Google is considered by many to be the quintessential online search engine. With seemingly endless resources, infinite power, and lightning speed, searching for information on Google has become so popular that “Google it” is used almost interchangeably with the verb “research.” With the power to connect individuals and businesses from across the world, many hospitality professionals are building their customer base and promoting their property using Google My Business for hotels.
In this post, we take a deep dive into Google My Business for hotels and how it works. We take a close look at how the platform operates, why hoteliers are taking advantage of it, and discuss how optimising Google My Business for hotels can reinvent your online presence.
Optimise your online performance with Google My Business for hotels
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, or GMB, is an easy-to-use platform that allows businesses to manage their Google Business Profile. From a computer, tablet, or smartphone, GMB can be used for hotel guest communication, to engage clients, update company content, and manage how your business appears in Google search results.
What does Google My Business do?
Google My Business provides a portfolio of local businesses nearby, as well as essential information that individuals are searching relating to a specific business. GMB supplies Google users with specific business information, such as the category of business, physical address, hours of operation, customer reviews, and more.
If someone were to search “hotels in Venice, Italy,” for example, Google would provide search results from GMB listings in Venice. GMB listings also produce the results for search terms like “hotels near me.”
Should hotels use Google My Business?
Hotels that lack a strong online presence or stand to benefit from an improved hotel digital marketing strategy should consider including Google My Business account management in their content distribution plans.
Use GMB to manage your hotel’s Google profile if you would like to:
• Widen your audience reach.
• Drive more direct bookings.
• Connect with your followers.
• Strengthen your online presence.
• Improve guest engagement.
• Boost hotel search result rankings.
• Gain key pricing and visitor insights.
• Manage multiple locations at the same time.
• Promote relationships with vendors, clients, and suppliers.
• Get on-demand assistance from a team of SEO experts.
• Market your hotel, event space, or wedding venue.
Building a Google Business Page for your hotel
In order to reap the benefits of Google My Business, hotels need an attractive, up-to-date, and accurate Google Business Page first.
1. Claim and verify your business account.
Log into your hotel’s Google account or sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one. Start by searching for your hotel, either by business name or the hotel’s address. Next, find and select your hotel to claim the listing.
Once “claimed,” Google will send a notification prompting you to verify the listing via phone or mail. If your hotel has already been verified as a business through Google Search Console, you will be able to verify and start updating your hotel page instantly.
2. Create an informative and accurate business profile.
Sixty-four percent of consumers look to a business’s Google Profile to find contact information and location details. If you want potential guests to find you, and book with you, ensure that your contact information is current and that there are reliable means of communication for those looking to speak with a team member on-property.
When assessing the credibility of your business, Google takes informational inconsistencies into account. Having inconsistent hotel information listed in various places on the web could cause your hotel to appear lower in search results.
Contact information, location, and hours of operation are pulled from the “Business Profile” section of your business account; double-check this section for accuracy before publishing. Make sure that your hotel name, location, and contact information match your property’s signage as well as other hotel listings published on the web.
3. Choose the right business category and select hotel attributes.
GMB supplies a variety of business page templates based on the category or industry a business belongs to. Selecting a business category will allow you to include category-specific features on your GMB profile and show up in search results for that category.
Choosing the “hotel” category, for example, tells Google to display a star rating for your hotel profile. Choosing the “restaurant” category, however, would provide a business the opportunity to include a digital restaurant menu or a “Make Reservation” button.
After selecting the best category for your hotel, you will be provided with a list of “attributes” to choose from. Select which hotel attributes, or amenities, you would like to display on your hotel’s Google My Business profile: free Wi-Fi, on-site restaurant, free parking, pet friendly, and so forth.
4. Upload photos, videos, and link other hotel pages.
Upload 7-12 high-quality professional photographs that highlight the hotel’s best qualities. Show off impeccable guest rooms, impressive hotel services and unique scenery, if applicable. Include a street view, 3D virtual tour, or other photorealistic walkthroughs of the hotel. Link the hotel’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok account to your Google My Business profile. Linking accounts will help online audience members connect with you seamlessly from platform to platform.
Avoid including logos, stock photos, or other generic images. These images can negatively affect your page’s ranking. Google’s algorithm tends to reject generic GMB content, as it focuses primarily on producing quality localised results. Avoid using stock content in posts, updates, or in your hotel’s main profile.
5. Create a GMB account and link it to your GMB profile.
After creating a Google My Business profile for your hotel, create a GMB account to link the two together. Visit Google.com/business and sign in with your property’s primary Google account. Once a GMB account has been created, link the hotel’s business profile to the GMB account. Now, you can manage the hotel’s GMB profile and content from the mobile app.
Create a Google Business Page that captures the spirit of your brand, the unique services your hotel offers, and highlights what sets you apart from the competition. After creating a listing with Google My Business for hotels, the GMB listing will appear on the right side of the SERP (search engine result page) in desktop results, and below Google Search Ads on mobile devices.
Once a strong foundation has been built, and a Google My Business account has been created, it’s time to start optimising your online performance with must-know technical SEO strategies for hotels.
