Hotel Search Engine Marketing

Hotel Search Engine Marketing – 10 Key Insights & Strategies

By: Frank DePino | May 9, 2024

Hotel search engine marketing is an important way to increase online visibility, considering that 83 percent of hotel bookings come from search engines. SEM campaigns will help you rise in the search engine results pages. What is hotel search engine marketing?

Search engine marketing for hotels requires building a campaign to increase your SERP position. An SEM strategy includes ad campaigns, search engine optimization, keyword research, link building, backlinks, website structure, and quality content. You should also review campaign data to improve your hotel SEM while your campaigns are ongoing.

This guide to hotel SEM campaigns will define necessary components, share benefits, and outline a strategy you can follow to begin achieving your hospitality objectives.

What Is Search Engine Marketing for Hotels?

Hotel search engine marketing builds targeted campaigns to increase your website’s search engine ranking. Let’s review the components of hotel SEM.

Ad Campaigns

Paid pay-per-click or PPC ads are at the heart of search engine marketing for hotels. Paid ads can expand your reach, especially if you center your ad around targeted keywords you know your audience searches for.


Search engine optimization or SEO and SEM may sound the same, but the former relies on organic search methods. However, improving your SEO while bettering your hotel SEM will typically result in higher rankings.

Keyword Research

Selecting targeted keywords is useful from a content production standpoint. In hotel search engine marketing, you’ll primarily use keyword research to determine which search terms to bid on for your next paid ad campaign.

Link Building and Backlinks

Link building is an SEO strategy that’s valuable for SEM campaigns. Google and other search engines decide on a website’s relevancy based on its links. Links can also increase your credibility, especially backlinks.

Website Structure

Your hotel website might need a redesign as you strive to improve SEM. Managing website structure is another SEO strategy that tells search engines which pages to prioritize. Those pages can boost your rank.

The hotel manager is monitoring the performance of his content marketing strategy

Content Marketing  

Finally, content marketing is part of search engine marketing for hotels. Producing quality content will increase your authority and help your ranking. You can also promote your content through your paid ads.

5 Benefits of SEM in the Hospitality Industry

SEM is a staple of the hospitality industry, including hotels, for these reasons.

1. Increases Hotel Website Visibility

With over 80 million Google visits in 2023, search engines remain a primary means of finding information, services, and businesses. Hotel search engine marketing can help your website dominate the first page of SERP results when users search for hotels near them.

The higher visibility will lead to many other positive effects we’ll cover in this section, including more website traffic and leads.

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2. Elevates Your Hotel’s Local Presence

With anywhere from 50 to 97 percent of internet users seeking local services when they search online, according to marketing resource WebFX, local SEO and SEM will help your hotel show up in more search results.

Building a better local presence will result in stronger brand recognition, more loyalty among long-term customers, and a higher rate of conversions.

3. Gives You an Advantage Over Your Competitors

How well do other hotels in your area rank? Do they use SEM or only SEO to increase their ranks? Implementing Google hotel ads will give you a clear edge over the competition. Potential guests should choose your hotel over theirs. 

The receptionist has received many bookings thanks to the traffic generated in organic with the SEO

Produces Fast Results

SEO is effective, but it can take months to see results. Oppositely, SEM campaigns can begin producing numbers in as little as 24 hours. Understanding what works that fast gives you the freedom to pivot elsewhere if your campaign needs reworking.

4. Improves Lead Gen

Your paid ads will attract more visitors to your hotel website, specifically, an optimized landing page with superb copy, videos and images, and well-placed CTAs. You might also notice an influx of qualified leads who enter the sales funnel ready to buy.

Increases Conversions

The average hotel conversion rate is 1.5 to 2.5 percent, according to Hotel Tech Report. Using hotel SEM should push your conversion rate higher.

5. Can Lead to More Bookings

An optimized website with strong landing pages and opt-in forms, more qualified leads, and higher conversions will increase your booking rate and offset the costs of the paid ad campaign.

Mediaboom’s hotel SEM services are among the best in the industry. Generate more benefits for your SEM campaigns with our expertise.

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How to Craft an Effective Hotel SEM Strategy in 5 Steps

Hotel search engine marketing requires a well-planned strategy to reach your target audience through ad campaigns. Here are five steps for developing your SEM strategy.

