Where do you go when you need an answer to a question? Most likely Google. This search engine can answer any question you have (or several). The same is true while looking for lodging for your upcoming trip: Google is ready and waiting for you, ready with thousands of possibilities.
More than 3 billion searches for hotels are made on Google each month. You shouldn’t pass up this fantastic opportunity if you own holiday rentals. Depending on how successfully you position yourself online, you might be able to convert those searches into customers.
Using Google My Business to promote your vacation rental is ideal. Setting up a Google My Business account for your vacation rental is crucial if you want to improve your chances of showing up on the first page of search results. To find out more about this tool, keep reading!
Google My Business: What is it?
You can build a profile for your vacation rental on Google My Business (GMB), a free tool provided by Google, to improve your online visibility. From there, you may add information about your property, like a description, the address, pictures, services provided, contact details, user reviews, and even your nightly prices.
Your GMB profile shows up when someone performs a direct Google search for your property (which is why it’s crucial to give your vacation rental a nice name) or searches for a service (in this case, lodgings or vacation rentals) in your neighborhood. In the latter scenario, Google Maps search results will also include your vacation home.
Requirements for vacation rentals on Google My Business
You might be curious. What are the prerequisites for creating a listing on Google My Business? The requirements set forth by Google in this regard are unambiguous: a business must employ a person to deal directly with customers during regular business hours to qualify for a GMB profile.
Google does, however, exclude some businesses. “Properties for rent or sale, such as holiday homes, display homes, or vacant apartments” are among them. Does this imply that I cannot list my business on GMB as a proprietor of a holiday rental? Not exactly.
The gray area becomes relevant in this situation. You can list your company on Google under a variety of categories that are associated with holiday rentals, including “tourist apartments,” “vacation accommodation services,” “non-smoking vacation home,” and “cabin rental.” Similar to this, prominent accommodations like hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfasts also have their category in GMB.
The question of whether or not I can promote my vacation rental on Google My Business still exists. Yes, but under particular circumstances:
- Place a sign or branding plate at the entrance to your property.
- Provide a 24-hour front desk service
Google wants to ensure that businesses advertising vacation rentals are reliable with a solid business plan. Because of this, hotels are subject to the same limitations as vacation homes.
Because Google creates your GMB profile automatically, they have a very high entry barrier. The map browser would be filled with thousands of private residences that only occasionally provide short-term rental services if they allowed anyone to join without any sort of screening process.
Despite this, Google does not have enough agents to confirm that each company listed on GMB satisfies all requirements. However, suppose your accommodation doesn’t fit the bill and you need help from Google My Business personally. In that case, they will likely deactivate your account after finding out that you’ve broken their rules. Be cautious!
Google does, however, constantly adjust its restrictions. Take, for instance, the recent addition of holiday rentals to Google Travel. Therefore, it’s always possible that these specifications will alter in the future.
Creating a GMB profile
You must first create a Google account to create a GMB profile. If you already have one, just do the following:
- Click “Manage Now” on the Google My Business website by going here.
- your Google account by logging in
- Select “Add your company to Google.”
- Fill in the following field
- Business category Name of the company.
- You can choose from a long list of alternatives located here. The finest categories for you as a vacation rental owner might be “tourist apartment,” “cabin rental,” or “bed and breakfast.” Changing the category or adding new ones to your company is always an option.
- Increase the services you provide to your customers (for example; cleaning or airport pickup)
- Location. Please be aware that Google Maps will display this address.
- Web address and phone number for contact
- Activate “Finish”
- Select the verification technique of your choice (we’ll go into more detail later).
What is the main Google My Business category for holiday rentals?
As discussed, Google lets you select the categories that best describe your company. On Google My Business, holiday rentals often fall under one of three categories: vacation rental, home agency serviced accommodation or cabin rental.
Although Google allows you to select up to nine subcategories, the first one is the most crucial. You can include more than one category.
You risk not ranking for your first category, which is the most crucial one if you include too many subcategories. The first thing customers see when your company appears on Google is this. Furthermore, compared to some of your subcategories, the first category you listed is far more likely to appear when people search for it.
How to add your vacation rental to Google Maps
Google is the industry leader in both addresses and text, voice, image, and video searches (Google owns YouTube). In the United States, Google Maps is the standard map browser. Your vacation rental will instantly show up on Google Maps if you have a profile on GMB.
It involves more than just having your property appear on the map. Additionally, visitors will have no trouble finding your property and following directions to the precise place without any issues.
You can access all “vacation rentals near me” searches by being visible on Google Maps, which will enable you to enhance domestic tourist reservations.
Once you’ve created your GMB account, your vacation rental will instantly display on Google Maps, so you don’t need to worry about doing anything else.
Google My Business and Google Travel have different features.
With so many options available, it can be challenging to distinguish between Google’s various products, not to mention the several businesses it owns, like Youtube, Waze, and Android. Some proprietors of vacation rentals find it difficult to stay on top of the greatest venues for advertising their company.
It is advisable to list your firm on Google My Business and Google Travel because both are advantageous to your company, and there aren’t any current limits on joining up for both.
What is the difference, then? The specificity, to put it simply. All businesses across all sectors can use Google My Business. The tourist sector, and more specifically, the vacation rental sector for our purposes, is the focus of Google Travel.
