Google: Shaking up the travel industry [PART1]
Google remains the most popular search engine worldwide, with a market share of 87.95%. It's no surprise: the search for vacation destinations - and overnight stays - often begins in Google!
* This article is written for hoteliers. Do you run a restaurant or are you another type of entrepreneur? All tips will certainly apply to your business!
Google My Business: A must for every hotelier
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEA (Search Engine Advertising), Google Hotel Ads, …. There are a lot of ways to take on the battle for the first place in the search results. A matter of budget? Not necessarily! Google My Business is free and offers you a lot of advantages.
When does my GMB page appear?
Is your hotel website the answer to the search query (e.g. Tropicana Hotel)? Then Google will show your Google My Business page. Your accommodation is highlighted on the right, next to the search results. Thanks to the unique format and unique position, your Google My Business page is a real eye-catcher.
Is the search query of the traveler a bit vague and are there many accommodations answering this query? Then Google shows the most relevant accommodations in a list, highlighted in a unique way in the search results.
Tips on completing useful information
1. The online shop window of your hotel
In addition to the name of your accommodation, you can also add other practical information such as address details, telephone number and above all: a link to your hotel website. When your hotel's Google My Business page appeals to the user, they can immediately click through to your website. More chance for direct bookings!
This basic information is often filled in automatically by Google. So check this carefully, sometimes small adjustments are necessary.
Tip: You can now also add check-in and check-out hours! Be sure to make use of this, a well-informed customer is often a lucky guest.
2. The first impression counts
Contrary to the organic or paid search results all listed in a row below each other, Google My Business is shown on the right hand side with photos. As a result, this search result quickly catches the eye. "One picture says more than a thousand words", so seize the opportunity to place qualitative and attractive photos on your GMB and convince from the very first moment.
3. Put your assets in the spotlight
After a short description of your accommodation, you can add facilities or extra services such as: free wifi, outdoor pool, room service or pets allowed. Certain facilities such as "free wifi" & "free parking" are even emphasized by the use of icons.
More reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business's local ranking.Support.Google.com
Google has paid a lot of attention to their review tool in recent years. They're still working hard on it, but its importance is undeniable now, the numbers don't lie.
Google is currently the largest player when it comes to hotel reviews. Booking.com follows closely, Tripadvisor sings a few tones lower, but hijacks the 3rd place.
Maintaining this section of your Google My Business is definitely the message, many good reviews convince the traveller faster. Moreover, Google also brings these ratings promintent in the search results and reviews have a positive influence on your ranking in Google:
When a travelers looks for the pefect stay, he wants a clear and quick answer to his questions. What time is check-in? Does the hotel provide a shuttle service to the airport? Can I do my laundry there? Google My Business helpt you show all the answers!
In the questions section of your GMB, anyone who wants, can ask a question. Be prepared and add the most frequently asked questions (with answers), this way you will immediately remove all doubts from potential customers.
Again, keep your information up to date and check regularly. Anyone can add answers to frequently asked questions on your GMB, so make sure you're the first!
Google My Business: Why use it?
Google My Business is all about local search: online searches related to location. This could be a search made near your hotel or made outside your area, but with the location added.
e.g. A tourist in Bruges is looking for a restaurant in the neighbourhood.
e.g. A British family is planning a trip to Bruges and searches online for a hotel with keywords “Hotel in Bruges”.
Given the fact that 46% of all searches on Google are looking for local information, having a Google My Business page might be convenient!
46% of all Google searches are local
Online visibility & direct bookings
We already mentioned it, but make sure to add the url of your own hotel website when you complete your contact information. An absolute must! This way, potential customers can click through to your own website and complete the booking. Google My Business increases your online visibility and offers you an extra chance at direct bookings!
Easy and free
Google My Business is free. Claiming your Google My Business Page doesn’t cost you a penny, just a little bit of your time. Here’s a guide from Google to get started.
Do you have further questions about Google and the Travel Industry? Do not hesitate and send us a message!