Increase revenue and secure return business with the right online reputation management strategy.
Online reviews are public and highly persuasive in purchasing decisions when travelers are planning trips and booking hotels. With the increase of online spaces populated by user-generated content, word of mouth has increasingly become digitized, and guest reviews that are shared with popular online communities such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook often overshadow the recommendations that are passed on in-person.
With this growing trend, it’s vital for businesses, large and small - to have an online reputation management strategy. A good place to start is understanding your business’s TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking, or in other words – why is your business listing ranked 10 of 25 and how do you improve your listing’s ranking? Especially, since a one-bubble increase in a rating can result in as much as a 9% increase in revenue, according to a Harvard Business School study. A higher Popularity Ranking results in more exposure, customers, and overall conversions.
TripAdvisor’s Popularity Ranking algorithm looks at three main factors to decide if your business’s listing should be ranked higher or lower than the competition: Review quality, review quantity, and review recency.
Review quality: When calculating a business listing’s rank the algorithm will look at its quality, which is determined by the page’s overall bubble rating. That rating is affected by each customer’s review, specifically, the rating provided by the customer in their feedback. Your business should strive for more reviews with four or five ratings. Getting customers to give you high ratings on TripAdvisor all comes down to providing an excellent customer experience and service.
An excellent experience starts with the TripAdvisor listing. Afterall, in most cases, it will be the customer’s first impression of your business. Make sure all the information on the page is correct and current. Provide as much information as possible.
Listing presentation is also important to the experience. Make sure the images your business showcases on the listing page are high quality and accurately shows the service or products provided.
When customers do arrive at the business location give them service and an experience that exceeds their expectations. More customers are shifting to writing positive reviews so give them an experience that is nothing short of excellent. They will write about it!
You should also respond to the negative and positive TripAdvisor reviews that come in within 24 hours. According to a Cornell study, responding to reviews, particularly negative reviews, is positively related to the consumer’s view of a business, as measured by increases in rating scores.
Furthermore, consumers say that seeing management respond to online reviews makes them believe that the business cares more about them. Write genuine responses, avoid using the same canned response over and over. Keep it professional, concise and sincere.
Review Quantity: The TripAdvisor ranking algorithm uses each review to get an accurate representation of the “current experience.” Each listing needs to have a minimum number of reviews (which isn’t specified) for the algorithm to compare the experience at the business against local competitors. Encourage guests to write reviews. There are several free resources available through TripAdvisor – from an email reminder (if you have email addresses) to flyers and cards your business can distribute.
Review Recency: The final piece of the TripAdvisor algorithm puzzle relates to when a review was published. TripAdvisor values a fresh, more recent review compared to a review that was posted six months ago as they are more indicative of the current experience at the business.
And, lastly - Familiarize yourself with the platform’s review guidelines. TripAdvisor, as well as other review sites, has a list of content guidelines that all reviews must meet. Be sure to have a look at the list of stipulations as well as, understand when you may be able to remove a post.
Brooke Meyer is the managing partner of Caymera International, a Grand Cayman-based hospitality and tourism consulting and advisory firm. For assistance with your business’s online reputation management strategy, contact Brooke on 936-3671 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org