1. Define Marketing Objectives and Goals

You’ve seen what hotel SEM can do for the hospitality industry. Which of those objectives interests your hotel to start? Plan your goals for your paid ad campaign and the required steps to achieve them.

This will assist your overall marketing strategy, such as targeting specific markets, improving brand visibility, and increasing bookings.

2. Choose Your Keywords

The keywords you target for your SEM campaign will make or break it. You should choose keywords based on customer (and target audience) search queries.

A mix of generalized and specific keywords is best for targeting potential customers regardless of their search terms. However, your keywords should always be relevant and have a good search volume.

You can go after some of the same keywords as your competitors but avoid too much overlap, which can hurt your campaign efficacy.

After optimizing the ad copy, new customers booked rooms at the hotel

3. Write Effective Ad Copy

Strong ad copy will set your Google Ads apart and inspire potential guests to click. Your copy should be persuasive, clear, and concise. Here are some more copywriting tips:

  • Write in a solution-based style, understanding your audience’s pain points and positioning your hotel as the solution.
  • Naturally incorporate your target keywords into the copy.
  • Use some of the same copy between your landing page and advertisement for cohesiveness.
  • Add a call to action.

4. Set Your Budget

Between bidding for keywords and running a PPC campaign, hotel search engine marketing strategies can get costly fast. You might spend between $1,000 and $3,000 per month on ads, but the cost varies depending on the size of your business, the extent of your campaign, and what you can afford to spend.

For example, some businesses spend up to $10,000 a month on paid Google search ads. Your hotel must determine what you can afford to budget for advertising and then stick within those monthly limits.

Consider the cost of managing your hotel SEM campaign and keyword costs when calculating your budget.

5. Create Engaging and Relevant Landing Pages

Your landing pages are the destination of potential guests who click your PPC ads, so you must make them relevant and engaging. They should align with search intent and provide valuable information to increase conversions and enhance the user experience.

Here are some tips for making five-star landing pages:

  • Put the most important information above the fold.
  • Break up paragraphs with bullet points.
  • Showcase your hotel through photos and video tours.
  • Use a simple design that doesn’t detract from the message.
  • Omit navigation options to keep users on the page.
  • A/B test landing page elements before the page goes live.

The experts at Mediaboom can craft engaging, targeted landing pages that drive results. Build better landing pages today with our services.

Tips for Managing Your Hotel SEM Campaign

Once your hotel begins using SEM strategies like paid ads, managing your campaign will tell you what’s working and where you can improve. These tips will bolster your campaign to help you move up the search engine results pages.

Track Your Results

Hotel search engine marketing metrics will trickle in when your campaign goes live and become a deluge the longer your campaign runs. You can begin tracking your results using Google Analytics on day one and monitor them for the duration of your campaign.

Here are some hotel SEM metrics to review for a better ROI:

Return on ad spend or ROAS, a measure of what you’re earning per ad campaign

  • Customer lifetime value, which indicates the total amount a customer might spend in the sales funnel
  • Cost per action or CPA, how much you spend to drive a lead or customer to do something (subscribe, purchase, etc.)
  • Impression shares, a comparison of actual impressions versus potential impressions
  • Quality score, a number from 1 to 10 that Google Ads will award you based on ad performance and relevancy
  • Cost per click, or what you spend when a user clicks your ad
  • Conversion rate, how many leads convert into buying customers
  • Click-through rate, how many website visitors click your ad

Make Adjustments as Needed

Revise your current marketing strategy and create a new action plan to increase any sagging numbers. Give your campaign time to perform, then begin comparing metrics from before and after you implemented the changes.

Elevate Your Luxury Brand Today

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Seeking to elevate your luxury business? Let Mediaboom guide you. Secure your exclusive, free consultation with our luxury marketing experts today.

Harness the Power of Hotel Search Engine Marketing with Our Expert Team

Hotel search engine marketing is critical to attracting more business to your hotel. Mediaboom is a digital marketing agency with a proven track record of serving hotels and other businesses in hospitality. We can help you craft a comprehensive, effective SEM campaign.

Get started with Mediaboom’s SEM services today.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.


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