After reading this blog, you will confidently be able to optimize your Google My Business listing and improve traffic to your hotel website.
Google My Business(GMB) is a tool that helps businesses to create and manage their listings on Google.
GMB assists the small business owner in managing information about their business and communicating with visited guests or potential customers.
After creating your Google My Business for your hotel or restaurant, Google will display your business as:
If you have not created a Google My Business listing for your hotel or restaurant, then you can create your Google My Business account in a few simple steps.
Post verifying your GMB listing you can:
By using your GMB account effectively, you can drive leads to your hotel and eventually increase your revenue by multiple factors.
Now that you have a fair understanding of Google My Business, let’s dive into the practical steps to make the most of your hotel or restaurant business listing on Google.
It is imperative to provide the latest information on your GMB listing.
Always make sure you deliver up-to-date information about your:
Your GMB listing is the primary source of information of your hotel or restaurant to users, so make sure it demonstrates accurate data related to your business.
GMB listings prove to be even more helpful during unfavorable situations like the COVID pandemic where you can share the working status of your business amidst shelter in place orders and other health regulations.
A picture is worth a thousand words. It's an open secret that photos gather more engagement, reach, and click-throughs than just plain text. Studies say that over 80% of all searches are carried out on Google - With 78% of local mobile searches resulting in offline purchases!
High-quality photos are essential when you are focusing on 'how to optimize your Google My Business listing’ as they have great potential to augment your online presence. It is now more important than ever to make a big first impression when someone visits your GMB listing.
Another reason the photos on your listing are incredibly important is that customers look at them, which is why they choose you over your competitors. It is the first thing that people see that differentiates your business from the rest, so you want to make sure you're putting the right image out there! The pictures could include exterior or interior areas of your hotel or restaurant, logos, team photos, or pictures of your unique services in action.
Google also gives you insights into how your pictures are performing compared to your competition, so you can see where you stand and start making improvements to strive for better!
The primary step in getting the most out of your GMB Photos is to verify your business listings. Once verified, Google will give you access to upload photos, user-generated content, and videos. Keep in mind that this media content is also indexed and helps with search engine ranking since images are indexed into the Google’s image search.
You know by now how important reviews are for your hotel business. With so much at stake, how can you increase the volume of reviews of your hotel? Here are some best practices that we would suggest to encourage more (positive) guest reviews:
Set expectations appropriately. Under-promise and over-deliver - is the key. Avoid setting expectations in your advertising and marketing campaigns that will be impossible for you to deliver. Most positive guest reviews come when guests are pleasantly surprised by what they receive.
Create a remarkable experience.
Make sure you create an experience worth talking about before you ask for an online review. A delighted customer is one who will be loyal to you and your business for a long time to come. Plus, customer loyalty and happiness have a tendency to spread. When people find businesses they trust, they want to tell their friends about it too.
Explain the process. Sometimes it’s just a case of the guest not being familiar with guest review sites: why they are essential to you, and what they have to gain by writing a review. Explain to them how their feedback will be influential in improving the experience for the next guest and will help you with your business. Explain the steps involved to leave a review online. We offer professional designed Guest Review Cards that our clients can print and hand out to happy guests at check out which offer step by step instructions on how to leave a review. In addition, our Reputation Management System can automatically send post-stay emails to solicit a positive guest review and disintermediate costly negative reviews.
During the check-out process, the easiest way to get a review is to ask for it! Yes, ask if the guest had a positive experience at your hotel. If they enjoyed and had a pleasant stay, encourage them to share that on a review site of their choice. This is the best time to ask since the positive emotions of their stay will be fresh on their mind.
Send a Follow-Up Email for More Reviews. Most hotels send a thank you email after their guests leave with a message. Consider placing a link to the review site within this message. For business travelers, you can email them the invoice that includes a link to review the hotel. If you subscribe to INNsight’s Digital Marketing System, our platform will automatically send Guest Review Response emails.
The importance of writing a response is quite evident now. The guest reviews have a direct bearing on how travelers book for their stay and your response to them helps affirm customer relationship management. Additionally, it offers you a chance to market your property and shows that you care to future bookers.
First, let us understand a few broad classifications of reviews that you are most likely to encounter.
Positive hotel reviews are the ones referred to as those reviews wherein a guest has expressed his satisfaction with his/her stay or experience at your business. More often than not, if your guests have had a gala time staying at your business and are delighted with the hotel’s amenities or restaurant’s dining experience, they will go ahead and give you the much-coveted FIVE STARS or Perfect Score Review.
