The Impact “Google My Business” Guidelines Have On Hotel Brand Conversions
Google — and, specifically, its Google My Business service — can have a huge impact on whether your hotel business is successful or not. When hotels use “Google My Business,” they can take advantage of the power of Google to do things like build visibility on Google Maps, enjoy a free business listing on Google, and more.
Undoubtedly, Google My Business can help hotels attract customers in the area and gain exposure online. However, when it comes to hotels, Google My Business can also present some very specific challenges, which may make growth more difficult — or hinder it completely. Here are some ways that the Google My Business guidelines can impact hotel online visibility and the number of customers they are able to convert.
Benefits of Google My Business
Google My Business offers a slew of potential perks for hotels who want to use the service, including:
Appearance in Search and Maps
Google will list you when people search for a business like yours on their search engine. They’ll also ensure you appear on Google Maps, making it easy for people in your geographical area to find you.
Platform for Sharing Information and Media
Hotels who use Google My Business can easily upload photos and information about their hotel for online users to find. This helps entice travelers to visit and also makes them feel like they can keep updated with what is going on at your business.
Reviews and Conversation
Google My Business lets your customers write reviews on your hotel. This is not only helpful for you to get feedback from customers. It also allows you to interact with them directly and build loyalty.
Challenges of Google My Business
While there are many benefits to using Google My Business, there are also several potential drawbacks. Here are the biggest challenges for business owners who want to take advantage of it.
Permanent Signage Requirement Impedes Rebranding Process
In order to have a Google My Business listing for your business, you must include a photo of your hotel’s permanent signage. This is helpful to customers who are looking for your business in person, or who want to ensure that it’s still operational. However, this makes it difficult for hotels who are rebranding to share accurate information in a timely manner or to attract new customers at the most critical time in their rebranding process.
If your hotel is rebranding, you may go through a process of updating names, facilities, and more. However, until you have a new permanent sign up, Google isn’t going to list you or promote you on their site.
Thus, hotels that are rebranding often lose business because they don’t have a permanent sign up — and Google will mark the business as permanently closed (even if it isn’t). This confuses customers and ultimately drives them away.
Significant Identity Change Requires In-Depth Re-listing Process
If your business is going through a significant change, you can’t just use Google My Business’ rebranding feature. Instead, you must make a completely new listing — which can be a hassle for business owners. Significant changes include if a fast food location switches franchise affiliations, if a hotel switches brand affiliations, a car dealership starts selling a different make of car, and more.
Business owners who plan to go through these large overhauls must mark their business as permanently closed on Google. Then, they must create a new identity for their business, and include all new information.
This process isn’t just a hassle for business owners, it’s also confusing for customers. If customers look at the listing of the old business, it will be marked as permanently closed. This would deter them from visiting or doing further research — even though the business owner may have created a new listing for the exact same location. Customers who think a business is closed will search for an alternative, and this can ultimately impact business in a negative way.
How to Best Handle Google My Business Challenges
If you are experiencing difficulties keeping your business listed on Google My Business because you are in the process of a brand change, one potential solution is using a service like HotelPORT’s PropertyVIEW Content Verification Services for hotels and restaurants. This service makes the transition process easier for hoteliers by submitting all of the required changes on behalf of a business, then working with Google directly to resolve any issues that arise so that the transition process is as smooth and fast as possible. That way, business owners can focus on what really matters — running an effective transition and growing a thriving business — and experts can handle the administrative, logistical difficulties that arise.