If Google was a directory for everything you needed you know about the world today, Google My Business would be the Yellow Pages of the internet age. It's an easy way for tour and activity businesses to get listed on an international, global, always accessible and always updated version of the Yellow Pages.
Google My Business is another directory that all businesses should be listed on. It's part of Google's effort to improve their Local Search feature where users can search for businesses, attractions, restaurants and other services in a given location.
1. Let customers find you online and offline
When thinking about mobile bookings, we know that 2 out of 5 bookings happen in-destination, less than 2 days before the trip.
In reality, it looks a little like this: Your customer checks into their hotel and while checking in, they ask for recommendations for tours and activities they can do during their stay. The receptionist suggests a few activities, your customer nods and forgets most of it by the time he reaches his room. In his room, he connects to the Wi-Fi via mobile and turns on his GPS. He fires up Google and enters the few terms he recalls from the earlier conversation, maybe "boat trip near me" or "food tour this evening".
Companies in the area that are listed on Google My Business will be shown in the search engine results page. Including pictures of your tours and activities will increase the click-through-rate to your website by 42%.
2. Build your reputation
In an industry driven by human interaction, your company's reputation is crucial. First and foremost, companies need to have a professional looking website that tells your potential customers what you're all about.
Google My Business offers users a basic and free website (it's really just one page) where you can pick out a template, upload photos, and write a long or short description of what you offer. If you're just starting out, this is a good way for your business to gain some visibility online.
Another way to establish your reputation is by getting customers to leave reviews about your services online. Google My Business listings will display these reviews whenever customers search for your business.
It's worth noting that while Google My Business will never replace TripAdvisor, it's important to check on your reviews once or twice a month and respond to comments the best you can.
3. Gain customer insights
Google My Business also provides you insights into how customers interact with your business listing on Google. You'll be able to find out who your customers are, how they found your listing and which action they took when they viewed your business listing.
For tour and activity operators who want to know how their businesses fair against competitors, Google My Business compares the performance of your photos to similar businesses. This allows you to benchmark your performance and constantly find ways to improve your presence online.
The best part is that you'll be able to see your performance directly from Google Search.
4. Keep customers updated
Create business posts on Google where you can share upcoming events, product updates, announcements and limited offers online. Whenever someone finds your business listing, they'll also see your recent business posts, perfect for promoting a flash sale or seasonal trip.
Some advice to get started
- Complete your business listing. Business that do so are 29% more likely to secure a customer.
- Get verified. Businesses are considered more reputable when verified by Google.
- Add photos to your listing. If possible, show the front of your store too.
- Review and respond to comments as frequently as possible.
- Join discussions and learn more about Google My Business in the community forum.
- Remember that this is the first step to getting customers to visit your site and make a booking.
Want to optimise website traffic and turn them into booked customers?
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.