Optimising Google My Business for hotels
Landing a coveted spot at the top of online search results can be a challenging task. Luckily for hoteliers and hotel marketing managers, Google offers a variety of tools and resources hotels can use to improve their page performance inside Google My Business.
1. List your hotel early to show up in the “near me” listings.
Seasoned SEO experts understand that instituting a location-based distribution strategy through a GMB listing can improve a business’ local search success. Creating your GMB account and confirming your business location early will help more nearby customers find your business when searching “hotels near me.”
2. Update your GMB listing often.
To increase your hotel’s chance of appearing at the top of local search results, update content regularly. Google My Business places a large emphasis on local events, so be sure to regularly post fresh content to promote your events, advertise new specials, and share limited-time offers and other noteworthy local announcements.
Once a week, share recent, relevant content from other hotel pages and social media accounts, such as Facebook or Instagram, to keep your Google Profile feed current and locally focused. Don’t be afraid to treat your Google account as a giant channel guide; use it to combine your hotel’s online content from various sources and showcase it all in one location, in a single feed.
3. Boost SEO contributions by responding to guest reviews.
Communicate with hotel guests and customers by responding to reviews and answering questions. Encourage satisfied guests to leave reviews and embrace getting beneficial guest feedback.
Having a high number of reviews could lead to your hotel appearing larger than area competitors in the “Local Pack” results. The Local Pack refers to the cluster of results that appears at the top of SERPs. Hoteliers can also help jumpstart local optimization by incorporating SEO basics into their content strategy.
4. Engage with past and prospective hotel guests through Q&A.
Make reviewing and responding to questions left on your GMB listing a priority. Many travelers have questions before booking, and many of those questions can be answered by locating the Q&A section of your Business Page — where past guests, prospective guests, and hotel management can communicate.
Any individual who sees a question on Google can answer it, so it’s best if you’re the one who gets to it first. Always answer guest questions with respect and sincerity. Avoid simple “yes” or “no” answers when possible. If more communication is needed, do not hesitate to follow-up!
5. Increase local business conversions with Google Posts.
Think of Google Posts as no-cost advertising for your hotel’s Google My Business page. While Google Posts do not boost your page’s ranking in search results, the posts themselves will show up in a user’s Google search results. Posts appear in search results as a thumbnail image with a small amount of accompanying text. By having multiple links for your hotel show up in a single search, your property has a better chance of standing out and attracting potential business.
When mixed with other organic search results, especially on a mobile device, populating Posts can help maximise virtual engagement. Google Posts can boost pre-site conversions, enticing potential guests before they ever visit your site.
6. Create and manage hotel advertising campaigns.
Google offers a specific suite of ad campaign options specifically designed for hotel marketing campaigns. Through Google’s hotel campaigns, hospitality marketing professionals can quickly create attractive advertising campaigns that drive business to the hotel, appeal to new audience members, and capture new business before the comp set.
With GMB, hoteliers can bid to win an advertisement that tops the list of hotel results that appear through Search or Maps. To get started, create a Hotel Center account to share your property availability and rates with Google. Through Google Ads Manager, you can manage your hotel’s advertising budget, the duration of the campaign, advertising bids, and review marketing performance analysis to maximise hotel visibility.
7. Use key marketing insights to expand your audience and boost traffic.
Where are your page visitors coming from? Discovery searches, or did they find you looking for directions? When your hotel appears in search results, are the results getting clicks? Is SEO effort converting to website visits, or an increase in direct bookings?
Learn where customers are finding your hotel and get helpful information about how they interact with your business. By capturing and tracking traffic metrics, visits, clicks, and other important data, Google My Business provides hoteliers with valuable insights about a hotel’s online presence and performance.
FAQs about Google My Business for hotels:
1. What is required to set up a Google My Business for hotels?
Create a Google Business Profile and then download the Google My Business app for mobile profile management. Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store. Apple users will also find the app available for iOS and iPadOS in the App Store.
2. How do I get my hotel on Google Maps?
In order to see your hotel, or a business found inside your hotel, listed on Google Maps, a Google Business profile must be created first. Attach the location for your business, search for your hotel’s business information, and claim the listing for your hotel’s Google Business Profile.
3. Can any hotel have a GMB?
Google places very few restrictions on which businesses can create and manage a Google My Business Account. From boutique hotels and small bed and breakfasts to large resorts and all-suite properties, hotels of all shapes and sizes can create a business profile through Google. In fact, any local business that makes in-person contact with customers qualifies for a Google Business Profile — even without a physical address.
4. What does Google My Business cost?
While creating and managing a Google My Business account is free, hoteliers and hotel marketing professionals can choose to purchase optional services, such as running Google Search Ads or Google Hotel Ads, for an additional cost.
Now you’re ready to grow your property’s online impact using Google My Business for hotels
Would you like to build a better understanding of how SEO is affecting your hotel’s performance? Check out SEO Best Practices: The Hotelier’s Guide to Getting Found Online for additional tips and resources to help improve your hotel’s SEO and website content.