Are you fed up with returning guests booking via Booking.com or an online travel agent while your own vacation rental website and your digital marketing slumber? Well, I have found out why this is happening and I am going to show you how to prevent it. How, you ask? By bidding on your brand name.
Take a look at this Google Search for The White Lodge Hotel in Filey.
In a fair world, you would see www.whitelodgehotelfiley.co.uk at the top of the page. This is what your potential guest is looking for. But this is, unfortunately, not that world.
Instead of the hotel's own website, the customer who searches for the exact name of the hotel that they want will see an advert at the top of the screen. A Google Ad, to be more precise.
Booking.com and Expedia are in the Top 100 ad spend companies in the world! They generate a large chunk of their revenue through a return on investment in ad spend. That's how they always appear at the top of searches like this.
I have no issue with OTAs using Google ads to get to the top of the search results for keywords like Hotels in Filey or places to stay in Filey, but in cases like this one, they are deliberately bidding on a brand name. They are taking advantage of the fact that small business owners don't understand this tactic.
Take a few seconds now to Google your property name in your town.
What do you see? 9 out of 10 times, you are going to see a Google Ad listed before your website. Don't stand for this. I am going to show YOU how to bid on your brand and get your spot back! The end result will be an increase in your direct bookings.
For those who have invested money into Google Ads in the past, you know what a potential minefield it can be. Done right, using Google Ads is like printing money. Done wrong, you might as well set your money on fire!
Want to find out how you can take advantage of Google Ads? I have included some blogs and videos where I have spoken about this in more detail. Check out this one: Three things you need to know about Google Ads.