The Importance of a Hotel’s Presence on Google
What would our lives be like without Google?
Ever since the world wide web took over, online research has become a necessity, almost a reflex. We use it for school, for work, for our own entertainment. And to be honest, we don’t even stop and think about it. Looking up information on the web feels like the most natural thing in the world.
Hospitality makes no exception. Sites like Google continue to create ways to fit into all phases of the traveler’s search-shop-buy experience. Starting as a search engine, it is now so much more than that and hotels should pay attention.
Hotel Visibility on Google
The importance of hotel presence on Google is definitely not something to be disputed. Studies show that 81% of travelers prefer using Google during their travel/accommodation search process. This is why it’s imperative to make sure that your hotel has a high visibility on Google. This can he boosted by mastering UX and SEO.
Picture it like this: when a customer is browsing for a certain product online, or in hospitality’s case, a certain hotel, if the result is right in front of him, it fits his needs and expectation, provides just enough information and saves him time, it’s only logical that the customer would be more inclined to making the purchase/booking the hotel.
Booking on Google
In the last few years, Google has made its way into the travel industry and made a big impact on it by implementing a revolutionary feature in 2015: bookings on Google. The reason behind this was that mobile bookings were increasing and hotels were having a hard time getting consumers to book via mobile devices. So, instead of redirecting them to another website, Google came up with a way of going through the entire booking process without leaving their platform.
This means that certain hotels can be booked directly on Google. As a result, there’s no need for travelers to go through other websites and/or OTAs. Users can use a simple Google account or just add their contact information. This simplifies the entire booking process and saves travelers’ time.
The most important outcome though, is the fact that Google is currently competing with OTAs. Since travelers don’t have to go through third parties to book a room, hotels get bookings through Google. Therefore, they save a lot of money. Just like TripAdvisor before, Google has been recently “accused” of trying to become an OTA. However, officials have rejected these beliefs, not without confirming that they understand why the Book on Google feature would make it look like this. When considering the fact that there is a payment by the hotel to Google for taking part in Google Hotel Ads, it’s not uncommon to think of an OTA specific behaviour.
Google’s newest mobile app is promoted as a “personal travel guide in your pocket”. For travelers, it provides an easy and accessible way of planning a trip, from their own mobile device. Google Trips doesn’t step out of the spotlight, though, once the reservations are made. Instead, it also provides live data and helpful information on site.
For hotels, Google Trips does not have a negative impact, on the contrary, it helps drive more direct bookings. The customer has to contact the provider directly because the reservation cannot be made through Google Trips. Basically, this is just another way in which Google helps your hotel!
What you, as a hotelier, have to do, is to ensure that your local listing is optimised and that you keep your review score as high as possible. Google trips pays close attention to the mentioned factors, being largely organic. A hotel that enjoys a positive reputation, from a large number of reviews, can easily be found on Google results.
So it has become obvious in the last few years that Google is constantly coming up with new methods of infiltrating the hospitality business. There are many ways in which Google’s features can help drive direct bookings and more revenue, (almost) free of charge. All you have to focus on is making sure that your hotel is out there, optimised and ready to be found, booked and enjoyed!
It's also important to always keep in mind that reputation management solutions help hotels in regards of visibility and bookings. To improve your scores and turn guest reviews into hotel bookings, sign up for a free 14-day trial of TrustYou Reputation Management.