One of the most important Google tools concerning “information” can be found in Google+ Local (formerly Google Places), which was started in 2005.
An individual Google+ Local entry is a basic in online marketing. Most hotels are already present on Google+ Local; however their entry is often not verified.
Whoever has no entry on Google+ Local yet, should get active there. By the way, new Google+ Local entries are becoming Google+ pages automatically. Hereby, functions of both elements are linked to each other. So discovering a company on Google Maps means that you will discover as well the recent news published on Google+ when taking a closer look.
In addition, Google+ Local entries are associated with the Google Hotel Finder, which also makes possible to book a room right away. On the one hand via the connection to large OTAs, on the other hand – if appropriately connected to your own IBE – via a direct channel.
Yet, it is not as easy as it sounds. As much as hotel business rails against commissions, a hotelier can be laid-back concerning the provision model. Administrative costs do not have to be paid before the partner generates revenue. This is arranged differently for the connection to a meta search like Google Hotel Finder. The service is recognized for providing users with a website. In this way, the hotelier pays per click (CPC-model) and has to take enforce bookings on his own – by accordingly optimised landing pages.
Trying to “hide” is pointless since meta searches are on the rise and the CPC-model is increasingly used. Hotels definitely need to be more and more engaged in analysing and optimizing their websites.
If you consider connecting to Google Hotel Finder, you should at first do some detailed research about the keywords used in your field and analyse the content of your website. Encourage continuous reviews and make the appropriate adjustments – otherwise there might be a risk here as well to throw a lot of money down the drain.
Since 2007, companies can be rated on Google Maps/ Google Places/ Google+ Local. It is very surprising a lot of hotels do not know about this option and never checked if their Google + was correct.
Reviews on Google+ Local are a significant factor as they will be integrated quite prominently into Google search results. When searching for “hotel + city,” you will get up to seven “local results” from Google+ Local, they all include details about the quantity and quality of their Google reviews. With the distance between the hotel and the user destination, reviews play a major role in the ranking of the results displayed.
Hotels with good ratings are more likely to get clicked on and eventually booked.
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