When researching a trip, consumers spend a lot of time researching online. If you’re like me, planning your next trip isn’t as simple as choosing a destination and booking flights (oh, to be spontaneous!). Planning a vacation requires thought. Are you planning a two-week road trip to visit historic monuments? An international adventure? A leisurely escape to unwind? A weekend getaway following a business trip?
No matter where or how they end up booking their trip, consumers are spending more time visiting websites to plan their getaways. A behavioral survey found that American, British, and Canadian travelers visit 120-160 travel sites before booking a trip. Prior to booking, they end up visiting an average of 290 total websites across multiple devices over a 45-day period.
Tripadvisor listings regularly appear at the top of Google search results, and is one of those sites travelers frequently visit when researching a destination. The travel website features reviews, user-generated content, booking capabilities, and more, making it a one-stop-shop for travelers looking to learn more about their destination of choice.
- Tripadvisor has over 702 million reviews of the world’s leading hotels.
- Tripadvisor lists over 7 million locations — restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions.
- As the biggest travel advisor online, Tripadvisor has 490 million monthly active users.
- The platform continues to rank as #1 in the Travel and Tourism category in the US.
- The company generates revenue of $1.62 billion worldwide.
- Tripadvisor ended 2018 as one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500.
- 7,000 new contributions appear on Tripadvisor every hour. (Source)
All this to say, Tripadvisor plays a huge role in the global travel economy, and optimizing your Tripadvisor listing will ensure travelers find your restaurant, attraction, or accommodations listing. Continue reading for tips on how to capture your audience.
Let’s Start With The Basics.
To start, you’ll need a business listing. Business owners can create a new listing or claim an already existing one. Many times, a business will already be listed on Tripadvisor because travelers can create a listing by reviewing a business. Business owners can see if their listing already exists by visiting Tripadvisor.com/owners.
You’ll need to provide up-to-date information on your listing, such as the name, address, contact information, relevant links, a profile photo, description (keywords, keywords, keywords!), property details, and uploading quality photos. Your property details will vary depending on your business. For example, a hotel will ask for the total number of rooms, amenities, price range, and minimum stay requirements, while a restaurant listing asks for the type of cuisine, link to the restaurant menu, hours of operation, among other details.
Once your business listing is up and running, you’ll need to monitor it for reviews – positive and negative – and engage with your audience. Reviews are one of the most important aspects of your Tripadvisor listing.
Among consumers that read reviews, a staggering 97 percent read businesses’ responses to reviews, so taking the time to respond to reviews is crucial to your business’s success. While everyone loves a positive review, we recommend addressing the negative reviews as well because customers want to know that your brand cares about customer satisfaction. As we’ve said before, when responding to negative reviews, be sure to acknowledge the situation, take responsibility and apologize, and explain, if necessary. If the review in question raises any concerns, such as it violating Tripadvisor’s review guidelines, you might be able to have it removed.
You can even monitor and respond to reviews from other platforms on Tripadvisor thanks to its recently launched, subscription-based Review Hub. The interactive portal allows restaurant owners to view and respond to consumer reviews of their business, whether the review was shared on Tripadvisor, TheFork, Google, Facebook, Yelp, or other major review sites. If your review page is looking a bit empty, you can read our blog on tactics for generating positive online reviews for your business.
Alright, let’s get to the nitty gritty.
Add The Book Now Button
Rather than losing your audience to another travel website to book a stay or experience, add a “Book Now” button to your listing. While convenient, you will need to assess whether the button is the right move for your business. The boost in sales might not be worth it if the commissions from bookings made on Tripadvisor are taking earnings you would’ve gotten anyway on your website or other platforms. This booking capability is powered by Viator, a Tripadvisor company.
Nab & Showcase Your Tripadvisor Awards
Only 10 percent of total businesses on Tripadvisor boast the Traveler’s Choice award, formerly known as the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence badge on their listing. For almost a decade, the Traveler’s Choice award has honored hospitality businesses that deliver consistent and great customer service across the world. There is no cost or application process for it, and accommodations, restaurants, and attractions are eligible to earn the certificate.
To qualify, your business must maintain an overall rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews, and have been listed on Tripadvisor for at least 12 months, among other qualifying criteria. Businesses that receive the award for five consecutive years will qualify for the Tripadvisor Hall of Fame.
The Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best award, formerly known as Traveler’s Choice (I know, this is getting confusing), reflecting the “best of the best” for service, quality, and customer satisfaction. This award is given according to category including category, hotels, accommodations, destinations, attractions, brands and products.
Improve Your Popularity Ranking
When my husband and I visited Chicago in mid March, many places had begun closing due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Signature Lounge happened to be open on our last day in the city, so we stopped by. What the lounge lacked in decor and average drinks, it more than made up for it with spectacular, panoramic views of downtown Chicago.
It is no wonder that the bar ranks 15 out of 461 nightlife options in Chicago.
The fate of your Tripadvisor Popularity Ranking and hopes of moving up in the world lies in the hands of your guests. Your Popularity Ranking is based on the quality, recency and quantity of your reviews, as well as the consistency of those reviews over time. This goes back to doing the work of providing excellent customer service, asking your happy customers to leave a review of their experience, and monitoring and replying to positive and negative reviews.
It is also important to note that the Popularity Ranking takes into account a business’s performance, in relation to the performance of surrounding businesses. As one business moves up in the ranking, it impacts others around it. Whether your competition is exceeding customer expectations or doing the exact opposite, your rank is also directly impacted by area businesses.
Throw Some Money Their Way
Tripadvisor does not offer any advertising solutions for attractions, but does offer sponsored placements for restaurants and accommodations. Sponsored Placements are great tools to drive inbound traffic, visibility & and increase direct bookings to accommodations.
Businesses choosing to set up a Sponsored Placements campaign have the option to select from three monthly cost-per-click budget options or customize their own, allowing them to set their maximum spend threshold. The ads are targeted to traffic searching for relevant accommodation options in the area, and owners are only charged for the clicks their ads receive. With this feature, accommodations providers can purchase sponsored listings that live above search results to increase their presence.
Your Tripadvisor listing is much more than a place for visitors to share their reviews. It is a marketing tool for advertising the best of your business. Optimizing your listing will help you stand out from the competition when potential customers are researching their next getaway. Bon voyage!