The importance of creating a Google My Business listing for your hotel
Did you know that when people search for something nearby using their smartphones, 76% of them usually end up at a nearby business within 24 hours? This means that if you want to attract guests, you should have a Google Maps presence through Google My Business (GMB) so guests can easily find directions and contact your hotel.
Indeed, GMB is an invaluable tool for hoteliers, allowing them to manage their business information on a highly-used platform and reach out to potential guests.
In fact, a study by BrightLocal shows how GMB has been revolutionary for the hospitality industry. For one, GMB gives hotels insight into customer behavior and rating that can be used to improve services. It also provides analytics tools that allow hotels to track their performance over time and adjust their strategies accordingly. All this makes GMB an indispensable tool for hotels looking for ways to increase visibility and grow their customer base.
The basics of Google My Business for hotels
Google My Business is a free service that lets you create and manage your business listing on Google. It’s a great way to manage your online presence and help customers find you online.
But how does it work, exactly?
When someone searches for your business name or address on Google, they’ll see your business listing. This includes the hours of operation, photos, reviews, and other information about your business. If you already have a website or social media pages, Google My Business can help you connect all of these accounts together so that customers can easily find them from one place. This is why optimizing your GMB profile is highly recommended.
What makes Google My Business for hotels distinct from other listings?
While similar to other Google listings, Google My Business for hotels has a different set of features. This is because Google wants to create space for OTAs such as ‘Compare Prices’ and ‘Booking’ blocks. As a result, hotel amenities are given priority over other features, leaving limited room for anything else.
What is the Hotel Pack (compared to the Local Pack)?
Two of the most effective ways to boost your online presence are the Local Pack and the Hotel Pack. The Local Pack appears when you search for a business that is close to you, but it’s not limited to only this type of service — it’s also available for services that are specifically oriented toward travelers.
The Hotel Pack is triggered by multiple search queries, but they must include the word “hotel” in order for it to appear. This makes it easier for travelers who are looking specifically for hotels in a certain area; it also helps businesses that specialize in hospitality services to gain more visibility on the web. Both the Local Pack and the Hotel Pack can increase your chances of being seen by potential customers and help you gain more exposure online.
Searching for hotels on Google Maps - how does it work?
When you’re on the lookout for a hotel, you don’t have time to do a bunch of research. You need to find the best deals quickly and make a reservation before someone else snaps up the room you want.
It’s easy to search Google Maps for hotels near your location, but now there’s an even easier way. The latest update makes it even faster to search for hotels by enabling price comparison right from the map interface.
What does this mean? When you search for hotels, instead of seeing pins that represent individual hotels, you will see price pins that display the lowest rate available from listed OTAs. You can then easily select which hotel you want to book and complete your booking directly with them via Google. No more opening multiple websites or apps to see all your options because all of your options are right in one place!
Note that if you are not using an OTA or a third-party booking provider integrated with Google Hotel Ads, then you won't get a price label and instead will be represented by a tiny blue dot. This means that without pricing info, your hotel can become lost in a sea of dollar signs. It is therefore important to ensure that your OTA or booking provider has provided room rates for the date criteria that users are searching, so that you don’t miss out on potential customers.
What features does Google My Business provide for hotel listings?
Your Google My Business listing can help you connect with potential customers by providing information on your hotel's amenities and services, including those that might be hard to find online, such as room types, check-in times, and pet policies. This helps potential guests get an idea of what they can expect when they stay at the hotel. Additionally, hotels can add Hotel Attributes such as Pools or Internet to further highlight their offerings.
Another common feature that many businesses use to attract customers is the opening date of the establishment. While this may seem like an irrelevant detail, it can actually be helpful in differentiating between newer and older properties. While some guests may prefer staying at an established hotel with a long history of positive reviews, others may be looking for a more modern option with more amenities and updated facilities. Having this information readily available can help people decide between options and narrow down their list of possible destinations.
In addition to opening date, photos are also an important part of any Google My Business listing — but not just any photos will do. Hotels should ensure that they're uploading high-quality images that showcase the best aspects of their facilities so that customers can get a better feel for where they are staying.
