6 ‘Google My Business’ Elements That Increase Conversions
- Posted by Todd A. Vines
- On January 30, 2020
For hotels and resorts, maintaining a robust Google My Business (GMB) profile is a marketing must.
Roughly 90% of online search is conducted via Google, and it’s a hotel’s Google “business profile” that shapes how the property appears online, not only in Search and Maps, but across the entire Google sphere.
The GMB tool is 100% free, fairly simple to use, and utterly essential in staying competitive. How essential? If your hotel doesn’t yet have a verified GMB profile, we encourage you to stop reading and head here to take care of that right now.
With a detailed GMB profile, hotels have been able to wrest market share back from online travel agencies (OTAs) and successfully drive direct bookings. As with all things Google, however, the platform is in constant flux. A GMB profile isn’t the kind that you can setup and forget about.
GMB entries change every year, and some years more than once. If your hotel hasn’t refined its GMB profile in the past few months, it’s likely time for a tune up.
Here are the six essential ‘Google My Business’ elements every hotel should have up-to-date.
Yes, it may seem like a no-brainer, but without the most basic business listing information – name, address and phone number – no other details matter.
It’s common for travelers to run a quick search to confirm an address, or pull up the main line for a quick call, but more importantly your NAP is the foundation of a professional, comprehensive GMB page.
Again, rather obvious, but also essential in driving traffic to your primary website. For travelers who prefer to book direct, your website button shows them where to go.
Make sure there’s a strategy behind exactly which page on your website button links to. For example, rather than linking to your site homepage, you might consider linking to a custom landing page on your site that offers a special booking promotion exclusively for those who found your hotel via Google.
Google displays your hotel’s nightly prices based on a formula that includes online data via your website and local booking platforms, but we all know Google sometimes gets it wrong.
Be sure that Google has your rates right, and recheck quarterly, if not more often.
Book a Room
Google’s Book a Room feature is the single best thing that the tech behemoth has ever done for hotels. This simple button is a direct booking widget, meaning that the rooms are officially booked through your website instead of through a commissioned travel platform.
Take the time to carefully and properly configure your Book a Room widget through one of Google’s scheduling providers.
Amenities and Highlights
When travelers are deciding between hotels, all things being equal, it’s a property’s amenities that often win the booking, and now you can showcase your amenities on Google.
Input your hotel’s full list of amenities, then select up to five to “highlight” and feature alongside colorful icons below your hotel’s name. Travelers who are picky about amenities will have an easier time knowing when the match is right, and those travelers attracted to overall value will be wooed by the breadth of offerings.
Businesses ‘Located In’ Your Hotel
Make sure that all businesses located on-site or otherwise inside your hotel are listed on your profile. That means your restaurants, lounges, sundries shops, grocery stores, delis, nail salons, spa, and pretty much anything else that’s open to the public.
Outline these businesses in detail. The “Located In” feature allows you to indicate that a business shares your hotel address so that two businesses can share one location on Maps, and customers will be able to easily find the individual business they’re searching for.
BONUS TIP: Photos, Photos, Photos
Some recent research has suggested a link between the quantity of photos found connected to a GMB profile and search performance. The data suggests that businesses with more than 100 GMB photos get more clicks, calls and direction requests, as well as significantly more views via Search and Maps.
For hotels, showcasing great art is always a best practice. If you’ve got a library of images that you’re proud of, there’s no reason not to load them into your profile. Further, encourage guests to share their own photos when they post their Google review.
The potential power of a Google My Business listing is undeniable. While the tool is free, it does take an investment of time to optimize GMB’s features. It is, however, most certainly a worthwhile pursuit.
For hotel teams unsure of next steps, or seeking next-level insights on how to build out and leverage GMB as a marketing tool, reach out to your trusted digital marketing partner. Many teams, including Screen Pilot, have been optimizing GMB hotel profiles since GMB came online in 2014, and stand ready to polish your Google presence.
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