Make TripAdvisor work for your establishment and not against it with these seven tips.
In March 2012, ComScore revealed that travel sites grew 10% in traffic in March to 69.7 million unique visitors with TripAdvisor firmly in the lead as more travellers research and book their accommodation via the internet. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel community with more than 50 million monthly visitors, 20 million members and over 60 million reviews and opinions. Here are seven TripAdvisor tips to help you optimise your listing.
TripAdvisor tips #1: Claim your listing
By signing up for a free business account, you can receive email notification of new reviews and respond to these reviews, with your reply appearing directly under the post. You can also update your business page with photos and videos, track your performance on the site using the TripAdvisor Management Dashboard (see below) and promote your hotel with free widgets and badges provided by the reviews site.
TripAdvisor tips #2: Encourage hotel visitors to write positive reviews
Hoteliers can ask satisfied visitors to write reviews on TripAdvisor. The more recent and positive reviews an accommodation provider receives, the higher their ranking will be on the site. While TripAdvisor encourages hotels to ask guests to write a review (which is within their ethical guidelines), hotels are not allowed to give customers incentives such as a free night’s stay or room upgrades to write reviews for the site.
TripAdvisor tips #3: Respond to bad and negative reviews promptly
TripAdvisor has put guidelines together on their website on ‘Submitting a management response’. The reviews site encourages hoteliers to address negative reviews; often how a property reacts to the criticism is more important to prospective guests than the negative comments themselves. Your reply should be prompt, professional and polite. If you have legitimately made a mistake, admit to it and be seen to make amends.
TripAdvisor tips #4: Make it easy for visitors to post reviews
The site provides links on every hotel owner’s page that can be added to post-stay guest emails so that hoteliers can ask their recent guests to submit a review – the link makes it easy for the guest to submit a review. In addition, on the owners’ pages are new ‘write-a-review widgets’ that can be added to a hotel’s website in minutes, so that visitors can write a review without searching TripAdvisor for the right page.
TripAdvisor tips #5: Show your website is trustworthy
Travellers want to book hotels they feel are trustworthy, transparent and honest. TripAdvisor offers a variety of customisable widgets that allow properties to display review data and live review feeds on their website. There are also ‘recommended on TripAdvisor’ badges for sites as well. According to the TripAdvisor site, more than 5,000 hotels worldwide have done this and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
TripAdvisor tips #6: Monitor your TripAdvisor performance
The TripAdvisor Management Dashboard is the free web analytics program available for free to all registered business representatives when you claim your listing. Businesses are given important metrics which they can use to track their performance on the site to make informed and educated decisions regarding their listing. Hotels can upgrade to a premium Business Listing to enhance the dashboard’s features.
TripAdvisor tips #7: Offer great customer service
At the end of the day, impeccable customer service will rarely receive bad reviews. By looking after your visitors and responding to direct enquiries, complaints and suggestions as quickly as possible, this will help head off bad reviews before they reach the internet. If your property keeps receiving bad reviews, evaluate the feedback you are given on the site and take appropriate measures to improve problem areas within your establishment.
Done well, TripAdvisor can be a strong sales tool for driving online sales. Social media is not going away; in fact it is growing in relevancy and important as a research tool for consumers in influencing their travel decisions. If you are managing a hotel, bed and breakfast or motel and would like more TripAdvisor tips and information on how to monitor your online reputation, contact our consultants at Hotel Website Designer today.