Good Reviews, Bad Reviews – control them with Google My Business
Numbers and facts about the importance of the reviews for the hotel industry:
- “An Italian court handed down a nine-month prison sentence to a person who wrote fake hotel reviews on TripAdvisor in exchange for money from hotels aiming to boost their profile on the giant reviews platform.” Source: Skift
- 127 citations are the average no of citations a hospitality business in position one has (that’s an incredible 48% more than the average local business!)
- 68% of people left a review after a local business asked them to – source: BrightLocal
- 93% of guests think reviews are important in deciding on a hotel room
- 53% of people wouldn’t book a hotel room without a review
- 80% read more than a dozen – source: NetAffinity
Google My Business aims to offer all needed information while keeping you inside the Google universe. While a big part of the decisions about a hotel are made here, the importance of good reviews and pictures submitted by the guests is underestimated.
Img #1: Reviews on Google knowledge panel for Kimpton Rouge Hotel, Washington DC – desktop view
Img #2: Reviews on Google knowledge panel for Kimpton Rouge Hotel, Washington DC – mobile view
Google My Business lists individual review score for rooms, location and service & facilities, reviews aggregated from various sources (we could identify so far reviews from Google, Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz.com, Priceline, Travelocity.com and Tripadvisor).
Img #3: Reviews page on Google knowledge panel for Kimpton Rouge Hotel, Washington DC – desktop view
Generating and managing the reviews
Provide a good service
A good review starts in the hotel, in the experience the guest had. There is not too much to be done in terms of having Google mediating a hotel-guest dispute unless is a case of violating Google’s policy in terms of language, off-topic, or social/political approach (see Google review policies). More indications on how to flag an inappropriate review here
Always, Always respond to reviews
This is important for both good reviews as well as less happy reviews. Learn and fix the issues. Statistics say there are very good chances to gain a loyal customer if the issue he raised is responded and solved. In regards to the fake reviews, it is advisable to try to take them down, but this is not always possible. Add a polite basic reply, this will show your guests you care for guests and for the brand.
Ask your guests for reviews
Add “Thank you” notes and kindly ask your guests for reviews. You can help them by including nicely crafted printed cards in the rooms, at the desk or in the restaurant. Add a QR code for easier usage.
You can even go one step further and subtle suggesting some keywords to be used “How did you like your breakfast? Help spread the news: write a review”.
Manager Research and Development
With a Master of Science in Online Marketing and an Honours Bachelor in IT applied in Economics, Ecaterina has a long experience in user experience design, SEO and SEM, as well as a strong technical background. Starting her career as a web developer helped her understanding SEO and UX from the bottom up. As a consultant at Venere (an Expedia company) she gained experience in the hotel industry which she has been able to actively utilize and expand on at protel. She truly believes that protel can make a difference in the Travel Industry.