Boost Your Accommodation Business with Google My Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for accommodation providers such as motels, hotels, short-term rentals, and campgrounds. One of the most effective tools to enhance visibility and attract guests is Google My Business (GMB). This article explores how leveraging GMB can benefit your business and provides a clear guide to get started.

Seekom google my business

Why Google My Business Matters:

  1. Enhanced Visibility: A well-optimised GMB profile ensures your accommodation appears prominently in local Google searches. This visibility is key to capturing the attention of travellers and locals searching for places to stay in your area.
  2. Improved Customer Engagement: GMB allows direct interaction with potential guests through reviews, questions, updates, and more. Engaging with customers on GMB builds trust and credibility, encouraging more bookings.
  3. Enhanced Local SEO: By optimising your GMB profile with accurate information, appealing photos, and regular updates, you can improve your local SEO rankings. This means more organic traffic and potential bookings for your accommodation business.

1. Sign Up for Google My Business:

You can now set up and schedule emails to be sent to guests during select time periods. This will be useful for those who want to send messages to guests at key times, perhaps to inform them of visitor rules during event weekends or remind them to keep noise down after midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Sign Up for Google My Business
Seekom google sign in

2. Enter Your Business Details:

  • Provide your business name, address, phone number, and website URL.
  • Select the appropriate business category (e.g., motel, hotel, campground).

3. Verify Your Business:

  • Choose the verification method (usually by phone or mail to your business address).
  • Follow Google's instructions to complete the verification process.

4. Optimise Your GMB Profile:

  • Upload high-quality photos of your accommodations, amenities, and local attractions.
  • Craft a compelling business description using relevant keywords to attract potential guests.
  • Ensure accurate business hours, including any special hours during holidays or events.

5. Utilise GMB Features:

  • Regularly post updates, promotions, events, and special offers to keep your profile active and engaging.
  • Respond promptly to customer reviews and messages to demonstrate excellent customer service and foster positive relationships.
uploaded images to Google bussiness account
how to create GMB

6. Monitor Performance and Insights:

  • Use GMB's insights to track how customers find your business and which actions they take (e.g., website visits, calls).
  • Adjust your strategy based on these insights to continually optimise your GMB presence.

In conjunction with Google My Business profile you can integrate Google Hotel Booking links with your profile. This will help you get bookings directly from the Google Search page. For more information, please visit our fully managed plan option.

If you are confused about what products or services suit your needs better, get in touch with our support team and we will guide you through.

Conclusion: Google My Business is a powerful tool for NZ and AU accommodation businesses aiming to increase their online visibility and attract more guests. By utilising its features effectively—enhancing visibility, engaging customers, and optimising your profile—you can position your business for success in the competitive short term rental market.

Latest changes improve guest communications, save time and paper

American novelist Mark Twain is famously credited with saying “continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection”.

We wouldn’t claim to be perfect at Seekom, but we do aim to roll out regular enhancements that make our leading property management software that little bit more powerful, easy to use and effective for people running accommodation businesses around the world.

The past few weeks have seen the introduction of three small enhancements to help you improve your guest communications and save staff time (and paper!).

Seekom latest improvements

Schedule guest notification emails during event weekends or holidays

You can now set up and schedule emails to be sent to guests during select time periods. This will be useful for those who want to send messages to guests at key times, perhaps to inform them of visitor rules during event weekends or remind them to keep noise down after midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Scheduled emails can be set up in Seekom’s Email Scheduler.
Scheduled emails can be set up in Seekom’s Email Scheduler.
Seekom users can now navigate to the Arrivals & Departures screen and use the Arrivals tab to tick all vehicle registrations they want printed on a single page.
Seekom users can now navigate to the Arrivals & Departures screen and use the Arrivals tab to tick all vehicle registrations they want printed on a single page.
Multiple vehicle registrations can now be printed on one page, for those who want to save paper.
Multiple vehicle registrations can now be printed on one page, for those who want to save paper.

Print multiple vehicle registrations on one page to save paper

Seekom includes a time saving feature that allows you to print the vehicle registrations provided by your guests, for display on their vehicle dashboards during check-in. This smooths the check-in process while also making it easy for you to keep track of which vehicles in your carpark belong to paying guests.

We’ve recently made a small enhancement to this feature to make it possible to print multiple vehicle registrations on a single piece of paper. You can still print registrations individually if you prefer, but this enhancement will be helpful for those who want to save paper by printing multiple vehicle registrations on a page before separating them using your cutting implement of choice to give to customers on arrival.

