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May 13, 2020

COVID-19 Recovery - Northeast Hotels


Recommendations and analysis updated May 12, 2020.

Recovery in the Northeast United States

  • The circumstances surrounding coronavirus are ever-changing. Let Google Alerts do the heavy lifting by notifying you of important developments in your region that can inform your channel strategies.
  • Your guests' needs have probably changed, as have your own property's offerings. Personalize your creative and messaging accordingly.
  • Follow The New York Times to track each state's reopening status.
  • Stay tuned to our  Northeast Trends dashboard to track COVID-19 updates.

Recovery Planning for Properties in the Northeast

  • Establish your re-opening dates and start generating anticipation among prospective guests. Parts of the Northeast are starting to open up and people are hitting the road more often, so it's a great time to consider how your property can be part of that cultural moment.
  • Other lines of business may be the first to bring revenue, so don't be afraid to let them lead the way to a slow re-opening of the rest of your operation.
  • As you plan your re-opening, don't overlook your cleanliness procedures. These need to be thorough and well-documented in order to reassure your prospective guests.
  • Golf is on the up as it's perceived to be a social-distancing-friendly activity. Use this to your advantage when revenue planning.
  • As states slowly re-open, there is a risk that coronavirus will sweep the nation a second time. Be prepared to ensure a long-lasting recovery.

Audience Targeting

  • Consumer confidence in domestic aviation is low, so travelers are taking to the roads. Industry experts expect road trips to be on the rise. Craft new audience profiles to take your drive markets into account.
  • Your past guests list are incredibly valuable. Loyal audiences can go a long way in getting you on the path to recovery.
  • Review the shopping windows for your property and take this into account to develop messaging and creative relevant to popular dates of stay.
  • Determine where your shoppers are from by reviewing your audience demographics often.

Week-Over-Week Chart Depicting Which Dates of Stay People Are Shopping For

Map of the U.S. showing where prospective travelers to the Northeast are from. Source: Google Data Studio


  • Your messaging pillars should speak to your target audiences. Use your audience research as you create your messaging.
  • Personalize your messaging to promote stays for the dates your most valuable guests are already searching for.
  • Understand guest sentiment towards your property by analyzing reviews on Facebook, Google, and Trip Advisor, as well as organic post comments. The sentiments you uncover can inform your tone. For example, if many guests talk about how urban your property is, include this tone and verbiage in your ad copy.
  • Messaging is about guest needs, rather than dollars. Speak to the new expectations your audience has for their stay in order to resonate within their reality.
  • What keywords are people searching for when they find your property?
  • What room types are people most interested in?
  • What are the top pages users are already engaging with?

Paid Search Recommendations

Brand PPC

  • Maintain your share of voice over increasing OTA competition.
  • Generate revenue for your property by adapting your strategy so your promotions remain safe and relevant.
  • For example, work to reach individuals who are rescheduling meetings or weddings.
  • Consider promoting stays in future seasons, as your booking windows may be longer than you expect.
  • Adjust your restaurant keywords to capture terms people are searching now. Prospective diners are looking more for takeout or delivery options than dine-in.
  • Read more paid media recommendations.

Unbrand PPC

  • Monitor increases in Google Trends and OTA competition. Pay attention to the bid trends for non-brand terms relevant to your property to discern when to start bidding on these terms yourself.
  • Revisit existing non-brand terms in your campaigns and refresh those that may no longer be relevant, e.g. "hotel near large event venue," "large event hotel."
  • Complete additional research into area activities that will be safe in a post-COVID-19 world and add relevant terms with sufficient search volume to your campaigns.
  • Broad, generic unbrand terms may have been out of reach before. But that's no longer. Bid on additional paid search real estate while you can by targeting broad terms you used to steer clear of.


  • Only run in this channel if your property is still listed as open on its Google My Business Profile. You can't run metasearch ads if your property is listed as close via Google My Business.
  • If you are open and listed as such, consider adjusting your bids based on dates of stay. For example, if you don't have available dates until 30+ days out, close the bids for the sooner dates so you don't spend money on unavailable dates.
  • For our partners still bidding on metasearch, we've observed more users change the dates the auto-filled dates of stay. Adjust the bid multiplier here to reduce potentially wasted spend and speed up the process for end-users.

Social Media Recommendations


  • Once you've re-evaluated your audiences, you might find that you need renewed brand awareness.
  • Share wanderlust-inducing imagery and messaging, and don't press prospective travelers to make immediate bookings.
  • Emphasize any flexible cancellation and update housekeeping policies to reassure travelers.
  • Paid social media is also a great testing ground for other channels. A/B test multiple messaging schemes and visual identities, then apply the winning combinations to your display ads, website, PPC ad copy, and wherever else you're sharing your story.
  • Don't feel like you have to start from scratch. Consider remarketing to people who have visited your website during COVID-19 and reward their interest in your property.
  • You can also utilize the loyalty of your past guest lists to generate interest in your hotel or resort.


  • Those who follow your organic page have chosen to receive updates from your hotel.
  • Because of this, they may already be familiar with or have stayed at your hotel.
  • Post images or videos of aspects of your property than can bring light to this period of time, or that may be missed in the images on your website.
  • Share up-to-date information about your property's availability, as travelers will likely read your posts if they're wondering about the status of your property.
  • Be sure your messaging and imagery aligns with those of your ads and your website.
  • Above all else, be human.

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