New Google Destinations Site: What Hoteliers Need to Know
According to a recent Skift article, Google has changed the game for travelers experiences when it comes to booking hotels. They have secretly released a fully-functional destination site. The new site provides room availability and booking links to your website and OTAs. The good news is this update is expected to help generate bookings through your hotel's site. Not to mention, it now provides a bigger emphasis on your hotel's review score across big-name travel sites. That said, it's time to set goals to receive great reviews and respond professionally to bad reviews.
Google Changes: Before & After
Typically if travelers conducted a hotel search on Google, it would present them with three hotels in the area they searched for. Upon clicking to receive more information or view more hotels, they would have been directed to another related Google Search page. Now, they will be directed to Google's new destination site which is Google Hotel Search. The new Google Hotel Search now provides greater amounts of information about one's hotel on one site.
Your Hotel Summary
Subsequently, Google has been testing hotel-listing search results for months. The new search will redirect you to the new destination site once you select the View Hotels button. Then, the traveler will select the hotel of their choice from the new site. Next, the site will feature prices, reviews, location, an about section, and photos of the property selected. This summary has the potential to help convince travelers that your hotel is the best fit for them. Now, Google offers a clearer call to action that can drive customers to the hotel's website and the hotel's phone number.
With that said, your hotel's reviews are more important than ever. Not only will travelers see reviews from Google, but they can also select to see reviews from individual sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, and your brand (if applicable) all while on the destination site. This means that a traveler can see all of your hotel reviews and ratings without heading to those OTA sites. Be sure that your reviews are performing well because a decline in positive reviews could now heavily influence booking rates. Your hotel reputation relies on what travelers see online. Get started on painting the best picture or your hotel as soon as possible.