The launch of Google Plus last year was a bit of a washout. While some people were impressed by the exclusive nature of the new invite-only social media platform, many more dismissed it as just another unsuccessful attempt by the Internet giant to jump on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon. How then, over 6 months on, has Google Plus overcome this lukewarm reception to emerge as one of the most valuable tools for your hotel’s online marketing drive?
Social media meets SEO
Google have recently introduced “Search Plus Your World”, a brand new personalised search results page that looks set to transform every business’s Search Engine Optimisation campaign. Search Plus Your World fuses organic search results with personalised content from the searcher’s Google Plus network, while excluding pages from competing social network sites. So no matter how finely tuned your Facebook or Twitter campaign, if your hotel or resort doesn’t have a presence on Google Plus, your search engine ranking will suffer when the new “social search” function hits the masses soon.
Showcase your business
Google Plus is the perfect vehicle for showcasing all that’s great about your hotel or resort by uploading photos, enticing descriptions and even tour videos and interviews with staff. Take advantage of the “Bragging Rights’ field to highlight your hotel’s most impressive achievements or awards and include links to your TripAdvisor page and other social network profiles to create a comprehensive promotional platform for your hotel.
Categorise your online community
Much like the Facebook Newsfeed, Google Plus allows you to receive information updates from the people and organisations you choose to follow online. However, the individuals and businesses you are interested in can be grouped together and categorised into specific “Circles” to give you greater control over the updates you receive and easier access to the information that really matters to your business. For example, you might want to create a brand circle for other hotels within your brand’s chain to keep up to date with corporate news and pick up ideas about packages and promotions that could be perfect for your hotel. Equally, you might choose to group nearby restaurants, theme parks, theatres and art galleries into a Circle labelled “local attractions” to keep yourself posted on promotions and events in the area that may interest your guests.
Although Facebook and Twitter may not have yet lost their grip on social media, Google Plus may soon claim the most SEO value because of its revolutionary moves to personalise search results. From keeping up to date with local events to showing off your unique amenities, the benefits of creating a Google Plus page for your hotel should not be underestimated. Google Plus has 90 million members and counting. Does your property have a profile page?
Resorts enjoying the success of our Hotel Marketing strategy - Boost Direct, will each have a customised Google Plus page developed and published within the coming months. This will ensure the Resorts we partner with are at the forefront of search engine marketing.