There’s much more to operating a hotel than simply obtaining TripAdvisor hotel reviews; however, there’s no escaping the importance of your online reputation in the modern hospitality industry.
According to studies, 76% of travelers believe online hotel reviews offer valuable insights. In addition, 95% of vacation planners read travel reviews during the planning phase of their trip; therefore, if your hotel receives poor reviews on sites, such as TripAdvisor, then they will likely have a tangible, negative effect on occupancy.
How TripAdvisor’s Popularity Ranking Algorithm Works
The appropriately named Popularity Ranking Algorithm is the tool TripAdvisor uses to govern the order of hotels in search results.
During 2016, the company made changes to the algorithm in an attempt to improve the accuracy and fairness of its listings. This was due to the increasing speed with which travelers were sharing their experiences, forcing a number of new properties with relatively few 5-star reviews to the top of the charts.
Just like Google, TripAdvisor won’t reveal all its secrets about how it ranks hotels, but it does offer insights into the three main elements of its algorithm. As a hotelier, it is vital you’re aware of them to understand how to climb the ranks.
- Location: If you have higher TripAdvisor hotel review scores than the hotel on the same block, then you’ll rank higher – simple!
- Recency: TripAdvisor considers recent hotel reviews of higher value than older reviews (after all, who cares what someone thought about a hotel six years ago?), therefore, regular reviews are crucial.
- Quantity vs. Quality: Quality still reigns supreme over quantity, but to rank higher than your competitors, you must have a sufficient volume of 5-star reviews. Having just a few more reviews than your competitors doesn’t guarantee a higher placement.
The simplicity of the algorithm should be reassuring for you, but how do you encourage more guests to write and post TripAdvisor hotel reviews?
Here are 5 simple methods you can put into practice today to obtain more TripAdvisor hotel reviews:
- Encourage And Enable Reviews – But Don’t Bribe
Contrary to what you might have heard, there’s nothing wrong with asking guests to review your property, providing you don’t offer incentives for posting 5-star reviews. Guest surveys and post-stay follow-up emails are great methods to direct guests to your TripAdvisor listing while politely asking for a hotel review. Communicating with guests on social media who mention your hotel is also a great opportunity to increase engagement for your listing on the review site. You can also use an automated CRM Solution, such as Cendyn’s Guestfolio. This is an excellent tool to encourage more reviews, allowing guests to post to TripAdvisor and other online portals seamlessly through the Post Stay satisfaction survey.
- Be Responsive on TripAdvisor
Make sure you regularly respond to hotel reviews and do so in a manner that demonstrates you truly care what people are stating about your property. There might be several guests who simply want to see you proactively respond before they post their review, so schedule time throughout your work week to engage with the TripAdvisor Website and respond to both positive and negative comments.
- Know Your Target Demographic
The more you understand the type of guests your hotel attracts, the more personalized and relevant stays you can offer them. If people feel they’re receiving a hotel service uniquely focused on their wants and needs, then they’ll be more encouraged to share their experience in TripAdvisor hotel reviews. If their experience is great, then you’ll receive a great review, and if it was less than satisfactory, then you’ll learn why and be able to improve.
- Reward Loyalty
If someone leaves a glowing review on TripAdvisor, then reward his or her loyalty by offering a discounted return stay or special package created entirely for him or her. This gesture of thanks might cause him or her to act as a brand ambassador for your hotel, and the results can be very powerful indeed.When word circulates that you value loyalty, you’ll likely experience something of a domino effect, as more guests visit and proceed to tell the world how wonderful your service is.
- Don’t Focus Solely on TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor might seem like the go-to review site for hoteliers, but there are many others where you want a presence and doing so will only help spread the good word about your property and raise your online profile. There are plenty of other sites where you can ask guests to post reviews. Here are just few more methods to increase your online presence with user-generated reviews.
- Yelp has a great hotel review platform and you can start by claiming your property listing here.
- Is your property on Hotels.com? If it is and you know your guests booked through it, then share this link with them.
- Facebook can be leveraged for guest reviews if you have a business page for your property. If you do not have a Facebook page for your business, then start here.
- Google has a new hotel review feature, which was introduced during 2017, but you must have a Google business page, which you can create here.
The tips above aren’t guaranteed to send your TripAdvisor listing rocketing to the top of the chart, but they will make a significant difference if you invest in them long-term.
Just be careful about offering incentives for posting TripAdvisor Hotel reviews, because you’ll risk violating TripAdvisor’s regulations. As this blog post proves, there are much better methods to encourage more – and higher quality – reviews!