372 Strand Palace Hotel PPC case study | White.net

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372 STRAND PALACE HOTEL

A PPC campaign to make hotel rooms Strand out

Since it opened in 1909 the Strand Palace, a 4 star hotel located on London’s Strand, has earned a reputation as one of London’s pre-eminent hotels. We helped them demonstrate why they deserve this great reputation by bringing more online customers through their doors thanks to a sophisticated PPC campaign.


THE CHALLENGE

The Strand Palace Hotel approached us to help them increase room bookings whilst maintaining an agreed low cost-per-booking target to ensure that their overall ROI remained positive.

A successful PPC strategy must consider every touch-point within the sales funnel, from research (location, pricing), to consideration (customer reviews) and finally conversion (room bookings). With their beautiful art deco architecture and modern amenities, the hotel won the Certificate of Excellence 2014 award from Tripadvisor, meaning our campaign had to reflect this experience, and the hotel’s brand values, in our communication.

The Strand faces fierce competition, with over 1,000 hotels in central London. Our challenge in this competitive marketplace was to not only show Strand's USPs, but also deliver strong ROI in a niche where bid prices continually rise.


OUR SOLUTION

To succeed in this competitive niche, this campaign required a top-down review, with every element tested and refined.

We began with a brand-immersion exercise with the in-house team before auditing the existing PPC and analytics set-up. The first part of the solution was helping Strand Palace migrate to Google Tag Manager to consolidate their tracking, add transparency and reduce support costs as they relied on external developers.

Our analysis revealed the need to expand the account to target popular tourist destination searches, such as ‘hotels in Covent Garden’. This was tested and fleshed out by identifying the most profitable keywords and designing ad creatives for the different clienteles we could target. We could then quickly negate poorer performing search queries, ensuring that CTRs were not affected and in-fact increased through only bidding for traffic showing booking intent.

The next step, once enough data had been compiled, was employing a programmatic bidding approach to further enhance budget allocation. The ability to segment user intent and conversion type across every hour of every day of the week allowed us to implement a per-hour bid schedule, safeguarding avg. CPC and reducing budget waste.


THE RESULTS

91%

Increase in online bookings

36%

Increase in revenue

131%

Increase in conversion rate

55%

Reduction in cost-per-booking

Our campaign led to a dramatic improvement in the ROI of the hotel’s PPC efforts. Most importantly, we increased overall revenue by 36%, and reduced the cost-per-booking by 55%, allowing Strand Palace to make more money without increasing budget.

The ad testing led to refinements that increased click-through-rate by 108%, resulting in a 60% drop in invalid impressions & 17% decrease in wasted clicks. Our ad copy and landing page A/B testing helped the hotel achieve a 91% increase in online bookings, and a 131% improvement in PPC conversion rate.

Next, this improved ROI allowed us to focus on competitor activity, increasing market penetration through finding further opportunities for Strand Palace to target, all within their original budget.


Since working with White.net we have seen a significant increase in our paid search campaigns performance, resulting in an increase in bookings year on year at an optimal cost per acquisition. Certainly their strong expertise and accurate strategic decisions have helped the Strand Palace Hotel deliver solid pay per click campaigns across Google and Bing."

- E-Marketing Manager, 372 Strand Palace Hotel

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