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Google Places Optimization by Hospitality Ambassadors

Google Places optimization is an extremely powerful tool for every type of business which accepts patrons at a physical location. For the hospitality industry in particular, an optimized Google Places listing can lead to immediate & noticeable growth in website traffic and revenue. Everything written in this post is equally effective whether you are a casual or fine dining restaurant or $100-$400 ADR hotel / resort.

How do I find my Google Places listing?

When a search is performed on Google using a term such as “hotels, restaurants, area hotels, area restaurants, or [(city name) + restaurants]” you will see a map as well as a series of “Local Listings” within the organic search results with corresponding red “markers” labeled A, B, C, D all the way to G in some markets. If you perform this search and do not find your business within those listings, you are losing business to the competitors who are listed among them. To find your listing, you need to refine your search using your business name and city. If further refinement is necessary, perform another search using the physical address of your business.

How can I optimize my Google Places page?

The first step is to find, claim and verify your listing. This is done by logging into your Google Account, finding your listing and selecting the on-screen links to tell Google that you are the Business Owner, and then completing the verification process. Google has a fairly strict verification process during which a PIN is provided through either a phone call to the business phone number in Google records, or a postcard sent to the physical address. If you’ve been in business for more than a year, there is a strong chance you already have a Google Places listing which has been created from various sources Google trusts for business information. When these auto-generated listings are clicked by a user who wants to see your Place Page, a full page opens which contains more details about your business, photos, videos (if added during optimization), reviews with links to review websites, and more. In most cases, basic listings are only 25% to 30% complete with general business information. Once claimed, we integrate hand-selected SEO Keywords into your Places Page and tailor all of the customizable fields to help boost your rankings.

What are Google Offers?

Once claimed and verified, you have the ability to post an “Update” to the Wall of your Google Places page which can be displayed for up to 30 days.  This is very similar to the Facebook Status Updates.  You also have the opportunity to customize a special offer which will be visible to potential guests, making your listing more appealing to potential customers. View the screenshots below taken from my smartphone, full site, and from the Google Places Owner Dashboard.