In the tech industry, Google has earned a reputation of being an innovator as well as a trend-setter. Industry insiders know that as soon as one new product or feature is launched by Google, that another equally mind-blowing announcement won’t be far off. The Google developers are constantly working to try out new features and ideas that are designed to enhance the user experience. Whether this is updating an algorithm or launching Google Glass, Google updates always make the news. Recently, Google released its community-based travel and tourism feature, called Google Local Guides.

So, what does this mean for your tour and activity company?

What is Google Local Guides?

Google Local Guides is a community-based feature that allows users to share their favorite places in a given destination through the Google Maps app. Google suggests that users offer insight into their favorite local pubs, the best restaurants in town and the tours and activities that they enjoy the most. Ultimately, it’s supposed to become a feature that allows users to make recommendations in the same way that they would for their closest friends and family members. The hope is for Google Local Guides to become the one-stop resource for information on the most authentic and enjoyable experiences in a given destination. It combines the popularity of online reviews with the ease of a visual guide to a specific community — one that is surely to become a valuable resource for travelers who are visiting a new place. It is possible that Google hopes for this feature to eventually compete with TripAdvisor and make Google Maps a one-stop resource for directions, bookings and reviews.

How Should You Use Google Local Guides to Benefit Your Tour and Activity Company? 

  • Begin by becoming familiar with the Google Local Guides recommendations for your area. Check out what has been listed on the site and what is being said by travelers who have recently visited your region. You might discover valuable information about the competition, or even garner insight into your own brand reputation.
  • Consider the type of travelers who are posting on your Local Guide page. You might discover that there’s a powerful market segment generating content on Google Local Guides in your location, and you may not be promoting your products to this audience.
  • You might find that there are consistent and reliable Google Local Guides contributors in your area. If they haven’t yet recommended your tours and activities, extend an invite to them to visit your location. This may help you generate activity about your brand on the site.
  • Become a contributor for your own community. As a travel industry insider, you probably have expert information about the best local businesses in the area. Working together with other local businesses your area helps everyone.

As you evaluate and analyze the results of your online marketing strategy, it’s important to consider updating it in order to include new innovations and updates in the social media realm. Google Local Guides may be a valuable addition to your online marketing plan, and can help you increase your presence online in an ever-competitive travel industry.

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