Multiple vehicle registrations can now be printed on one page, for those who want to save paper.
Multiple vehicle registrations can now be printed on one page, for those who want to save paper.

Plus a small time-saving change on the finance screen

A small change has been introduced on the finance screen to ensure the ‘Paid in by’ field is pre-populated with the name of the lead guest by default. This can still be changed as normal but pre-populating it with the lead guest will save some time in the majority of situations where the guest making the booking is also the person making the payment.

The ‘Paid in by’ field will now have the lead-guest pre-selected on Seekom’s finance screen, saving staff time when entering payments.
The ‘Paid in by’ field will now have the lead-guest pre-selected on Seekom’s finance screen, saving staff time when entering payments.

That’s all for now, but we will have some exciting further changes coming up in the months ahead. Stay tuned and we will be sure to let you know as further enhancements are rolled out.

Leveraging Google Analytics and AI for Boosting Online Bookings with Seekom

As a Seekom customer, you already understand the importance of efficient property management systems (PMS) in streamlining operations for your hotel, motel, campground, or short-term rental business. But did you know that integrating Google Analytics with AI and machine learning features can significantly enhance your online presence and increase bookings? In this article, we will explore how Google Analytics, combined with AI, can help you make data-driven decisions to maximise your revenue.

google AI

The Power of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides insights into your website’s performance. It helps you understand how visitors interact with your site, which pages are most popular, where your traffic is coming from, and how visitors navigate through your booking process. This data is invaluable for making informed decisions about your online marketing strategies and optimising your website for better performance.

Why Seekom Customers Should Care About Google Analytics

  1. Understand Visitor Behaviour: Google Analytics helps you understand your potential guests' behaviour. By analysing data such as the time spent on your site, bounce rates, and the paths visitors take, you can identify areas where your site is performing well and where it needs improvement. Learn more about visitor behaviour analysis and reports.
  2. Track Marketing Campaigns: You can track the performance of your marketing campaigns and see which ones are driving the most traffic and bookings. This allows you to allocate your marketing budget more effectively. Learn more about tracking campaigns.
  3. Optimise Conversion Rates: By understanding where visitors drop off in the booking process, you can make necessary adjustments to improve conversion rates. This might involve simplifying the booking process, improving page load times, or making your site more mobile-friendly. Learn more about conversion optimisation.
  4. Audience Insights: Gain insights into the demographics, interests, and locations of your website visitors. This information can help you tailor your marketing messages and offers to better meet the needs of your target audience. Learn more about audience insights.

Incorporating AI and Machine Learning

Google Analytics has evolved to include advanced AI and machine learning capabilities, providing even deeper insights and predictions.

  1. Predictive Analytics: AI can help predict future trends and behaviours. For example, it can forecast booking patterns, allowing you to prepare for peak periods and optimise pricing strategies. Learn more about predictive analytics.
  2. Enhanced Segmentation: Machine learning algorithms can automatically segment your audience based on their behaviour and characteristics. This allows you to create more personalised marketing campaigns that resonate with different customer groups. Learn more about enhanced segmentation.
  3. Anomaly Detection: AI can detect unusual patterns in your data, such as sudden drops in traffic or spikes in bounce rates. This enables you to quickly address issues before they impact your bookings. Learn more about anomaly detection.
  4. Personalised Recommendations: Machine learning can analyse past behaviour to provide personalised recommendations to your website visitors. This can enhance the user experience and increase the likelihood of bookings. Learn more about personalised recommendations.

How to Get Started

  1. Set Up Google Analytics: If you haven’t already, set up Google Analytics on your Seekom-integrated website. Follow the step-by-step instructions provided by Google to ensure it’s configured correctly. Set up Google Analytics.
  2. Define Your Goals: Determine what you want to achieve with Google Analytics. This could be increasing bookings, understanding visitor behaviour, or improving marketing ROI. Learn more about setting goals.
  3. Regular Monitoring: Make it a habit to regularly monitor your Google Analytics reports. Look for trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Learn more about monitoring reports.
  4. Utilise AI Features: Take advantage of the AI and machine learning features in Google Analytics. Explore the predictive metrics, audience insights, and personalised recommendations. Learn more about AI features.
  5. Continuous Optimisation: Use the insights gained from Google Analytics to continuously optimise your website and marketing strategies. Implement changes, track their impact, and adjust accordingly. Learn more about continuous optimisation.

Conclusion

Incorporating Google Analytics with AI and machine learning into your Seekom-powered website can provide significant benefits for your business. By understanding visitor behaviour, optimising your booking process, and leveraging predictive insights, you can make data-driven decisions that enhance your online presence and increase bookings. Start harnessing the power of analytics today and watch your business thrive.

For more tips and insights, stay tuned to our blog on maximising the potential of Seekom and other powerful tools in the short-term rental industry.

At Seekom, we specialise in boosting your online presence through bespoke SEO and optimal web design services tailored specifically for the accommodation and hospitality sector.

Whether you're enhancing an existing website or creating a new one from scratch, our expert team provides comprehensive support at every step.

Ready to elevate your website's performance? Contact us today to learn how our customised web design and management services can revolutionise your digital strategy, turning casual browsers into loyal guests.

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Note: Something you may not know, is that we also build websites. Many of our customers have Seekom built, fully managed websites which we maintain, including SEO management. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, get in touch.

Simplify your accounting with our Xero integration for Seekom

The start of a new financial year is the ideal time to streamline your accounting processes.

If you’re one of our Seekom users who also harnesses Xero accounting software, you can set yourself up for a smooth-sailing tax ride by using our time-saving Xero integration.

This integration can reduce double-handling of invoices at the end of the tax year and simplify accounting reconciliation processes.

Xero integration for Seekom

Match payments with invoices automatically

One of the beauties of our Xero integration is its ability to take the hassle out of matching payments with invoices.

With the click of a few buttons you can match all reconciled payments in Xero with the relevant invoices in Seekom iBex, giving you a clear idea about which invoices have outstanding fees associated with them.

This will give you full visibility of which invoices have been paid and reconciled in either system – less cross-referencing required.

Invoice and credit note consistency

Want to ensure all your invoices and credit notes display with the same key information in both Seekom and Xero?

When Seekom is synced with Xero you can rapidly create invoices and credit notes and link them to Xero from their Seekom invoice number, pulling across the invoice number, invoice date, due date and booking reference number from Seekom all in one go.

Financial hygiene: confirm your invoices and credit notes are linked

Our Xero integration includes an ‘Invoices report’ to help you ensure all your Seekom invoices have been replicated and linked in Xero. This report highlights the invoices that have not been linked to Xero, giving you a handy to-do list to follow up on.

Xero integration guide for Seekom users

Want to save time with our Xero integration? Find out how by reading our helpful guide on setting up our Xero integration in Seekom.

Elevating Your Accommodation Business’ Website: A Guide to SEO Best Practices for Motels, Hotels, Campgrounds, and B&Bs

In today’s digital age, the success of accommodation businesses hinges significantly on their online presence.

Most travel planning and bookings occur online, making it crucial to stand out in search engine results.

At Seekom, we’ve curated essential search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices to enhance your website’s performance and visibility among prospective guests.

Guide to SEO Best Practices for Motels, Hotels, Campgrounds, and B&Bs

The Foundations of a Winning Accommodation Website

Effective Communication and Strategic Use of Keywords

A non-negotiable for any successful website is clear, understandable language – it’s your digital handshake.

Beyond communicating clearly with the people browsing your website, you also need to make sure your site wins the favour of Google and other search engine algorithms to ensure it appears early in the results when someone is searching for accommodation in your area.

That’s where keywords come in – these are specific terms like “Nelson accommodation”, which potential guests might type into a search engine to find you.

Integrating keywords effectively into your website content is pivotal for improving SEO. This, combined with compelling headlines and subheadings that incorporate these keywords, will encourage visitors to explore your site.

Structured Navigation and Imagery

Your website should serve as an inviting virtual tour of your property.

Utilise ‘H1’, ‘H2’, and ‘H3’ tags for headings on your website to organise your content clearly – H1 is used for main titles, H2 for section headings, and H3 for sub-sections.

This structured use of headings not only aids in streamlined navigation but also improves SEO by helping search engines understand the hierarchy and importance of the information on your pages.

Complement this layout with imagery that showcases your facilities, each accompanied by descriptive alternative text (usually added in the ‘alt text’ field for images in your content management system when you upload them). This alt text is a brief description that not only helps search engines understand the image content but also enhances accessibility for people using screen readers.

Calls to Action and Content Depth

The effectiveness of ‘calls to action’ (CTAs) on your website cannot be overstated. Each page should guide visitors towards interacting with your services, either by making bookings or enquiring further.

