Competition is fierce: When it comes to bookings and hotels, OTAs, tour operators, and other third-party agencies are constantly striving to attract travelers to their websites.
A booking platform is the very base of any successful strategy. With the right tools, it is now becoming easier and easier to build on top of that base and reach new heights in terms of online booking figures.
What do travelers expect and respond well to in terms of booking hotels through third-party websites? How can you ensure that you encourage those bookings without overcomplicating things and investing too much time and effort in the process? The answer is simple: by optimizing your hotel search with the aid of reviews and scores.
Nowadays, not displaying customer reviews is one move that can end up with high costs for a business. This is because the large majority of modern travelers read and consider reviews before making a booking decision. If you decide to leave out guest reviews, users will easily go from your page to another one that includes them.
Keep in mind that 99% of travelers look at reviews during their hotel search and 68% of travelers look at more than 6 reviews, so the demand is there and it is definitely strong. It’s easy to understand that the first step in the right direction is integrating guest reviews on the booking platform in order to make sure that you provide all the necessary information that travelers need.
Moving on from this, the question that arises is “what kind of reviews work best?” Also, “what do travelers prefer and what do they respond to best when searching for an accommodation?” What you need to know is that nothing says quality more than verified reviews. Keep in mind that we’re dealing with an extremely vast online world, where everyone can freely display an opinion. However, not every opinion is a fair, justified one, so your business can lose credibility by relying on fake reviews. Travelers should be guided by feedback that is legit, verified, and based on quality data.
What our previous studies uncovered is that travelers prefer summarized review content. Because immediacy is highly valued and consumers don’t want to spend too much valuable time researching an accommodation’s features and reputation, they require short, to-the-point reviews that would give them an overview of the quality of their options. Especially when browsing on a booking platform among so many different hotels and accommodations available, the representation of online reputation needs to be short, insightful, and preferably visually-appealing. This is exactly what the TrustYou Meta-Review and the TrustScore enable: a simple, yet engaging way of presenting aggregated review either as an overview of multiple guest reviews or as a score, on a scale from 1 to 5.
One more thing that needs to be addressed is the vast demographic to which you are catering. Travelers come in all shapes and sizes and they all want their specific needs and expectations to be met by the booking platform. This is where personalization comes in place and enables you to present them with the exact review content that matters most to them. To ease the searching and booking process, it is recommended to highlight the best hotels, divide them by categories, and combine review content with badges. These are used to signal specific accommodations that excel in one category or another and help them stand out as well as increase their chances of getting booked.
Besides badges and filters, it’s also important to enable multiple languages on the booking platform in order to cater to international travelers and make their booking experience easier and more pleasant. When you present travelers with information that is complex, yet easy-to-understand and digestible, you are automatically increasing the time that they spend on your page. Travelers don’t feel the need to search elsewhere for extra information and guest reviews. They can get a complete overview of any hotel’s online reputation in an effortless way. This is a solid strategy of boosting conversion rates that has been proven to keep travelers engaged and encourage them to complete a booking.
All of these insights can be easily put into practice with the use of TrustYou’s marketing and Meta-Review API features. The setup on booking platforms and third parties is always seamless and hassle-free and the end result provides a complex analysis of review summaries from more than 200 global sources. So far, the TrustYou Meta-Review caters to more than 700,000 properties from around the globe and is available in 26 languages.
These comprehensive solutions are trusted by global leaders like Google, KAYAK, and Hotels.com, who are currently using the TrustYou solutions to personalize and enhance the hotel search experience, as well as boost their conversions.
Laura Badiu is a passionate bookworm and a gifted writer. Since joining TrustYou’s marketing team, she has embraced topics in the travel and hospitality sector with enthusiasm. Using her degree in Journalism, Laura creatively weaves words into insightful stories with a focus on reputation management.