Tag: Google

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Help Google Understand Your Website with Microdata

Before your eyes glaze over because we used the word "Microdata", hang in there just a bit longer to see how you can easily help Google (and other search engines) better understand your website. Google Wants Relevant Sites (Really!) Let's start with the idea that Google really wants to present a searcher with relevant and useful search results. Yes, they may have ulterior motives, like selling advertising, but for now, that's not the main point. In order to understand your website, and be able to present the results to the searcher when they are relevant, the Googlebot "crawls" your website, and indexes the content (the words) so it will know what your website is about. The other search engines do something very similar. [pullquote]What if you could help Google know what searches your site should show up for?[/pullquote]What if you could help Google be sure it understands your website (or specific pages) better, so it will more accurately catalog your site, and make it more likely your site would show up for the right searches? That would be awesome, right? Well, that's what we're going to look at today. This isn't new. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been working on it for quite some time, and in 2011 created a site called schema.org for just this purpose. You'll want to visit that link after you finish reading the rest of this post. :^) Let's work backwards from the end result. If you look at search results, you'll see something like the image at right (click for larger view). Where does all that stuff come from? If you've done nothing to your page, it comes from a variety of sources around the web - including directories, review sites, your site, etc. BUT, if you use metadata (or similar things), you may…

Local Listings Critical Under New Google Maps

Search engine experts both within the lodging industry and outside it have already written on the previews of the new Google Maps, announced in May. Most have described the ways the appearance will change, some expressing concern, others joy. Few have taken a hard look at what the new Google Maps will mean about your Google+ Local Listing. [pullquote]If you're not actively using Google+ Local, you will have to change that, for your business to survive.[/pullquote]For the past several years those who deal with online marketing in our industry have stressed the importance of claiming your Google+ Local listing (or its predecessors), completing all the information, uploading photos and videos, etc. With the change to Google+ Pages for the listing, you can add posting regularly to the Page as another requirement. Despite this encouragement, many have failed to claim their listing, or have not updated it regularly. All that must change, if you want your business to survive - let alone prosper. Do you think I'm exaggerating? Take a look at your Google+ business page. You do have a Google+ business page, don't you? Hover your mouse over the top left where it says "Home", and select Dashboard from the pop-out menu. There is only one area of primary interest, for our purposes. Look at the chart called Insights. Near the bottom of that chart, click "View Insights". The boxes at the top tell the tale. The first box tells how many followers you have - need to work on that later. The second box, with the big number (we hope) tells how many people saw your Google+ page because it came up in their search results, even if you're not doing anything with it. Nice. Now the cold water to the face: the third box, with the much, much…

Guests Come From Search, Young Guests Come from Mobile

Where do bed and breakfast guests come from? How do the find you? At the Mid-Atlantic Innkeeping Conference there were some great presentations. One of the special opportunities was to hear from the members of LocalU, a group of nationally recognized experts in local search - who present papers and seminars on local search opportunities. This one was geared toward B&B's and small lodging properties. Much of the valuable information has been presented in a blog post by Mike Blumenthal, one of the LocalU members, in the form of a survey of members of the public on how they find a bed and breakfast. Many of the results are not so much surprising, as validating. That is, many of us understand that our current guests are 45 years old or older, and that they are often less up-to-date in technology than younger people. We also understand that younger people are more likely to use mobile devices for things that older people would do on a laptop or desktop computer. The eye-openers come when this information is validated, and put into context, so we begin to see what the future would look like, and how we can begin now to make our preparations. The survey is on the LocalU blog, and is well worth reading.

Google Analytics – Climbing Higher

At the end of January we gave two presentations on Google Analytics for innkeepers at the PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) annual conference in Las Vegas. Last week we provided the presentation called "Getting Started with Google Analytics". This week we'll wrap it up with our other presentation, Google Analytics - Climbing Higher. In this presentation we'll look at Ecommerce Tracking, Goals, Multi-Channel Funnels, and a custom dashboard for a quick overview of the performance of paid listings. You can add the Google Analytics dashboard mentioned in the presentation by logging in to your Google Analytics account, then clicking this link to add it to your Dashboards.

Getting Started with Google Analytics

At the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) annual conference last week in Las Vegas, we presented two sessions on Google Analytics - Getting Started with Google Analytics, and Google Analytics - Climbing Higher. This week we'll post the presentation from the session entitled "Getting Started with Google Analytics" and next week we'll post the follow-up presentation. You can download the Dashboard mentioned in the presentation by logging in to Google Analytics, then clicking on this link to add it to your Dashboards. We hope you enjoy our presentation, and that it will help you with getting started with Google Analytics. Tune in again next week for our more advanced presentation, Google Analytics - Climbing Higher.