Should you optimize your Tripadvisor page? Yes! Yes! AND Yes! Here’s why: Tripadvisor is a mega destination for travelers. The site receives 350 million uniques per month and 190 contributions a minute. A minute! So while getting your own website into top notch shape is important, learning how to optimize your Tripadvisor page is also extremely important.
At a recent Discover Newport Marketing Meeting, Tripadvisor’s Mark Preston shared insider tips on how to handle negative views and how to optimizing your listing. A few other eye-opening stats he shared:
- * 50% of Tripadvisor traffic comes from handheld devices. “Mobile is now,” Preston said. “It is no longer in the future.”
- * Interest in Newport content has surged by 24% year over year, including domestic and international searches.
6 Steps To Optimize Your Tripadvisor Page
1. Embrace feedback, even negative feedback
By responding to all reviews and absorbing what people like and dislike, you will build recognition and respect among Tripadvisor users. It takes guts and skill to respond to negative reviews, and users recognize that. Your thoughtful and timely responses reflect your commitment to customer service.
Negative reviews may present a unique opportunity to differentiate your business while showcasing its core offering. Instead of trying to counter a negative review, perhaps there is room to highlight your unique business offerings, letting your business stand out to those customers who are looking for what you provide.
Mark shared a story to illustrate this point. An Inn in New England received a negative review from a customer who felt the room was a bit musty. The owners replied that their unique collection of thousands of antique books perhaps did create a different atmosphere but that many of their guests loved perusing the shelves.
Talk about turning lemons into lemonade!
Showing you can respond to reviews professionally will strengthen your relationship with customers and create a more positive reputation. Leaving negative reviews unanswered leaves the impression that the reviewer was correct.
2. No. 1 isn’t all that
Of course you want to be the top ranked fill-in-the-blank, but remember that customers are not always looking for No. 1. They are often looking for the best fit for the experience they want to have. A restaurant may be No. 1 in a particular city, but if it is not good for large gatherings, then their family reunion will have to make a reservation somewhere else.
When you highlight what it’s like to eat/sleep/visit your hospitality business, you capture Tripadvisor users who are looking for a certain experience. Imagine if a Tiki Bar never talked about it’s special decor, unusual drinks, or peppy music? Step back and recognize what is unique about your business – and you’ll more effectively engage with customers who want to have that experience.
Reviews tell a story, Preston said. They paint a picture for customers who want some indication of what their experience is going to be.
3. Solicit reviews
A study has proven that more reviews equals higher ratings. Tripadvisor provides marketing materials that encourage people to leave reviews. Reach out to Tripadvisor customer service to request them. This is one of the easiest ways to optimize your Tripadvisor page.
4. Save time with templates.
If and when your business receives a great number of reviews, it’s best to create a template response to save time and customize where appropriate. You’ll stay on message, and save oodles of time.
5. Photography matters
“Photos do more than just catch TripAdvisor travelers’ attention: research shows that listings with at least one photo see 138% more traveler engagement and a 225% increase in likelihood of a booking inquiry,” says a Tripadvisor help page. Take the time to create a collection of photos that depict how you want your business to be perceived. It is challenging to step outside the business you know so well, but many folks on Tripadvisor may know nothing about your business aside from what they see on your page.
Hire a professional photographer (I highly recommend New England photographer Marianne Lee for hospitality clients) or learn how to take top notch photos so you can show your business at its best. Travelers want some expectation of your experience at your business before they decide to commit – and photos SHOW them more than words can ever TELL.
If you have a budget to optimize your Tripadvisor page, professional photography is money well spent. Just think how fabulous those perfect images will look on your Tripadvisor page, on your Facebook page, and on your website!
6. Show off
Leverage the recognized Tripadvisor brand. Request marketing materials from Tripadvisor if your business has won an award or been distinguished.