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 notifications system is another great way to get in touch with your customers after their experiences; by sending automated follow-up emails, you can ask them for feedback and include the link to your TripAdvisor listings page so they can potentially leave a review. Find out more about this process, including how to set up the automated emails, on our followup emails page. By asking for TripAdvisor reviews and providing high-quality experiences for guests, you’re taking an active role in ensuring that your rankings are high—and that new customers will find you each and every day.
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.