In today’s world, online reputation matters a great deal. Whether you are a hotel or any other business, your reputation over the OTA is extremely important for your customers. One of the biggest players online is TripAdvisor. With over 570 million reviews and 490 million unique visitors, TripAdvisor dominates the search results and user ratings for over 7.3 million hotels, restaurants, and activities around the world, as per its top travel trend report (2017-18).
While claiming your free listing on TripAdvisor is one of the primary steps to get started with, maintaining your business performance on this platform is pretty challenging. It is imperative for every business to upkeep its performance on TripAdvisor as it is one of the leading booking and guest-engaging platforms. And with so many people checking this platform on a daily basis, it is important for every business to build products or services that can help achieve long-term, sustained growth and, in turn, can turbocharge your Popularity Ranking on TripAdvisor.
Popularity Ranking! Need Translation?
TripAdvisor’s Popularity Ranking is an algorithm that is extremely crucial in evaluating the performance of your hotel or business by comparing it alongside other businesses in the same geographical location. As quoted by Janice Lee Fang, the Communications Director for TripAdvisor in Asia-Pacific, the TripAdvisor Popularity Index “reflects how a property ranks compared to competitors in a geographic area.” A greater part of the Popularity Ranking relies heavily on user reviews, which aids in ascertaining your current status and how close to the top you are! Again, this ranking has the power to bring you up in the user’s search and plays an instrumental role in your overall growth based on the popularity quotient. It is a cutting-edge algorithm that influences the users to make confident decisions by giving more insights into the quality and overall performance of a business. Thus the TripAdvisor Popularity Index is becoming a critical metric for many hotels.
Still Not Clear! Care to Elaborate?
There is no denying the fact that the popularity level on TripAdvisor helps to turbocharge your status and overall performance. It comes with a lot of benefits. Hence the chase! But before starting with the ways in which you can boost your ranking on TripAdvisor, it is imperative to know about the algorithm in great detail.
To be precise, the ranking index is a three-ingredient recipe, wherein the three components intermingle and also influence individually the ranking of a particular business. These include- Quality, Recency, and Quantity of the reviews which are received from the users. These are then put in relation to the consistency of the reviews over time and that kind of completes the entire equation.
Let us devote a part of this discussion to knowing more about each of these components briefly:
Fitzgerald once said, “Too much of anything is bad…” and so did Mark Twain! But with all due respect, we are inverting the scenario here. Too much of reviews can never be bad! In fact, the amount of reviews that a business receives helps prospective customers to determine its popularity quotient. However, by the quantity, we mean that the reviews generated should be capable of producing a statistical significance in order to allow the customers to make confident decisions. For instance, a business with 700 reviews will not be listed on the top when compared to another business generating 70 reviews at the same time. The reason we are saying more reviews is because they can help in providing us with more information about a hotel or business. Again, a statistical measure can be derived only when the customers can predict a business ranking based on the great mass of reviews.
To Sum It All Up:
• Poor reviews are a massive turn-off.
• Recent reviews take the upper hand when compared to the older ones.
• A great amount of reviews helps to make certain confident or potentially confident decisions about a business.
A perfect combination of these will introduce ‘consistency’ by bringing it into the picture. To ensure consistency, you can allow these components to intermingle to up your popularity ranking:
(i) Quality and Quantity can merge together to ensure consistency, A simple example of this would be a business having consistently good reviews in comparison to the one having the same amount of good and bad reviews (mixed). Obviously, the former will rank higher.
(ii) On the other hand, Recency and Quantity will work wonders. A large number of fresh reviews will certainly go well for a business and turbocharge its ranking.
How to Improve Ranking?
A major part of boosting the ranking is based on user feedback which is why collecting reviews and feedback becomes extremely important. Not just the quantity but even the quality matters indicating that your business is effective in meeting the demands of the consumers. Hence focusing on review management strategy is something that should rank first on your list of priorities. As per the research by TripAdvisor, 81% of the travelers find online reviews important and read them before booking a hotel and 93% of guests make their bookings after reading the reviews, while the 70% read at least 6-10 reviews before actually choosing a hotel.
