With the abandonment of the Google Carousel and the recent introduction of the local 3-pack, hotel marketers are encouraged to re-evaluate their local marketing strategy to align with these changes in Google’s search landscape. The local 3-pack is now evident in search base results within the United States and may soon take into effect around the world. The new search engine result layout poses a significant impact on your hotel’s local marketing strategy and ranking capabilities. Hoteliers need to be aware of these changes and take proactive measures to ensure maximum exposure and visibility on search engine results. Here are a few tips to keep your hotel in line with Google’s updates:
Optimize Google + Local PageThese changes places more emphasis and importance on a hotel’s Google + local page. In order to compete against big brands and OTAs for top Google placement, independent hotels need to continually optimize their Google + local listing by actively posting and engaging with users. New posts can enhance your search presence which is why it is important to stay active on this channel. To begin optimizing your Google + page, make sure you are filling out all business details provided and write a keyword-friendly description briefly mentioning your hotel’s amenities and key demand generators. Keep in mind, the more relevant information you provide on your Google + page, the more likely your listing will show up for relevant search terms.
Target Long-Tailed KeywordsAs you optimize your Google + page, compile a list of keywords that are less broad and more specific to your property. For instance, if your hotel is located right by the beach, then you may want to target a long-tailed keyword like “hotels with a beachfront view in [city name]”. By targeting long-tailed keywords within your Google + page and website, it would ultimately yield higher conversions as there is less competition for that particular phrase. To drive organic traffic, it is critical that your social search strategy incorporates long-tailed keywords. Brands will continue to dominate the broad keywords like “hotels in [city name]” but that does not mean you can’t capture users searching in very narrow and specific terms .
Participate in Hotel Price AdsThe local 3-pack integrates both organic and paid advertising into the same search results. To further capitalize on the new local 3-pack and ensure better placement, we encourage participating in Hotel Price Ads especially because searchers are able to see your rate directly off a Google search. There is a ‘Book a Room’ function on the business listing which allows users to book direct with you if you participate in HPA. Paid listings will continue to dominate the above-the-fold view, which means hoteliers cannot afford to lose out on the potential revenue it can generate. Notice that the organic listings have been pushed further down the fold, however the local 3-pack display, gives independents an opportunity to gain visibility by not only participating in HPA but also optimizing your Google + page.
The local 3-pack display has made it even more difficult for independent hotels to rank organically without participation in paid advertising, particularly Hotel Price Ads. The removal of the carousel, greatly reduces the visibility of your hotel showing up on the first page. Hotels not ranking within the local 3-pack listing will most likely experience a decrease in click-through-rate, organic traffic and even revenue. However, by following these local marketing tips, hotel marketers can earn a share of the search engine real estate.