Having enough useful content on your pages helps ensure they are useful and have adequate ‘content depth’ for Google and other search engines to rank them highly. Adequate content depth – typically around 800 to 1,000 characters per page – provides search engines with sufficient context to effectively determine the content of your site and display it in the search results for prospective visitors.

The Impact of SEO and User-friendly Content on Visitors and Bookings

By incorporating clear communication and these SEO elements, you can create a website that's easy to find, engages and informs visitors, and reflects the unique qualities of your hospitality brand. In doing so, you will increase your chances of transforming casual browsers into booked guests.

Remember:

  • Enhance your SEO: By incorporating targeted keywords and providing valuable, engaging content, you can improve the visibility of your accommodation on search engines, attracting more organic traffic.
  • Improve the user experience: Clear, informative content and easy navigation enhance the user experience, reducing bounce rates and encouraging visitors to explore your accommodation website further.
  • Drive conversions: Direct CTAs and streamlined booking processes reduce barriers to booking, leading to higher conversion rates.
  • Build trust: Providing detailed information about your accommodation, from room types to local attractions, builds trust with potential guests, making them more likely to book.

Applying SEO Strategies: Best Practices and Tips

As we delve into how to optimise various pages of your site, remember that the key to effective SEO and a quality website is not just in the technical application of this advice, but also in maintaining a consistent tone and style that reflects your brand.

Regular updates and a focus on adding value for your visitors are crucial for keeping your content relevant and engaging.

Apply these principles diligently, and you'll see tangible improvements in how your site performs both in search rankings and user engagement.

Homepage: Optimising Your Homepage for Maximum Impact

Your ‘Homepage’ is your digital front door, setting the tone for your visitor’s experience. Here’s how to make it compelling:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Start with an upfront headline (using the H1 tag) that encapsulates your essence, like “Welcome to Sunshine Motel: Your Relaxing Retreat in Nelson”. Ensure your headline includes a primary keyword, such as "Comfortable and Affordable Motel in [Location]", to optimise it for search engines.
  • Introduction: Craft a brief but vibrant introduction that showcases what makes your accommodation unique. For instance: "Step into the warmth and charm of Sunshine Motel, your go-to haven in Nelson. Offering cosy rooms, top-notch amenities, and a prime location just steps from the sandy shores, we promise an unforgettable stay at unbeatable value."
  • Structured sections: Organise your homepage with subheadings (using H2 tags) for sections like 'About Us', 'Our Rooms', and 'Facilities'. For example, under ‘About Us’, highlight your history and commitment: “Family-owned since 1998, Sunshine Motel prides itself on creating a welcoming atmosphere where every guest feels at home. Our dedicated team goes above and beyond to ensure your stay is comfortable and memorable.”
  • Content flow: Guide your visitors seamlessly through the page. Start with a welcoming introduction, showcase your amenities and rooms, and lead them towards making a booking.

This method efficiently highlights your accommodation's unique selling points – location, value, and personal touch. By including relevant keywords and crafting an inviting, user-friendly layout, it boosts SEO and engages potential guests. This approach addresses their main concerns: comfort, convenience, and a memorable experience.

Booking Page: Crafting an Effective Booking Page to Convert Visitors

Your ‘Booking page’ is where interest turns into action. To optimise it for higher conversions, consider the following:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Use a clear and inviting headline (using the H1 tag), such as “Book Your Stay at Sunshine Motel”.
  • Booking instructions: Streamline the booking process with simple, step-by-step instructions. For instance: "Select your dates, pick your preferred room, and complete your booking effortlessly. Enjoy peace of mind with our flexible cancellation policies and ensure the best rates by booking directly with us."
  • Important details: Clearly provide information about cancellation policies, payment methods, and other booking-related details. This transparency helps build trust and manage expectations.
  • CTA – call to action: Prominently display a ‘Book Now’ button, encouraging immediate booking. For example, use an inviting phrase like “Book Now – Start Your Nelson Getaway Today” to create a sense of excitement and urgency.

This streamlined approach reduces booking obstacles, prompting guests to easily complete reservations. A clear, prominent CTA and detailed information about policies and benefits effectively address common concerns, boosting conversion chances.

Simplifying the booking process and highlighting benefits such as flexible policies and competitive rates enhances the user experience and encourages bookings.

