Okay, as a hotel marketing manager you can decide to pay a large amout of money to third party booking sites and affiliate partners in order to sell rooms. It is the easiest way to attract guests to your hotel but unfortunately also the most expensive!!!
An increasing number of hotels are becoming aware of the opportunities to sell rooms via direct online channels and to avoid expensive sales commissions. In the short term you need to invest money in these channels, but in the long term you will have a smile on your face for your decision to do so 🙂
There are plenty of online channels you can focus on to attract visitors and new sales such as: Google Adwords (paid results), Google Organic (not-paid results), email marketing, social media marketing and mobile marketing. One of my favorite direct channels is Google Local (or Google Maps) because 1) it will get you a very high ranking in Google (non-paid results), 2) it is free and 3) it is highly effective.
High ranking in Google with Google Local
If you want to book a hotel in Amsterdam some visitors will search for “hotel Amsterdam”. Google will show you the next results.
As you can see, the Google Local listing gets a very high position within Google. Hotels such as NH Grand Hotel and the others mentioned have to thank Google Local for such a top position. It will give them traffic and sales, without paying any sales commission!!! Without Google Local it is extremely difficult for hotel sites to get a top ranking on very competetive word combinations such as “Hotel Amsterdam”. So why shouldn’t you get listed right away? 🙂
Adding you site to Google Local is very simple. Just go to http://www.google.com/local/add/ and Google will help you from A to Z. Try to give as much information as possible such as the address, general information about the hotel, route, pictures, etc.
Optimizing your ranking in Google Local
Adding your site to Google Local is the first step in attracting more visitors to your site and selling rooms without paying big sales commissions. The next step is optimizing your Google Local position in order to get even more visitors to your site! I will also show other marketing possibilities of Google Local. I hope to see you listed on Google Local at that time 😉