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How to Run Effective PPC Ads for Your Tourism Business

Running PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for tourism businesses. Many business owners in the tourism industry are interested in leveraging PPC ads to attract more visitors and increase bookings, so we’re here to help you move forward confidently.

In the competitive landscape of the tourism industry, driving bookings and revenue is your top priority, but how can you stand out from the crowd and grab the attention of your potential customers? One tried-and-tested effective method is running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. Today, we’re exploring the strategies and best practices for running effective PPC campaigns that can boost bookings and revenue for your tourism business.

Understanding the Basics of PPC Advertising

PPC advertising is a digital marketing strategy where businesses pay for each click on their ads. You’re likely aware of it on Facebook, Instagram and Google (those “sponsored” search results at the top!), but they are also available on Bing, LinkedIn, TikTok and more. PPC ads involve bidding on keywords relevant to your target audience and displaying ads in search engine results or on relevant websites and apps. By understanding the basics of PPC advertising, you can leverage this powerful tool to reach potential visitors and drive bookings in the tourism industry.

The beauty of an effective PPC advertising campaign is how specific you can get, for example, targeting women with children in New Brunswick who like golf!

Setting Up Your PPC Campaign

You’ll need to start with some research if you want to run an effective PPC campaign. Use keyword tools and industry know-how to select relevant keywords that align with your tourism business. For example, “glamping Nova Scotia” or “modern art museums.”

You will need to structure the campaign overall as well. Is it a series of ads or a one-off? How will you mirror the idea on your social media? Will you have a blog or a promotion that ties into it?

Setting a realistic budget at the start will help you feel in control of the spend, so schedule some analysis time at milestones to ensure your ads are working for you. You can adjust your bidding strategy to maximize your return on investment (ROI) while staying within your budget.

Targeting the Right Audience

PPC ads are a powerful tool, but without the right constraints, you can spend money fast without seeing the desired results. Understanding your target audience is crucial for successful PPC campaigns.

You likely have this information from your past customers, although you may not have delved into the data intentionally before. Identify the demographics and interests of your potential visitors. Be as specific as you can – you never know what might help, either now or in later campaigns. Keeping a record of your typical customer is extremely useful for creating all kinds of digital marketing assets and nailing your business growth strategy.

Utilize location targeting (depending on your specific business, you may want to go bigger or smaller) and advanced targeting options to reach your ideal customers.

Specifically, who?

You also need to decide if your primary target is new customers, returning customers, or those who have looked but not booked before. Remarketing techniques (for returning and those who have visited but not booked) can help re-engage past website visitors by keeping your tourism business on their minds.

You may have seen this in action before if you have ever looked at a sweater but walked away, only to find that same item promoted to you on Facebook, on search engines, in your inbox, etc. Ever relented and bought it after all? That’s remarketing working as designed!

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

Compelling ad copy is essential to capture the attention of potential visitors. Here, you need a bit of finesse to meld your messaging and marketing into something that makes people want to click!

Depending on the PPC platform you decide to use (check where your audience is before you start!), you will have different criteria needed, but regardless of word count, make sure you spend some time optimizing your headlines and descriptions, highlighting the unique selling points of your tourism business and giving a clear Call-to-Action (CTA). Incorporate some of those keywords you listed to improve your ad’s relevance and quality score.

Most platforms also let you A/B test different variations of your ad copy to identify the most effective messaging for your target audience. If you have this option, go for it! It will help you pinpoint the most effective path, boosting the effectiveness of your ad and the ROI.

Monitoring and Optimizing Your PPC Campaign

Continuous monitoring and optimization are essential to running successful PPC campaigns. We schedule review dates for our PPC ad campaigns so our strategist can examine what’s working and tweak anything that isn’t.

Your key metrics to track are usually click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates. Your PPC ad platform should offer you these and much more, but there are also third-party tools you can look at to gain additional insights and make data-driven decisions. Adjust your campaigns based on your performance data to continuously improve your results. Maybe you are seeing a large conversion rate with men aged 20-34, but virtually nothing for men over 50. Decreasing the age range of your ad means you are doubling down on what’s working for you. You may even discover an untapped potential market!

Enhancing Landing Page Experience

Your tourism business likely has a website and booking system to funnel your ads to, but setting up a landing page specific to the campaign can help you create a seamless user experience, which increases your potential for converting clicks into bookings.

Design a landing page that aligns with your ad copy specifically and speaks to the audience you are targeting. Use a clear call-to-action (CTA) to facilitate bookings and automate wherever possible to make it as smooth an experience as it can be. You can A/B test different landing page variations, too!

For example, maybe you have a walking tour business, offering tours of several local attractions. You are targeting 40-something couples successfully with your ads but you’re not happy with the conversion rate. You could create two landing pages, each themed for a different stop on the tour. Maybe one of those showcases the castle ruins, using imagery that shows it, and mentioning it as a star attraction. The other option could promote the winery, using the same methods. If one is performing better than the other with your audience, you know which landing page to use, and also which attractions you should focus on more heavily during the tour.

Ready to Launch some PPC Ads for Your Tourism Business?

Running effective PPC ads can significantly boost bookings and drive revenue for your tourism business. Whether you are just getting started or looking to grow, the beauty of this method is that it scales with your needs. Celebrating a milestone? Time to promote! Closing down for the winter? Stop the ad spend and plan for the spring. Take your tourism business to new heights by being a savvy PPC ad shopper and keeping a watchful eye on your results.

Need a hand with PPC ads for your tourism business? We are firm advocates for the tourism industry in New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada and have partnered with many businesses over the last few years, including preferential rates for TIANB members. Book a no-obligation chat to discuss your PPC ad strategy and let’s grow your business!

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