Vacationers and spontaneous travel buddies often look to Google for the best places to stay when they travel. Thanks to helpful tools created by Google, users can search for hotels and filter the search results to compare booking rates for specific travel dates, review ratings and amenities that include free WiFi or breakfast available.
Once a hotel is selected from the map view, a pop-up with the hotel details, photos and reviews will appear.
Google Hotels are aggregated from Google’s local listings information. Businesses need to make sure that their Google My Business (GMB) listing is claimed, accurately completed and kept up-to-date.
Here are three ways to make sure your business is showing up for those searches.
Add Targeted Content to Key Pages
Think about what travelers are searching for on Google to develop a list of keywords that you can use to create content with a local focus.
Optimizing your homepage for keywords related to your target locations and optimizing your landing pages with the keywords focused in the page content, titles and meta descriptions will help your website gain more visibility in the search results.
Travel sites should have a dedicated landing page for each specific area, city or villa that their properties are located in. A good location-specific page should include:
- A detailed description of the property
- An image gallery with quality photos
- A map showing exact location of property
- A list of facilities and services offered
- Current rates and availability calendar
- User reviews
- Contact details
- A Call to Action button
For even better results, turn your location pages into hubs of information for tourists to enjoy local activities, like popular sights, or shopping districts. In addition to providing clearer local signals to search engines, having localized content could entice people to want to stay at your hotel if they know there are fun excursions nearby.
Optimize Google My Business Photos
Google gathers images of hotels from Google Maps Streetview, Google users, professional photographers and the hotel owners themselves. Owner-uploaded photos will only display after the hotel is verified on the GMB platform.
The photos you post on GMB will show up in the Google Hotel Search and Google Maps. Only Google-verified businesses are eligible to submit photos, and there are specific requirements for resolution and size.
Your GMB photos should include:
- A profile photo of your business location
- A cover photo of a room that sets the tone for your hotel, like the lobby area
- A logo photo should be your hotel’s official logo
- 3 exterior photos from different angles and times of day to help customers recognize the hotel
- Team photos of management staff and hotel employees, either formal or informal
- Photos of food and drinks (these tend to have a higher click-through rate)
- Photos of the spa, lobby area and other attractive amenities, like pool facilities
- Convention centers, banquet halls and suite interiors
Here are some quick tips to help make sure you are using the best quality photos:
- Make sure the photos are well lit
- Use a wide angle shot to get in as much of the room as possible
- Give your images detailed file names and descriptive alternative (alt) attributes
By keeping your GMB photos update, you will improve your search result rankings in Google Hotel Finder.
Collect Reviews on Google and Third-Party Platforms
Google’s local ranking factors are based on proximity, relevance and prominence. While prominence isn’t something you can control, you can boost your relevance and prominence by encouraging guests to review your hotel.
Google uses hotel review summaries from a third-party which aggregates scores using reviews for your hotel from across the web. Google assigns hotel class ratings on a 1-5 star scale and allows searchers to filter their hotel search based on the rating scale.
Check your reviews and see if any need responses – especially for negative reviews. Reviews are one of the first things a user sees when they click on your Maps listing.
Create and share a link that guests can use to leave a review. When a guest checks out, allow them to easily submit a review with guest satisfaction survey by creating a QR code that leads to your review page.
With location-specific landing pages, a photo-optimized Google My Business profile, and a strategy for managing your reviews, your hotel will have the highest opportunities for ranking well in Google’s Hotel Finder and Google Maps.