Neutral reviews are those reviews when guests are satisfied with one of your facilities or amenities but are not entirely happy with others. However, these guests do not wish to criticize sharply, but at the same time, want to bring their experience to everyone’s notice.
Negative hotel reviews are referred to as those reviews wherein a guest has had a bad experience during his stay at your hotel, and they intend to show the same in a bad light to let prospective guests know and to simply retaliate for their poor stay or experience.
As the famous adage goes: Variety is the spice of life; therefore, all the reviews should not be responded in the same fashion for the simple reason that each guest is going to talk about something different and highlight their own personal experience. One may point out your property's ideal location, and the other may highlight your staff's inattentiveness.
One of the most useful tools that is included with a Google My Business (GMB) listing is Insights. It provides you a “behind the scenes” look at how people interact with your GMB listing, which offers a massive amount of data to be discovered within Insights; take a look at what this data means and how to leverage it to fine tune your marketing and drive more sales.
Google says, “Google My Business Insights focuses on how customers find your listing on Search and Maps, and what they do after they find it.”
Knowing how customers search for your business isn't just a point of interest, but these data points also can help you make better decisions!
(A) Direct: These types of searches are usually made by people who are already familiar with your business or if they have heard about it from another form of advertising.
(B) Discovery: This type of search occurs when users have typed in something generic such as 'best hotel near me' or 'restaurant open now.’ Your business listing surfaces in the local search results.
(C) Branded: A branded search is when a customer finds your listing for a brand associated with your business.
Search queries show you the keywords used by customers to find your business on Google. You can utilize this to confirm you are using the appropriate keywords across your web pages, blog, and Google My Business Posts and targeting for any online ad campaigns.
This graph provides insight into whether your customers come from a traditional Google search or Google Maps search.
High traffic from your Listing on Search means that customers are most likely looking for your business on their desktop. In contrast, more traffic from Google Maps indicates that customers are most likely looking for your business via their mobile devices while they are actually in transit.
This graph gives you an overview of the actions customers took while on your Google My Business listing. Different from the previous data points, these are actual interactions consumers had with your listing. Let us look at three action types:
Visit your website: A person views your website through your GMB listing
Request directions: A person requests directions to your business through its GMB listing
Call you: A person calls your business through its GMB listing
This data shows the number of times customers requested directions to your business location. It is a helpful resource for local businesses, as it gives a great indication of where your potential customers are coming from, which can help you better understand which neighborhoods to focus your off-line marketing efforts on.
The Phone Calls graph shows you how many times a customer called your business via its GMB listing. You can use this graph to know the time of day or day of the week customers call your business most. Furthermore, you can utilize all of this data to target ads or social posts!
Photos are essential to Google My Business performance and can play a vital role in how much traffic diverts to your website from your Google My Business profile.
If your photos receive more views, you can positively continue to post in the same way. Fewer views mean you will require to rethink your approach to pictures and do a little competitor analysis of your own to see where you are making mistakes!
The photo quantity graph allows you to see how many pictures appear on your GMB listing compared to your competitors. If you have fewer images, consider that you need to upload more photos to your listing.
1. Listing Your Business in the Wrong Category
Ensuring the correct category is listed with Google will assure you to avoid penalty points and help get your business seen in local searches.
2. Missing Information
Most general missing pieces of essential information are operating hours, website URLs, and phone numbers. It will be tough for your customers to know when you are open or how to reach you if this information is missing.
3. Incorrect Information
Incorrect information on your GMB is even worse than not displaying any information. If you do not update your current website address and potential customers click on the given link only to know that the ‘website does not exist,’ this leads to disappointing customer experience.
4. Not Paying Enough Attention to Customer Reviews
Not replying to the customer reviews shows that you don’t care about their views/feedback, and this neglect will no doubt lead the readers to go elsewhere. Always make sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews with frequency to show that you care about your business, and your customers, too.
Pictures can get neglected most times. A piece of great advice is to post about eight-ten exterior and interior photos with and without staff.
That's when INNsight's Reputation Management System comes to save the day!
Subscribing to INNsight's Online Reputation Management Services will give you access to a plethora of reputation management software tools and monthly analytics reporting. Our robust system will help you keep track of your business's reputation score online across multiple vectors and learn how your reputation stacks up compared to your competition.
Customer reviews will get answered within 48 hours on popular reputation websites, including Google My Business. Also, a dedicated account manager who would plot and implement a reputation strategy to help increase your property's online scores and rankings, in return benefiting you to get more Direct Bookings and online orders.