How to get your Google business page

Your accommodation business with a Google business page

Get your Google business page free

Now that we know all the benefits of having a Google+ Business page for your accommodation here are some quick and easy steps to getting yours. (If you don’t know why you should get a Google business page see our earlier blog – what a Google business page can do for you)

If you don’t have a Google business page you can set one up in 10 minutes.

Step 1: You need to visit the Google My Business page https://www.google.com/business/ and select the [Get on Google] button, you will be asked to login which you do using your gmail account (you will need a gmail account).

Google my business page

Google my business page

Step 2: Use the search box to find your business and claim the page, stating you are authorised to manage that business listing.

If Google can’t find your business then click [None of these match – Add your Business].

 

Step 3: When you create a business page for your accommodation you are asked for your business type. IMPORTANT – As an accommodation owner you should choose [Storefront] as your business type, this provides advantages on Google Maps and Local Search.

Google business types select storefront

Google business types as accommodation select “Storefront”

As you set up your Business page you will be asked if you wish to receive a “verify code” by mail – this enables Google to be sure you are where you say you are. You can continue to create the business page and verify later. Your “verify code” can take 1-2 weeks to arrive in the post. You should take advantage of the verify feature as it gives you more options later.

Take the tour of Google My Business and then set up your contact details, location, photos and descriptions, all of which help you thrive on the Google network. It’s as simple as that, you are now Google business ready.

Google is constantly looking for new ways to enable customers to book accommodation via their website so watch this space for news of any developments.

See our earlier blog on the advantages of a Google business page . Don’t forget to add yourself to our Google+ account, our facebook page, twitter or register for our emails.

Posted in Google Business page, Google Hotel Finder, marketing, mobile, online, website | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Google business page – why NOW ?

Google business pages for accommodation owners, claim yours today.

Your accommodation business with a Google business page

Get your Google business page free

A Google business page is a big free internet opportunity for independent accommodation businesses and it’s probably the most important one.

Why? Google uses the information for Google searches and on Google maps. Millions of customers use Google maps everyday and tens of billions of accommodation searches take place on Google every month.

It’s big, it’s free and it gets you seen and it also improves your listing on Google searches. In a related blog we show you how to get your Google business page.

Craigend bed and breakfast on Google business

Craigend Bed and Breakfast Google business page

Still not convinced ?

7 reasons why you need a business page today

1) Get your page before anyone else does

Someone else might register a Google business page in your name. You want to claim what’s yours so get ahead and register it for yourself so you have control over your business page.

2) Get found on Google Maps

Google maps is massive on mobiles and at the top of searches. Millions have downloaded their map app so why not get yourself on the map and catch more potential customers. The vast majority of accommodation businesses will have websites but if you don’t, then a Google business page is even more important.

3) Google make it easy to look great

It’s not just your address and contact details. You can make your page beautiful and ensure you stand out and shine, displaying your best features. Upload your best photos, descriptions and video. Google will make it all look great with their page layout and enhanced street view.

Mobile Google business page

Craigend B&B Mobile Google business page

4) Mobile is key

Google maps is one of the most downloaded mobile phone apps in history and most mobile users make extensive use of these maps on their phone. Your business page ensures you are listed

in the mobile Google map app, next to your neighbours…. who might be ahead of you!

5) Search engine optimisation

It’s a fact, your search engine ranking is improved when you have a Google business page making it easier for customers to find and book you. Your Google business page helps your search engine ranking for various local and generic searches.

6) Use Google Plus to connect with your customers

Get a Google plus account and use it on your business page to share news and engage with customers, tell the world about what you are up to and manage your reputation.

7) Business of the future

It’s expected that Google will soon launch new ways for customers to access accommodation businesses and do bookings. Your business page will be the keystone of your visibility for booking capability in future. It’s easy and quick – so make yourself accessible now, it’s also Mobile, Social and Local…. and yes, it’s FREE!

I would like to get my Google business page show me how.

Don’t forget to add yourself to our Google+ account, our facebook page, twitter or register for our emails.

Posted in Google Business page, Google Hotel Finder, marketing, mobile, online, technology, tips, website | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

TripConnect Instant Booking a Global First

Freetobook is TripConnect Instant Booking’s First Approved Partner – Worldwide first in technology.

TripConnect Premium Partner

TripConnect Premium Partner

Press release (September 15 2014 – Glasgow)

Freetobook, one of the UK’s leading travel technology companies, announced today that it is the first Internet Booking Engine to be a fully approved and certified partner for the upcoming TripConnect instant booking feature from TripAdvisor.

