What Happened To Hospitality Search Marketing In 2018?
With 2018 weeks behind us, it is amazing to think about all the changes we have seen in the search world from big players like Google and Bing over the past year.
What’s even more interesting to think about is how those changes have transformed the way we think about, and execute on, search marketing in the hospitality industry. Not only that, but what changes can we expect to see in 2019 and how will it further transform our search marketing tactics?
We have put together a list of four of the biggest changes to the search marketing landscape as it applies to the hospitality industry. While these changes to Google and Bing have already happened, we can definitely expect them to continue to change the way we do search marketing for the coming years.
What Happened to Search Marketing in 2018
Google AdWords rebranded as Google Ads
One of the biggest changes we saw in 2018 was the rebranding of Google AdWords to Google Ads. While this seems like it is only a brand name change, it also came with a new user interface, enhanced marketing features, new targeting options, campaign types and new tools to help us better understand our perfect customer and market to them efficiently. This platform will continue to be enhanced and used for PPC marketing in future years.
Google Local 4-Pack Feature
Earlier this year Google released a brand new feature changing their well known “3-Pack” to a “4-Pack” which now heavily focuses on Google My Business (GMB) engagements and reviews along with content and imagery. Read more about the Google Local 4-Pack Feature and how you can optimize your hotel for it here.
Responsive Search Ads
Google also continued taking big steps towards automated machine learning technology with the release of their new Responsive Search Ads. With this new ad format, you can write up to 15 different headlines and up to four different descriptions. This results in over 43,360 different permutations, making ad testing possibilities endless. This feature is still being perfected by Google using feedback from preferred partners like Screen Pilot. We are constantly testing this new option and determining which combination of headlines and descriptions works best for our clients as well.
New Advanced Targeting Options
Similarly to all digital marketing, personalization and advanced audience targeting is becoming increasingly popular in paid search and as marketers, we are constantly looking for better ways to show our ads to the most qualified audiences…audiences that are most likely to book a room at our properties. Google has responded to this by releasing new targeting options for our paid channels. This includes detailed demographic targets in search and custom intent audiences for Youtube, Gmail, and the Google Display Network. The new Detailed Demographics targeting feature gives you the ability to target specific users based on their marital status, parental status, education, and homeowner status. This allows you to hone in on more qualified audiences for each individual property.