Both services are currently absolutely free to sign up for and are intended to draw in new customers. Read our article on Google Travel for holiday rentals for additional details.
Your vacation rental reviews on Google My Business
Your vacation rental business can profit greatly from Google reviews. Reviews can increase the worth and credibility of your resort, which aids prospective guests in choosing one lodging over another. Additionally, it gives you a chance to observe what your visitors think of your establishment and learn from it so that you may improve.
Although having a Google My Business profile is essential for visibility; reviews are what convert these people into visitors.
The rating scale for Google reviews ranges from 0 to 5. You can check the overall star rating for your profile, calculated from all the reviews you’ve received. You may also view each user’s unique comments beside their rating.
Although it’s usually preferable to have no bad reviews, Google gives more weight to the number of reviews than to their caliber. A few wordy negative reviews might be given more weight than a 5-star one that simply says, “Great place to stay!” Of course, no one likes negative reviews, but in the end, what matters is the overall rating and the number of reviews your vacation rental receives. Your company will be seen as more legitimate if you have more ratings.
In any event, it’s critical to understand how to remove reviews that can be damaging to your company.
How to eliminate unfavorable Google reviews of your holiday home
Unfortunately, Google does not let you easily delete a review. In the end, it’s helpful information for customers looking for high-quality services, and it would be dishonest if a company just had fabricated favorable reviews.
Even while you can’t completely remove a bad review, there are certain things you can do. This are our advice:
React to the evaluation
By politely responding to critical comments, you can help other users understand your side of the story and prevent misunderstandings. If other factors made the guest experience less than ideal, you could always try to set things right and explain how you intend to do so in your answer.
The review should be “inappropriate” flagged.
You can designate it as an inappropriate review on your profile. When Google receives the information, it will carefully consider each instance to determine whether or not it needs to be taken down.
If the review wasn’t removed after you flagged it as inappropriate and it hurts your business, gets in touch with Google for more individualized help in solving the issue.
How to confirm your Google My Business account
Google will prompt you to verify your account after you’ve completed the preceding forms for account creation. Postal mail is the most typical method. Google will do this by mailing a letter to the address you provided. Following that, you’ll get a code to activate your Google My Business profile. It’s vital to remember that until the verification process is complete, your business won’t be accessible on Google My Business or Google Maps.
The verification card may take up to 13 days to arrive by post. Contact Google My Business to request another copy of the letter or to learn more if, after 14 days, you haven’t received it.
You can always contact the Google Ads line at 1-866-246-6453 and enter the extension code to speak with the Google My Business staff, even if GMB doesn’t have a dedicated phone number.
Once your account has been verified, you may begin changing your GMB profile by adding more information about your accommodations, including images, describing your extra services, and more. Additionally, you can grant new people access to reports and data on your Google performance (i.e. visits, clicks, etc.).
Advantages of utilizing Google My Business
Google is used for 88.45% of searches in the United States. You essentially don’t exist online if you’re not well-positioned on this search engine. Therefore, you must make use of any tool, like GMB, that aids in boosting your online visibility.
What are the benefits of creating a listing on GMB for your vacation rental business now that we’ve seen how it functions?
Boost the Google exposure of your company
Google introduces fresh updates to the way they present results every week. It appears to be getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd as adverts get increasingly “camouflaged” among organic search results.
Having a GMB profile is crucial for this reason. The ad for your lodging will take up more than half of the computer screen and be to the right of the search results (not in the middle of them). Adding photographs will make your profile more appealing and eye-catching for potential clients.
Your GMB profile will show up above any other results when someone searches on their phone (organic or paid searches). Your visibility is so assured. Since this information will be the first thing users see when searching for your business, keeping it all up to date, only utilizing high-quality photographs, and responding to all reviews will be even more crucial.
Acquire credibility online
Consider someone discovering your vacation property on a website for online travel, such as Airbnb, Booking.com, or Vrbo. They might decide to do a bit more research before making a reservation. They’ll most likely go to Google and directly enter the name of your vacation rental or address. What will they uncover?
You must have a website for your company to provide your potential customers with an amazing experience. After taking care of your website, you’ll need to look after your GMB listing. As previously mentioned, your GMB profile provides guests with pertinent information about your lodging, including the address, services, images, and reviews.
Positive ratings and more bookings are both aided by attractive photographs. For some potential guests, this fact might be the decisive factor. Even unfavorable comments might increase your credibility if you respond to them politely and honestly.
The more information you can share regarding your visit, the better. In the end, this affects your total online reputation.
Give a fast way to reach you
Contact information is the most crucial piece of information you can include in your Google My Business profile. You can contact me at this phone number as well. When potential customers look for your company on their phones, they can call you by simply clicking on your profile. Then, perhaps you can address any more queries they may have and secure a booking!
Takeaways: Why should I set up a Google My Business page for my vacation home?
Google My Business is a great technique for increasing your vacation rental’s visibility on Google and establishing credibility across the internet. Another crucial resource for hospitality and tourism businesses is Google Maps, which can be accessed by creating a GMB profile.
Don’t forget that to receive all the wonderful features; you must authenticate your account. You can obtain verification by installing a permanent notice at the building’s entry and providing a 24-hour reception service.
After fulfilling these conditions, you should quickly develop your Google My Business profile. Remember that not being on Google is the same as not being on the internet!