Updating and checking your hotel attributes is an important part of managing your Google My Business (GMB) account. By regularly updating the information in the Hotel Attributes section, you can ensure that customers have access to accurate and up-to-date information about your hotel. To access this feature, simply head to your GMB dashboard, then select Info and then Hotel Attributes.
The Hotel Attributes section contains two sections: Property Details and Room Details.
The property details section includes:
- Health and safety
- Covid-19-responder policy
- Food and drink
- Policies & payments
- Parking & transport
- Business & events
And room details include:
- General room features
- Food-related room features
Ensuring that the amenities at your hotel are accurately reflected on your GMB profile is key to providing great customer experience. The Attributes section of the dashboard allows you to select and deselect amenities directly from the dashboard, making it easy to keep your information up-to-date. However, some amenities may still be provided directly via OTA sites, so you will need to contact them if any of these are not available but are still displayed on their page. Once updated, it may take a while before they are displayed on the GMB. If this is the case, you can contact GMB support who can manually update the information for you.
Overall, managing hotel amenities through GMB is a great way to ensure that customers have accurate information about what services and facilities are available at your hotel. This can help to improve customer satisfaction and increase bookings by providing customers with all the information they need before making their decision.
Highlights are an additional area of a listing that allows the hotel to emphasize features, services and amenities that are important to their guests. This can include things like business facilities, free WiFi, restaurant recommendations and more. Listing highlights helps potential guests determine if a particular hotel is a good match for their needs by providing them with more information about what it offers.
Hotel highlights are created by user reviews, either by mentioning “highlights” within the review text or by selecting it within the review flow. Highlights can vary depending on the type of visitor and their travel type. For example, a family looking for a relaxing holiday may be interested in knowing about the hotel's pool and spa facilities, while a business traveler may be more interested in learning about its conference rooms and other amenities that make it suitable for work-related activities.
Google has access to official classifiers from many countries, which they use to accurately rate hotels. However, if they do not have access to this information, they will rely on OTA listings for their class rating. This can lead to inaccuracies, such as a 4-star hotel being listed as 5-star. In these cases, it is important to check with your country's official classifier and ensure that all OTA listings are displaying the correct class. If there is an issue with the rating displayed on Google Maps, you will need to contact GMB support in order for it to be manually updated.
Class ratings are an essential tool for any hotel when it comes to marketing and selling rooms to customers. With a growing number of hotels and accommodation options on the market, it is important that businesses ensure their class rating is displayed correctly across all channels to prevent over- or under-selling. By checking with official classifiers and ensuring OTA listings display the correct rating, businesses can rest assured that their customers will receive accurate information when searching for accommodation online.
Hotels of all star ratings typically have 24-hour opening hours, allowing guests to check in and out at any time. This is especially important for those who may be traveling late at night or early in the morning. However, if your reception closes at a certain time, you can set your hours accordingly. For example, 6am-11pm. In this case, you can use the ‘More Hours’ section and select access hours so that guests can still enter the hotel after reception has closed.
It is important to note that different hotels may have different opening hours depending on their location and services offered. For instance, some hotels may offer extended opening hours during peak season or holidays while others may close earlier due to local regulations or for safety reasons. It is also important to consider the needs of your guests when setting your opening hours as it will help ensure they are able to access the hotel when they need it most.
Having a booking link displayed on an OTA website is essential for any hotel or accommodation provider. In order to have this link appear, you must be listed on the OTA's website. Furthermore, in order to have your pricing information displayed, you need to configure this directly with the OTA and your booking system.
If you want your own booking link to be displayed, then you will need to either integrate your booking system directly with Hotel Ads API or use a booking system provider that is integrated with Hotel Ads. It is important to note that even if the searcher uses your own booking link, you will still need to set your room commission (bid) with Hotel Ads and pay Google a commission on the room booking.
