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Why your hotel’s SEO & PPC teams should work together

A number of hotel marketers may think that they are better off focusing on either SEO or PPC when it comes to their digital marketing strategy. Maybe they don’t believe they have the budget for both, or that it’s a waste doing both at the same time. Admittedly, it can seem counterintuitive to bid on your hotel’s brand name in a Google Adwords search, when your hotel already ranks #1 in organic search.

In truth, these two marketing channels must work together in tandem. The organic search marketing channel can greatly boosts the effectiveness of the paid search channel, and vice versa. Here are six reasons why and how your SEO and PPC teams should work together.

1) Increased visibility in the search results

A good organic search ranking combined with a well-placed PPC ad is simply synergistic—together they drive increased visibility in the search results, more so than either one alone could do. If your hotel takes up two major spots on the search results page (SERP), this maximizes your screen coverage, increasing the likelihood of driving traffic to your website.

Also remember that competition is coming from both sides, organic and paid. OTAs are also bidding on your brand name and vying for that top spot. Their strong domain authority also means they often appear high on organic results. Don’t let your hotel’s guard down by giving up your rightfully earned spot on the SERP.

PPC and Organic Search
The search results for a particular hotel in New York, with the PPC and organic search results highlighted, maximizing their screen coverage

2) Improved quality score on PPC ads from SEO copy

When running PPC campaigns, one important part of the algorithm used by Google and Bing include the Quality Score. This is the measure of relevancy between your bid keywords and the content on your website. If it isn’t highly relevant, you’ll get a bad Quality Score and end up paying a higher cost-per-click and having a worse ad position. (Hence the reason bidding on competitor keywords is advised against.)

The SEO team, who are experts at optimizing website content for search engines, can provide the PPC team with useful insights and ensure that the website copy and technical elements are optimized for the ad campaign. This can improve the Quality Score and increase the ROI of the ad spend.

3) Improved copy for meta tags and website pages

Likewise, PPC search ad campaigns can provide useful analytics that help to improve SEO. For example, the PPC team likely information on which advert text has the best click-through and conversion rates. The best ad text can then be reused for the hotel website’s meta descriptions, helping to improve click-through rates on organic search.

This can work both ways. The PPC team may also be interested in seeing which website pages have the best organic traffic and click-through rates; this can help them to write better ad copy.

4) Shared keyword data

The SEO team has a large amount of organic keyword data from Google Search Console or any other SEO tools used. This data, as well as the search volume, click-through rates, and average ranking position, can be invaluable to a PPC team, as it saves them from having to do a large amount of keyword research on their own.

organic keywords
The Search Analytics Report for a hotel website from Google Search Console

Of course, PPC teams get lots of their own data from search campaigns, which can be especially useful in building a long-term SEO strategy. For example, say you want to start ranking your hotel as a wedding venue. Instead of guessing which keywords to try and rank for, you can have your PPC team set up a few test-run ads on varying keywords to see which ones perform best, have higher search volumes, and likelier conversions.

5) Remarketing to previous website visitors

Another really simple yet effective way that PPC and SEO can overlap is through targeted remarketing campaigns, either on Google, Facebook, or elsewhere. This is the art of advertising to users that have already been on the hotel website. With remarketing ads you can actively target those who have arrived on the site from an organic search—in essence amplifying the impact of your original SEO effort. Remarketing can help you to recapture visitors who left without booking and help keep your hotel top-of-mind as visitors plan their trips.

Example of retargeting advertisment
Example of a hotel using retargeting adverts to re-capture previous visitors

6) Using SEO and PPC together for content marketing

If your hotel invests in content marketing as part of an SEO strategy, it can be beneficial to use PPC to enhance traffic to your specific piece of content. We recently highlighted a case study where one hotel invested in PPC ads on search, social media, and social bookmarking sites to drive additional traffic to a special e-book that had been published. This helps to get content in front of fresh new eyes and increases the chance of the content getting picked up and going viral.

7) Shared demographic data

PPC teams will have a huge amount of demographic information from any advertising campaigns they run, and this data can prove to be of good use to the SEO team. By having a wider range of info on the type of audience that interacts with the hotel website, particularly those who become paying guests, the SEO team can look to tailor their efforts to reach those people.

Demographics from Adwords
A screenshot from Google AdWords showing a small selection of Demographic info from the Display network

You might assume that this can’t help SEO—surely they’re just focused on keyword ranking improvements after all? This may have been the case before, but as SEO becomes more tailored to the individual, it makes a lot more sense to concentrate efforts on reaching key audiences. You may look to target websites that are popular with your key demographic, aiming to get coverage in the forms of backlinks or citations of some kind, or perhaps you decide to tailor the type of topics you cover in your blog to cater for your online customers.

Working together as a cohesive digital marketing team

No matter how you’ve partitioned your budget between PPC and SEO (or even content marketing or social media), it’s important that all elements work together as a cohesively. If those elements aren’t currently being run by the same teams, be sure that they all have the right channels to share data, strategies, and tactics with each other. The only winner here is your hotel’s online business!

Nancy Huang

Nancy Huang

Nancy is the Senior Marketing Director at Pegasus and expert in strategic communication, brand development, and content marketing. She is an admitted travel junkie and loves finding amazing hotel deals when booking direct. Contact her at nancy.huang@pegs.com.

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