Google is always changing the way it presents websites on its search engine Results pages (SERP). On organic result, your website is described thanks to your :
- Title tags (in Blue),
- Your URL (in green)
- Your meta description in most case (2 lines of text in Black).
This combination of information is what Google call a “Snippet”. As we can control this information, we tend to call it also your Google organic “free ads…”
However, your hotel can also have a presence on many other Google product and/or have a more elaborate and predominant ads (free or paid).
Let’s have a look at what we judge as a best practive for an individual hotel when you type an hotel name. In our example « Pullman Barcelona »
1) Paid ads sitelink:
To have your hotel showing on sponsored linked, you first need to have a Google AdWords account.
To get this specific presentation called: “a sitelink” please follow instruction explain on: http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en-GB&answer=2375416
2) Organic sitelink:
Google shows sitelink when he thinks he can save its users time to reach right content. For the time being this process is automated and Google does not always show most logical results.
Therefore, Google offers a solution to demote some links within your sitelinks thanks to Google Webmaster Tools.
Go to your Google Webmaster Tools account:
1. Within left menu » Site configuration », click on Sitelinks.
2. In the « For this search result » box, enter the first URL showing on top (A) as on our example www.pullman-barcelona-skipper.com.
3. In the Demote this sitelink URL box, complete the URL of the sitelink you want to demote.
Comments: Sitelinks are generated for your main pages. Therefore one website can have several sitelinks generated for its most important URL’s.
Most common is to have the URL in position (A) changing in relation to language of your site. Therefore, this organisation between “For this search result” and “sitelink URL” enable you for example to demote URL language by language.
Google webmaster tools allow you to demote up to 100 URLs. Demotions are effective for 90 days from your most recent visit to the Sitelinks page in Webmaster Tools.
3) Google Places:
This is a must do. Hotel should claim and control their own Google Places business listing on: http://www.google.com/places/
One of the key component to optimise your listing is to make sure that you hotel is listed on all directories, social media and OTA’s with the same Hotel name, same localisation on maps and exact same address.
This standardisation will help Google to agregate information about your hotel. More it will notice that many websites speak about your hotel more he will consider you as THE important hotel in your destination.
Google is now showing rates your hotel can be booked on specific dates.
See (B) on screen shot.
It takes this information from OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies). So far, we have noticed that the following OTA’s provide their rates from time to time on Google Maps:
4) Google Hotel Finder:
Google Hotel Finder has been launched on Beta and is available only in English. It has changed the game at least for all the Meta search Engine (Price comparison website). They have been penalyzed with Google Panda on organic results as it seems Google think he can do a better job that those price comparison sites. So far, Google Hotel Finder shows ratings and reviews only from Google user, even if it shows also on the left rating from other OTA’s or review website like tripadvisor.
Type your destination and check at the bottom who is providing business listings. If your hotel is localised in one of the 4 countries below, it will need to be listed on corresponding directory.
- In Spain: www.paginasamarillas.es
- In Germany http://www.gelbeseiten.de
- In Italy: http://www.paginegialle.it/
- In Norway: http://www.1881.no/
It’s not specified in France, United Kingdom, Portugal, The netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, AustriaDenmark, Switzerland.
5) Google Plus page:
As Google Plus pages are quite new, we could dedicate a full post on this topic. Here is the best blog post we have found so far on this subject even if it’s not Hotel specific: