26 – How to Manage Google Reviews

by | May 29, 2019

In this episode of Suite Spot, we discuss reports that Google Reviews surpassed Booking.com as the number one review distribution site. Host Ryan Embree is joined by Jason Lee to explore how Google is positioning itself in the hotel industry and what it means for individual properties moving forward.

Ryan and Jason also give insight about a recent review response study conducted by Revinate. Jason gives his thoughts on why more budget and midscale properties are responding to reviews than luxury properties, and why year over year 5-star response rates are trending down. We also discuss the impact that responding to Google reviews has on SEO.

In the Q&A segment, we put Jason back in the chair of a hotel general manager and ask his thoughts on how he would approach Google reviews for his individual property. To submit a question for future episodes, call or text 407-984-7455.

Episode Transcript
Our podcast is produced as an audio resource. Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and human editing and may contain errors. Before republishing quotes, we ask that you reference the audio.

Ryan Embree: Welcome to Suite Spot where hoteliers check in and we check out what’s trending in hotel marketing. I’m your host, Ryan Embree.

Ryan Embree: Hey, hello and, welcome to another episode of the Suite Spot. As always, I am your host, Ryan Embree. Today we’ve got a great episode, and I am joined by one of our more frequented guests on the show, Mr. Jason Lee, who is the vice president of product development and technology at Travel Media Group, so I’ll go ahead and welcome you in. Once again, Jason, thanks for being on the show today.

Jason Lee: Thank you for having me.

Ryan Embree: We’re going to get into a lot of topics today and the episode itself is called Google reviews and we’re going to talk about the big news coming out about Google reviews, but I wanted to first kind of start talking just about review generation as a whole because Revinate came out with a report here on some really cool analytics when it comes to online reviews, review response, review generation and wanting to get kind of your opinion and your thoughts on some of the information that was found.

Jason Lee: Yeah.

Ryan Embree: Before we get into Google reviews, let’s talk about online review generation as a whole and when we still see year over year growth, but we saw the rate of review growth has slowed. Uh, any idea you think, why this is happening?

Jason Lee: Well, I think it’s interesting because I think the percentage of year over year has slowed it just because we’re maybe starting to see critical mass in response. So you see new travelers coming up that might be more apt to leave reviews or you see a generation of more tech savvy travelers that rely on reviews and are also leaving reviews and getting reviews. You’re kind of reaching for a technology crowd that is going to eventually reach critical mass in terms of like, you’re not going to see those big giant numbers, um, that you use to see where, you know, I, I remember like in the early days of reputation, it was like every year TripAdvisor was doubling the number from the previous years. Right?

Ryan Embree: Right.

Jason Lee: So it was like this crazy jump and now there’s more places to leave reviews. But you’ve also reached this place where there’s, there are more reviews coming in now than ever before. I can tell you that right now, but I can, but also at the same time you’re not, you may not see those giant gains like we had before.

Ryan Embree: Right, and that sort of growth is, it’s just not sustainable as far as, I mean it gets to a point, like you said, the critical mass. So do you kind of predict the trend of review growth is going to continue year over year?

Jason Lee: I think so. Um, you take a site like Google where Google was really inconsequential in hospitality, uh, in inside of especially hotel reviews. So you were looking at, they were the smallest. Um, in a lot of cases, almost completely inconsequential to the hotel. That’s how low the numbers where we’re talking like five or 10 a year.

Ryan Embree: Right.

Jason Lee: And then you’ve seen this, this shift. So it’s definitely a shift in a site like Google where they’re making it easier. They’re making the technology more accessible. I think that you’re going to see those types of things continue to happen up-and-coming sites like Agoda. While we saw like a little bit of a review fluctuation year over year. I do feel like OTAs like that have a lot of, there’s space there. There’s space to move.

Ryan Embree: Yeah, absolutely. And I don’t want to get too far into it because I know we’re going to talk about a little bit later in the episode, but why do you think it did take Google that long to get, I mean everyone searches on Google for hotels and I think that was a big part of the process and the journey. Why do you think it took them this long to kind of really start penetrating the, the hotel space?

