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Optimize Your Hotel Listings to Increase Bookings - All You Need to Know

Optimize Your Hotel Listings to Increase Bookings - All You Need to Know
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Optimize your hotel listings with top booking sites and improve visibility to drive bookings. Learn essential tips and strategies in our comprehensive guide.
Optimize Your Hotel Listings to Increase Bookings - All You Need to Know
TABLE OF CONTENTS

What are the best booking sites for hotels?

When it comes to booking a hotel in 2023, there are a variety of sites that can help you get the best deals and maximize your revenue. The six top hotel booking sites to consider listing your property are Google Hotels, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Expedia, and Kayak. Google Hotels has become the number one search engine for hotel booking and is price-forward, so hotels should offer competitive prices to appear in searches. Booking.com is the leading booking site for finding hotels and affordable deals, but the commissions can be quite steep. TripAdvisor is essential for building your brand's reputation, so it is important to manage reviews carefully. Trivago is a powerful metasearch engine that allows hotels to gain more control over their online presence and manage their direct bookings. Expedia is one of the largest travel sites in the world and has a loyalty program that rewards customers with points for every booking. Finally, Kayak is a popular website for finding the best deals on hotels, flights, and rental cars. All these websites offer different services, so it is important to consider which one best suits your hotel's needs.

most-popular-hotel-booking-websites
Some of the most popular hotel booking websites. (Source)

Can’t get enough? We got you. Click here to read the full article: The Best Hotel Booking Sites to List Your Hotel in 2023

What are the best hotel review sites?

The best sites to gather reviews for your hotel include:

  1. Google My Business for hotels: This platform allows customers to share their experiences and opinions about the hotel, directly affecting your search engine visibility and credibility.
  2. Booking.com: With its extensive marketing strategies and straightforward booking process, maintaining a strong presence on this platform is essential for attracting potential customers.
  3. TripAdvisor: As a popular review and price comparison website, having an optimized profile with positive reviews on TripAdvisor is crucial for competing with other hotels across various booking platforms.
  4. Expedia: As one of the world's largest travel companies, having a strong profile and collecting positive customer reviews on Expedia can help attract international tourists.
  5. Hotels.com: This platform, part of the Expedia Group, offers a wide variety of accommodation options, attracting tourists of all kinds. Having a strong presence on Hotels.com is essential to reach a broader audience.
  6. Agoda: Known for its risk-free cancellation policy, attracting travelers to your hotel with positive reviews on Agoda can help boost your credibility.
  7. Orbitz and Travelocity: Both part of the Expedia Group, having a solid presence on these platforms through customer reviews can help you cater to spontaneous travelers and the US family market, respectively.
  8. Airbnb: As an online marketplace for short-term stays and experiences, maintaining a strong presence and positive reviews on Airbnb can help you attract a diverse range of guests.
  9. Facebook for hotels: Utilizing Facebook for collecting and promoting reviews can significantly improve your reach and credibility among potential customers.
  10. Viator: As a one-stop-shop for travel experiences, having a strong presence on Viator can attract customers who prefer booking their entire trip through a single website.

Dive deeper. Click here to read the full article: Discover the Best Customer Review Sites for Your Business

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How you can optimize your Google my Business profile to increase bookings:

In this section you will learn how to optimize your Google My Business profile as a hotel in order to increase visibility and attract potential customers. It is important to create an accurate and complete listing, use relevant keywords, reply to reviews and manage the Questions and Answers feature. Additionally, businesses should use photos, videos, and local SEO strategies to further optimize their profile. Finally, by taking advantage of all these features, businesses can ensure their GMB profile is optimized for maximum potential.

What is the importance of Google listing?

Google listing, as a part of local business listings, plays a crucial role in increasing the online visibility of your business, making it easier for customers to find and access your company's information. With 70% of customers visiting businesses based on what they find online, having a robust online presence has become increasingly important. Google listing helps kickstart the customer journey and enhances the overall customer experience.

sample-well-optimized-google-listing-redirected-to-booking-platforms
Sample of a well-optimized Google listing redirected to booking platforms.

