Starwood Hotels achieves 20x increase in mobile paid search ROI with ad extensions

February 2012

It's a no-brainer that travelers use mobile devices. Starwood Hotels & Resorts found a way to capitalize on the trend. Using Google Mobile Search Ads, they learned how guests used ads to make calls and find directions. By implementing click-to-call (CTC) ads and location extensions they were able to increase ROI and improve user experience. CTC now drives a majority of Starwood's mobile search bookings, and ROI is higher than their desktop ad campaigns.


Implement search ads with click-to-call and location extensions


Increase bookings

Have measurable improvement in ROI

Improve user experience


20% mobile booking growth month on month

20x increase in mobile paid search ROI

200% increase in mobile traffic

Embracing the Technically Savvy Guest

Starwood Hotels & Resorts prides itself on delighting its guests wherever they are, and mobile has provided a tremendous opportunity to further Starwood hotel's efforts, especially as travelers become more technically savvy across multiple platforms. For Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Google mobile ads have become a staple in their recipe for success. "Our guests are becoming more and more mobile and multi-screen. In an effort to address the needs of our guests whether they're on desktop, mobile or tablet, mobile search was a key component of the solution," says Michelle Ogle, Digital Marketing and Affiliate Strategy Manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Continually staying ahead of the curve, Starwood hotel's savvy marketing approach spans across print and digital channels to create seamless campaign experiences for customers across multiple platforms; mobile is no exception. "Google mobile ads are a natural fit considering the rapid uptake of mobile devices and the need for expedience and location-specific information in travel. We are able to provide our guests with easy access to local room inventory across our brands, 24/7."

Implementing click-to-call and location extensions simultaneously boosted ROI and improved user experience.

Launch and Iterate Approach

Working with digital marketing agency Razorfish, Starwood Hotels & Resorts began running hyperlocal Google mobile search ads in November 2009, using a launch and iterate approach to achieve the best results. "We slowly began dipping our toe in the mobile space simply because it's sometimes difficult to track performance as we do with desktop campaigns." says Ogle. "However, with our mobile search ad campaigns, we gained precise insight into the number and duration of calls to each brand." Through using mobile ads, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Razorfish learned how guests are using ads to call as well as find directions to property locations. "Our ability to attribute an ROI back to our brands is critical in measuring a campaign's success. In so doing, we're also gaining deeper insights into our guests' mobile behavior so we can communicate with them in the right place at the right time."

Working together, the Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Razorfish team launched search ads with click-to-call (CTC) and location extensions, providing potential guests easy access to location-specific, clickable phone numbers to book their stay and map information to access directions to the hotel location. "Implementing click-to-call and location extensions simultaneously boosted ROI and improved user experience," says Amos Ductan, Senior Search Manager at Razorfish. "Mobile users are 20 times more likely to click on a map than desktop users and people who make a call are much more likely to convert. Ad extensions improved both conversions and customer experience."

The Update: Connect with new customers by tapping into intent