Three key elements to consider right now: Millions of potential hotel guests visit TripAdvisor every month to plan their journeys, at present, the company reports an average of 390 million monthly unique visitors and has listings for 7 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.
For hoteliers, a TripAdvisor listing has long ceased to be nice-to-have, or something that can be created and then forgotten. It’s a vital information source that helps hotels increase their visibility, and form stronger relationships with guests through ratings and reviews.
And in an age when user reviews help create and maintain the public’s perception of a brand, TripAdvisor offers hoteliers a chance to quickly address any perceived negative experiences and show a public commitment to guest satisfaction.
Keep your profile up-to-date: Details matter
Small details, such as updating your business information online, can easily get lost in the larger, day-to-day challenges of hotel operations. These seemingly minor details can become very important when they impact your potential guests’ expectations.
What travel shoppers see when they’re getting inspired and making decisions creates conscious and unconscious expectations. It's vital that your TripAdvisor listing shows guests an accurate, up-to-date picture of what they’ll experience during their stay. When your listing matches what guests see on your website and when they arrive at your hotel, you’re much more likely to have happy, engaged guests who are receptive to loyalty offers and open to writing positive reviews of their stay.
So, if you’ve recently remodeled your rooms, if you've changed your décor or if you've added new amenities to upgrade your facilities, make sure these changes are reflected on TripAdvisor right away, just as they should be on your website and in marketing collateral. Accurate, up-to-date information builds trust and underscores your hotel’s commitment to quality.
Image quest: Make your first impression count
It’s also important to have high-quality professional photos that show potential guests how vibrant and inviting your property is – and to update those images regularly. Your hotel’s listing photos are a key part of the first impression guests will get of your property.
When you’re hiring a photographer and planning the photos you want to include, consider what sets apart the guest experience at your hotel from the competition. Make those unique qualities shine through in the imagery displayed on your TripAdvisor listing.
Win on popularity: Give guests reasons to write reviews
You’ve set guests’ expectations with engaging content. You’ve delivered on those expectations with excellent service. It’s now time to encourage guests to share their experiences and help spread the word to other travelers.
Your hotel’s TripAdvisor popularity ranking is based on traveler reviews relative to reviews of other hotels in your geographical area. TripAdvisor’s ranking algorithm helps determine the relative popularity of businesses in an area, and several factors contribute to a hotel’s TripAdvisor rating:
- Quality – The bubble ratings that travelers give as part of their reviews are important. In general, properties with more 4- and 5-bubble ratings will rank higher than businesses with lower ratings.
- Recency – TripAdvisor’s philosophy is that recent reviews are more valuable to travelers, giving a more accurate representation of the current in-stay experience at your hotel. Whether positive or negative, older reviews won’t impact your hotel’s popularity as much as those written in recent weeks.
- Quantity – The more reviews your hotel has, the better. Travelers tend to have more confidence in hotels that have been reviewed by multiple travelers over time, and thus TripAdvisor’s algorithm takes quantity into account.
According to TripAdvisor, 83 percent of travelers say these ratings are important when choosing accommodations. Recent, favorable reviews will keep your hotel’s popularity ranking current, leading to improved visibility and more potential interest from guests.
It's important to review your TripAdvisor strategy regularly, as you review your marketing and distribution goals and refine your channel strategy. After all, TripAdvisor may be the first introduction a potential guest has to your hotel. It’s important to make that first impression the best one possible – and one that, hopefully, will lead to many more bookings down the line.
Hugh Fisher - Data Storyteller
As data storyteller for Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Hugh analyzes industry data and researches trends impacting hotel revenue, bookings and guest experience. He has an MBA with concentrations in Marketing Management and Decision Analytics from the Jenkins Graduate School of Management, NC State University. Hugh.Fisher@Sabre.com