Most Property Managers and Vacation Rental Owners tend to think that once you get your Airbnb Vacation Rental vacation rental project off the ground, it means the battle is won. Actually they could not be more wrong. Sure, having your Vacation Rental Unit listed on Airbnb and having it ready for guests does feel victorious. But the real struggle remains marketing and making sales to ensure you make profit.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a form of marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time an ad is clicked, bringing a new visitor to their website. The classic Google sales pitch to companies is that you only pay for performance (clicks) instead of paying for general brand awareness (reach).
In a nutshell, PPC marketing is exactly what its acronym stands for: pay-per-click marketing. You put ads on the Internet and pay each time an ad generates a click. The most common PPC platform is Google AdWords, consisting of both Google Search Network, where you serve ads to people searching for your keywords on Google, and Google Display Network, which is a network of millions of websites that allows you to serve ads to users as they navigate the rest of the Web and that is commonly used for remarketing. In addition to Google, PPC marketing is also available on Facebook ads, Instagram ads and more.
PPC marketing can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you approach it and manage it.
There is no denying that PPC marketing is gaining major popularity across the board. Google now devotes the top four spots in its search results to ads. With 75 percent of Google’s revenue coming from ads (and AdWords in particular), it has a huge incentive to continue to improve its platform and place the right ads in front of the right people.
There are several benefits of using PPC to advertise your Airbnb vacation rental property.
The beauty of PPC is that you know exactly what you’re getting for your money—and you know it immediately. You know the number of clicks, leads, bookings, and calls, and you know the average time on site, bounce rate, and more. It’s all set out in front of you.
Another benefit of PPC is that your budget can be flexible on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If things are working well, there’s almost always room to increase spending and increase bookings in return; and if things are slow, you can temporarily spend less and focus on your top-performing campaigns.
Even if you don’t generate a click, you enjoy free branding for your Airbnb vacation rental because your ads will be seen by relevant searchers.
Google has a huge incentive to place the right ads in front of the right people. As a result, if you can establish yourself as a “quality” ad in Google’s eyes, then you will decrease your cost per click and make your ads more efficient.
If users search for your Airbnb on Google, it is beneficial to show them an ad before your organic results. One reason is because it assures searchers that your vacation rental business is legitimate while eliminating any chance of a competitor jumping your organic result with one of its ads and potentially stealing your business.
In contrast, if some of your competitors aren’t bidding on their branded keywords, you can attempt to jump their organic results and “steal” their clicks. Competitor campaigns have proven to be successful in generating cost-efficient bookings.
PPC isn’t merely for increasing bookings. You can also target homeowners looking to add their homes to the rental pool, thus strengthening your business for the long term.
With all the data you collect from each click, it’s easy to determine how much money PPC has brought in. It has been said, “You have to spend money to make money.” With PPC, you know exactly how much you spend and exactly how much Airbnb revenue you make.
Now that we have evaluated the benefits, you probably wonder what some of the best platforms for your vacation rental might be. Truthfully, in the world of PPC advertising, Google Ads reigns king. But that is not to say that there aren’t lots of other options out there that can generate good results.
Bing Ads – the second tier of search paid advertising, Bing ads can offer up a great ROI due to the lower cost per click, lower relative competition and easy-to-understand interface.
Facebook Ads – while not a search ad competitor, Facebook ads are a stellar way to reach your guests while on social media.
Adroll – if you’re looking to get involved with remarketing or retargeting, Adroll is another network that you can buy display ad inventory on. The cost per thousand impressions can be slightly higher compared to Google’s cost-per-click based remarketing.
Perfect Audience – another third-party ad platform great for experimenting your vacation rental on.
PPC is particularly powerful for online travel bookings because the user is typically low in the purchase funnel and close to pulling out their credit card to make the booking. This is easily the most critical time when your ads need to be present in order to win the booking versus your arch-rival across town.
As much as PPC is great, there are many factors to consider when determining if PPC is right for you. So before you hop on the PPC bandwagon, consider these: