Talk Me Out Of Calling Myself A Hotel

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PhineasSwann's picture
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Have been looking at our traffic from TA dropping, and after navigating the site on both my computer and phone, it's clear their decision to emphasize Hotels over other lodging options are the key factor. 

I'm thinking of making the case that I'm a hotel, at least on their site. My only current challenge based on their rating criteria is not having a 24-hour front desk. I can make the case that since I answer the phone in the middle of the night, and answer the doorbell when it rings, that I'm essentially a 24-hour operation. 

The potential pluses: I don't get lost when people select our ski area and search for the default "hotels." I'd be the No. 1 of 1 hotels in our little town.

The potential negative: I have only one other competitor in town, and I'll instantly take them from #2 of 2 to #1 of 1. 

Thoughts?

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Four years ago I had an ongoing argument with TA to move our listing to either a hotel or inn. We are actually a bed and breakfast with vacation rentals. They wouldn't budge even though booking.com and every other website has us listed as a hotel. As a result we are invisible on trip advisor for someone searching for accommodation in the area. If they will let you change do it. 

JimBoone's picture
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PhineasSwann wrote:

Have been looking at our traffic from TA dropping, and after navigating the site on both my computer and phone, it's clear their decision to emphasize Hotels over other lodging options are the key factor. 

For whatever it is worth:

I wonder if TA itself is getting lost as other sites claim to also be review sites and TA puts more effort into being a sales site

We have always been a motel/hotel, yet with our competitors being ten times our size and our actual operation more like folks here on the forum I've always been a bit out of step with my competition. The current TA system that weighs the volume of reviews seems to work against me.

If you would be the only hotel in town, would you become 1 of 1 or would TA choose to lump you in to a larger area group or do you have that choice?

We've spent, added and do more than in the past, but also seem to be in a bit of a slump with TA and in general this winter.

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Jim & Maxine

 

Anon Inn's picture
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It’s more that TA just buries the B&Bs.  For years I did a lot of TA review asks.  Now Google is my top ask.  TA is just is not as important as it was for us.  That’s not where they’re finding us.  I really noticed the change last year.  

If our status changed to hotel we would be #1 in our immediate area.  (We’re currently #1 in our tiny town - of 4). Even the local hotel in the next tiny town is listed as a B&B because they don’t have a 24 hour front desk.  Plus I don’t think they understood the advantage they would have had so didn’t go for it.  They are new to this game.  

Travelers still use TA heavily - but they don’t get the chance to see what our kind of property has to offer. 

Here in the boonies I need all the online visibility I can get!

Too many eggs in the Air basket and I need that percentage to go to more direct bookings.

Arks's picture
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Anon Inn wrote:

For years I did a lot of TA review asks.  Now Google is my top ask.  TA is just is not as important as it was for us.

That's because people can't find you on TA.

I too am seeing more who say they found me on Google vs. TA. I wonder what's in it for TA to show, in a lodging search for my town, 15 small motels in towns 40 miles away, but they won't show my place, right here in the heart of town, unless the searcher selects the easy-to-miss "Specialty Lodging" link. How does it benefit TA to do it that way? They used to just list the 3 local motels, then I was right below that. 

Still, I get about the same number of TripConnect clicks every month, so SOMEBODY is finding their way to my listing, but I know I miss a lot more than I get.

But, as Breakfast Diva pointed out yesterday, our TA reviews are now showing up mixed in with the Google reviews, if anybody ever looks at them. So asking for TA reviews might still have some value, but I refuse to do it. People get badgered for reviews too much, and I don't want to pile on.

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All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

gillumhouse's picture
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I cannot find how to DO a review on Goo gle.

Morticia's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

I cannot find how to DO a review on Goo gle.

Which is why I can't seem to put a link to it in my email. You have to be logged into Google first, then it's easier. 

I think if you search for a property you can see a review button in the box at the right where Google puts the property you searched for.

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Arks's picture
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Morticia wrote:

Which is why I can't seem to put a link to it in my email.

Yes, it looks like Google reviews are a java script thing, not something on a regular web page. There's no link you can provide to do a review. I found this when I searched for "submit a Google review".

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6230175

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Arks wrote:

Morticia wrote:

Which is why I can't seem to put a link to it in my email.

Yes, it looks like Google reviews are a java script thing, not something on a regular web page. There's no link you can provide to do a review. I found this when I searched for "submit a Google review".

https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6230175

Actually, you can provide a link. Do a google search for your business, then go to reviews and 'write a review". Once the review box is showing, copy the URL and that becomes your review link.

Arks's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Actually, you can provide a link. Do a google search for your business, then go to reviews and 'write a review". Once the review box is showing, copy the URL and that becomes your review link.

You're right! Never occurred to me to copy the URL while in a java script box, but it seems to give a repeatable link to the review box.

notAgrandma's picture
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Morticia wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

I cannot find how to DO a review on Goo gle.

Which is why I can't seem to put a link to it in my email. You have to be logged into Google first, then it's easier. 

I think if you search for a property you can see a review button in the box at the right where Google puts the property you searched for.

Google any business and you'll see their listing pop up in a box. For example, here's a screenshot* of a google listing for a post office in WNY. You can leave google reviews for EVERYTHING. The review summary is at the bottom of their listing, and the "Write a Review" is immediately next to the review summary.

*Oops... apparently I can't attach a screenshot. Sorry Sad 

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JimBoone's picture
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notAgrandma wrote:

*Oops... apparently I can't attach a screenshot. Sorry Sad 

You probably need to save screenshot as a picture and upload to forum server, then select that picture to add to your post. Took me a while to figure out how to add pictures.

gillumhouse's picture
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Thank you. I will look. I am always logged in.

JimBoone's picture
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Arks wrote:

Anon Inn wrote:

For years I did a lot of TA review asks.  Now Google is my top ask.  TA is just is not as important as it was for us.

I too am seeing more who say they found me on Google vs. TA. 

Just for the heck of it

We are listed as a motel/hotel on TA, our thank you email contains direct links to TA, YELP and FB for reviews, mentions Google, but I failed to add a direct link, over last few weeks one review on TA and three on Google

seashanty's picture
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Would you consider calling it a boutique hotel?

From a state website -  boutique hotels offer rustic charm, elegance and personalized service in unique settings. I think you fit!

Anon Inn's picture
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Yes 

I’m thinking of trying this too.

i actually have a front reception desk and have From day one

Im planning on adding breakfast room service then asking TA to change the status.

2years ago I changed the name from B&B to Inn for just this reason

 

PhineasSwann's picture
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Good point about guest confusion. From what I've been told, TA blocks Google from crawling their entire site. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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PhineasSwann wrote:

Good point about guest confusion. From what I've been told, TA blocks Google from crawling their entire site. 

Not anymore. I now have TA reviews showing in my Google reviews

Momma Smurf's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Not anymore. I now have TA reviews showing in my Google reviews

Yes, I just noticed that 2 days ago too.  Now, if only we can get Google to import our pricing from TripConnect, it would be awesome!  Note:  Bing is now importing TC pricing and you are able to search availability... so perhaps this a step by G in that direction.

Oh, and I just searched for us on Bing, and our listing now has a Book It button courtesy of TripConnect.

 

Arks's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I now have TA reviews showing in my Google reviews

Yep, me too. Must be a mighty big bed for all these companies to be in it together.

Morticia's picture
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The downside, as I see it, is the disgruntled guest who really wanted a 'hotel' and now has a b&b.

Confusing Google is also not a good idea. I think consistency across platforms is supposedly important.

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