By being listed on Google, your business's contact details and other relevant information are readily available to potential customers, ensuring a positive experience from the start. Google listings also display customer reviews, which can improve your reputation and build trust with potential clients. By showcasing positive reviews and being able to address negative ones, your business can demonstrate reliability and trustworthiness to potential customers.

In summary, Google listing is essential for businesses looking to increase search visibility, reach more customers, and provide a better overall customer experience.

You can learn more about “Benefits of Optimizing Local Business Listings” in our article.

How do I get my hotel listed on Google?

Creating 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 and can be done in a few steps. First, research another hotel GMB to get an idea of what information should be included in your listing, such as its name, address, phone number, website URL, and category. Additionally, include relevant keywords for your business such as any services offered on-site. Then, 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. If taking over an existing listing, you can transfer ownership, claim ownership, or verify listing ownership via postcard or phone call. Additionally, use Google My Business Insights to track how customers interact with your listing and make changes accordingly. Finally, make sure to answer questions and encourage guests to write reviews. By following these steps, you can create an accurate and helpful listing for your hotel on Google My Business.

Want more or learn how to claim an existing listing? We've got it. Click here to check out the full article: How to Configure and Optimize Google My Business Listings for Hotels

What is a Google Hotel Pack?

Google Hotel Pack is a feature that appears in response to certain search queries that include the word ‘hotel’. It provides an easy way for travelers to find accommodations in a given area, while also helping businesses that provide hospitality services to increase their online visibility. The feature is distinct from the Local Pack, which appears when a user searches for a business in their vicinity, and is not limited to hospitality services. By appearing in search results, both the Local Pack and the Hotel Pack can help businesses attract more potential customers and boost their online presence.

Again, you find more details in this article: How to Configure and Optimize Google My Business Listings for Hotels

How do I optimize my Google my business profile as hotel?

Optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile as a hotel is important for increasing visibility and attracting potential customers. There are several steps you can take to ensure your GMB profile is working for you. Firstly, using the Questions and Answers feature to engage with potential guests is a great way to provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision. Additionally, creating an FAQ page is beneficial for both you and potential customers as it provides quick access to answers they may be looking for. Reviews are an important part of any business’s success, so encouraging guests to leave reviews is a great way to build up your hotel’s reputation on Google. Additionally, it is essential to reply to all reviews, whether they are good or bad, to show your appreciation for the customer’s feedback and build relationships with them. By taking advantage of these features, you can ensure that your GMB profile is optimized for maximum potential.

For more information, please see the full article: How to Configure and Optimize Google My Business Listings for Hotels

How to get my business on top of google search?

To get your hotel business to appear at the top of Google search results, follow these steps:

  1. Create and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing: Ensure your hotel's GMB listing is accurate and complete, including name, address, phone number, website URL, and category. Add relevant keywords and descriptions about your services and amenities.
  2. Update hotel attributes and amenities: Regularly update the information in the Hotel Attributes section of your GMB dashboard to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your hotel.
  3. Encourage and manage guest reviews: Ask your guests to write reviews on your GMB listing, and respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, to show your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  4. Use high-quality photos and videos: Upload high-quality images and videos that showcase your hotel's best aspects and unique features.
  5. Optimize your website for search engines (SEO): Ensure your website has relevant keywords, meta tags, and content that helps search engines understand and rank your site higher in search results.
  6. Use local SEO strategies: Target local keywords and phrases related to your hotel's location to increase visibility for users searching nearby.
  7. Create high-quality content: Regularly publish relevant and informative content on your website and blog to attract users and improve your search engine ranking.
  8. Build quality backlinks: Get backlinks from reputable websites to improve your site's authority and search engine ranking.
  9. Utilize Google Ads: Run targeted advertising campaigns to increase visibility for specific keywords and reach potential customers.

By following these steps and continuously monitoring and adjusting your strategies, you can increase your hotel's chances of appearing at the top of Google search results.

top-three-hotel-berlin-google-search
Top 3 hotels in Berlin according to Google search.

Want more? We've got it. Click here to check out the full article: How to Configure and Optimize Google My Business Listings for Hotels

What are ranking factors in Google?

