target audience, upload images and ad copy, and provide the link to your website. Google then displays the ad on YouTube, Gmail and as a regular search result. Utilizing AI and your input, Google then attempts to maximize the campaign's effectiveness. 


“Performance Max is a great addition to traditional campaigns, but is not intended to replace them. Also, remember that we can't expect AI to handle everything perfectly. As a user, you need to provide the right data to the AI and monitor the results. It’s like introducing a new employee who needs proper training to perform their tasks properly,” says Thierry.  


With this understanding, you can confidently kickstart your hotel's Google Ads journey.  


“Google ads aren’t rocket science. Google provides the necessary information and resources for you to do it all yourself. However, staying up-to-date with the constant changes takes a lot of time. So why not bring an expert on board to get started on the right foot and get the most out of your ads?” suggests Marco. 


Thierry adds: “You don’t need to invest millions to get started, yet the potential of Google Ads is huge.” 


“Most importantly, always test, measure and optimize. This way, you will find the best approach for your hotel and can generate 8, 10 or even 15 times your advertising spend in revenue, not to mention direct bookings“, concludes Aldin. 


If you want to achieve such results but still have questions, feel free to reach out to us Our team is here to help.  

Subscribe to News
In the serene coastal town of Puri, the city of temples, you'll discover the picturesque Samudra Resorts and Spa, a delightful haven of tranquility and luxury.
Features | 4 Apr 2024
One of the biggest challenges for modern hotels is establishing a strong presence online. With more and more tourists booking their trips exclusively online, it’s never been more important to get familiar with digital channels like Online Travel Agencies.
Features | 4 Apr 2024
We recently welcomed Nóra Varga to the Hotel-Spider family. As an onboarding specialist and account manager, she actively supports us and our customers every day.
Features | 22 Apr 2024