Still not digging the whole ‘Google+’ thing? Too bad – Google has rendered it virtually impossible for your site to increase its visibility without a well-optimized Google+ Business page. For hotels, it has proven that it can make or break your business. From reviews to map listings to Google Hotel Finder – your Hotel’s Google+ page may be your strongest ally yet. If you thought Google Hotel Finder shook things up last year – have you heard about Google’s virtual tour making a splash in the hotel industry in 2013 and 2014?
Hotels like the Best Western International announced on Thursday that they will be using this technology for over 2,000 of their North American Hotels. And in case you haven’t figured out which little platform will be leading the way for this innovative technology – Google+ my friends. Hotels like Enclave Suites in Orlando learned quickly last year that Google+ was a hot commodity and they began to dominate the stage.
Here’s a few steps on how you can rock out your Google+ Hotel Page:
Pay Attention to Details
First things first – make sure that you’re choosing your hotel as a local business listing. Why is this important? I’m glad you asked – So you can verify it. It has been proven time and time again that that little bitty post card that gets sent to your address is like a golden ticket in the Googleverse. Not only will Google favour the verified listings, but your consumers love to see that little check mark too – seriously, it’s all the rage.
Also from here, if you’re really cool (ok –everyone gets them now..) you’ll get a vanity URL instead of that horrible 10 digit number that used to direct to your plus page. It falls together like a puzzle after this – everything syncs up – Google Maps/places, Google Hotel Finder, search results begin to get manipulated – it’s glorious.
Add Some Bling To Your Page
OK – all kidding aside – seriously, people want to see photos. Not only are you immediately judged by your cover photo but hotel guests first step is usually to check out your photos. If you’ve kept their attention at this point, then they’ll go onto pricing and details – but first they want to be dazzled. This is your time to shine and where narcissism is embraced; show your audience everything you have to offer and only at your very best angle.
Don’t Be Lazy – Fill Out Every Single Section
Your Google+ page is nearly as important as your website itself and filling out your information to the fullest is incredibly important. Click on that about section and make sure it says 100% complete. (Hint* Keywords are still allowed here – and hyperlinked – you’re welcome). Here’s an example of a well optimized Google+ Hotel Page: Notice that Reviews from Maps and Google Hotel Finder have all merged onto this section, so there’s little question as to how vitally important this area is.
Promote, Link, Share, Beg (graciously, of course)
Come on guys, this is marketing after all – I’d love to tell you to build a beautiful site and perfect Google+ page and ‘they’ will come but alas the core of marketing remains the same.
- Make sure your site is linked to your Google+ page
- Add your fancy new Google+ URL to your business cards and at the end of emails
- Ask your guests to write a review (skip that guy with the frown but ask the rest!)
- Update your status and share information with your audience daily
Start Shaking Hands & Kissing Those (virtual) Babies
If you haven’t started diving into Google+ communities, you’ve been living under a rock. Community’s has changed the ball game for many hotels, allowing them an outlet to truly connect with their audience. Here comes an opportunity where you can place yourself smack in the middle of your audience, whether you were invited to the party or not. Word of warning though folks, do not self-promote – ever – I’m serious, don’t do it.
Pretend you’re at a cocktail party wearing a huge T-shirt with your business name on it; no need to tell people who you are, they know. So ‘act cool’ and compliment their photos and ‘innocently’ discuss local bars and restaurants, all the while shamelessly hoping they’ll click on your page and throw you a +1 or two.
So there it is, the absolute essentials for your Google+ page to dominate the hotel searches. It’s hard to imagine that a Social platform can have such a massive influence on the search results and I was a sceptic myself at first. While Google’s little narcissist platform seemed irrelevant at first, it has more than proven both its relevance and its use.
Interested in writing Guest Article? You can also learn more about my Hotel Collaboration Projects
Anna is a self-taught dreamer of innovation, a flower child of her generation, and self-proclaimed world beer enthusiast. In the real world, when the cape comes off, Anna is a freelance writer/wannabe blogger, digital media marketer, and mom of Norman, the basset hound. She also loves peanut butter. Follow her on Twitter @annaleacrowe.
Hotel Collaboration Projects
Learn more about Hotel Collaboration Projects