TripConnect instant booking is being developed to increase direct bookings for independent hotels and scheduled to launch officially later this year. This instant booking will enable accommodation owners worldwide to leverage approved connectivity partners, such as Freetobook, to update rates and availability and take bookings directly into their online diary.

The TripConnect instant booking API has been approved and tested and Freetobook will enrol a select few customers in a live beta test ahead of the full launch when the feature will be available to the global independent hotel sector.

Its exciting to be at the forefront of this new development. We are looking forward to getting our customers’ feedback in the first instance before TripConnect instant booking is rolled out globally,” says freetobook’s Director Iain Stewart. “

Other blogs and links about freetobook TripAdvisor connection

What is TripConnect ?

More TripAdvisor reviews automatically

What is Trip Connect the video ?

Posted in instant booking, reviews, TripAdvisor, TripConnect, updates | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Guestlink channel connection

New channel manager link with Guestlink will be live shortly.

Guestlink channel manager connection

Guestlink channel manager connection

Our UK customers will soon be able to access even more distribution.

Guestlink is based in the UK and they power a number of big destination websites. These include golakes and VisitYork . If your accommodation is in any of these locations you can list on their websites subject to their conditions.

UK Channels Manager for Guestlink

Some of the Guestlink Destination Management Areas

This Guestlink connection adds to the growing collection of connections available with freetobook’s channel manager. Keep an eye on our email updates, blog, facebook and twitter pages where we will let you know the go live date.

 

You can already enjoy connections with the following channels on the freetobook channel manager.

Channel Manager

Channel Manager

We continue to grow the connections as our customers are always looking for new ways to be seen and generate bookings.

Our channel manager is a plus service that freetobook customers can opt into. If you don’t yet have an account it’s easy and free to get one today. Join the thousands of properties enjoying our services….find out more at freetobook

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Reply to reviews for a 21% booking boost

Say something back to your customers

TripAdvisor research* finds that accommodation owners that respond to their reviews benefit with more booking enquiries, they say 21% more likely.

Ever been an ignored customer at a coffee bar or restaurant, seen but just not important enough to respond to? Well that’s how it looks when a customer reads your reviews and finds no responses. They have to assume you don’t care as much as the properties that do take the time to respond.

Perhaps you are extremely busy or don’t need the bookings, so just like the coffee bar,  ignored customers will go and find somewhere they believe does care. According to TripAdvisor’s research it’s exactly what happens, they say up to 21% more bookings go to properties that take the time to respond.

When you do answer reviews (both the good and bad) it *shows* …..bang ! right there and then in front of them – this accommodation is engaged, caring, listening. Displaying this level of engagement is of course

Review sharing widget for hotels

quite different from just *saying* it on your website or in emails.  If you really want customers to believe it then you have to find ways of *showing* it. The ability to respond to reviews is a marketing gift so use it to show how engaged you are.

You might not love TripAdvisor but can you afford to ignore them ? They undoubtedly have a vested interest in getting you, the property owner, to engage with their site (respond to reviews) but even with this in mind we still agree that reviews count.

At freetobook we have been developing review and feedback technology for years, you can already tweet, facebook or place your freetobook reviews on your website and of course you can respond to them. Our customers can make full use of these and many more functions in their “Home” tab by clicking “Reviews” on the orange bar. If you are not yet a customer, what are you waiting for? Join up today for free, no risk and let us show you what you are missing at freetobook.

Related blog articles from the past

Share your reviews online for direct bookings

10 Tips on managing good and bad reviews

Customer reviews a winning strategies

Review Express by TripAdvisor

* TripAdvisor press release Sep 3, 2014

Posted in reviews, sales, social media, TripAdvisor, updates, upgrades, winning strategies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

iCal Airbnb Wimdu FlipKey HouseTrip

iCal for Airbnb updates

Airbnb iCal Synchronizer

iCal is a standard format for calendars, it can be used to share date information. Some big companies like Airbnb, Wimdu, FlipKey and others use iCal to receive simple availability data. They use iCal because it is easy and very simple. Because it is a very basic format of data it is also limited.