The top three ranking factors in Google My Business are:

  1. Relevance to the audience: Ensuring your business is relevant to the audience's search is crucial for ranking. Using the right combination of keywords, such as Main Category + Location, Main Category + Prominent Location Near Your Business, and ‘Best’/’Cheapest’/’Nearest’ + Main Category + Location, can help improve your relevance. Incorporate these keywords in your profile description, review responses, Google My Business posts, and Q&A section.
  2. Proximity: Targeting local customers requires focusing on proximity. By providing your complete address, Google Maps can calculate your distance to relevant searches. A strategic business location can help improve proximity, but if that's not possible, using location-based keywords in your GMB content is essential.
  3. Engagement: Online engagement, especially through customer reviews, can help your business rank higher in searches regardless of your competitors' prominence. Regularly replying to online reviews encourages customers to continue supporting your business and boosts your online presence.

Looking for the full scoop? Click here to read the full article: Google My Business Guide: How to Optimize Your Profile

All you need to know to improve your booking profile

What is the importance of optimizing your booking profile?

Optimizing your booking profile on Booking.com is essential for businesses that want to reach out to larger audiences and boost their sales. Booking.com is still the most preferred booking platform for travelers in 2023, with over $76.5 billion in bookings, 590 million nights booked, and 15.3 million airline tickets purchased. To ensure businesses are getting the most out of the platform, Booking.com spends over $1 billion annually on Google Ads, resulting in 284.7 million online traffic in the last quarter of 2022, 55 million of which came from paid searches. Therefore, optimizing your booking profile is not only about appearing on the website itself, but also on various search engines. By optimizing your booking profile, businesses will be able to reach out to more potential customers and increase their sales.

top-three-berlin-hotels-booking-com
Top hotels in Berlin according to Booking.

To learn more about the importance of optimizing your booking profile, read the full article here.

How do I optimize my booking com listing?

To optimize your Booking.com listing:

  1. Write precise and complete descriptions, including COVID-19 protocols.
  2. Fill out the FAQs section.
  3. Provide clear check-in and check-out times.
  4. Specify policies and accepted cards.
  5. Add high-quality images.
  6. List all amenities.
  7. Make rooms available one year ahead.
  8. Create an enticing property description.
  9. Offer competitive prices and value.
  10. Implement flexible cancellation policies.
  11. Provide flexible payment methods.
  12. Collect and promptly respond to guest reviews.
  13. Join Genius and Preferred Partner programs if eligible.
  14. Use the Visibility Booster feature when needed.

Craving more? We've got you covered. Click here to read the full article: How to optimize your Booking.com profile

All you need to know about your Tripadvisor business listing and why it is important:

Tripadvisor is one of the most trusted websites for travelers looking for the best deals and accommodations when booking a trip. A Tripadvisor business listing is important because it is a major factor in how many people access your profile, and can drive revenue for your business. To optimize your listing, you need to create a detailed profile, collect reviews, and more. Doing this will help your business rank higher in relevant searches and be seen by more potential customers. As Tripadvisor surveys suggest, users consider only the Top 5 options on a search, and don’t get past the first page of a 30-property- Tripadvisor search. For these reasons, it’s essential to take the time to optimize your Tripadvisor business listing.

How does TripAdvisor work out ranking?

TripAdvisor works out its ranking based on a Popularity Ranking algorithm that considers three main factors: quality, quantity, and recency of reviews.

Quality is determined by the bubble ratings users provide in their reviews, which reflect customer satisfaction and experience at each business. A business with higher bubble ratings will rank higher than one with lower ratings.

Quantity is important as users need multiple reviews to make informed travel decisions. The number of reviews plays a significant role in the Popularity Ranking algorithm, but a property with more positive reviews will rank higher than one with a larger number of negative reviews.

Recency takes into account the need for accurate and current information about each business listing. Recent reviews are more valuable than older ones for ranking purposes.

top-three-hotels-berlin-tripadvisor
Top 3 hotels in Berlin according to Tripadvisor.

To achieve a high ranking, a business must maintain a balance between quality, quantity, and recency of reviews, providing proof of consistency and accuracy in their offerings.

How do you get no 1 on Tripadvisor?

Getting to the top spot on Tripadvisor requires a lot of hard work and dedication. The first step is to claim your business profile and verify your ownership by phone or credit card. Once that's done, you must update your profile to make it more engaging and encourage customer reviews. Ensure that all information on your profile is accurate and up-to-date, including your business category, location, hours of operation, special offers, and other public recognitions. High-quality photos should also be included to give potential guests a better idea of what to expect from your business.

Collect guest reviews actively and ensure prompt and professional responses to all reviews. Include an exact location on your profile and enable online booking, with Tripadvisor Instant Booking, third-party booking websites, or your own website. Display any awards proudly and provide an exceptional experience to your guests. Finally, promote your listing with paid ads, such as Tripadvisor Sponsored Placements. By following these steps, you can increase your visibility, generate more direct bookings, and improve your Tripadvisor ranking.

For more information on how to get to the top spot on Tripadvisor, check out the full article here: Boost Your Search Rankings: Tips to Optimize Your Tripadvisor Listing

What are hotel direct bookings, and why are they important?

Hotel direct bookings refer to reservations made directly with a hotel, bypassing online travel agencies (OTAs). This can occur through the hotel's website, email, social media, or messaging tools. Direct bookings forge a direct connection between hotels and guests, saving on OTA commissions and providing ownership of guest data. This data enables personalized communication, fostering brand loyalty. The evolving landscape involves digital advancements, emphasizing mobile optimization, AI integration, visual content, metasearch engine utilization, and loyalty programs. While direct bookings enhance profitability, a balanced approach, considering both direct and third-party reservations, is vital for revenue optimization in the competitive hospitality industry.

Want to learn more about the basics of direct bookings? Read What are the advantages of booking directly with a hotel?

screenshot hilton manila booking page
Sample of a fully optimized direct booking page for a hotel.

What are the examples of direct bookings, and how can you optimize them?

Direct bookings made through a hotel's website, email, social media, phone calls, or messaging tools are crucial for hotel revenue and guest connections. To optimize these channels, ensure a user-friendly website, invest in commission-free booking engines, and employ digital marketing strategies. Create exclusive offers loyalty programs, and leverage metasearch engines for visibility. Utilize high-quality visual content, responsive customer communication, and urgency tactics. Personalize experiences based on guest data, offer upselling options and actively manage online reputation. A balanced approach, combining OTAs and direct bookings, tailored to your hotel's specifics, maximizes revenue and guest satisfaction.

Read our complete guide on hotel direct bookings: Direct Bookings for Hotels: Strategies to Boost Your Sales.

Why you should respond to all your hotel reviews?

In the hospitality industry, reviews play an essential role in success. By 2023, 70.9% of travelers had reported that online reputation affects their choice of accommodation, and 81% of them always read reviews before booking. In addition, 86% of people would pass off a good deal from a company with bad reviews, and even one bad review can drive away up to 30 potential customers. Therefore, it is absolutely essential for hotels to write excellent responses to reviews quickly, using keywords to improve visibility in searches.

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Responding to reviews can make a huge difference for hotels, as it shows a commitment to customer service which leaves customers feeling valued. It helps to build trust, provide valuable feedback, turn happy customers into brand advocates, raise ratings, and ultimately increase brand visibility and engagement. Moreover, replying to reviews can help improve customer retention, build up an online reputation, and even raise SEO rankings, as Google has been known to favor businesses that respond to reviews when determining search rankings.

sample-well-written-review-reply-jaz-city-amsterdam-hotel
Sample of a well-written review reply from Jaz in the City Amsterdam Hotel.

Overall, responding to reviews is crucial for hotels to remain competitive in the hospitality industry. It can help to build trust, increase customer loyalty, increase visibility, and even improve SEO rankings. Therefore, all reviews should be responded to in order to ensure that the business is seen in the best light and to make the most of the opportunities that online reviews present.

Read our full guide to optimize the responses to your hotel reviews: How to Use Online Reviews to Your Advantage – The Ultimate Guide

How can hotels benefit from using MARA’s AI review reply assistant?

Hotels can benefit from using MARA’s AI review reply assistant by being able to respond to all of their reviews in no time. MARA AI offers an AI review reply generator, which enables hotels to quickly craft well-written and optimized reviews with a simple copy-and-paste method. The AI reply generator offers various features such as generating SEO-ready responses for better search engine visibility, crafting industry-based replies that will resonate with the hotel guest, and supporting all languages to automatically write in your guest’ language.

sample-fully-optimized-review-reply-generated-by-ai-assistant
Sample of a fully optimized review reply generated by an AI reply assistant.

In short, MARA AI's review reply assistant allows hotels to respond to all their reviews quickly and efficiently. Sign-up for a free trial here: FREE TRIAL

Final thoughts

Optimizing your hotel listings is an essential part of increasing bookings and boosting your revenue in 2023. By creating a detailed listing on Google My Business, optimizing your profile on booking sites such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor, and managing your hotel reviews, you can increase your visibility and reach more potential customers. Additionally, using local SEO strategies, creating high-quality content, and running targeted advertising campaigns on Google Ads can help improve your ranking in search results. Finally, responding to all reviews, both positive and negative, is essential for building relationships with customers and establishing trust. By following these steps, you can optimize your hotel listings and increase bookings in 2023.

This article is part of our hero content series on “Online Reputation Management for Hotels - All You Need to Know".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the most popular hotel booking website?

Booking.com is one of the most popular and widely used hotel booking websites in the world, offering a wide range of accommodations for travelers to choose from. With its user-friendly interface and extensive filtering options, users can easily find their ideal lodging. Additionally, Booking.com provides travelers with helpful reviews from other users, as well as exclusive discounts and offers. Other popular hotel booking websites include Expedia, Agoda, and Hotels.com, which all offer similar features and services.

What is the largest online booking platform?

Booking.com is the world's largest online booking platform, providing travelers with access to millions of listings for accommodation, car rentals, and flight reservations worldwide. It is a travel metasearch engine and a subsidiary of Booking Holdings, offering travelers a comprehensive range of services from hotels and hostels to vacation rentals and luxury resorts. With its intuitive user interface and easy-to-use booking system, Booking.com has become the go-to platform for travelers looking to find and book their perfect accommodation.

What is the cheapest hotel booking site?

Finding the cheapest hotel booking site for a particular trip can be a challenge, as prices can vary depending on the location and time of booking. To make sure you're getting the best deal, it’s important to compare prices across popular budget-friendly booking sites such as Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, and Agoda. Additionally, hoteliers should stay updated on any deals or discounts they offer to ensure they are providing competitive rates. Furthermore, by frequently checking and adjusting rates based on demand, seasonality, and local events, hoteliers can attract more budget-conscious travelers.

How do I create a Tripadvisor profile?

To create a Tripadvisor profile, the first step is to register for a Tripadvisor member account and verify your business ownership by phone or credit card. After claiming your listing, it's time to update your profile to make it more engaging and encourage customer reviews. Provide clear and up-to-date headlines and descriptions, ensure accurate rates across booking platforms, add high-quality photos, collect guest reviews actively, specify an exact location, enable online booking, ensure prompt and professional responses to all reviews, include the Book Now button, display your Tripadvisor awards proudly, provide an exceptional experience, and promote your listing with paid ads. For more information on how to create a Tripadvisor profile, check out Tripadvisor's complete guide.

Why is my hotel not showing in Google Search?

There could be several reasons why your hotel is not showing up in Google Search results. One possible explanation is that your hotel's website may not be optimized for search engines, which means it may not be indexed or ranked highly by Google. To improve your website's visibility, you can implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, such as using relevant keywords, creating valuable content, and obtaining backlinks from reputable sources. Additionally, make sure your hotel is listed on Google My Business, which helps improve local search rankings and provides essential information to potential customers. Lastly, consider investing in online advertising, such as Google Ads, to increase your hotel's exposure and drive more traffic to your website.

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