21 September 2015

Why your hotel shouldn’t ignore Google Business View

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Industry Trends

Mark Winner

Hello! I’m Mark Wright.

You may remember me claiming the spoils in series 10 of The Apprentice in late 2014, and it’s fair to say that even in the less than a year since then, my life has been a whirlwind, particularly with the early success of my new business, the Internet marketing agency Climb Online.

If I wasn’t such a workaholic, I would be tempted to say that I could do with a holiday!

You see, what I’m here to talk to you about today… isn’t holidays, strictly speaking, although they are certainly tempting again after the summer season. No, I’m here to discuss something that could make a massive positive difference to the fortunes of your hotel in those tricky off-peak months and beyond.

That ‘thing’ is Google Business View, which – although it has been widely described as the business equivalent of Street View – can actually mean so much more for your hotel than that.

Allow me to explain…

What is Google Business View?

Google Business View is based on an extremely simple philosophy, taking the existing Google Street View that we all know about and have probably all used, and using it to create a remarkable quality 360 degree photographic virtual tour of the interior of your property.

That’s it – and it isn’t even hard to set up. All that you need to do is get in touch with one of Google’s certified Trusted Photographers or Trusted Agencies – and wherever you are in the UK, there is almost certainly going to be one near you – and schedule the photo shoot at a time that suits you. Then, it’s just a case of waiting for the photographer to arrive and allowing them to do their work.

As I say, the finished result is more than impressive, constituting a gorgeous photographic interior panorama for your prospective hotel guests to explore. You should hardly need me to explain the benefits – who doesn’t want to check what the rooms look like in their preferred accommodation, or how swanky that supposed revamped bar and lounge area really is, before they actually book?

But there is another great reason for your hotel to get serious about Google Business View – the very real increased business that it can attract, as I have witnessed with my own eyes.

You will get more direct bookings!

Yes, that’s right – as the owner of an Internet marketing agency that has many hotel clients, I have already discovered that those using Google Business View generate more ‘direct’ bookings.

A potentially vital service for your hotel

According to Jeff Finkelstein – the founder of a search marketing firm in Colorado, not only did sites that adopted Google Business Photos hog the number one Google search ranking in five of the nine data sets that he looked at, in four of the nine data sets, the number two ranked business had also taken advantage of Google Business Photos.

If all of that sounds like it’s getting a bit technical, you might want to peruse the complete findings in more detail here. It’s all very interesting to say the least. But if there’s one thing to take from it all – aside from Finkelstein’s admission that adopting Google Business photos was by no means a “magic bullet” – it is that the greater amount of high quality photographic content of your business that is accessible through the world’s biggest search engine, the better its ranking chances appear to be.

One can only imagine how profound the impact of Google Business View is set to be for such a visually-oriented sector as hotels, bed and breakfasts and other holiday and business accommodation.

Not only does Google Business View now allow your hotel to be experienced – albeit virtually – both inside and outside by your potential guests, the feature is also reachable for them via Google Maps navigation and – befittingly in today’s search era that has truly embraced mobile – works just as well on a smartphone or tablet as it does on desktop.

Consider signing up… right now

In short, there are going to be a lot of eyes on Google Business View, in more ways than one, over the coming months and years, and if your business also stands to be muscled down the search engine rankings should it decline to participate, there’s clearly only one thing for your hotel to do: sign up, and sign up quickly.

That is certainly the advice that I will be giving to all of my hotel clients in the next few weeks and months – so why not get ahead by registering your own right now?

Combined with the kind of brilliant hotel room reservation system that Eviivo can practically provide in its sleep, it may just be the thing that helps to push your hotel ahead of its local competition over the rest of this autumn and winter!

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