Last week I decided it was time to take a short break from the everyday and head off for the weekend. I’m based in Adelaide and normally would head to a coastal location no more than a couple of hours from where I live. This trip was slightly different, the Tour Down under was in town and the city was buzzing, this meant very little availability and higher than normal prices. So it was time to explore another destination.
My criteria was, no more than 4 hours drive, reasonably priced accommodation and plenty to do. Our choice Mildura, in this blog I’ll explain how the tools I used helped solidify the decision and improved our experience.
I knew Mildura had plenty to offer as the area had been advertising on TV in South Australia. I didn’t know much about the location and accommodation available. So I started with Wotif. This website is very popular with consumers because of it’s ease of navigation and functionality, there was a lot of information available on Wotif but in this instance I decided to just Google “Mildura Accommodation”
This is what I found located right under the paid advertisements, funny about that!
Google places delivers
Right there, in one place I was able to find the location, price and an image to assist me in the decision making process. I was able to use the map to ascertain where each property was and then compare prices. For me and I suspect many travellers these are some of the main criteria when booking accommodation.
Tip : If you haven’t claimed your own business, then I suggest you do this right now. Search for it and claim it and then enhance the listing.
You can do it by clicking on the bottom middle of the page, of your business listing. (see below as an example)
Information that helped assist with the decision making process
The property I selected is listed below (and no they didn’t know I was writing a blog or using them as a case study)
The listing had been claimed and additional information was available, I could easily check availability, compare prices and see guest reviews. I particularly liked the “send to your phone” feature at the bottom, so I could share with my partner.
It was also easy to navigate to the properties own website to check prices and specials, which is exactly what I did.
The importance of guest reviews and your own website
The guest reviews were important in the decision making process, unbiased recent opinions about the property and service received. But the deciding factor for me was the businesses own Website.
What I like about this Website was that it offered instant online bookings, I could easily find everything I needed to know and the home page images changed and depicted external and internal shots, and showcased the areas key activities, wineries, the river and houseboats thus reinforcing our decision to choose it as a destination.
My top tips
- Claim your Google Places listing
- Update and enhance the information provided
- Make sure your own Website is performing well, Online Booking capability is essential and make sure it’s mobile responsive.
- Showcase what your area has to offer on your own Website, it just could be the deciding factor.
More information on Google Places and how to set up an account can be found here
In my next blog, I’ll explain the importance of your local Visitor Information Centre and TripAdvisor in making decisions whilst visiting your destination.