Search engines help to drive business directly to your website, and we’d all like more direct bookings right? Google has 75% of the market share as a search engine, but also offers other powerful features and services that can significantly help boost your hotel’s search engine optimisation (SEO).
One of the most significant, but totally underrated features is Google My Business. The feature allows you to create a profile for your business for free which creates further SEO opportunities and an increased awareness of your business.
Creating a Google My Business profile will enable you to rank higher in a Google search, allowing you to be seen by more guests and potential guests. The profile allows you to list your hotel name, address and phone number and also include a geo-marker on Google maps to show your location. You can include hotel photos, display guest reviews and provide additional information such as prices and any promotional offers running at that time. There is also a button which can link directly to your website and display a ‘call’ button increasing your ability for people to get further information from you.
So, what are the benefits of Google My Business and how do you maximise them?
Near me searches
When a potential guest is using Google to make a ‘near me’ hotel search, they are likely to have a quick and impulsive mindset. Your Google My Business profile needs to display all the key decision making information to try and secure that sale. If you’re not on Google My Business, this opportunity will be lost. Local searches are becoming increasingly popular, with a 500% increase in recent years.
Additional channel of communication
Guests are currently not only looking for the best rates, but also assurance that their stay will be safe. Use your Google My Business profile to highlight the measures you have taken in response to COVID-19. The ability to display all your contact information on that profile enables potential guests to ask any questions to clarify their thought process and make a booking with you.
Use reviews to boost your conversion rate
Many people make hotel booking decisions based on guest reviews. Your Google My Business profile allows you to display your guest reviews, which can drive more potential guest attention.
It is good practice to also respond to those reviews, showing that you appreciate their feedback and have a concern for the guest experience. This is even more true with negative reviews, showing that you can take criticism and adapt with solutions to prevent a situation reoccurring.
When a potential guest is looking for a hotel, Google shows price comparisons highlighting the rates of hotels. Using your Google My Business listing is a great way to showcase a special offer or a reduced rate. This can also prove useful if a customer has searched for another hotel in the area, but your hotel is also shown to them as it may have a lower rate than the original search that made, potentially gaining you an additional sale.
Google posts allows businesses to share content directly on to the results pages of Google. As the content is generated through Google it appears higher in search engine results.
If you have relevant content then use Google Posts as a way to share it with guests and potential guests. If someone searches for your hotel then they not only see your listing, but also any associated content.