Google has made a lot of product updates lately, which makes this article rather outdated. Find out about Google+ Local, My Business and how to manage your accounts to boost local SEO in this recent post
This is very useful for businesses with defined geographic location, like your hotel for example. Here is how it works: when a person googles a phrase, for example 'B&Bs in London', the right part of the results screen shows a map with locations marked on it. The headline 'Maps for B&Bs in London' is al ink which opens a list of all registered establishments whose descriptions contain the words 'B&B' and 'London'.
The leading brands of smartphones and tablets support full integration of Google Maps so the devices can also be used as tourist guides. This is another good reason why you should add your hotel to Google Maps.
The procedure consists of three main steps:
- Send your details – contact details, photos, videos.
- Confirm your listing – over the phone or by postcard
- Wait until your listing is published – it takes about 2 weeks.
Easy, right? It is.
- Visit Google places – www.google.com/places
- If you already have a Google account, log into it with your email and password. If you already have an AdWords account, you can use it to log in as well. If you don't have a Google account, Create one. Google Places accounts cannot be transferred, so if you are planning to share, create a Google profile that you wouldn't mind sharing with others.
- Click Get started now in the home page of Google Places.
Check if Google has information about your business by searching for it in section Find your business with your phone number.
- From the dropdown menu select the country where your hotel is located
- Enter your hotel phone number
- Click Find business information
- Go through any results that come out to check if they describe your hotel. If this is your first time using Google Places, you will be redirected to a page where you will have to enter the details of your hotel.
- Company/Organization: The official name of your hotel
- Address (required): Enter the post address exactly as you would on a standard envelope.
- Phone Number (required): Don't forget to include the code in your phone number.
- Website: The URL of your website can contain up to 255 characters.
- Description: A short description of your hotel. Up to 200 characters.
- Category (required): Enter some categories describing the type of your establishment (Bed & Breakfast, Inn, Guest House, etc.). This will make it easier to find. Add up to 5 categories.
Service Areas and Location Settings
- You are publishing your hotel. You want it to be public. So, select the default option 'No, all customers come to the business location'.
- If your hotel is open 24/7, leave option „I prefer not to specify operating hours“ checked.
- Tick off the payment methods your hotel accepts.
- Upload pictures directly from your computer or use option „Add a photo from the web“ and simply paste the picture URL. Google allows up to 10 pictures.
- Add here YouTube videos of your hotel. Up to 5 videos.
- In this section add more information about your establishment. For example, the extra services you offer (car park, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, etc.)
- Choose how you would like to verify your listing and click Finish
After you submit the information about your establishment, Google will ask for a confirmation before it starts displaying it. Each profile is allowed up to 100 listings.