Today a lot of our purchasing decisions are influenced by the internet. Potential guests to your hotel are seeing more information about your property from more sources than ever. Your hotel’s online reputation plays a significant role in whether a potential guest makes a reservation with you or your competition.
According to Inc., 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Siteminder also reported that 96% of hotel guests say reviews are important in their hotel research process and 79% will read six to twelve reviews before booking a room at a hotel. So what does this mean to your hotel? Why should you care about your hotel’s online reputation and what factors go into having a good reputation?
Reputation management is the practice of attempting to shape the public perception of a person or organization. Online reputation management is the process of taking this to the digital world. While the philosophy behind online reputation management and traditional reputation management are the same, as the internet evolves and there are constantly new ways to collect information about your online reputation, maintaining a positive online presence is crucial.
As we know, Google is constantly trying to become more in tune with the needs of consumers and always evolving to share information with users as quickly and efficiently as possible. With the introduction of the local area pack that debuted with the 2014 Pigeon update, Google changed the way people learned about hotels in the area they are searching. The local area pack is the box at the top of your search results that usually displays a map and about 3-4 featured hotels. This local area pack has gone through many variations as Google tries to decipher what kind of information guests are looking for. Being one of the featured hotels is the goal and many have tried to figure out how to do so.
The trick to being a featured business in the local area pack is first and foremost give the user the best experience on your website. Your website must follow SEO best practices, for example making sure your website is mobile friendly and secure, as well as being optimized for your intended keywords.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Another factor Google takes into consideration is your hotel’s Google My Business profile. Google uses this information for your business’s Knowledge Graph. To optimize your Google My Business properly you want to fill out your profile completely as well as uploading images frequently keeping your Google My Business profile fresh which shows Google the information is up to date.
As mentioned, before guests use reviews as a major factor when making their decision on what hotel to book, so you want to make sure your hotel has as many positive reviews as possible. Utilize sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor as a way to acquire new reviews by driving your happy guests to leave reviews after their stay.
Bad reviews are bound to happen. To maintain a positive online reputation, it is imperative that you address these concerns quickly and as efficiently as possible. Often times, after a hotel has followed up, a guest might be enticed to go back and edit their review, reflecting your team’s top-notch customer service.
With the amount of reviews that go around on sites like Facebook and Instagram, it is important to have someone providing social media services to your hotel. Having a team monitoring reviews, questions, and concerns and addressing them as quickly as possible gives guests a sense of comfort knowing your hotel will take care of them. Just like your Google My Business profile, your social media profiles are a great way to get new news and beautiful images of your hotel in front of potential guests. They should also be updated frequently and should also be optimized properly to successfully rank in search results.
One way to affect ranking factors along with your reviews is to work with Influencers through blogger outreach. By creating relationships with content creators, you can work on sponsored posts to create reviews or on posts mentioning your hotel as a resource for people traveling to your city. These relationships create backlinks to your website, which helps overall search ranking as well as creating brand awareness, and can lead to new guests learning about your hotel.
Your online reputation can be changed in an instant. Keeping a handle on your social media along and Google My Business profile can create a great foundation to rank well in search results but by nurturing good relationships with previous guests along with online influencers will give your hotel a better reputation online and pull in new business.
To discuss your online reputation management needs, please contact Blue Magnet Interactive’s team of hotel internet marketing experts.