We have created a way for you to export your availability in iCal format to these big sales systems. So if you already have an account with Airbnb, FlipKey or company that allows iCal import you can register for our iCal service and use freetobook to export your open/closed dates.

synchronise via iCal calendars

Freetobook iCal updater

Because of the simplicity of iCal there are limitations. While you can synchronize open/closed dates you cannot give rates, minimum stays or other data. Another important limitation is the data only goes one way freetobook will give you an availability feed for export but we do not import any data from them. This means Wimdu, FlipKey and other sales bookings need to be added to freetobook to keep your diary up to date.

Freetobook has also created a separate iCal feed for all your bookings. This is a private feed which you can use in your iPhone or other mobile device to keep up with your bookings on the go. Because iCal is a standard format for calendar data there are many ways to view your bookings on different calendars.

Freetobook offers both of these iCal services for our customers you can find them in the TAB”Plus” if you already have a freetobook account. If not why not get one today and start enjoying some of the many fantastic booking solutions provided by freetobook.

Click to find out more about our iCal synchronization

Click to find out more about freetobook channel manager

Freetobook is a Internet Booking Engine with many added services and connections to the world’s biggest sales systems like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, HostelWorld and many others : find out more about freetobook on our home page.

 

 

 

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HostelWorld Channel Manager connected

Channel manager for HostelWorld

Connect to HostelWorld.com

Freetobook channel manager keeps on growing with the new connection to HostelWorld you now get even more distribution. This is great news for Hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, Guest Houses and hotels using freetobook.

(HostelWorld includes Hostels.com and also BedandBreakfastWorld.com)

Hostels will be listed on HostelWorld.com and Hostels.com websites

Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and Guest Houses will be listed on BedandBreakfastWorld.com and also HostelWorld.com

HostelWorld has a comprehensive selection of hostels with over 35,000 places to stay in 180 countries. Take advantage of an extensive affilate network with 3,500 global affilate partners including Lonely Planet and Travellers point.

channel manager for hostels.com

connect to hostels.com

Commission payments to HostelWorld and BedandBreakfastWorld tend to be lower than many of the other worldwide OTAs so you may end up getting more bookings for a lower commission.

Freetobook will continue to add functionality to our channel manager so you get more distribution for less…

bed and breakfast world channel manager

connect to BedandBreakfastWorld.com

If you are already a freetobook customer you can click the PLUS Tab and select channel manager to get these new channels. If you don’t yet have a freetobook account find out more about freetobook here. To find out more about the freetobook channel manager click here.

 

 

 

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Channel Manager News – Agoda added

Agoda added to freetobook’s Channel Manager

Channel Manager Agoda added

Agoda added to Channel Manager

We are always looking for new ways to increase exposure and bookings for clients so we are very happy to announce we have just completed a full integration with Agoda. They are one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and growing very rapidly elsewhere…. all are very good reasons to connect with them.

Key benefits
– a simple and quick registration process via the PLUS tab in freetobook.
– additional bookings from the fast growing Asian markets through the regional market leader.
– a competitive commission rate – all pre-paid by customers meaning low cancellation %.
– increased exposure with their targeted promotions and weekly newsletters (going to 7 million members in 25 languages).

We are really happy to say that our experience thus far of Agoda has been nothing but positive, they are very focused, efficient and friendly.

Click to find out more about the freetobook channel manager.

Posted in bookings, channel management, marketing, sales, updates, website | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Multi Language booking increases your bookings

Direct bookings increase with multilingual bookings

We are already seeing an increase in direct online bookings as a result of the new multilingual online booking process.

Multi Language Online Booking System

Multilingual Booking Engine

Freetobook now has online booking in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese. (More languages will be added.)

When your customers can book in their native language the booking process becomes easier and as a result you get more bookings. This is no surprise as we all want an easy quick way to make a booking.  Booking in your native language greatly simplifies and speeds up the process thereby increasing the number of bookings.

When potential customers book using the freetobook internet booking engine freetobook detects the language of their browser and presents the booking process in their native language or the default language of the property.

Our accommodation owners located in 84 different countries worldwide are benefiting from this new addition to our system, bringing more direct bookings.

Find out more about the languages option or the services offered by freetobook’s online booking system .

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Wearable Internet Booking Engine

Freetobook glasses on the catwalk in Paris.

Check bookings, manage channels, send invoices and emails from your glasses. Freetobook looks at the Internet Booking Engine of the future with this fun one minute video !

Will the future of online booking management look something like this ? Integration with glasses or other wearable technology enables you to manage your bookings on the go.

While it’s slightly tongue-in-cheek we can see the application of wearable technology letting you know how your business is doing.

Posted in marketing, mobile, online, tips | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments