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.

Seekom helps take Staysouth’s Queenstown accommodation to the world

General Manager: Sonya Archibald

Staysouth has specialised in offering outstanding accommodation in the heart of Queenstown to suit the needs of discerning holidaymakers since 2006. Making its selection of hillside villas, penthouse apartments and lakefront townhouses visible and easy for guests to book requires the support of a world-class property management system – a role that’s been fulfilled by Seekom for the best part of the past decade.

General Manager Sonya Archibald says the accommodation preferences of visitors to Queenstown have changed over the years and even vary from season to season, making it essential to be able to move with the times to meet customer expectations.

“We needed software to be able to grow with us and be flexible to better capture the demands of the market.”

Seekom’s support has helped Staysouth expand its portfolio to manage more than 50 high-quality apartments and villas, all the while maintaining its signature superior standards of service, presentation and customer communications.

As well as exceptional service, Staysouth prides itself on its concierge team of long-term locals who are on hand to dish out insider information on anything from the hottest night spots and best-suited fine dining experiences to general advice on where to shop for a particular item.

Sonya says Staysouth inherited Seekom when it bought the management rights to a villa complex in 2016. However, it wasn’t being used to its full potential to begin with.

“Over time we’ve dug deep to find out what the system can do for us to maximise its functionality – we try to stay ahead of the game.”

Sonya says she appreciates the way the team at Seekom listens to Staysouth’s queries, takes on board suggestions from her team and involves them in beta testing for new features. She says this mutually beneficial working relationship has resulted in new functionality and other improvements that add value for StaySouth, as well as the wider community of Seekom software users.

Many members of Staysouth’s team, from its operations manager to its reservations team, use Seekom in different capacities to make sure that the experience guests have is memorable.

Seekom’s multi-property booking calendar is a vital tool for the team, Sonya says. This allows Staysouth staff to view bookings across their properties and easily understand which ones are available or booked on any given day.

“The booking calendar is what we start the day with – it’s basically my screen saver.”

Sonya says another crucial tool is Seekom’s sales channel manager that enables Staysouth to upload its availability and pricing and then integrate the data with multiple booking websites. When a booking is made on one site the other sites are automatically updated, creating consistency and saving time.

“We couldn’t operate without Seekom’s channel manager. It makes perfect sense to have it as part of the reservation system rather than go through a third-party provider.”

Sonya says she is looking forward to working with Seekom to save her team time by improving the format of the ‘owner report statements' Staysouth issues each month to the owners of the properties it manages on their behalf. These reports provide owners with a summary of their property’s performance, making decision making and financial planning easier.

Another way she plans to streamline operations is by implementing Seekom’s Xero integration, Sonya says.

The future is bright for Staysouth, with a host of improvements on the go to ensure that its high-end accommodation experience in one of New Zealand’s most breathtaking holiday destinations continues to stand out from the rest.

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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.

One of our amazing business development managers will be in touch to showcase our product to you and talk you through how we can help grow your business.

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.