Having an online presence is essential for hotels of all sizes, but you don’t always have to spend a fortune in doing so. Luckily Google offers a treasure trove of powerful tools that are free to use and perfect to grow your business online.
Google My Business
One of the best marketing resources for any business, this free tool is absolutely essential for local SEO and helps your hotel appear in related search. Claim your business page and make it rich in information as it feeds into all Google channels. The more information you add, the more Google’s search algorithms will have to work with in terms of ranking. It is very important to ensure that the information you add is accurate (phone numbers, website, etc) and matches with the information on the landing page of your website.
Since it’s your window to potential customers, make sure you deck it up well. Add photos, maintain an accurate profile and respond to reviews. You can even add a 360 degree virtual tour to stand out.
Google+ is nowhere near as popular as other social platforms but is a must for all marketers. Because of its integration with other Google products, if you do everything correctly your Google+ posts are likely to appear in search results. To make the most of it, complete your Google+ profile, encourage customer reviews, use circles and hangouts, and link to other Google pages. It also pays to have the Google+ widget on your website to grow your Google+ community.
Also free to use, Google Trends is ideal to determine what kind of marketing language to use on your website. Plug in your terms in the Google Trends search bar to see which searches are trending upwards and review the additional details Google provides.
Google Keyword Planner
The Keyword Planner is linked to your Google AdWords account. Super easy to use, it is a great platform to search for keywords. And we all know the importance of creating keyword-rich content to improve your search results. For small hotels with limited resources and time, this is a great tool when creating content. Combine with Google Suggest (the drop down of keywords in Google Search Bar) to find phrases that will bring traffic to your site.
Once included in your website code, this tool helps you track all activity on your website, including where the users came from, time spent and pages viewed. By understanding consumer behaviour (and it’s quite simple with Google Analytics visual aids) on your website, you can do more of what’s working and fix what’s wrong. No digital agency required!
Google Search Console
Previously known as Google Webmasters Tool, Google Search Console opens up a two-way line of communication between your website and Google. Search Console will help you monitor, maintain and improve your website presence within Google’s search results.
Videos are a powerful way to tell your story. It is estimated that 92% of mobile consumers share videos with others, and having a video on the landing page can increase conversion rate by 80%. YouTube is a fantastic platform to create, store and distribute videos. Not only is it considered the second largest search engine after Google, creating video content on YouTube can also offer direct SEO benefits in Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
Think With Google
This free marketing resource from Google loaded with trends, marketing insights, industry research and creative inspiration to help you plan effective campaigns. Their micro-moments study in consumer behaviour, particularly Travel Micro-moments, is extremely useful to understand the changing booking behaviour of consumers.
Nearly 40% of people search only on a Smartphone. Not surprisingly Google is changing its algorithm to meet the needs of this mobile-first audience. Google’s testmysite is an easy-to-use tool helps you find out how mobile friendly your site is and gives a list of specific fixes to address the issues. Ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly is critical for digital success of the business.
Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. In this content-rich world, this is a great way to keep on top of what is being said about your company or product, industry and even competitors.