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5 Simple Steps to Optimize Local Search for Hotels

The importance of local search optimization has increased dramatically over the past year. Google has rolled out several major changes which caused this to happen, including the release of the Google Carousel.

The Carousel shows up for the vast majority of lodging search terms:

News - Google Carousel 1

Carousel has also been released for mobile browsers:

News - Google Carousel 2

Additionally, there has been the release of Google Hotel Finder:

News - Google Carousel 3

Given how quickly this landscape has changed, we wanted to provide 5 quick tips on how to survive and thrive in the new local search environment.

1.  Have a verified Google+ page

  • Instructions to verify are here.
  • Do not create a new page if a page already exists.  Simply claim & verify the existing page.

2. Make certain that all of the NAP (Name, Address, Phone #) information on Google + is correct

3.  Make certain that the URL is correct

  • Do not use a Vanity URL.
  • Do not use a UTM code in the URL.
  • Shared domains are okay, as long as the URL goes to the most specific page for the property.
  • Verify the URL of your website:
  • Instructions here
  • Optimize categories

4. You're allowed 3 categories

  • For most hotels, you will want to choose "Hotel" as the first category.
  • For Resorts, choose "Resort" as the first category with "Hotel" as the second category.
  • For Hotels with Conference Centers, choose "Conference Center" as the second or third category.

5.  Distribute consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone #) information across the web

  • Google is looking at thousands of other websites in order to verify your business information. Inconsistent information can cause major problems for your local search presence.
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