How to set up a Google Business Listing for your hotel or guesthouse
A hospitality owner recently posted a great question in our Facebook Community. This influenced me to write in a bit more detail about Google Business Listing, and how you should NEVER pay someone to set one up for you.
Whenever you search on Google for the name of a business, hotel, or guesthouse, a Google Map comes up showing the user where the business is located. It also gives you directions on how to find the property. Simple.
However, Google also goes into much more detail about the business. From a simple search, you can also find:
- Opening hours
- Website address
- Phone number
- How many reviews the property has
- 360° photos
This is a wealth of information for a potential customer.
FACT: A Google user is more likely to check the information on your Google Maps listing than the information on your website.
A lot of you reading this will have had sales calls from someone purportedly from Google who offers to set up your business listing for a cost. Do NOT take this option up. It is extremely unlikely that these people are actually calling direct from Google. They’ll also charge you through the nose for a few minutes work.
Instead of paying someone to do this, I’m going to show you how to set up your Google Business Listing for FREE!
Step 1: Check to see if you already have a Google Business Listing
It is possible that someone may have set this up for you in the past, or you may have been fiddling about on Google late one night and then forgot about it! Have a look here to find out if your business has a listing. That’s the website for Google Business Listings.
Once you’re there, enter your business’s name and address. If you see your property, you will have the ability to “claim” it. This basically means you will become the owner of that listing and will be able to amend it as you like.
If the business has already been claimed, then it could mean that:
- You did this a while ago and have forgotten the log in details.
- The old owner of your property did this and you’ll need to contact them
- A web designer, marketing person, or friend helped you out a while ago and they have the details.
If you don’t see your hotel, guesthouse, or holiday cottage, you will need to start from scratch. I have created all kinds of training material for hospitality owners and marketers, which you can check out here.
Step 2: Create your Google Account
The majority of you reading this already have a Google account. If you have a Gmail or Google Analytics account, then you can use the same details. If not, set one up. It’s free and easy to do.
Note: If you don’t use analytics at the moment, get in touch with me at email@example.com!
Step 3: Verify that you are the business owner
Google will either call you or post something off in the mail. The phone call is ideal because it’s much quicker. The mail option is a bit of a drag because you have to wait for a postcard to arrive with a special code on it.
Once verification is completed, that’s it! You’re all signed up. You own your Google Business Listing and you’re ready to go.
From here, you can add your business hours, website, and photos. It’s time to treat Google like any other Online Travel Agent or listing site.
Google is really investing time and money in the hospitality world. It has already had a significant impact by offering people the chance to book hotel rooms via a Google Business Listing. That’s why you should make sure all of your info is kept up to date and you have lots of great content.
Google is prioritising businesses that have 360° photos of their properties. If you have a friend who has a 360° camera, get them to take a photo or two for you. If not, get in touch with me directly. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.