I don’t like most things. And when I say “most,” I mean “any.”
Hotels and hotel management software, admittedly, are pretty cool, too. And the fact that hotels are an integral part of TripAdvisor, well, *swoon.*
Now, if you’re a hotel manager that hasn’t made use of this superb site, here are a few stats to convince you:
- 96 million marketable members worldwide
- 320 million reviews and opinions
- 200 new contributions are posted every minute
- It’s free
- It’s free
Those last two are pretty great, especially if you’re a smaller hotel with a tight marketing budget.
Still, free things can come with a price. With TripAdvisor, that price is the cost of spending the time to ensure you’re standing out.
Because, with all of these competing hotels, how can you distinguish yourself from others clamoring for the top spot in search results?
No worries. I’ve got you.
Below, I’ll outline five simple strategies for you to use so you can dominate TripAdvisor and make the most out of this free resource. If anything, it may cost a bit of time, but the potential to reach all of those customers makes this site a worthy investment.
Fill Out Your Profile in Its Entirely
Before you scroll past this, think about what it means to complete something. I don’t mean you spent five minutes and then called it a day. Because the thing about freebies is that we often take them for granted when we should really be making the most of them.
The best thing about Capterra is how you can browse for software in our multitude of categories, and even filter your results to find software that accomplishes exactly what you need it to do. Awesome, easy, and fast.
So if there’s anything that disappoints me, it’s when a vendor’s product page is entirely empty. No product details, no features checklist, and no media to give me a quick overview of what this solution has to offer.
I’m a lazy Millennial, and I like it when everything’s in one place. So if your product really is the right fit, why make me do all the extra work?
With TripAdvisor, I can see room availability and rates during my holiday, break down reviews based on keywords (which can increase your SEO), browse through photos and amenities, and see basic contact information at the top of the profile page. It’s all there, it’s accessible, and it even compares prices across other booking sites.
So what happens when you don’t fill out your profile?
Let me drop a Millennial metaphor for you.
Not filling out your TripAdvisor page is like having a lackluster Tinder profile. It’s cool that you’ve got a photo of yourself and all, but do you wear a fedora? Did you enjoy the second season of True Detective? Do you like mayonnaise?
I don’t know. I hope not. Swipe left.
Moreover, having an incomplete profile page is less likely to prompt customer reviews. It shows that you aren’t paying attention or don’t care, and aren’t making the most out of the latest technology.
And again, those keywords are SEO gold. I mean, they wrote an entire blog post about it–just like you would write a blog post about actual gold.
Plus, most of the fillable information on TripAdvisor can be harvested from your main site. Just upload property photos, fill out the contact information and other key features, and you should be set.
Not too hard, huh?
Direct Reviews to TripAdvisor
We all want reviews.
They ground our products and show how what’s being advertised translates into real life. Even negative ones, while unfortunate, can at least point out our flaws so we can do better next time. Not to mention, they increase conversation, which can do wonders for your SEO and your revenue.
But reviews on TripAdvisor can do even more wonders for your hotel.
So how do you get them?
Here’s another analogy:
On LinkedIn, you can endorse various connections for skills, but you can also give out recommendations.
Recommendations, in particular, are highly coveted. Endorsing a connection for skills is easy because you can do it with the click of a mouse. They’re appreciated for what they are, but a recommendation takes time and effort. It’s qualitative and grounds your abilities in the words of others, much like product reviews, including those on TripAdvisor.
So how do you get them? Just ask.
That’s right. Whether you go about this through email marketing software that asks for a review after a stay, or even by handing off a card during checkout, asking for reviews is a sure way to get them, and even increase the likelihood of positive reviews.
However, you can direct these reviews to your TripAdvisor page, where, in all likelihood, they may already have an account.
Plus, asking for guest reviews also demonstrates that you care about your customer feedback and value guest experience at your hotel.
Increase Listing Engagement
TripAdvisor, in many ways, works as another social media platform for you to promote your product.
While digital, you can still connect with customers who reach out, proving that you value their feedback, functioning essentially another way of extending your hospitality. You also look like you’re invested in technology and understand where your customers are, which is helpful when building customer relationships.
With TripAdvisor’s reviews section, those who sign up for an account can comment and give other guests an idea of what your property has in store. Again, grounding your hotel’s guest experience and converting traffic into reservations.
While the site has come under some criticism for the broad range of these reviews, TripAdvisor is still another excellent opportunity for you to connect with guests (past, present, and future) by responding to some of these reviews.
Now, it would be a bit of overkill if you responded to every review on your listing, but targeting the negative ones, especially if the guest clearly spent time writing out their complaint, gives you a chance to do some damage control.
Not only can you set things right with your unsatisfied guest, you may be able to offer them some sort of consolation package or a refund to remedy their bad stay.
Aside from increasing your SEO, “63% of customers [are also]…more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews” and “50 or more reviews per product…mean a 4.6% increase in conversion rates.”
In other words, the more activity the better.
Display Awards on Main Site and Social
Because TripAdvisor is a leading travel site, its brand carries weight. So if you’re recognized with an award, it’s something that can really grow your exposure and ground your guest experience.
Currently, there are more than 6.2 million accommodations listed on the site with a combined 320 million reviews and opinions, meaning that if you stand out from the pack, it’s a big deal.
Think of it this way:
I love going to the library. I’m a heavy classics reader, but I always try to take on a few new titles now and then. Often, I gravitate towards books that have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. It’s a safe bet that if the vast majority of readers like it, I might too.
Similarly, I love checking out books that have made Oprah’s coveted book club. With these in particular, I know I can expect riveting stories, full of beautiful prose and unforgettable characters. I haven’t read an Oprah Book Club pick that I haven’t liked.
A TripAdvisor award emblem works much the same in the world of hotels. It’s a seal of approval that guarantees a certain standard of excellence.
And not only do your awards show at the bottom image of your listing for an extra rankings bump, but these emblems are also available for posting across your social media platforms.
With a simple widget, you can place these clickable buttons across your main site and social pages, which will then bring users over to your TripAdvisor profile page. A great way to direct traffic back to your site listing.
It’s also a good shortcut to give potential guests access to more information and reviews, if they’re interested in staying at your hotel.
Green hotels are a hot commodity.
Not only can they save you big bucks with affordable changes, but sustainability is a cause you should get behind, especially if you’re targeting the Millennial market.
Nielsen reports that not only are Millennials “willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings,” but 72% are also “willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies…committed to positive social and environmental impact.”
Sustainability also gives you a major boost on TripAdvisor.
Launched in April 2013, TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders Program is an effort to help eco-friendly travelers find hotels they can feel good about. As you know, having a happy customer leads to a great guest experience.
While you have to do a bit more than just say that you’re a green hotel, TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program can be a mutually beneficial thing.
Because while you do have to match certain standards to qualify as a GreenLeader, these guidelines can also serve as future goals to help grow your sustainability score and reach higher levels in the GreenLeaders Program.
Your accomplishment additionally earns you a badge on your listing, helping your property stand out from the pack–a great edge to have if you’re based in a competitive area. Users can also check out what specific green practices your hotel employs to feel better about where they could be staying.
Can you think of any other ways to maximize your hotel’s listing on TripAdvisor? Which strategy is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.