Isn’t it exhausting to keep up in this world of constant competition? Potential guests are continually looking for top-rated properties. Did you know that approximately 95% of your customers will check a reviews website before booking a stay at your property?
Where are your guests going for reviews? In most cases, the answer is TripAdvisor. (Google and Facebook are popular as well).
Thanks to this reality, the TripAdvisor Popularity Index is highly influential in your property’s success. The closer your popularity ranking gets to #1 on this site, the more likely you are to be chosen by prospective guests when they search for accommodation in your area. That’s why I have put together a five-step guide to boosting your TripAdvisor Ranking.
1. Get high-quality reviews
TripAdvisor cares about what is being said in your reviews. For example, a review that’s just a few lines in length will not get as much attention as one that’s a paragraph long. A detailed review that’s packed with your property’s unique selling points goes a long way toward that location’s TripAdvisor rank.
For example, let’s say that you manage a farm stay property that’s family- and pet-friendly in Yorkshire. When you get a review that talks about all of these factors, TripAdvisor will take note. If you get 10 more reviews talking about the same keywords, your ranking will go up.
The person who leaves the review is also important. If you have someone stay at your property who is a “serial reviewer“, and they, in turn, leave a review on your TripAdvisor page, then TripAdvisor will treat their review as more important than the review of a newcomer to the site.
2. Encourage your guests to review
Make sure you get a lot of love from your guests, and by love, we mean reviews. It’s critical that you get as many reviews as possible from as many guests as you can.
Don’t be afraid to get creative when asking guests to review you. Your request strategy can be as simple as leaving welcome letters in your rooms. These should encourage your guests to leave their feedback on TripAdvisor. If you’re worried about bad reviews, don’t be. There are lots of ways to turn a negative review into new customers.
When it comes to getting reviews, being proactive will start you off on the right path. The best part about asking for feedback is that it doesn’t cost a penny. However, it never hurts to provide a small incentive. We’ll talk more about specific strategies for getting feedback later in this article.
3. Maintain recent reviews
When dealing with TripAdvisor, remember this cardinal rule: Recent reviews are more valuable than old ones. If you get a hundred reviews one month but receive none the month after, your ranking will drop. Maintain consistency.
TripAdvisor is always “tweaking” their algorithm, which rewards establishments that have current reviews. While nobody outside of TripAdvisor knows for sure how these algorithms work, there are TripAdvisor training courses and material specifically designed for hospitality marketers. These offer plenty of insight about the site’s review and ranking system.
4. Provide an excellent service
Offering remarkable service doesn’t necessarily mean providing lavish facilities. It has more to do with taking care of guests, make sure they are satisfied, and creating a warm atmosphere.
Don’t forget to at least fulfil the basic courtesies. Cleanliness, a unique touch, and quick turnaround for guest needs are all critical factors to the quality of your service. If you pay attention to these details, the reviews will speak for themselves. Offer a commitment to service so extraordinary that your guests cannot resist writing an epic review.
5. Just Ask!
If you want your guests to review you, ask them! You even can make your request as they leave. Over the years, I have seen hotels successfully ask for reviews in a variety of ways. Here are a few:
✅ Give the guest a card with a reminder to leave a review on TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor provides these for free via their extranet. Just log in and request.
✅ Send a post-stay email.
✅ Post a request for reviews monthly on Facebook. Tell your fans to leave a review on TripAdvisor. Better yet, boost those posts for better exposure.
✅ If you have your guest’s phone number, send a post-stay text with a link to your property’s TripAdvisor page.
✅ As the guest is leaving, give them a “goodbye gift”. This should be something small. With it, include a note asking your guest to leave a review on TripAdvisor.
It doesn’t matter how you ask, only that you do!
Bonus Tip: Do not ignore your guest’s review. Taking a review for granted is one of the don’ts of online marketing. In addition, when you do engage with your guest’s review, mention that it pays to book direct.
😉 You never know who’s reading those responses!