Case Study: Island Vista Increased Ad Performance

Situation & Objective

Island Vista Resort Property PhotoThe property was running on keywords related to its brand name abut was being out-muscled by the OTAs. We were asked to drive more direct bookings at a ROAS that was more favorable than the commissions being paid to the OTAs. The company previously managing the ads had not taken advantage of the most recent best-practice approaches to paid advertising.

Our goals were as follows:

  • To increase the number of direct bookings on the resort’s official website.
  • To spend less per acquisition than we would have spent on OTA commissions for the same booking.
  • To capture guest information that we could use in future marketing efforts such as email campaigns and remarketing lists.
  • To increase ROAS compared to previous campaigns.

Target Audience

In terms of audience size, there are over 18 million visitors to the Myrtle Beach area each year. A large number of them are searching for luxury oceanfront accommodations.

We targeted leisure travelers who were interested in vacationing in Myrtle Beach and indicated a desire to stay at the Island Vista Resort.

Geographically, located in traditional feeder markets such as Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Research & Planning

Island Vista Resort HomepageWe took a sample of past guests to determine the specific messaging that would most likely persuade them to click on our ads vs. the competition’s ads.

We used multiple tools to determine which keywords were being used in conjunction with the brand name to determine the specific differentiators that would most impact the purchase decision.

We ran numerous tests on ad copy and landing page content to determine the most effective combinations.

We experimented with the bid strategy to maximize exposure and minimize cost.

We leveraged Google’s automatic bid adjustment feature.

We evaluated website behavior to understand the friction that was occurring within the conversion funnel.

Message & Implementation

To set us apart, we used headlines such as “Book Through Official Site” & “Official Resort Website” to establish authority in the mind of the searcher.

We also used ad copy featuring “Get Exclusive Resort Deals” & “Great Low Rates When You Book Direct…” to promote the fact that the official resort website features deals & rates that can not be found on OTA websites. This was reinforced within the website content.

We also used price extensions to show rates that are competitive with what OTAs show and promotion extensions to show exclusive deals that are unavailable on OTA sites.


We looked at year over year statistics. Through Google Ads and Microsoft Ads we were able to gain increases across-the-board including only increasing total spend by 8.5%. Our cost per acquisition was $39.97. Our average booking value was $1,483.30. If we would have allowed the OTAs to capture those bookings, we would have paid $297.76 per booking instead of the $39.97 we paid by getting those bookings direct on the official resort website.

Hotel Marketing Results - Island Vista

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