Booking.com is one of the largest networks for affiliates who run destination sites or travel blogs. In the Affiliate Partner Center of Booking.com, you can find different types of customizable ads like search boxes, deal finders or banner generators. This tutorial shows you how to use Advanced Ads to integrate and optimize Booking.com ads into your WordPress site.

Online tools to create advertising material

Booking.com provides a vast variety of tools to generate ads for promoting properties. You can easily customize those adverts and adjust layout settings like size, logo position, colors, and fonts. Advanced specifications like pre-fill search destinations, different currencies or languages are also available.

  • Search Box: generates a custom hotel search box
  • Inspiring Search Box: shows offers for various cities defined by a preset country
  • Deals Finder: shows the best deals for a specific destination
  • Banners: generates banners in different sizes and languages
Examples of Booking.com ads
Examples of customized Booking.com ads like Deal finder, search box and banner.

 

No matter which tool you choose, in the end, it generates an ad code that you need to implement on your page.

  1. Copy the ad code from Booking.com
  2. Go to Advanced Ads > Ads in your WordPress backend and create a new ad unit with the Plain text and code ad type
  3. Paste the copied ad code into the code field
  4. Publish the ad

Now, you can implement this ad on your page. Either you insert them automatically using a placement, or you copy the shortcode to inject them manually. Using placements is recommended to save work in the future and to create the base for testing and further optimization. If you have Advanced Ads Pro, you might consider using lazy load, cache busting or the ad blocker function.

The official Banner Creator plugin

Booking.com currently offers three WordPress plugins for integrating advertising material. In my opinion, only one of them is useful to publishers. In this tutorial, I focus on the Banner Creator plugin, which offers a feature that you can not find in any other Booking.com tool.

The plugin is easy to use and lets you create individual banners directly in the WordPress dashboard. It is possible to choose from different backgrounds or use your own image files to create individual banners. This function is most useful and essential feature of the Banner Creator plugin.

Create individual Booking.com ads with the Banner Creator plugin
The Banner Creator plugin allows using your own images

 

For each banner, you can define a destination link and a label. If you want to use the statistics of Booking.com to analyze the performance of this banner, you should use different labels for each advert.

After creating a banner, you can insert it into your website. The plugin creates a shortcode for them. Since Advanced Ads can interpret shortcodes and display their content, you can take advantage of the full functionality of both plugins.

  1. Copy the shortcode of your banner, e.g. [bdotcom_bm bannerid="1906"]
  2. Go to Advanced Ads > Ads in your WordPress backend and create a new ad unit with the Plain text and code ad type
  3. Paste the shortcode there
  4. Enable the Allow Shortcodes option below the input field
  5. Save and publish the ad

Afterward, you can choose a placement for this advert and inject it into your website.

Optimization of Booking.com ads

Advanced Ads provides many ways to optimize Booking.com ads for specific content or user groups. Especially on travel websites, you can achieve significant improvements with just a few activities.

Many of Booking.com’s ads are related to specific destinations and work best in their context. You can use certain conditions like categories, tags or specific pages to match both. Other relevant conditions to target ads are for example:

  • Browser language or WPML-support to match the visitors’ language
  • Device or browser width to use the perfect ad size
  • Geo-targeting to show the correct currencies
  • see all display and visitor conditions
Optimization of Booking.com ads
Example how to target an ad unit to content and user groups

 

Unfortunately, most of the Booking.com ads are not working on AMP pages, yet. If you want to display something else instead, e.g., a text link, use the AMP condition and choose one for this spot.

I recommend using ad groups and ad rotations to test the performance of several Booking.com ad types and playing around with different layouts as well.

Tracking

Booking.com provides clear statistics on the performance of all ads created via the affiliate dashboard on their website. You can see their results for impressions, clicks, click-through-rates (CTR), bookings and conversion rates at a glance as well as detailed reports about single adverts.

How to track ads from Booking.com
Different metrics of single Booking.com ads in detailed reports

While it is not possible to track the clicks on those adverts with Advanced Ads, you can track the text links. They can have a high CTR and do also well as ad blocker fallbacks. The deep link generator of Booking.com with all its filters and landing pages is outstanding and provides most customization potentials of all tools. Since those text links do not appear in the statistics in their dashboard, you should use Advanced Ads to track their performance. This also allows you to use our much prettier and shorter tracking links.