Many accommodation providers understand the importance of social media to gain more direct room bookings. However, there are many that are neglecting Google+  in their social marketing strategy – to their detriment.

While many believe that Google Plus is not as intuitive or as interactive as other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and sure, Google+ is a little more difficult to connect with your target audience, it does provide a fantastic ancillary purpose: traffic from Google.

You should look at Facebook as a way to connect with others.

Google+ is a great way to build the credibility online. Because Google verifies your identity through the sign-up process, Google+ pages have a higher importance in Google than most other pages.

When you create your Google+ account, it will ask you to fill in personal information – think of this as your personal profile. Once you have created your Google+ account, you may then create a Google+ Page for your business (Business Page).

To create your Google+ account, go here: https://www.google.com/+/learnmore/profile/

In order to have the greatest impact, you will need two types of links from your website:

a)    one to your Business Page; and

b)    links from each of your website’s Blog/Article pages to your Google+ Profile.

The best way to link to your Google+ Business Page is to have a link to your header of your website linking permanently to it.

If you take it a step further, you can become a Google Author. This means that your photo will appear in Google’s search results as shown below:

Example Google Author

In order to show up in Google’s search results as an Author, you will need to write content in the form of blogs or articles on your website. You will then and have a link in the bottom of your article that links to your Google+ Profile.

To get your profile photo to appear in the search listings you should also ensure that your content is of high quality and relevant. Google loves good quality content. If you are just writing generic, boring content, the chances of you showing-up as an author in Google’s search results is minimal.

You should be very creative when it comes to writing information as an author. For example, you can become a local travel expert providing tips (like the example above). This makes a lot of sense because most travellers these days search the web for information on the area before they actually travel. This means that you have the unique opportunity to connect with them if you are seen to be an expert in your local area. Once you do this, you will be better placed to encourage direct bookings via your website.