If you search on Google for your hotel business name, you’ll find that your own website has a lot of competition. OTAs like Booking, Expedia, and Travelocity take most of the first page. Review websites TripAdvisor, Yelp, and FourSquare are often at the top. Google will also display maps, reviews, amenities, and lots of other information that will distract from your website listing.
The goal of any hotel website is to capture direct bookings to increase occupancy and avoid paying the high commissions charged by OTAs. When you have a website in addition to the brand.com page, it’s even more important to improve your visibility on search engine results pages so that searchers can find rooms and book through your website.
The way you get your website found online is by making sure that other websites know your correct website address. The best way to ensure Google has the correct information is to claim your local listings, including Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yahoo. Unfortunately, the process of claiming a listing can take 1-2 months to complete, and people are searching for your hotel today. Google results are the most important place for your listings to be accurate. Here are the different ways search engines show your hotel information online and how you can work today on updating incorrect or outdated information.
The reason why it is so important to inform Google of your correct website information is that it is used in many other places. A Google Maps mobile phone user is served the same information as they would on desktop, which includes a photo, address, call button and – you guessed it – a website. The information that appears in a Google listing is generally very accurate, so if a website is already filled into this field, most searchers will assume that is the correct website.
If your brand.com website appears in the website field instead of your vanity website, you need to change this. This Google listing is different from your Google+ Business Page. One way to try to change this is to simply visit Google Maps, search for your property, then click Suggest an Edit below the information.
One other place this information can appear is in the coveted Knowledge Graph section. Google Knowledge Graph is a service that tries to answer questions quickly without searchers having to dig into visiting websites and provides another area for business information to be visible. Here is an example of Knowledge Graph at work:
When it comes to hotel searches, Google Knowledge Graph provides more information in the right area where ads used to appear. The Knowledge Graph will bring in that same information appearing in the Map listing, but will also provide information about the hotel, directions, reviews, amenities, and booking links for OTAs.
Again, the best way to combat OTAs and earn direct bookings is by making sure your hotel website information is correct. At the bottom of this Knowledge Graph listing you’ll find a section to improve the listing:
Just click the link, select what you want to edit, and add in your website address. You’ll receive an email back from Google letting you know that your edit is being reviewed and receive status updates on the change.
While a large number of searches take place on Google, there are many others that happen within apps, GPS devices, and on other websites and search engines. Claiming your business on all of these other websites and syndicating this information across the internet is the most effective way to be found and get chosen online.
Travel Media Group’s listing management service ensures that correct and consistent information is displayed across hundreds of portals online. Travelers will be able to easily find the information they need about you, regardless of the platform they’re using.