ReviewPro have just released their latest Guide to Optimising Visibility in Search. Here we will add our thoughts and make some comments.
N.B. We have condensed this article as much as we can - please do spend fifteen minutes reading it, the advice it contains may make a considerable difference for your hotel. If it prompts any questions at all please contact Karen Hutchings or one of her team.
It's pretty straightforward: Google are not just No.1, they are No.1 by a country mile.
It's pretty certain that the one site that your potential guest visits more than any other is your own.
'Google reviews count and score ... are factored into local search ranking - more reviews and positive ratings will improve a business's local ranking.'
'The higher a hotel appears in organic listings, the more traffic it will receive.'
Any hotel - with deep enough pockets - can appear in Google Ads. But a hotel that ticks all the Google boxes - and, as stated before, that includes Google reviews and scores - will stand a far better chance of appearing in the Google 3-pack and organic listings. We would add that the click-through at the bottom of the 3-pack - 'more hotels' takes the searcher straight through to map search.
'Inform' - and what 'information' do your potential guests want most? If you were to watch or see most OTA advertising you might be forgiven for thinking that their prime consideration is always price. We beg to differ. We are certain - from reading many thousands of reviews - that their prime consideration is the quality of their stay. The very thing that reviews deliver more information about than any other resource.
It is interesting that this screenshot does not include the full Google Knowledge Panel - see below. We also advise all our clients to include their town, suburb or other area signifier in their G+/Google My Business listing (in this example it would be 'Paris75001' or 'Paris 1er').
Above is the full Google Knowledge Panel - see just how much Google - and TrustYou - information it contains. Below: the potential guest is just two clicks away from this:
One click to Google reviews - another click to 'Lowest score' - the most popular default. The lesson here is to take managing reviews - especially Google reviews, which are seen by everyone - very seriously indeed.
No.2: 'Encourage guests to write Google reviews to benefit your local search ranking and presence on Google.' And we add: '...and to help your potential guest make the decision to book your hotel.'
Again: 'Google review count and score are factored into the local search rankings.' 'More reviews and positive ratings will improve a business's local ranking.' 'This will result in more traffic to your website and more direct bookings.'
The next sentence is interesting: 'You can also strengthen relationships with your guests by directly engaging with reviewers on Google.' More bluntly: 'Respond to Google reviews'!
The Google 'review collection widget' works in the same way as TripAdvisor's Review Express. As regular readers will know at HelpHound we have issues with blanket un-moderated invitations to guests to post a review direct to any public site (and this includes Google as well as TripAdvisor). This kind of mechanism will, by its very nature, attract more negative reviews. For more on this subject read this article.
...or you can use HelpHound's Dialogue™ to do it all for you - safely and securely (with Resolution enabling you to minimise unfair and misleading negative reviews) - and use ReviewPro to measure just how successful that strategy will be.
We hope this helps.