7 Google My Business Tips for Hotels to Increase Bookings

7 Google My Business Tips for Hotels to Increase Bookings

22 October 2020Jakub Zimny

Google My Business (GMB) has to be the best free marketing tool available for leisure hotels and resorts. It integrates with Google maps, improves your search ranking, and also ensures your guests find you first.

GMB is incredibly intuitive to set up and manage. Potential guests love the immediacy and clarity, and thanks to the platform’s behind-the-scenes tools, you can even keep tabs on the success of your listing.

From the end user’s perspective, Google My Business makes things so easy. Would-be guests can find out everything they need to know about your hotel without having to leave Google’s front page. You have an instant competitive edge.

With all these features, it’s hard to believe that Google My Business is free. However, like all marketing tools, you get the most out of it if you know how to use it. Here’s Profitroom’s guide to using Google My Business to increase your hotel’s sales.

Be easy to contact: Hotel details

Make sure you have all the information and facts that your guests would need. Contact details, reception hours, address and amenities (which comes with neat little icons). Make sure it’s clear how to book, especially if you pick up spontaneous customers.

Include a button that links directly to your website, as well as a click-to-call option. If your potential guest is searching on a smartphone, calling you becomes seamless.

Be easy to find: Show Hotels on Google Maps

What is there on Google My Business for hotels specifically? Firstly, hotels are often chosen by location, so from a competitive point of view, you need that little red pin. Google will automatically give you a location on Google Maps if you select that option during set-up. 

So, a guest searching for accommodation may Google Hotels in X, and a map will come up. Clicking on your pin will take readers to your business card and from there, to your compelling GMB listing.

Oh – and put the pin in the right place. Guests will love you even more if the geo marker leads them to your car park rather than the next street.

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Post lots of pictures

You can make your GMB listing look really appealing, with plenty of attention grabbing photos of your hotel.  You can also add video: Google suggests up to 30 seconds and 100 MB. Choose an engaging one as your main image – but make sure it’s recognisable as your hotel. 

Top tip: post pictures of your hotel at different times of day/seasons. This will help your guests spot you “in real life”. Making sure you add logos/branding/your colour palette will also help guests identify you.

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Reply to Reviews

Snappier and more immediate than TripAdvisor, Google hotel reviews are an increasingly popular selection tool. There’s no hiding: reviews are up there on your listing, and you have to go through Google if you want one removed (and have a good reason). But if you’re good at what you do, these reviews are powerful adverts for your hotel.

Engage with our customers. Like TripAdvisor, you should always reply to your reviews, even if it’s just a quick “Thank you, so pleased you like us!” Don’t be defensive if you don’t agree with a comment, and stick to a polite “Thanks for the feedback – we’ll take it on board” or ask them to contact you if you think you need to take the conversation off-line.

Build up your FAQ’s

These appear on your listing under the Reviews. Try to check them daily so you can be responsive to questions (this is a handy job during quiet times on reception). Also, because anyone can reply, you need to check for misinformation.

If someone asks a question that seems really important and you think it would benefit or encourage other readers, you can “upvote” it. This moves it up the Q&A listing.

Be detailed and up-to-date

There is nothing more frustrating for a guest than inaccurate information. If anything changes, such as reception hours, please please please update it.

Also, pay attention to detail. Don’t leave any fields blank when you’re filling in your listing.

Get on the Google Maps Pack

This is a great way to boost your local SEO. The Google Maps Pack is the place to aim for: it’s the three organic (and sometimes a fourth sponsored) local listings that come up when someone searches for businesses in that area. To reach this honoured position, you need to be one of the most highly ranked businesses in the locale. 

The fact you’re using GMB is a good start, and doing everything we’ve just advised will certainly help! Make sure your website is optimised with local keywords – does the name of your town, and local landmark or attraction feature?  

Look at your citations. Are you mentioned on local directory sites or social media? Have you featured in media reviews? Are guests leaving reviews on Google and TripAdvisor? All these mentions help Google trust you and rank you more highly.

Community engagement helps. If your hotel has a good local news story (sponsoring a school’s library or PE kit for example), that can help to root you in the area. You’ll be mentioned in local articles and blogs. Work with charity partners and fundraisers – these all give you strong local citations.

Go for it: setting up Google My Business for Your Hotel

It couldn’t be simpler. Open your Google account (or create one) and follow the steps. You’ll mostly be entering and verifying information at first, then you can start posting pictures, and keeping an eye on reviews and FAQs. Keep visiting your account to check on the stats.

It couldn’t be simpler. If you would like any further insights into using Google to increase your bookings, please get in touch with us at Profitroom.

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