Other businesses inside your hotel
Hotels often offer a variety of services to their guests, and Google has created an option for hotels to list businesses that are located within the building. This feature is beneficial for both the hotel and its guests, as it allows them to easily find and access the services they need. For example, if a guest needs a quick bite to eat or wants to relax with a massage, they can quickly locate these services without having to leave the hotel.
The types of businesses eligible for this feature include restaurants, bars, spas, salons and more. These businesses provide convenience and comfort for guests who may not have time to venture out into the city. Additionally, these businesses can help generate additional revenue for the hotel by providing customers with quality services at competitive prices. By listing these businesses on Google, hotels can ensure that their guests have easy access to all of their amenities in one convenient location.
When it comes to hotels, Google Business Profile photos are incredibly important. They are one of the first things potential customers see when searching for a hotel and can play a large part in their purchasing decisions. It is therefore essential that hotels take the time to ensure their Google Business Profile photos are up to date and of high quality.
Hotels should regularly check user-added photos and report any bad ones they find. Additionally, they should brand their images where possible to create a consistent look across all platforms. It’s also important that hotels keep their GMB images unique and not share them with OTAs. Finally, hotels should make sure all images are high resolution so they appear sharp and clear on all devices. By following these basic rules, hotels can ensure their Google Business Profile photos make a great impression on potential customers.
Creating a new hotel listing
Setting up a new hotel listing on Google My Business (GMB) is an important step for any business looking to increase their visibility and reach potential customers. The process is relatively straightforward, but there are some key steps that must be taken in order to ensure the listing is properly set up and verified.
To get started with creating an accurate and helpful listing for your hotel, you’ll need to first research another hotel GMB to see what information it provides. Take note of what is and isn’t included in their listing so you know what to include when you create yours. This almost always includes basic information about the hotel such as its name, address, phone number, website URL, and category.
Your GMB should also include relevant keywords for your business – for example, if you have a guest laundry service available on-site, this would be something that would be valuable to add to your profile.
You will then need to verify the listing by either having a postcard sent to the physical address of the hotel or by verifying via phone or email. After verification has been completed, you can begin adding additional details such as photos, descriptions of services offered, hours of operation and more. Finally, it’s important to keep your GMB listing updated with any changes in order to ensure customers have accurate information when searching for your business online.
Taking over an existing listing
If you're taking over an existing listing, there are three possibilities:
1. Transfer of ownership
After the previous owner transfers their ownership to you, they will revoke their access to the account. This means that you will have full control over all aspects of your page and can make any changes that you wish.
2. Claiming ownership
When a hotel listing has been claimed but ownership of the listing has not been transferred, it can be a tricky situation. Fortunately, there is a simple solution that can help you gain access to the listing. First, log into your Google My Business (GMB) dashboard and select ‘Add Single Business’. Then search for and select the hotel you need access to. If the business has already been claimed, select ‘Request Access’. The current owner then has seven days to either confirm or deny your access request. If they fail to respond within this time frame, Google will check if your account is verified as the owner of the associated domain through Google Search Console and transfer the listing over to you if so. This process ensures that only verified owners have access to their listings and helps protect businesses from malicious actors trying to take control of their listings without permission.
3. Verify listing ownership via postcard or phone call
For this claim, you just have to verify the business listing with either a postcard or a phone call. First, go to the Google My Business dashboard and then click on "Claim this Business." You'll then be asked to enter your name and email address, so that Google knows who is claiming the business. After that, choose whether you want to send a postcard or make a phone call.
Ways to optimize your GMB listing
Google Business Profile allows hoteliers to create an online presence with detailed information about their business, including contact information, hours of operation, photos, reviews and more. This helps potential customers find your business more easily and increase the chances of them choosing your property over others.
Additionally, you can use Google My Business Insights to track how customers interact with your listing and make changes accordingly. With these tools at your disposal, you can maximize the potential of your Google My Business listing and get the most out of it for your hotel or bed & breakfast.
Make sure to answer all questions
The Questions and Answers feature on Google My Business is a great way to engage with potential guests. It allows you to answer questions from searchers, providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision about your business. When responding to questions, it’s important not to give simple “yes” or “no” answers; instead, provide detailed responses that will help the searcher understand more about your business. For example, if someone asks about check-in or check-out times, provide the answer and refer them to visit your website or contact the front desk if they have any more questions.
