Google program launch by Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, has launched a new program helping tourism partners quickly and simply verify their business listing on Google and optimize their online presence throughout Google’s ever-expanding landscape of search and travel products. In the competitive tourism industry, it is crucial that marketing organizations portray an accurate and high-quality depiction of the quality of their destination. A common challenge can be that online images and information connected with area businesses and locations are outdated, or even inaccurate, based on user-provided content. To help improve the accuracy of how The Palm Beaches appear within Google, DTPB worked with Miles Partnership, a strategic marketing company focused exclusively on travel and tourism, to bring the valuable service of Google My Business verification and “know how” to local businesses.
DTPB and Miles Partnership offered a Google My Business workshop at PGA National Resort & Spa in November 2017. Nearly 50 attendees learned how to have their businesses Google verified, with several businesses receiving verification on the spot. Through verification, local tourism-related entities have the ability to improve how their business is presented within Google. Ultimately, this initiative will enhance the overall quality and depth of information on The Palm Beaches throughout Google’s vast landscape of travel and mapping products, which touch hundreds of millions of consumers every month. Moving forward, DTPB staff members will use a phone with a special Google App to connect with popular local businesses to help them receive verification.
The workshop also offered tips on managing the businesses’ profiles, adding content, responding to reviews and flagging inappropriate or inaccurate information and user photos that may appear within Google.
“We have to meet the high expectations of the modern consumer to stay competitive, and this groundbreaking service is part of the next evolution of our focus,” explained Rich Basen, senior vice president of marketing, leisure sales and community engagement for DTPB. “Google is such a respected search engine, and these days it answers questions for prospective visitors who may not even make it all the way to our website. We’re helping our tourism partners ensure the online content is as top-notch as the quality of our destination.”
“We assessed the online appearance of our tourism assets, and found considerable opportunities to upgrade the content and imagery showcasing key areas in The Palm Beaches,” Basen continued. “Through this workshop, a blueprint was outlined so our stakeholders can improve search results via Google for their organizations. This will improve the way our entire destination will appear to prospective travelers.”
Nate Huff, senior vice president of Miles Partnership, said there is a growing audience across all of Google’s different travel products, particularly in the mobile arena. “Looking at the future of the consumer digital experience in the travel planning process, more and more of that is happening on mobile phones. Often, users will not visit any particular website, but will do a search and exploration process all within Google’s search results page and its destination pages. This is an opportunity for Discover The Palm Beaches and local businesses to take the commitment they’ve made in content to promote themselves, and to reach an enormous new audience to entice visitors to come to this destination.”
It’s a win-win situation for Google and the destination, Huff noted as well. “Google is very committed to improving its travel content and user experience across all its platforms, and it recognizes that destinations have a wealth of quality information and local expertise,” Huff said.
Discover The Palm Beaches is the first U.S. destination following the pilot launch of this program this past summer to participate in this initiative, Huff said, adding that this is also a benefit for the destination and local businesses. “DTPB and the Miles team are providing lots of direct feedback to the teams at Google as they continually strive to improve their travel products,” Huff said. “It’s one of the key benefits that Discover The Palm Beaches is giving to businesses through this program.”
Kristl Story, owner of West Palm Beach Food Tours, said the presentation from Miles and DTPB helped her feel less intimidated about using Google’s platform. “It can be overwhelming, with so many pieces and so much to understand,” she said. “It was helpful to have a human representative in the room to answer our questions in person. Now, I have a to do list of things I need to check on my Google account to help promote my business.”
Doug Fairall, brand marketing Manager for Due South Brewing Company, said it was an invaluable experience for the brewery to participate in the workshop. “This will help us build a new audience that’s outside of our local constituents, and reach the ever-growing tourist base,” he said. “Seeing some of the insights that the group shared about Google, it makes sense how you use Google yourself. If you have a good product, having that added benefit of something that appeals visually to someone scrolling through online will be a big benefit to us.”
Kathy Casper, vice president of marketing for PGA National Resort & Spa, said she was excited to participate in the Google training. “Many of us in the industry struggle with topics like claiming listings, updating reviews and photography and very important details on our profiles in the search world,” she said, adding that it beneficial to have live, in-person help tackling some of these challenges. “We drive millions of dollars in revenue from this. This training gave us valuable insight and tools on how to take charge and get results in our ecommerce platforms.”
Discover more about The Palm Beaches at www.ThePalmBeaches.com. Follow @PalmBeachesFL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts spanning more than 2,200 square miles and 47 miles of pristine beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta, commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches.” Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $4.6 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting more than 66,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record-breaking 7.35 million people in 2016. The Palm Beaches are home to nearly 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, more than 150 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations. For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com and connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag, #ThePalmBeaches.