Puzzled? Here are the few ways in which you can boost your ranking on Trip Advisor:
1. Enhance the Guest Experience
By experience, we do not just mean the ‘on-arrival experience.’ You can play with the ‘pre’ and ‘post’ arrival experiences as well by devising the ways to get constant reviews from the guests. To attain more positive reviews, you can start with the pre-arrival experience, asking the guests if they have any special request which you might be able to accommodate. This helps understand their experience better. Try your best to fulfill their expectations and post the check-out reviews might just start pouring in.
Again, it’s a bit challenging to accommodate all the requests and expectations of the guests. But here are a few tips that will help ease the problem to a great extent:
Few Tips For An Appalling ‘Pre-Arrival’ Experience
Few Tips For A Mind-Blowing ‘On-Arrival’ Experience
Few Tips For A Fantastic Post-Arrival Experience
“Thank you for choosing us. We hope that you enjoyed your stay to the fullest. Feel free to reach out to us with your comments, concerns, and suggestions. We hope to serve you once more! Good day!”
“Thank you for choosing to stay with us. We hope that you had a wonderful stay! We would love it if you can send quick feedback to us to help us know your experience better. We would appreciate that! Take care!”
If you look after the guests, the guests will look after your business. It is as basic as that! Remember a customer notices everything. A bad experience is unforgettable! So use the opportunity wisely to get more reviews and better ranking on TripAdvisor. A good experience will definitely show itself in the form of a higher bubble rating determining the excellent quality of your business.
2. Be a Reviews Management Rockstar!
Rankings suffer a great deal sometimes just because we are unable to respond to so many reviews timely. Here is the need for a friend who can help manage this Herculean task flawlessly and efficiently. Befriend an efficient Review Management tool that can help you with the task of managing and responding to these reviews like a pro. With GuestTouch, you can manage all your reviews on a single dashboard and respond to each of them personally and professionally with adequate personalization and with the aid of the expert response curators which is crucial to instilling confidence in other travelers. Your Reviews Solution needs to be able to do everything end to end: Generate more reviews easily, manage reviews, analyze reviews, collect feedback and post stay reviews, automatically. Having implemented a right solution will help you boost your ranking everywhere.
3. Make the Necessary Changes/Focus on Offline Actions for Better Online Results.
Sometimes, in a lot of reviews, you will find the customers giving their feedback on something which needs much improvement. While it takes time to improve certain aspects and causes some amount of difficulty in implementing those changes, do pay heed to customers’ suggestions. Do take a second and brood on that! Even if you are not planning to execute it right away, do keep it in your mind for future improvements. For instance, if your rating is lowered as a result of the inadequate breakfast served at your hotel, even if your overall service is up-to-the-mark, do not treat this aspect casually. Instead, focus on expanding your breakfast selection. Surely, it will take time but do give this concern a thought. Again, if a customer finds your service excellent but property dated, start thinking of the way in which you can upgrade it for a better experience. Focusing on offline actions will surely reveal itself in the form of extremely positive reviews from happy customers who would be glad to acknowledge the efforts you took. And you are already aware of the perks of high-quality reviews on TripAdvisor. So take it slowly and at your own pace, but take!
4. Realize the Significance of Bubble Rating and Strive to Improve That!
As it goes, Bubble Rating on TripAdvisor is an overall rating of your performance by the guests on a scale of 1-5 where 3 is average and 5 is excellent, more like a personal satisfaction score based on the quality of the service provided by you. It sums up your performance in a way and is visible to the customers whenever a search is performed. Star ratings are, however, different and are only hotel specific. But star ratings are provided by third-party platforms and while they are important, it is the traveler- based rating that is stronger and emerges as the dominant voice. Because even if the hotel is rated five-star and the guest believes that it provides a three-star service, they will stick to that!
