June 2013 Newsletter

Welcome to our June 2013 Great New Zealand newsletter.

In this newsletter:

  • Free Wifi – how much should you offer
  • Google Adwords tips

Free Wifi – How much should you offer?

We are strong supporters of accommodation businesses providing free Wifi for their guests. Anecdotal evidence strongly supports the fact that people use this as a key decision-making factor when selecting a property.

Your room rates may be a bit more expensive than your competitor’s down the road but people may still choose you if you offer free Wifi. They like something for nothing so it is very good PR that secures you business and happy clients!

But, there is a cost to you for offering this and we don’t think you should be fleeced by people abusing your free Wifi. Reasonable use by your guests is a reasonable expectation. It is not reasonable for them to spend their entire time downloading movies at your expense.

Most properties put a cap on the usage. So how much is reasonable?

We think about 50 – 250mb per day should do most people.

For example, Telecom quotes these figures at
http://www.telecom.co.nz/internet/datacalculator/

Browsing and text-only emails 5MB per hour
Photos 1MB per photo
Online games 65MB per hour
Music 5MB per song download
Video clips 150MB per hour
Movies 1.2GB per movie.

It might be a bit light for some serious users but it is probably OK for most normal travellers who just want to check emails, check their Facebook page and browse for local information on the net. Offer a bit more (or free unlimited access) if it doesn’t cost you too much – but remember it comes off your bottom line.

After that offer a reasonably priced top-up option (or a discretionary free one).

But if offering top up vouchers please make sure they are for x Mb of use over a decent period, or x hours of use over a certain time. There is nothing worse than vouchers for additional hours that are only valid for continuous use from the start time. (eg 1 hr of continuous use from when you first log in)

Most reasonable users just want a little bit of time several times during their stay with you. Maybe an hour or two per day spread over their stay.

If you don’t want to, or cannot offer free Wifi, use a provider who is reasonably priced for your guests and offers 24 hours of use. Or who offer a fixed number of megabytes over any period anywhere (like Zenbu). Too many expensive properties are openly gouging customers for Internet access.

Let us know what you offer, what it costs you, and how it is received by customers and we will mention your business on our Google Plus page. Visit this page for New Zealand travel articles at https://plus.google.com/103576501952883452343 Follow us or Plus 1 us or a post if you like what you see.

Google Adwords

Google is being increasingly proactive about suggesting to people that they MUST do an Adwords campaign. Free set-up, $100 vouchers and aggressive advertising and emailing… Plus numerous cold calls from overseas Adwords companies.

Remember that Google makes their money from advertising. The more people they get using Adwords, the more money they make. And the higher the cost per click will be for everyone. Even more for them! That is how they survive.

We are not saying don’t do it but just be aware of what you are doing and the costs.

Things to watch for

Are you doing Adwords or Adwords Express – there is a big difference. For example Adwords Express ads are only seen within a very limited local area (20-65 kms from your business). And very automated setup. OK for some businesses but not for many.

What is your cost per click?

What is your cost per conversion or booking?

If your average cost per click is $1.50 (what you pay Google plus your management fee divided by the number of clicks you get), and you are getting one conversion or booking for every 10 clicks (and you are lucky if you are), then each booking is costing you $1.50 x 10 = $15.00. Compare this with commissions you may give away to agents and booking sites. If you have a low ticket item you may vbe giving away a large percentage.

Why are you doing it – is it just because Google says you should or do you think it will work for you?

Is it working for you or do you have a cap on your spending?

If you have got a cap on your spending – why? If Adwords is working for you, you should be taking every booking you can until you have sold your entire inventory. Putting a cap on your campaign(s) suggests that you don’t think it is working and just want to limit how much money you are wasting.

Do you have transparent reporting from whoever is managing your Adwords campaign? You should be able to see the exact cost per click you are paying to Google and also the management fee you are paying to whoever is running the campaign. If not, go somewhere else.

How do you measure conversions as coming from Adwords clicks?

Who is watching what is happening on your Adwords account –cost per click can escalate rapidly if not monitored closely

The bottom line is that AdWords must to give you a good return on investment to be worthwhile.

Don’t do it just because Google or someone phoning you from overseas on a marketing call says that you should!

If you do do it, be careful who you do it with and what you are getting from it. Some companies have difficult contracts to get out of and obscure reporting. Don’t be bullied in to it. Think carefully about the return!

We can help you to decide if you should be doing an Adwords campaign and can recommend a company to run your campaign for you with great reporting and transparent cost structure. Adwords is difficult and time consuming to do yourself.

We hope this helps clarify Adwords. Please tell us your experiences (in confidence) with campaigns and the companies who have run them for you. We will also mention you on our Google plus page if you do (and you would like a mention).

If there is anything to do with your website and Internet presence that we can help you with, please call Ron or Sue on 07 866 3929. We take the hassle out of the Internet for you.

Best regards

Ron, Judie, Sue & the team at
Net Action Ltd and Great New Zealand Ltd
07 866 3929