Jason Lee: You know, I think feedback, the feedback might not have been their priority. And if you look at the evolution of Google, it’s really strange. I mean in some ways. So you have like Google Plus where there was like, “hey, we’re going to, we’ll compete with Facebook and we’re going to have Google Plus where people can leave feedback.” And then they merged Google business with Google Plus. So it was Google Plus and Google business where it was like, oh, we’re going to leave reviews and really comments. Right? So even a traveler was a little confused as to where to leave a review. The hotel or the business was a little confused as to where they respond to that review or how they access that. Everybody has a page, but no, but a lot of people don’t have access to it. So I think it was like this weird kind of start.

Jason Lee: But I feel like where, where you look at, this is what I look at with Google. Google has made a considerable, and from the beginning they may, they made strides in the travel space, but if you think about like a few years ago they had the carousel at the beginning of a search result. Right? And then you, then you had a top 10 and then it went to a top three and then it went to, you know, now it’s like top three plus Google hotels and now, and then on top of that you also have Google hotels itself being like a crazy Meta engine and a lot more data and a lot more rates and availability that are actually built into Google. So I think it’s like this logical place for them to make more money off of OTAs and to make more money off of individual hotels to, to create a marketplace for hotels and, and for other travel, rental car, and flight.

Jason Lee: So I think where they’ve come and the reason why maybe now they are starting to really come into into their own is that they made it very easy to leave a review. All you have to do is leave a like a five star and there’s no character limit. They’re also making extremely easy. If you have an android device, they know that you or your android device was at a hotel. They’re uh, they’re sending you feedback. Um, but they’ve also made it very easy for companies like us to access their API and create flow review flow for travelers.

Ryan Embree: Well it’s super exciting and I know for sure some businesses like OTAs it’s a little bit scary on which moves they’re going to make next. Um, you mentioned what we’re doing at Travel Media Group as far as the review flow. I know review responses is one of our most popular solutions when it comes to that. And that’s what I wanted to shift to next was talking about review response. And I want to get these statistics right because it had some pretty incredible stats when it came to overall review response. It’s findings were that from 2017 there was a response growth for reviews that were rated from one to four stars, but there was a 5% decrease in response to a perfect five-star review. So why do you think that is? That there’s been a decrease and response rate to perfect five-star reviews?

Jason Lee: I think it just has to do with priorities. So if somebody leaves you a really happy review, maybe your priority is not to go and respond to that review. I think that’s one thing. I also feel like, and this is, I’m gonna really editorialize right now Ryan, but I also feel like there was a study that was done by TripAdvisor and Cornell not that long ago where they basically told hotels not to answer all your five-star reviews and they said there’s a diminishing return when you do it and you shouldn’t answer all your five-star reviews. And I, and I definitely do not subscribe to that point of view. I don’t think that that’s correct, but from their vantage point, they were like, what moves the needle for reservation or, or what moves the needle for, you know, getting more guests. And they were saying, “hey, there’s a diminishing return on your time to respond to all of your five-star reviews. Now, I see it as a guest communication issue and I see it as a as like if you have an advocate of your property, why wouldn’t you continue to grow that advocacy through at least a response. That could have caused that, that could have caused like this general mindset where hey, you know, maybe I don’t have to pay as much attention to five star reviews, but another, on another, you know, note, since we do respond to so many reviews, I can also tell you that there are negative elements in five-star reviews and there are positive elements in one-star reviews and those elements are very important to pay attention to and are extremely important to acknowledge at least.

Ryan Embree: Yeah, that’s true. And it’s funny because you would think, like you said, if you have an advocate for your hotel, they write a five-star review. What incentive do I have as a traveler writing that five-star review to write any more positive feedback if I’m not being noticed or let alone acknowledged. So yeah, I just, I’m trying to figure it out to why there has been that decrease. Why, you know, you might go to a review site and see that, yes, that one person that wrote a one star reviews is being professionally responded to, but at the end of the day, you know, you write a nice five-star review for a hotel and you know, kind of crickets and we talk about it all the time about you wouldn’t have somebody at your front desk stand there and tell you review your hotel audibly and say, you know, “this great, I had an amazing stay, breakfast was awesome.” And they say all these great things and you just kind of blankly stare at them and the person next to you know, starts complaining and then you’re, you know, responding to them. So just trying to kind of figure out there, you know, that trend of, of kind of decreasing responses to those.

Jason Lee: Yeah. It’s, it’s interesting.

Ryan Embree: So there was also some interesting data on how well each segment in the hotel industry is responding to reviews. Were you surprised to see that mid scale and budget hotels are actually doing a better job of responding to reviews than luxury and deluxe.

Jason Lee: Yes, I was, I was surprised to see that. It’s interesting, you know, and I, and I feel like it could be going back to that thing we just talked about and that is that you do in the budget and mid scale, you are going to see probably more negative reviews or a higher percentage of negative reviews than you might on the higher-end, luxury side of things. And I can tell you just from the statistics that we compile, the percentage of negative reviews that a hotel gets, um, definitely there is a direct correlation to the type of hotel.

Ryan Embree: And it’s kind of counterintuitive to what you would think because being a luxury or deluxe hotel, you would think that they have maybe more in the budget. They would have some more time to essentially, or I would say even the level of customer service is, uh, is, should be above and beyond being that is a luxury hotel, yet they’re responding less, uh, to their reviews. So again, some very interesting and kind of just counterintuitive facts kind of brought up in these, this report here. So let’s go ahead and transition into kind of the big news of Google overtaking booking as the number one reviewed distribution site. Just a side note before we get talking into this, Google, uh, you know, didn’t just barely squeak it by booking. They sprinted by booking with almost 2 million more reviews, really incredible stuff. So I asked you kind of how did they do it? How are they getting all these reviews?

Jason Lee: You know, the really interesting thing with that is that their growth rate was 75% year over year. So their growth rate this year, so year over year, they had a staggering growth rate. And I think that it did, it does come down to their emphasis that they’re putting on travel. I don’t know if I necessarily agree that OTAs are in trouble because of this. I think it’s an, I think if you look at what Google does, Google is a Meta search engine with its outlet as OTAs. So maybe it may be a better place for the traveler. And ultimately let’s think, let’s, you know, and I am going to answer your question at some point Ryan, I promise you. But I think ultimately you got to think about this, you know, we talk about a lot about, oh, how do you, how do you reduce dependence on, on a OTA is, you know, how do you get more direct bookings? How do you this, how do you that, you know, and the evil OTAs or you know, booking makes it unfair or um, Google makes it unfair, but ultimately it is up to the guest and the guest makes that choice and a guest starts their search. And the guest is, is not just searching for hotel, they’re searching for airfares, they’re searching for, for fun things to do. And it’s a place where the, where search is initiated and that is Google. Google is where search is initiated. The guys at Bing might tell you different, but I’m telling you, right? Like so we’re talking like, I forget what the stat was. It was 300 million searches a minute or something. And you know, with a big percentage of those being in voice. And I feel like as you know, Google has created this incredible platform and they had been refining it and they have spent a lot of money in the last year to make a really awesome platform for travelers.

Jason Lee: And whether we like it or not, or whether we disagree with it or not, it’s a great resource for a traveler. And I think that, now I’m going to answer your question. I think that the reason why they really have shot ahead is that they have put emphasis on making it a place where that traveler’s journey can complete. So I don’t maybe know I can look at ratings and I can confirm purchase and I can go do this stuff in the same place. And it might be a little bit different than, than ratings that are on an OTA where it’s, you know, it’s maybe a little bit of a different type of guest or a different type of rating then a more open Google rating.

Ryan Embree: I think it’s so interesting because for a time Google was trying to get and almost, you could probably parallel this with Facebook and social media, but they were trying to get all their information from the businesses about their business, right? They wanted to provide the user information about a business and they were asking the owner specifically and the owner wasn’t getting to them and they say, “well, why are we asking the owner when we could just ask the thousands of people that that go to, to this business, they’re going to know it better than you know that they probably are going to give a realer image of what this, this business is actually about.” So Google, you would think it makes sense. They’re trying to give the most accurate representation to its user as a search engine so that they keep coming back to Google. So why not get that feedback? Why not get that data on what’s really happening in the hotel, in that business.

Jason Lee: Yeah. That’s a great point.

Ryan Embree: So how is Google positioning itself in the hotel industry, I know we’ve heard a lot about Google travel, but how do you think they’re positioning themselves moving forward in the hotel industry?

Jason Lee: I think they want to be the best resource. And I think they are, they positioned themselves, they have the data to do it. They have the platform to do it. If you look at the analytics of it, people begin their search there. So you know when they go, when you go to these different conferences and they talk about, you know, what’s the best Meta search you know, site. And they’re like, oh, it’s Kayak, or it’s, it’s Trivago. Um, or it’s a, it’s TripAdvisor. Uh, no, like by a massive margin search is initiated at Google.

Ryan Embree: Yeah. It’s like they don’t even..

Jason Lee: They don’t even acknowledge it!

Ryan Embree: They don’t, but that is where it’s at. I mean, that’s where travelers are searching for. Even to get to those sites, they’re probably, you know, typing in that search through Google.

Jason Lee: But Google also really wins big in mobile and in voice.

Ryan Embree: So mobile and voice, you know, Google Voice, the voice stuff on Google has really taken off. Almost 20% of searches are in that spot, almost 60% of searchers in mobile. So you’re, you’re talking about a big, these are big shifts and Google is fully ready for it. And, and I think they have the platform, they have the platform and the apps and, and even the hardware to pull it off. So I do feel like there is some disruption, you know, but it’s like, it’s like Toyota disrupting the auto market or something. It’s not really disrupting it, it’s just, it’s just them maybe saying, “hey, there’s a focus here,” But think about this, in the third quarter of 2018, we just got, we just got stats that that Booking.com spent $1 billion in search with Google in the third quarter, just one quarter, three months, $1 billion.

Jason Lee: So, so if you start to think about how a traveler goes through that funnel that makes it from, from you know, interest in, in inspiration and travel all the way to that buy. It’s going to happen probably through Google. And the way that it is going to start is going to be there and it’ll probably branch out into other sites and it will most likely in terms of maybe in percentages, it will most likely end up being an OTA buy. If you base it solely on the way it’s set up through Google, it looks like that’s, that’s the way it’s set. And, and I think that, you know, you look at, “Hey we’re building this for guests, but the revenue source is OTA.”

Ryan Embree: Right? And that’s, and as long as that stays the case, OTAs are going to be happy. Hotels should be as well, I mean, they’re gonna get that exposure there and that’s a part of the revenue profile.

Jason Lee: Yeah. I think hotels that have a big, I think there’s a big advantage here because I do feel like long tail, long tail and display ad stuff I think is a real opportunity for hotels. And I think you go in early with that and I think, and I do feel like direct search, I’m searching specifically for a hotel, the amount of data that’s available for that hotel. Um, if you have your GMB, you know, set up, all those things are, man, they’re, they become more, more and more important and they become an incredible revenue source if you, if your lights on and, and you know how that stuff optimized.

Ryan Embree: Right? And you’re and you’re managing it all, that’s what we talk about all the time here. We’ve been talking a lot about what Google has the most of. Um, one thing that Google doesn’t have the most of is consumer trusts. So there was a report out and recent survey that actually said TripAdvisor was chosen as the most trusted source of user generated reviews when it comes to hotels.

Jason Lee: Yeah.

Ryan Embree: So Google now has the numbers, right? And they’ve overpass booking, but how does it gain consumer and traveler trust?

Jason Lee: That’s a really great question because I think TripAdvisor, they made a name for themselves. They’re a Meta engine because of traveler reviews. And because of the amount of time that travelers have been leaving reviews there, and I think it’s set up, the entire site is set up to deliver data based on ranking, based on score, based on feedback. And I, and I think that, I’m not sure if Google is going to go down that road if they’re going to go into uh, into a, hey city ranking! And I know there there’s search ranking stuff that that does play a part, um, in, in reviews. But I, I don’t know. That’s a, that’s a really good question. And you know, you think about the thing, the things that limit TripAdvisor might be the things that are also making it, making travelers trust it. Like the fact that they’re like, “hey, we’re going to put, you can’t just say this, this hotel was great. You have to leave a certain number of characters. There is a minimum number of characters you have to leave and you have to also fill in other pieces of, of Metadata to be able to leave a review on TripAdvisor. And that’s very different than, you know, throwing five stars up and leaving any quantity of texts you want.

Ryan Embree: Right. Which will help you…

Jason Lee: Including emojis by the way!

Ryan Embree: Right. Which will help you with the quantity of reviews. But again, when we’re talking about trust. You know, you want to look at that quality perspective and it’s exactly what you said maybe in TripAdvisor’s, you know, they’ve been trying to kind of infiltrate as far as getting revenue, you know, pushing out to, to OTAs and maybe where they have failed in that they’ve, they’ve created a place and a site that has the most trusted, the most trust between travelers.

Jason Lee: Yeah.

Ryan Embree: You know, it’s not diluted with other things. You know, not saying that Google is, but they have that, that’s not their sole purpose is just reviews. It’s, it’s to get information to the user would with almost like a side of reviews.

Jason Lee: Right. And that review platform that they use, that Google uses is the same platform they use for every one of their businesses trail. It’s not, it’s not travel centric.

Ryan Embree: Okay. So let’s, let’s talk about something that has to do with both TripAdvisor and Google, and that’s responding to reviews. But we’re going to talk about it, uh, in regards to Google reviews recently you forwarded me an article discussing the impact that review response actually has on local SEO. Can you share how responding to reviews on Google can benefit a hotel when it comes to…

Jason Lee: Yeah, so, so again, almost all of SEO is data, you know, so it’s data driven. So the, Google looks at all kinds of things that are, that puts your hotel or your business in a better light, um, and, and could give you better search position. In our case, really it’s about being in Google hotels and where you land there inside of a city. So what the report said is it absolutely rewards businesses that respond to reviews and it has to do with interaction. So the more you interact there, the more Google rewards your business. And it does make sense on all fronts. Google looks for relevance, so they’re always looking for relevant data. And relevant data is substantiated data. So if, if I leave a review and that review is responded to the review and the response are substantiated by the business owner. So those are the kinds of things that Google constantly is looking for validation to say this is legitimate and I’m going to promote that legitimacy. So, so that’s, you know, that’s the technical boring version of it. I think the cool part of what Google has done is that they have, they have made really cool strides in, in making it very easy to respond to reviews. They’ve open source pieces of their API for review response and, and even for review proliferation, um, that make it very easy for, for hotels with the right kind of tools to go ahead and respond to their reviews quickly.

Ryan Embree: So this is a huge opportunity for hoteliers and especially now knowing that Google has overtaken booking as the number one review site. I would, I would almost argue, I mean this, this, this is one of the biggest opportunities for responding to reviews because it directly impacts where you are going to be landing on that search. And if you’re, as we talked about before, if you want to land anywhere on the top of a page of a search, it’s Google. Yeah, right.

Jason Lee: Well and if you look at it from a booking window perspective, and the booking window continues to shorten it, it didn’t take those big jumps like it did a few years ago, but it continues to shorten in terms of the total time between, between when I book and when I stay. Right. But last minute travel is still massive. And so you take that stat of 60% on mobile. And if you are doing a mobile search, you’re doing a last minute, the last minute booking on using mobile search to find a hotel in a location. You’re, it’s like all, it’s a perfect storm of stuff. So you’re talking about the number one review source. It’s the number one Meta site. It’s the easiest place to book. Um, and it’s also where you’re going to probably be at the highest risk of losing a guest to a competitor. On one hand it’s great. On another hand it’s like you gotta you’ve gotta get it together there because a lot of decisions are gonna have to start to be made there more than probably anywhere else.

Ryan Embree: Yeah. It’s potentially huge revenue impacts if not managed properly. And one of the things that makes our review response so unique is the review sentiment and analytics that we provide for hoteliers when we’re responding to the reviews, not just Google reviews, um, but all public review sites. So how can you capitalize as a hotelier, how can you capitalize on the exponential growth of Google reviews, um, into actionable data for your hotel.

Jason Lee: Um, you know, I would say, you know, and I know we do it, but find a source that you can mine that data. So you have the, it’s not just in the score, it’s beyond the score that you got to look. And that is in the elements that make up the text in a review. And those elements are, all those things are, could be things that you are like, “Hey, this is the stuff you’re doing right. This is the stuff you’re doing wrong.” But we’re even finding like that, that it could be one person, it could be your checkin shift, your three to 11 shift that is causing all sorts of problems with service. So understanding that maybe it’s, maybe you leave at five o’clock, right? And from, from you know, 5:01 to 11 o’clock, you’ve got someone at the front desk that’s just making everyone angry. Uh, or it could be that one housekeeper that just doesn’t clean rooms. Right? Um, you knowing that information, not, not discarding it, taking that information in. And even if you just read it yourself and you make a little, you make a chart and you write down every time you see something and try to like pinpoint it back to a guest or pinpoint it back to a time where you can fix it. I mean, that’s everything. And, and I, and the reason why is because that, that we see all the time a trend that then, and one of the things we look at is month over month trends. Inside of that, those data points like bathroom cleanliness, room odor, service, all of those things lead you to a place where you can take action and hopefully fix something. And it could be something real small, like one single person and that one, that one shift, um, makes your reviews better, it makes you more attractive to travelers. And it also creates repeat business. It’s all of the things you want. Um, and you now have a data source that can give it to you.

Ryan Embree: Absolutely. And it’s, it’s leveraging that that’s really gonna help your business. And it’s what you said too when you mentioned that five star review potentially having some negative traits to it. Um, you know, it’s, it’s not something where you can just sit down and say, all right, I’m going to filter by one-star reviews and really figure out where my problems are. No, you need to look at the three star. Why is it a three star? What’s preventing that three star from becoming a five star? Is it something like you said, is it a, is it a person, uh, in one particular shift? Is there a trend? There is, it may be fixing the breakfast up a little bit. So every single star rating is important. And, and if you’re not taking a long look at it, then you’re kind of driving without headlights when it comes to making decisions at the property.

Jason Lee: Well especially because the data’s there for you. You know, it’d be one thing if you were like trying to diagnose it yourself through like focus groups and you’re like pulling people. It’s, that’s one thing, but like the fact that people were willing to leave you feedback and give you information about their stay. Why, why, you know, why discard that? Why, why not pay attention to that?

Ryan Embree: Yeah and sometimes you know, you get kind of glossy eyed when you’re sitting there at the, on the other end of a computer screen having to respond to 20 reviews a day and that stuff just gets lost. You can’t, you can’t balance all of it. Or maybe you do a great job of it in one month and then, and again just you see it more of a task then what you said, a blueprint for travelers really telling you, you know, what’s great about your business and what’s costing you revenue. In the end, if somebody was giving you a report every single month at the end of that month telling you this is the things we need to fix and those are the things that are, that we need to market for our hotel, you would want that. And that’s what reviews are. You just got to kind of compile it in a way that’s going to help you out.

Jason Lee: Well and I think the value of a guest in that, you know, so it can go back to what you’re paying to acquire guests, but the value of a guest goes far beyond the room revenue that they’ve given you and beyond this one stay. So if they have a good stay, they’re going to come back and stay with you again. But you also have like this other part of it where you have the bad stay and they leave a bad, they leave a bad review and it influences other guests. So you have this negative kind of downward spiral or you have a great day and they leave a positive view and influences guests on the other side. And it becomes, they become an advocate of your product and continue to come back to your hotel. Those are these bigger tenants of reputation, but also of hotel operation and taking a guest and not saying, “hey, they booked through Expedia and I’m not getting my money right away. So whatever with them, they, you know, they left me a review and I, you know, and I don’t really care. And that guy and that guy can never stay with me again and I’m fine with that.” Yeah.

Ryan Embree: But the cost of acquisition is so high now, why would you not? Why would you not try to create an advocate? Like you said, not just during your stay but after the stay and you know, leverage all you can out of them because that’s, you know, they, they want value too when it comes to their say, so. I know you were a GM before and have a lot of hotel industry experience, so I’m putting you back on the spot as a hotelier, what advice would you give a hotelier or the way that you’re approaching Google and Google reviews moving forward with your individual property?

Jason Lee: I would 100% if you do not have control of your GMB or Google My Business page, if that Google my business page is controlled by your brand, get communication access immediately. Figure out how to get that and get it. Now. Um, if you, whatever access you can get, the highest that you can get, the better because you should be able to get on there, get images, get good images on there. Cause those are the images that are showing up in Google hotels as well. So get in there, get that, get those right. Um, make sure you have all your amenities right. Make sure you’re, you’re, you know, you can put check in and check out times on there and you can, you can have multiple categories in there. You can have all your amenities in there, you’re gonna have ADA stuff in there, make sure all of that stuff is correct and then get in and start to, um, respond to reviews.

Jason Lee: So the review response console inside of Google, my business is super, super simple. And there’s also a bunch of other really cool features inside there, including chat. You can actually from GMB download an app and you can chat with guests if you want to open that up. So there’s a lot of things inside of that console in that portal. Another thing, if you’re an independent property and you have a PMS that is, that has the ability to serve up rates, I would definitely get with, with Google and see if you can, or get with your PMS provider and see if they can interface with Google. Having your rates and availability directly on Google is extremely important and it’s really smart brands are doing it, but the way they’re doing it is kind of funky. They’re doing it through the GDS. So if you could have a direct connect and a lot of independent properties are doing this, so independent properties for sure. Make sure that happen. If you’re a brand, make sure you get control of that page, at least it at least for access, general access.

Ryan Embree: Google also provides some pretty cool analytics as far as once you create that website too.

Jason Lee: Definitely.

Ryan Embree: I know that we use that with our website solutions as far as you know, getting in there and doing some, some really cool stuff with that. Data and analytics.

Jason Lee: Yeah, if you tie those two together. If you tie the Google My Business data together along with Google Analytics, you can see a lot of really cool action.

Ryan Embree: Very powerful.

Jason Lee: Yup.

Ryan Embree: We all know we use Google on a daily basis, but you need to be leveraging that to the fullest. Now, especially more than ever because it is the number one review sites. So, Jason, I will go ahead and thank you. Thank you for being on the show with us.

Jason Lee: Wait Ryan, one more thing, one more thing. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be afraid of it and don’t, there’s so many articles that are saying it’s the, it’s a ferocious beast that’s going to put people out of business. Don’t do not be afraid of this. Dive in, get into it and make it happen because it’s, it’s, I think it’s about the guest. It’s always take it back to the guests is where guests are gonna start their search.

Jason Lee: Alright, sorry. That’s the last thing I wanted to say.

Ryan Embree: No, that’s a great point. You know, go in and leverage it and you know, if you need help with doing that, that’s, that’s where our specialty lies at Travel Media Group. So Jason and his product team have done an amazing job of, of being able, that’s why he’s an expert on it is he knows how to go in and from a hotelier standpoint knows how to leverage your Google listing to the fullest. So if you are looking for help on not only Google reviews but responding to any public reviews, please contact us. You can reach us at (407) 984-7455. Thank you so much for listening in the Suite Spot and we’ll see you next time.

Ryan Embree: To join our loyalty program, be sure to subscribe and give us a five-star rating on iTunes. Suite Spot is produced by Travel Media Group. Our editor is Anne Sandoval with cover art by Bary Gordon and content support by Priscilla Osorio. I’m your host, Ryan Embree, and we hope you enjoyed your stay.




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