3 Reasons not to carry out your hotels ppc advertising in-house

As an independent or small guesthouse or hotel, there can be a big temptation to run your PPC campaigns in-house; you’ll save money as there will be no management fees involved, and you’ll have completely control, transparency and ownership of your PPC campaign.

Unfortunately there are a few big reasons why you should avoid this temptation at all costs. Of course there will be some exceptions to the rule, perhaps you’re already a bit of an AdWords guru, or you have a friend that will be helping set it up and to manage it. But 99% of the time it will be best that you leave the PPC campaign management to a qualified expert or digital marketing agency. Here’s why:

1. PPC isn’t easy

Okay so we’re starting with the most obvious reason first here, and that is that if done correctly, PPC campaigns can be very complex and intricate. It’s not something that you can really learn unless you have quite a bit of time to train yourself, and even then you’re going to make mistakes – and this can be quite an expensive business. Average cost per clicks can be £1 plus for some non-brand hotel terms, so you can easily blow a load of cash if you’re not careful.
Google makes it as easy as possible to setup the PPC campaigns, this much is true, especially in recent months with the interface changes they’ve been making. However they can be (in my opinion) quite devious and can lead the unskilled PPC newbie down a nasty path – eg when you add keywords to a campaign, they are defaulted to broad match; meaning your keywords are triggered more often, thus you spend more, thus Google earns more money.

You probably realise we’re going to be recommending a PPC expert instead of managing the campaigns yourself; this is the service we’re offering after all, and if all hotels managed their PPC campaigns in-house then I’d soon find myself without any work. However at the Hotel Marketer we’re firm believers that if you want something done properly, you should leave it to the experts.

2. Missed opportunities

When managing your PPC campaign in-house, you potentially risk missing out on a wealth of information that is only available to you when you actually experience running PPC campaigns for various hotels, in various markets, all around the work. It’s impossible for you, managing your only hotels PPC account, to learn about trends and to gain long-term experience without actively managing many hotels online advertising; which is exactly what a specialist does.

Not only does this limit your learning ability and inhibit the potential of maximising the return on your account, but it likely also means that you’re missing out on some vital industry knowledge and updates. Unless you’re constantly keeping up to date with search marketing news, and changes to Google AdWords, Bing et al, you will undoubtedly miss out on exciting new opportunities, some of which are only available to digital marketing agencies (due to their special relationship with the search engines).

3. The potential issue of Business “tunnel-vision”

This is a bit tricky to explain but as a business owner, or employee of your hotel, you will definitely have a good insight into your niche and your clientelle. But there are downsides to this close-relationship too. You may not spot the obvious issues with your PPC account that most a digital marketing specialist would notice instantly. For example you might feel your hotel is close to a popular landmark, so you invest in keywords relating to “hotel near landmark”. However, most outsiders will probably be aware that there are a lot of other hotels nearer to the landmark, which would be far more convenient to stay in. I’ve experienced first-hand hotels that are insistent on bidding on some landmark terms which would never be suitable venues for guests to stay at, but they’re simply either unware or ignorant to the competition that exists. At least when working with a specialist in this field you will get an honest insight into the types of search queries that should work for your property, without any kind of conflict of interest. This level of impartialness can provide a great balance to your PPC campaigns, without wich you may end of running PPC adverts that just one person feels would work, based on their own hunch.

Any digital marketing agency that specialises in hotels and which is worthy of your business will instantly know the attractions of your hotel, and will know which keywords to bid on, the amounts to bid, and the markets to target. This is all inside-information which is difficult for an amateur to learn without first making some costly mistakes.

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