Google My Business is a must-have for tour operators who want to expand their online presence, gain local visibility and receive more bookings.
Having your business listed on Google in addition to a website ready to receive online bookings, is the perfect combination to boost your reservations.
If you don’t believe me, check out these numbers.
According to BrightLocal:
In 2020, 93% of US consumers searched online for a local business. From these, 34% searched every day, while 73% searched weekly (up from 70%).
Another study by Google and PhocusWright found out that:
In 2018, 45% of smartphone users in the UK and 44% in France are comfortable researching, booking, and planning an entire trip using only a mobile device.
In other words, many people find all the relevant information about local businesses on their phone. It wouldn’t be different for a traveler researching things to do at a location.
It’s not for nothing that all businesses in tourism want to be listed on Google, right?
Google My Business is perfect for tour operators in need of brand awareness.
If you are not on Google or anywhere online, how do you expect people to come across your business?
We mentioned that almost everything one wants to know is on Google, right?
People rely on Google for answers. That’s how people find out about different services and products.
Precisely for this reason, and of course, because Google My Business is free, don’t waste more time! After reading this article create your listing and tell me later if you noticed any difference in the number of online bookings coming in through your website.
Google My Business is a free business listing tool developed by Google. With it, you can choose how your tour business appears on Google products, mainly on Gooogle local search results.
The tool was developed so businesses could stand out, making it easier for people to find the best provider for their needs. Basically, it’s a free business listing.
Someone googles “tours in Paris”. Under a map there will be a list of businesses that fulfill this query.
Along with the business name, you can also see helpful information, such as business rating, type of business, location, contact information, and useful links (including website).
Another example is if someone searches specifically for your business. In that case, on the right side, all the information regarding your business is displayed as follows:
Google My Business is shown in the so-called local 3-pack area of Google results. This is how it looks like:
Once you google a certain term, on the first page of your Google results, you will find the following:
Your goal should be to have your tour business listed in the local 3-pack area for relevant search terms.
And you can do it for free.
Before you get started, Google My Business is constantly changing. For that reason, you might want to read the Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google.
An important thing to mention is that only businesses can be listed.
However, if you are a tour operator or tour guide working high-season only, you are eligible as long as you display permanent signage year-round at the location.
You must be asking yourself “How to list my business on Google?”. Hold your horses, we will get back to that in a second.
First, let’s make it clear what an optimized Google My Business listing can do for tour operators and tour guides:
Sounds great, isn’t it? By the way, have I already said it’s a free tool?
Now, let’s get down to business.
The first thing you should do before setting up your account is to check if your business already has a profile on Google.
1. Go to Google.com/maps.
2. Search for your business.
3. If the query returns a result with an address next to it, this means your Business Profile already exists.
In that case, you should request the ownership of your business profile.
If you were not able to find your business in Google Maps, that means you need to sign up for a Google My Business account and start your profile from scratch.
Start by logging in to your Google account and then click here. Done that, you should fill in the required information:
This video might help you with that.
Once you have accessed your new account, make sure to complete all the extra fields available. It’s very important that your listing is as complete as possible and filled with relevant keywords.
Don’t stuff your listing with keywords! Otherwise, you could be penalized by Google’s algorithm.
The final step is verifying the ownership of your business. Here’s a link on how to do this.
Congratulations! You have successfully listed your tour business on Google My Business.
Now go back and review all the information you’ve entered and how your listing looks like live. Double-check to make sure that you have entered the correct data across all Google products.
Creating a Google My Business listing isn’t enough to be found by your ideal customers. You need to make sure your profile is complete, updated, and optimized.
Do the following in order to have an optimized profile in Google:
Another great thing about Google My Business is that you can upload 360degree photos with Street View. This feature not only helps customers locate business but also makes your listing more reliable.
Furthermore, don’t assume that this is a one-time setup. No. As I’ve mentioned, you have to keep the information updated and relevant.
Google My Business helps tour operators and tour guides with their online visibility.
Being present in Google’s local 3-pack is a great opportunity to drive traffic to your website and receive direct bookings through an online booking system.
For better results, make sure that your listing is complete and optimized with relevant keywords for your business.
Also, keep it updated and don’t forget to ask for reviews to make your profile stand out from the others.
For extra digital marketing tips, download our free ebook “Comprehensive Guide to Online Marketing in Tourism” and learn how to drive more online bookings after having your business listed on Google.
on July 14, 2021
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