To date, there are 4.4 million hotels and other travel businesses listed on TripAdvisor. You deserve to be at the top – you know it, your staff knows it.
But what will it take for your property to place in the top 30 search results, placing you on the first page of results for your destination?
While TripAdvisor keeps their sophisticated ranking practices a closely guarded secret, we believe 3 primary factors contribute to your search ranking: Consistency, volume and frequency. So, to boost your placement, you’ll need to address these three criteria in your online review strategy. Here’s how to make it happen:
1. Be Consistently Awesome
The most surefire way to hit the TripAdvisor trifecta – achieving volume, frequency and consistency – is to wow your hotel guests and meeting attendees during their stay, not after check-out.Your staff should be adamantly delivering remarkable service and authentic hospitality, day in and day out. The bulk of your reviews will come from one of two guests: Those who loathed their stay and those who loved it. So, it’s up to your staff today to influence what type of review you’ll get tomorrow.
2. Proactively Urge Your Guests to Leave Reviews
Sure, a ton of guests will write a review without you having to ask. But, what about the majority who forget? Or, who assume their opinion doesn’t matter? Or, who think it takes too much effort to leave a review? You have to take matters into your own hands and proactively ask and encourage your guests to leave reviews. Here’s how to do it:
Approach Your Biggest Fans First
Look to your hotel’s brand advocates for most leverage. Research shows that hotel properties that reach out to their loyal guests to build up reviews will see not only higher rankings, but increased online sentiment. Don’t just go to them when you want something, (like an influx of good reviews). You should be communicating with them frequently. Always add a sentence in your communication about leaving a review if they haven’t already done so.
Carefully Select and Display Positive Reviews on your Website
Let’s face it, your website visitors are going to check out your hotel’s webpage, and then go straight to TripAdvisor for a second opinion from previous guests. So why not satisfy their curiosities from the start? By hand selecting a stream of positive reviews to display on your website, your potential guests will be welcomed with nothing but good feedback. And to keep your content fresh, have your CMS pick new reviews to display quarterly. Using this method will ensure that no negative comments are reaching the eyes of your visitors, while satisfying them with the feedback they were searching for.
Post Stay Emails
Put a link leading directly to your TripAdvisor profile. Even better, track how many guests are clicking by using a URL tracker.
Remind Guests During Their Stay, Not Just At Check-Out
Your guests will come across many staff members during their stay. Make it common practice for your staff to encourage them to leave reviews if they hear any guests complimenting the hotel in any way.
Place Your TripAdvisor Link In Your Email Signature
Any email you send to guests or to anyone else, should have a link to your TripAdvisor profile.
3. Respond to ALL Reviews (yes, even the awful ones)
Hotel review tools like TrustYou and Revinate make it easy to monitor and respond to reviews. If time is tight, then use your time to address the negative reviews first. Bad reviews are actually an opportunity for your customer service to shine. Research shows that online sentiment rises when hotels show they are serious about resolving any issues and care about their customers feedback.
In Q2 of 2014, 128 million people had downloaded the TripAdvisor mobile app, and there are now over 170 million reviews on TripAdvisor. Yet many travel marketers still neglect to respond to negative reviews. This has to stop. When a guest complains in person, you work to accommodate them, so they will speak highly of you. You’d never ignore their complaint. Marketers must be as vigilant about keeping TripAdvisor reviewers happy online as they are about keeping the guest happy on-property.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com