Guide to Google Tools for Hotels: Google+ and Google My Business
Google + and Google My Business are important tools for hoteliers.
Despite being mostly misunderstood and under-appreciated by businesses all over, Google+ can actually have a fundamentally positive impact on your hotel’s website traffic and search engine results ranking. You just need to take advantage. Google My Business, meanwhile, is your fundamental portal to control your hotel’s presence on Google.
Like Facebook and Twitter, Google+ presents a unique opportunity to connect directly to customers and fans. Unlike other social networks, though, Google+ has significant impact on SEO and search traffic volume.
Why is it important to my hotel’s SEO?
Google+ is key to SEO because, to put quite simply, Google owns Google+. Google naturally encourages activity on its own network, and rewards proper use.
Your posts on Google+ have a greater chance of appearing in organic search results than posts to any other social network. Additionally, Google My Business, and therefore by extension Google+, is crucial to creating visibility for your hotel through the knowledge panel (more on that below). The knowledge panel increases the chance for organic clicks into your website, therefore increasing your page ranking.
Many SEO buffs will claim that Google+ activity does not actually play that big a role in your ranking. There is, however, compelling evidence to the contrary. Google tends to favour frequent posters to the platform, as well as posts made to Google+, in their search results.
How Do I Manage Google+ and Google My Business for My Hotel?
Google+ for business is managed through Google My Business, which creates the ‘knowledge panel’ that appears on Google when users search for you. The knowledge panel contains important information about your business when it is queried.
This box appears on the right-hand side of a search results page, and displays key information about your property to help customers easily see details and get in touch with your hotel.Google+ for business is managed through Google My Business, which creates the ‘knowledge panel’ that appears on Google when users search for you. The knowledge panel contains important information about your business when it is queried.
Everything in the knowledge panel can be edited through Google My Business (except for Google Hotel Ads, which can be managed through a verified Integration Partner), which is associated with your Google+ page. All you need to do is get your Google+ page verified.
The verification of your property’s Google+ page is essential. It gives you the ability to edit important information in the Knowledge Panel. In order to authenticate your page, you’ll need to prove you are a representative for your hotel by providing an email address, placing a call from your hotel’s line or sending a postcard from your address. You may not have to go through the verification process, though, if you have already authenticated your business’s website through Google Search Console.
The biggest advantage to joining Google My Business is that it will allow you to keep your own business information up to date and readily available to the public. Best of all, the service is free, so why not? Let yourself speak for your own brand, with your own unique voice.
Your customers’ loyalty and trust can also be built through this platform. Start a conversation with your guests through reviews and comments on your hotel’s Google+ and Google My Business listing.
Not only is Google My Business ideal for facilitating communication between you and your customers, it also allows you to gain valuable insights into how people are searching for your hotel, where they are coming from, and what they are looking for when they make a query.
What is Google+ best practice?
A Google+ account should be treated like other social media accounts . Content can be duplicated and posted on your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ accounts simultaneously. The frequency with which a business is posting to their Google+ account is taken into consideration by Google when determining the search engine ranking of the brand’s website. Our recommended best practice for posting would be between 3-5 times per week, although the more, the merrier.
Here are some important tips to get the most out of Google+:
- Use headlines for your posts. This increases the odds of a post appearing organically in search results
- Pay close attention to the first 45-50 characters of your post – these characters will become the post’s page title in Google’s search results (include keywords here)
- Google+ supports longer text posts than Facebook. On Facebook, posts or images with excessive text are often penalized and are less likely to appear more frequently in people’s feeds. On Google+, however, no such penalties exist
- Images perform better. Despite the option of posting longer text entries, images still perform better on average than text posts
- Use hashtags. Like Twitter, Google+ makes use of hashtags to categorize posts and allow users to search for specific terms
- Link back to your website as much as possible. Keep interested users in the funnel by leading them back to your website for more information and the opportunity to make a purchase
- Promote events on Google+
- Engage with your followers on Google+ by responding to comments
- Join communities on Google+ with similar interests
Proper use and understanding of the platforms will help you to take your hotel marketing and SEO to the next level and grow in trust, authority, communication and search results ranking.Despite being the source of more than a few industry jokes, Google+ and Google My Business offer your hotel valuable opportunities to get your hotel out there and found. They offer you unique chances to reach your guests, and tailor your presence on Google.