Today’s travelers are tech savvy. Gone are the days when they simply trusted the opinions of their loved ones. Many travelers, even those who are spontaneous, prefer to make their decisions based on the unbiased views of other adventurers.
If you don’t believe this, look at the figures from the Ipsos Media CT and Google studies. They show that 80% of travelers refer to the internet when planning their trips.
Why you should care about review websites?
Review websites can be compared to a word-of-mouth referral. However, they are more powerful as they are easily accessible and allow travelers to get information from many other vacationers in the shortest time possible.
Review websites are proving to be very influential in the planning process for many travelers. TripAdvisor alone, managed to get 35,000 responses for its survey in 2013.
Why TripAdvisor in particular?
If you know anything about travel review sites, you will know that TripAdvisor is the most influential travel review website available on the internet today. If you don’t have a presence on TripAdvisor, you’re missing out on millions of potential customers. The numbers speak for themselves:
• There are more than 30 million active users on TripAdvisor.
• The website receives an average of over 250 million unique visits every month.
• Online user research studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the score of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor and the revenue per available room (RevPAR). Rates increased by 11% for those establishments that had high ranking without having a negative impact on bookings.
Having a high ranking in your specific category on TripAdvisorl therefore can have a positive impact on your sales. It will go a long way in improving brand perception and awareness.
How TripAdvisor Ranking Works?
There are many different variables considered in the ranking of listed establishments on TripAdvisor. The website makes use of a complex algorithm which they hold close to their chests. Determining the exact formula for success on TripAdvisor is therefore, currently, not possible.
However, there are three main factors that contribute a great deal to the ranking of listings.
1. Number of comments
More than half of the users on TripAdvisor admitted in a survey that they would not consider booking accommodation in a property that did not have reviews. Unless your establishment opened recently, people will expect there to be some comments on the experience of other visitors to your establishment. Having no comments against your listing raises many questions in the minds of users about what’s wrong with it.
Having more comments will greatly improve your ranking on TripAdvisor. This can be further improved if you have comments in the different categories provided by the website.
2. Comment quality
While numbers are important, quality is also vital. By this we mean the rating given for the establishment by those posting comments. If you receive the same number of comments in a given period as your competitor and notice that they have higher ranking, you ought to take a second look at the comments you’re receiving.
TripAdvisor places greater weight on positive comments compared to the more negative ones. If your competitor is receiving mostly five star reviews and you are getting mostly three star reviews, their ranking will be higher based on their ranking scores.
3. Fresh content
Just like Google, TripAdvisor loves fresh content. Would you trust a review that was posted several years ago? You’d probably try and find more recent information. The time a comment was posted has the greatest weight of all the factors considered in this post.
Start Improving your Ranking!
1. Ensure fresh comments
One of the best and fastest ways to ensure that new comments are posted about your establishment is by setting up an emailing strategy. Ensure that all your guests receive emails that encourage them to comment on TripAdvisor. You can include a link to make it easier for them.
2. Encourage high quality reviews
If you have negative reviews, you probably wish you could erase them. Although this is not possible, you can undo the damage by encouraging positive reviews from satisfied customers. You can do this by making it easier for satisfied customers to submit comments such as through follow-up links in social media accounts or at the time of payment.
3. Get more comments
Encourage your guests to share their reviews on TripAdvisor. This can be done through follow-up emails sent a few days after the guests have left. Include a link to TripAdvisor to direct them. Efforts to streamline your feedback to a single point will help in increasing the number of comments you receive. This in turn will help improve your ranking.
Rank Higher on TripAdvisor!
It is important to remember, though, that high ranking on TripAdvisor is not a substitute for offering quality to your clients. Do your best to provide guests with a great experience and all else will easily fall into place.
If you have other ideas to get higher ranking in TripAdvisor, please let us know.