Local Listings Best Practices During A Global Crisis

by Britni Mullins

With everything that’s happening around the world and within the hotel industry specifically, it’s important to adapt your marketing and advertising strategies NOW.  Keeping your property information up-to-date is the best way to keep your guests and potential customers in the loop.
Your Google My Business, Moz and Yext accounts should be part of your marketing plan to update immediately. If you are using a service like Moz Local that pushes information to Google My Business, make sure you’re updating your information there first, and syncing with GMB and all other listing aggregators.
Here are the best practices we recommend putting into place now.

Hotel Hours:

If your property will have temporary hours, is closed for the next two weeks, or until further notice, update your Moz Local Opening Hours, Google My Business Special Hours, and Yext Holiday Hours sections to reflect those changes.
When your property displays its Knowlege Graph it will display your temporary hours of operation or closure 6-7 days prior to when the change goes into effect.
Within Yext, you can also create a 50-character Featured Message that will display on your Knowledge Graph reiterating your temporary closure/hours.
During recovery, we recommend setting reminders to update all hours and changes immediately following your reopening.

Hotel Description:

Google My Business aggregates your Hotel Details section of your Knowledge Graph from an overall online web presence. Still, as far as best practices go, it’s important to make sure your temporary closure information or change in hours are updated online across the board.
Moz Local allows you to change or update a Short (200 characters max) and Long Description (1000 characters max) within your account. We recommend updating both as different directories will require a different length description. Yext also allows you to change or update your hotel description within your account, under Business Description (750 characters max).
Under these sections is where you will want to add relevant information about your property.

  • E.g. Due to the global epidemic we are all facing, we have decided to temporarily close our property. The health and safety of our staff and guests are of our utmost priority. We will keep you posted on reopening our property.

Once your property has been reopened be sure to revisit and update your hotel descriptions.

Additional Property Page Info:

Yext offers a ton of additional features to help you keep your guests up-to-date and to also keep your property information and overall online presence consistent. You can add a Module to any of your Yext-powered pages including an Announcement BarBanner, etc. Moz also allows you to use their publishing tool to create News Posts and should be set up similarly to the announcements and banners in Yext.
For Moz Local and Yext, you should leverage the Questions & Answers and FAQ List features by setting up lists and posts pertaining to your hotel’s precautions and preparedness in regards to the coronavirus.

  • E.g. “What is [hotel brand] doing to prepare for coronavirus?” or “What precautions is [hotel brand] taking in regards to room cleanliness?”

You will want to be sure to revisit these modules and updates frequently and update them with new and relevant information.

Hotels With Restaurants

While your property may be operating under restraints, using your hotel’s restaurant could be another source for generating revenue. If you choose to keep your restaurant open for delivery and/or pick-up here is what we recommend as Google My Business and Yext account best practices.

Restaurant Hours:

Just like your hotel’s hours, you’ll want to update your restaurant hours as well. Update the Opening Hours section within Moz Local, Special Hours section within Google My Business and Holiday Hours section within Yext to reflect your restaurant’s availability.
It’s imperative to make sure you set reminders to update your hours back to your normal operating hours once in recovery mode.

Restaurant Description & Services:

Within Moz Local, Google My Business, and Yext you will have the ability to update your restaurant’s Description. This is where you will want to include your temporary operations updates, whether it’s offering pick-up only, delivery only, or both. Be sure to include that your restaurant dining area is not open at this time.
You can also add Services within your Moz Local and Google My Business accounts to include pick-up and delivery. Again, once you have weathered this storm, it’s essential to update your restaurant’s info back with information pertaining to normal operations.

Restaurant Posts & Modules:

Within your Yext account, you can set up similar Modules for your restaurant that you have set up for your hotel. This will help in keeping your marketing consistent and locals updated on how operations, hours, special instructions, etc.
Google My Business and Moz Local offer a Post feature for businesses like restaurants, similarly to Yext, you can create content and announcements using this feature in both accounts. This is extremely helpful for staying in touch with your community. We suggest creating multiple posts around your updated restaurant operations (offering pick-up and delivery), as well as, creating a post around supporting local businesses like your restaurant. 
Here are a few additional resources on how hotels can manage this crisis:
Master List Of Resourceshttps://admin.travelboommarketing.com/crisis-management-resources-for-hotels-master-list/
Whitepaper https://admin.travelboommarketing.com/navigating-troubled-times/

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