Google Ads Geo Targeting for Hotels | Get More Transient Business


Alex Corral

Feb 6, 2018


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Search Engine Marketing

Are you looking for more transient business for your hotel?

Well, I might just have the answer for you.

It comes in the form of a 10-minute time investment in Google Ads.

...It seems simple enough.

Most people these days (yourself probably included) are regularly using their phones. Walk outside during lunchtime, and you will be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't staring into their mobile devices. This isn't limited to kids or millennials, and this isn't just limited to lunchtime. Anytime you go outside, you can see that people are immersed in their phones.

This is why you need to make sure that your hotel is showing up in searches during these critical moments. When your customers are looking for a place like yours, you need to make sure that you are there.

This is where geo-targeting (more specifically radius targeting) in Google Ads comes into play.

If you are looking for a clear and actionable plan of action that you can implement for your hotel, then you are in the right place. I've even included a bunch of photos to follow along.

Read on to see how you can implement this for your hotel.

Why Is Geo-Targeting Important Now

Take this recent research by Think With Google, an initiative by Google to share everything from high-level insights to deck-ready stats to useful tools:

google near me search stats

If you are interested, you can find more stats here.

The point of this graphic is clear. People are using their phones more intimately than before. This means that they are searching for things that contain the words, near me, for me, and by my.

In this article, I am going to show you how you can use Google Ads to take advantage of this new trend.

Typically when people talk about local marketing, SEO comes to mind. This post doesn't cover anything that has to do with SEO. If you are looking for that, then you should check out this article on local SEO.

How Can Your Hotel Use Location Targeting

This is the definition that Google offers for location targeting:

Google Ads location targeting allows your ads to appear in the geographic locations that you choose: countries, areas within a country, a radius around a location, or location groups, which can include places of interest, your business locations, or tiered demographics.

There are use cases for each one of the many ways that you can target people, but for this article, I am only going to talk about radius targeting.

Let's see how this could work.

When you use proximity targeting (just another name for radius targeting), you shrink the pool of people that can see your ad, substantially. Since the people that can trigger your ad is much smaller, you can target more generic terms. You can target the phrase "hotels near me" and rest assured that you won't rack up huge costs overnight.

Do you have an enticing offer for guests who check-in last minute? You can layer this offer to the people that are within your radius to maximize its effect, and help fill your hotel for the night. Target people who are performing this search on their phones, and you have a potential match made in heaven. Think about it. I'm on MY PHONE, looking for A HOTEL, and I am within 25 MILES from your hotel. If you have a good product, why wouldn't I book with you?

Keep in mind that there is a bonus to doing this if your hotel has a restaurant! You have a local offering for the community; why not use it!

Setting Up Location Targeting for Your Hotel

The great thing about location targeting is that you can get started quickly. In roughly 10 minutes, you should be ready to roll. It shouldn't take you that long to get things going. There are just a few steps that you need to follow:

  • Once you are in the Google Ads interface, you will want to click the Campaigns tab.

setting up location targeting in adwords interface

  • I prefer to create a new campaign, that has a primary focus for location targeting, but you can also edit an existing campaign to add this radius targeting to it.
  • Once you are in the campaign you wish to add targeting to, you can click on the Settings tab. This will be located in the same column as where you clicked on the Campaigns tab.
  • Once in Settings, you can click on "Locations"> "Enter Another Location" and click Advanced search.

settings panel in adwords

  • Click Radius targeting. You can either enter your physical address or use your Google My Business Location information if you have connected the two Google products. (You should connect them to take advantage of location extensions in Google Ads). You can set any mileage around your business that you think is appropriate, but just remember, the further that you go out, the less relevant it could potentially be to most users. I usually try to stick in the 20-30 mile range, and sometimes even that can be too much. A lot of it depends on the competition.
  • Make sure to hit Save

There you have it! This simple addition to your Google Ads account could be just what you need to get those last-minute bookings. It could also help you slowly tick up your occupancy. For something that only takes about 10 minutes to set up, it's worth a shot, right?

Some things should be noted, though. As I said earlier, the further out that you go in mileage when using Google Ads Location Targeting, the less "relevant" your ad will be. If you go out too far, then you might as well not have the radius targeting as it will lose its desired effect. The other side of this should also be noted. If you target a radius that is too small, then your ads will only show on rare occasions, when all of your prerequisites have been met—finding that balance for your hotel is where the success is going to lie for your hotel.

Ready to Grow Your Business?