Improve Your TripAdvisor Ranking With This One Simple Tip

November 28, 2014, Mia Steinberg

If you run an accommodation, a tour, or another business frequented by tourists, then TripAdvisor is one of your best friends—and one of your most frustrating adversaries. People are more inclined to trust the judgment of fellow travellers, and a top ranking on TripAdvisor can skyrocket your business. But how do you get into the top ten, or even the top spot for your area? While you could try all sorts of tricky SEO tactics, there’s one best practice tip that could help you increase your TripAdvisor rankings: asking.

Specifically, the most important factors are the quantity, quality and age of your reviews from travellers.

TripAdvisor’s ranking algorithms are a secret, but they have identified three factors which contribute to where you sit on their lists: the quantity, the quality, and the recency of reviews. This means that the best-ranked businesses get lots of high-rated reviews on a consistent basis. Many small business owners catering to tourists rely on reviews to get new bookings; it’s a unique situation that very few other industries face. Tourists are unlikely to know anyone in the city they’re visiting, so they rarely rely on physical word of mouth when it comes to choosing a place to stay or an activity to do. TripAdvisor acts as a virtual recommendation system, providing real-world opinions that can be accessed from any web-connected device.

It seems like many business owners rely on serendipity to get good TripAdvisor reviews, hoping that a guest will automatically leave a review if they have a good time. You may not wish to be pushy, but you don’t have to sit around being hopeful, either! While you cannot offer incentives for reviews (it’s against TripAdvisor’s policies and just not an honest way to do things), you can help your own business by being assertive and proactive. If a customer has had a good experience, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review on TripAdvisor; you may be surprised at the number of people who will agree to do so. Many of them probably wouldn’t have even thought of leaving a review there.

Secondly, consider the quality of reviews. Some people will have a bad time and leave a bad review; it just happens. But sometimes there are things you need to change about your business in order to improve it, and TripAdvisor reviews can be a great source of that vital information. Monitor incoming reviews and make note of any common complaints; while they can be a bruise to the ego, it’s important to get over it and take those issues seriously. By making your business the very best it can be, you’ll get more quality reviews. Again, you can improve your ranking by asking for a review from a guest who’s had a good time.

Finally, don’t rest on your laurels once you do have good reviews. TripAdvisor considers the age of reviews in their algorithms; the more recent a review is, the more powerful it is. So keep asking your guests for reviews on a regular basis!

How can you do this without coming off as pushy? It’s all about being assertive and honest. If you ask a guest how they enjoyed their stay or their tour and they respond positively, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review. Explain that it’s really helpful for your business, and don’t take it personally if your guest declines or defers the question; you won’t always get a yes, and that’s okay. But by approaching the topic that way, it turns it from an obligation into a favour—a way to repay you for their good experience.

Checkfront’s follow-up emails make it easy for you to instantly send or schedule emails triggered by a guest’s booking date so you can ask for feedback and remind guests to leave you a review.

How to setup Checkfront follow-up emails to get better reviews

Timeline: One day later

A word of caution: While automation makes life much easier, people don’t like it when it feels like they’re interacting with robots. Resist the urge to have the follow-up email triggered immediately after payment. They’ll either know it’s an automated email or think you’re sending them a digital receipt. Either way, they’re less likely to open it.

A more natural approach is to send an email a day after their visit. The happy memories will still be fresh in their minds, and they’ll have safely gotten back to their hotel.

To do this in Checkfront, create a notification email to be sent on paid status one day after booking start date.

The subject line can be something like, {$CUSTOMER_NAME}, thanks for your visit!

Your emails should always provide value to your guests, especially when you’re asking for something in return. The main purpose of your first follow up email should be to let guests know that you appreciate their business. A little thank you can go a long way in building a connection.

Then you can ask guests if they have any feedback from the tour and remind them that you are on TripAdvisor. Make it easy for them to leave a review and include a direct a link to your profile.

If you’d prefer them to leave a review on a different site such as your Google Business Page, Facebook Page or Yelp you can substitute that account instead. But it’s best to only ask for a review on one account at a time.

email-notifications

Be human in the interaction. Let them know how a positive review can go a long way in helping your business.

Automating follow up emails makes your life easier, but you can’t just set it and forget it. The goal of your follow up email is to engage in two-way communication. If you get a positive review, send them a quick note back to thank them.

If you receive a negative review, don’t feel like you’ve failed. Remember all feedback is useful, even if it is negative. Consider if there is an area where you could improve your experience. Then send them a note thanking them for bringing it to your attention.

If it was a fluke mistake, take ownership and give customers advice on how to make the experience better for both of you in the future. In some cases, being prompt when responding to negative feedback can prevent guests from leaving a bad review on TripAdvisor.

Timeline: 30 days later

If you don’t get an immediate response from your follow up emails, don’t worry.

Think about your inbox. How many times have you meant to respond to an email but then got caught up doing something else?

Travelers are always on the go. They’re constantly in and out of service. Most of them are focused more on their experience than being on their phone (or at least they should be).

So it doesn’t hurt to send a second follow-up email a month later.

By then they’ll most likely be back at home to work and responsibilities, wishing they could relive their amazing vacation. It’s the perfect time to reconnect!

To do this in Checkfront, create a workflow for an email to be sent on paid status one month after booking start date.

The subject line can be something like {$CUSTOMER_NAME}, it’s our one month anniversary!

To make the interaction feel human, begin the email acknowledging that it’s been awhile since their visit. Then give them something of value to make them happy they opened the email. This can be something as simple as reminding them to check your Facebook page for photos you took of them during the tour.

Then again remind them that you have TripAdvisor, link them to your account and let them know how much a positive review would mean to you. Or if they’ve already left a review on TripAdvisor, let them know a review on one of your other profiles would also be appreciated.

Remember to always be responsive and gracious for any feedback you receive.

Email is a powerful tool for your business is used properly. Here are a couple of things you can do to improve the performance of your emails.

Personalize when possible: people are 22% more likely to open an email with their first name in the subject line.

Improve emails with Mailchimp: Checkfront integrates easily with MailChimp so you can create personalized templates and track all your email analytics.

One last thing… don’t forget that Checkfront supports TripAdvisor Connect, which allows you to include real-time availability, pricing and bookings as part of your TripAdvisor listing and redirects customers to your Checkfront online booking page when they click to purchase. With the combination of a TripAdvisor business account and Checkfront’s integration, you’ll be well on your way to being a TripAdvisor master.

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Related Articles: How to Automate OTA Channel Management for Tour Operators | The Best Free Marketing Channels for Promoting your Escape Room | 3 Ways for Your Tour Business to Win at OTAs | How to Use Checkfront to Grow your Social Media Followers | How to Train Your Guides to Ask for TripAdvisor Reviews | How to Use Site Builder to Improve your SEO |

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