You can also upvote questions that you find particularly important, which can increase their visibility on your listing for others to see. It’s important to note that anyone can answer questions on your Google My Business listing, so be sure to monitor it regularly and respond quickly when necessary. By taking advantage of this feature and leaving thoughtful responses, you can create a positive impression of your business and encourage potential guests to book with you.
Build an FAQ page
Overall, creating an FAQ page is beneficial for both you and potential customers as it provides them with quick access to answers they may be looking for while also saving you time by not having to answer the same questions multiple times. It’s important to remember that upvoting questions and answers on your local search listing can increase visibility of the question, so make sure you take advantage of this feature when possible. Additionally, incorporating keywords in a loose, organic manner will help ensure that your page is easily found when people are searching for answers related to your business or product.
Ask guests to write reviews
Reviews are an important part of any business’s success, and hotels are no exception. Reviews can help your hotel stand out on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) by increasing its visibility. Google reviews and star ratings appear near the top of the Google Business Profile, so potential customers can quickly see how well-rated your property is. Additionally, 65% of people check out the ‘Reviews’ section towards the bottom of the profile before making a decision which is why answering reviews is important to any hotelier.
Encouraging guests to leave reviews is a great way to build up your hotel’s reputation on Google. Studies show that 72% of people will leave a review when asked to do so by a local business. This means that if you want to increase your reviews, all you have to do is ask! You can do this through email campaigns or even in person when guests check out. By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can ensure that more people see your hotel in a positive light and make informed decisions about whether or not they should stay with you.
Answer all your google reviews of your hotel:
It is vital to reply to all reviews, whether they are good or bad. Responding to positive and negative reviews is a great way to show your appreciation for the customer’s feedback and build relationships with them. It’s important to take the time to address their concerns and try to resolve any issues they may have had. This shows potential customers that you are willing to go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction and can help you build a positive reputation. Additionally, responding to reviews using SEO can help boost your hotel’s visibility on the SERP as Google takes into account reviews when ranking them.
Manage reviews with an AI Review Reply Assistant
It's understandable that you may not have all the time on your hands to respond to reviews individually. If you're like most business owners, you're busy with other key tasks like growing your business, servicing customers, and managing employees. That's where MARA's AI Review Reply Assistant comes in.
The AI Review Reply Assistant is a simple yet powerful tool that automates the writing process of responding to reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor, Yelp, or Booking.com. This way, you’ll be able to reply with a personalized message that shows just how much you care about each customer's experience.
“We have been well impressed with MARA and the support it provided in responding to our reviews. We were able to generate over 100 personalized responses in a day with MARA.” - Front of House Manager, The May Fair London
Use high-quality photos and video for your site
There are a lot of things you can do to make your hotel look like a great place to stay, but the most important thing is that you have high-quality photos and videos. These will show the potential guest what they can expect when they go to your hotel, which is critical for making that sale.
Be sure you have a logo, a cover photo, 360 photos, and video that accurately represents your space. It's okay if these aren't all professional — a lot of users on Google My Business are amateurs like us— but they should reflect the quality of your business in general. Finally, include unique features that set your hotel apart from others nearby. If there's something special about your space or location that makes it stand out, by all means highlight it so potential guests can decide whether you're the one for them.
Google My Business is an invaluable tool for hotels to increase their visibility and build a positive reputation. By encouraging guests to leave reviews, responding to all reviews, and including high-quality photos and video on your listing, you can ensure that your hotel stands out from the competition and gives potential guests a great first impression. With Google My Business, you can make sure that more people see your hotel in a positive light and make informed decisions about whether or not they should stay with you.
Running a successful hotel often means being inundated with guest reviews. As it is crucial to respond individually to every guest feedback, an AI Review Reply Assistant can help you save time and energy. The MARA AI review reply generator can help you respond to reviews quickly and personally, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your hotel.
For more information on how to use MARA, check out how it works .