Contact Us: Optimising the Contact Us Page for Enhanced Guest Interaction

Your 'Contact Us page’ is vital for establishing a connection with potential guests.
Here’s how to make it inviting and effective:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Start with a headline (using the H1 tag) that’s both inviting and clear, like “Get in Touch with Sunshine Motel”. This directly encourages communication.
  • Diverse contact methods: Offer various ways to get in touch, such as phone, email, and an online contact form. For instance: "Got questions? We’re eager to assist! Reach out to us at [Phone Number], drop us an email at [Email Address], or simply fill out our contact form. We're excited about making your Nelson visit exceptional."
  • Location map: Embed a Google Map to pinpoint your accommodation's location. This visual aid not only enhances local SEO but also helps travellers easily locate your property and its proximity to major attractions.
  • CTA – call to action: Encourage visitors to contact you for any queries or direct bookings. A welcoming and clear CTA can significantly increase direct guest interaction.

Providing various contact methods caters to diverse preferences, simplifying guest communication. Including a Google Map enhances local SEO and assists in location understanding, aiding guest decision-making. This approach transforms the 'Contact Us page’ into an effective tool for engaging guests and boosting bookings.

Facilities: Showcasing Your Facilities to Attract and Engage Guests

Your ‘Facilities page’ is where you highlight what makes your property special.
Here’s how to showcase them effectively:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Use an inviting headline (utilising the H1 tag) like “Discover Our Amenities at Sunshine Motel”. This sets the tone for what guests can expect during their stay.
  • Vivid descriptions: Provide detailed descriptions of your facilities, emphasising unique features or amenities. For example, you could say: “Immerse yourself in our crystal-clear outdoor pool, stay up to date with free high-speed Wi-Fi, and kickstart your day with a complimentary breakfast. At Sunshine Motel, every detail caters to your comfort.”
  • Quality images: Accompany these descriptions with high-quality images. Ensure each image has a descriptive alt tag, improving SEO and making your site more accessible.

Detailed descriptions alongside quality images effectively display your facilities, providing guests with a clear understanding of what’s offered. Emphasising
amenities like free Wi-Fi and breakfast differentiates you from rivals and influences traveller decisions. This method not only makes your ‘facilities page’ more engaging but also raises the potential for converting visits into bookings.

Accommodation Options: Highlighting Your Accommodation Options to Cater to Every Guest

Your ‘Accommodation Options page’ is crucial for showcasing the variety and uniqueness of your offerings. Here’s how to optimise it:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Begin with a descriptive headline (using the H1 tag) such as “Choose Your Perfect Room at Sunshine Motel”. This immediately informs visitors about the content of the page.
  • Room types and details: Detail each room type, focusing on amenities, pricing, and suitability. For example: “Find your ideal stay, whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple, or with a family. Our King Suite offers luxury and ample space, while our Double Queen Room is perfectly suited for families. Each room is equipped with modern amenities and comfortable bedding, ensuring a memorable stay.”
  • CTA – call to action: Incorporate direct links to book specific room types, making the reservation process straightforward and efficient.

Clear, detailed room descriptions help guests quickly identify their ideal choice, increasing booking chances. Using relevant keywords for room types and amenities improves SEO, attracting more organic traffic to the page.

Local Attractions: Promoting Local Attractions to Enhance Guest Experience

Encourage guests to explore the area by highlighting local attractions:

  • Headline (H1 tag): Use an informative headline (utilising the H1 tag) such as “Explore Nelson Attractions Near Sunshine Motel”.
  • Engaging descriptions: Offer compelling descriptions of nearby attractions, their distance from the motel, and their appeal. For example: "Explore the stunning Abel Tasman National Park right on Nelson’s doorstep, or dive into a myriad of other attractions such as skydiving, white water rafting, and local museums. Our convenient location at Sunshine Motel provides easy access to these and many more spectacular attractions."
  • CTA – call to action: Provide links for more information or to book rooms, aligning a stay with the exploration of these attractions.

Featuring local attractions not only improves the guest experience but also enhances local SEO. Using location-based keywords draws in guests interested in nearby attractions, leading to more booking prospects.

At Seekom, we specialise in boosting your online presence through bespoke SEO and optimal web design services tailored specifically for the accommodation and hospitality sector.

Whether you're enhancing an existing website or creating a new one from scratch, our expert team provides comprehensive support at every step.

Ready to elevate your website's performance? Contact us today to learn how our customised web design and management services can revolutionise your digital strategy, turning casual browsers into loyal guests.

undraw_wireframing_nxyi (2) (1)

Note: Something you may not know, is that we also build websites. Many of our customers have Seekom built, fully managed websites which we maintain, including SEO management. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, get in touch.