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September 26, 2013
With all the TripAdvisor advice out there, sometimes you might come across information or tips that can be misleading or even against TripAdvisor guidelines. Here are three tips from TripAdvisor on how to improve your property’s performance on TripAdvisor, which influences your direct bookings, online reputation and more.
Getting the most out of TripAdvisor is a hot topic and we want to ensure you get the right information to make the most of your business's presence on the world's largest travel site.
With this in mind, we're presenting three steps to better your TripAdvisor performance, straight from the team here at TripAdvisor.
First, let's clear up some confusion around terminology. Your "TripAdvisor rating" is different from your "TripAdvisor ranking." Here's how it works:
Based on their experience with you, travellers rate and review your property.
Based on those reviews, your property receives an overall TripAdvisor rating, with 5 being the highest.
Your TripAdvisor rating then factors into your property's overall TripAdvisor ranking among other properties in your location. TripAdvisor rankings are also known as the Popularity Index.
The better your ratings – and the more recent your reviews – the higher your property's TripAdvisor ranking can potentially go.
Now on to the tips for improving your TripAdvisor ranking:
Focus on offline service for online results
Want more guest reviews and higher ratings based on those reviews? Emphasise providing a great visitor experience. What you do – or don't do – during a visitor's stay determines the guest's experience and resulting review. From check-in to check-out and anything in between, do everything you can to be welcoming and responsive.
It helps to monitor your reviews on TripAdvisor. What compliments show up in positive reviews? Use them as examples of what you're doing right with the guest experience, and then find ways to make them even better. If this seems daunting, focus on one thing you can do to stand out from the competition and provide an experience you yourself would love while travelling. You might not have the resources and budget to do everything you want right away, but you can start taking steps right now. Be authentic and determined, and the guests – and their reviews – will come.
Embrace and respond to negative reviews
Some properties want to ignore or hide negative reviews. There are two reasons why you should do the opposite. The first is because writing Management Responses to negative reviews (and positive ones, too) shows prospective guests that you value feedback and providing the best experience possible.
According to recent PhoCusWright research, 84% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review improves their impression of the hotel. While responding to reviews doesn't have a direct effect on your TripAdvisor ranking, it can mean more bookings and more potential reviews.
The second reason why you should embrace negative reviews is because guest feedback opens the door to making operational improvements. Maybe you're so close to the day-to-day operations that you miss something a new guest spots easily. Each review is a window into the guest experience at your property. Was a guest's room not cleaned thoroughly? Discuss it with your housekeeping staff and provide additional staff training if needed. Consideration, communication and implementation are how you turn feedback into a better experience for all future guests, which can have a significant influence on your TripAdvisor ratings and subsequently, your TripAdvisor ranking.
Do NOT offer incentives for reviews
Incentives, like offering vouchers or upgrades in exchange for writing a review, actually violate TripAdvisor rules because special treatment or discounts can hinder the validity and accuracy of a guest's reviews. Incented reviews are removed so they don't influence your TripAdvisor ranking, and other penalties against your property and ranking could be imposed. Importantly, businesses that incentivise guests to write reviews are not eligible for TripAdvisor awards, such as Travellers' Choice or Certificate of Excellence.
Instead, use one of the free marketing resources TripAdvisor offers to business owners to collect more reviews, such as our free Review Express tool allowing you to email recent guests asking them to write a review. In just minutes, you can create and send a customised and professional-looking email to up to 1,000 recent guests at once. Also, hoteliers tell us that it helps to make a connection with guests during their stay. Host a mingling event for guests and senior staff, or make an effort during each visit to ask how the guest is doing and if you can help with anything. These kinds of interactions make a real impression on travellers, even when they return home and are ready to share their experiences and opinions with others.
By following these three steps, you'll be in a good position to improve your TripAdvisor ratings and ranking. These tips have worked for many of the 2.7 million hospitality businesses on TripAdvisor, and they can work for you, too.
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