Google Adwords should be a key component of any digital marketing strategy, and that especially includes tour operators. For a new or inexperienced tour company, Google AdWords often seems foreign and confusing. The fact that Google is constantly changing and releasing new updates and tweaking old features makes it hard for even veterans to stay up-to-date. In the end, this makes it much harder for you to get noticed as a business and often results in business owners spending money on paid advertising instead.
As a tour operator, you need to embrace Google AdWords by understanding how it works and what type of an impact it can have on your business. To help you get started, we have put together a handy guide that explains how Google AdWords works, why it’s important, and what you can do to get started:
Understanding What Google AdWords Is
The most basic explanation is that Google AdWords is Google’s pay-per-click advertising platform. You select keywords that you believe would be relevant to your target audience and create advertisements specifically for them. Then, you’ll bid on each keyword, meaning how much you want to pay for each click. Depending on how popular and far-reaching a specific keyword is, there will be a minimum cost-per-click. You’ll then decide what your maximum cost-per-click is, and what your daily budget will be. Since you’re bidding against other companies, if you get outbid, your ads might not be presented at all, even if you’re above the minimum. Ad quality and relevance are important as well, as that can determine what type of placement your ad receives.
It’s important to understand, however, that while you do have to pay for each click, the actual Google AdWords platform itself is a completely free tool that anybody can access. You simply need to create a free Google AdWords account. This includes access to Google’s Keyword Planning tool to help identify valuable keywords and planning your AdWords budget. Even if you’re trying to figure out keywords to optimize on your website for SEO purposes, this can be quite useful.
The Benefits of Google AdWords
Before discussing exactly how a tour company can effectively implement Google AdWords, it’s important to understand why it’s worth the effort. The fact is that there are a wide variety of benefits and results that Google AdWords can drive. Here are some of the most important:
Lead generation - Google AdWords is one of the very best platforms to find targeted leads. Google has an absolutely massive audience, and by controlling the keywords you’re bidding on, you’ll be able to build custom landing pages, targeted offers, and much more.
Cost-effective - You have total control over your bids and total daily budget. Since the AdWords platform itself is free, you’ll never have to worry about AdWords being too big or too small for your specific budget.
Quick results - It doesn’t take long to be up and running on Google AdWords, and results are available to analyze immediately. If you need to drive people to your tour company today, this platform is hard to beat.
Strong return on investment - Once you’ve run enough campaigns and tested thoroughly, you’ll know what works well and what a click is worth to you. This lets you tweak your future campaigns to maintain an impressive ROI.
Getting Started With Google AdWords
Fine-tuning your campaign is a never-ending process, but tour operators can get off the ground quickly and increase bookings in a cost-effective manner by taking the following to heart:
1. Leverage Location Targeting
As a tour operator, you know that location is key. In AdWords, you can select specific locations to show your ads, set a radius, or even choose to exclude specific locations.
2. Include All the Details
Your ad should include as much information as you can fit, including your location and phone number. For mobile devices, you can make your ads callable, so that somebody who clicks your information is prompted to make a call immediately.
3. Drill Your Keywords Down
Each keyword should be as specific as it possibly can be. This benefits you in two ways. First, it reduces the number of companies you’re bidding against for each keyword. Second, it targets and qualifies your audience more effectively. For example, if you’re offering water tours in Chicago, your keywords could be ‘Chicago boat tour’, or ‘Chicago water tour’ instead of just ‘Chicago tours’ or ‘boat tours’.
4. Build a Negative Keyword List
A negative keyword list lets you select keywords or phrases that, if included in a search, you don’t want your ad to appear on. Good examples of keywords you might want to exclude are ‘cheap’ or ‘free’. Constantly analyze your keywords to see if anything is costing you money but not driving any actual conversions, and exclude them as necessary. This helps maximize your ROI by getting ads in front of an even more finely targeted audience.
In the end, Google AdWords may take some time to truly master, but you can enjoy fast results at an effective price if you’re able to follow the strategies outlined above. And if you ever need a helping hand, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to assist you!