5. Nail it While Responding to the Reviews (Both Positive and Negative)
While responding to reviews doesn’t have a direct impact on your TripAdvisor ranking, it can still come jam-packed with a lot of indirect benefits. The way a business responds to its customer feedback helps to drive more bookings and more potential reviews. According to a research by TripAdvisor, 85% of users feel that a thoughtful and appropriate response to a bad review will improve their impression of the hotel, and 65% of respondents agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to online reviews, compared with one that doesn’t. So how you curate a response to the reviews, both positive and negative will influence customer’s booking decisions and overall impression of you. More customers mean more reviews and better reviews mean enlarging the scope to improve further in the future. So once again, we are emphasizing on the quality and quantity.Check out the Best practices for responding to hotel reviews online here.
Apart from these, there are a few other indirect or overall pointers that will prove to be immensely beneficial in improving your TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking:
1. Embrace Even the Negative Responses
2. Be Clear About Your Vision
3. Go Above and Beyond in Your Service to Make Your Guests Feel Special
Even small, kind gestures can go a long way in helping to boost your rankings on TripAdvisor. For instance, leaving a welcome note with a complimentary chocolate bar or flowers can make a guest happy and lead them to leave you a positive response.
4. Train Your Team to be Guest-Centric
Factors like cleanliness, staff service, amenities, etc. matter. Mobilize your team and train them efficiently by instilling in them a guest-centric culture. A bad staff service can bring down your performance and impact your business negatively to a great extent. Encourage the staff to go even a mile extra to resolve the guests’ complaints as much as they can before it escalates too much online and culminates into a negative review.
5. Provide the Best Deals Relevant Promotions, Extras Activities with Local Partnerships or Upgrades to Make the Stay Experience Better and Richer
Guests really love an extra touch! Providing good value for money is an ideal expectation. However, if you cannot really lessen the cost, supplement it with extras like an upgrade or free Wi-Fi. A fulfilling experience will help the guests leave a positive review. However, avoid giving out rewards or any other incentives in exchange for the guest reviews as this goes strictly against the TripAdvisor Incentives Policy
6. Update Your Profile
An incomplete profile is a massive turn off. It looks unengaging and less appealing. Update your profile with all the details that might be engaging and attractive. Use the relevant keywords, catchy descriptions and add high-resolution photos and videos to give a really good impression to the guests to come stay with you, enjoy their stay, and write an extremely positive review about your overall performance.
7. Embed TripAdvisor Widgets
This option works wonders in helping the guests leave reviews. You can embed them on your website or Facebook Page. A host of these widgets are for free such as: ‘Write-A-Review Widget’, ‘Rating-Widget’ and ‘Rave Review Widget.’ This will act as a constant visual reminder to the guests that they are supposed to write you a review and will aid in redirecting them.
8. Invest in an Automated Guest Satisfaction Surveys Solution
A good automated guest satisfaction survey solution will allow you to send e-mails to the guests asking for feedback post the check-out. Again, a digital survey helps with the analytics by bringing in front of you an accurate representation of your ongoing progress and guest satisfaction with your performance. A good automated solution will help fetch more survey responses and make the process less time-consuming compared to the e-mails.
9. Sentiment Analysis Technology for Higher Ranking
You can analyze and collect quantitative data with the help of a sentiment analysis technology. This technology uses AI (Artificial intelligence) to analyse the positive, negative and neutral sentiments of the text. This data configuration is extremely helpful when it comes to learning more about the areas where improvement is needed and what your guests are liking/disliking, their opinion, etc. Again, this is useful for the operational changes, customization of experience, and formulating brand loyalty.
10. Constant Reminders for Feedback/ Asking for Feedback
Besides the automated guest satisfaction survey solution, you can also ask your staff to participate in the crucial task of asking feedback from the customers. For instance, the guests usually ask for the information on sightseeing and what all to do. Tell your staff to use this opportunity to the fullest, not only for providing them with the information but also to engage a bit with the guests and then politely asking them to leave a review.
11. Analyse the Market Trend
The best way to learn anything about popularity ranking is to first analyze the market trend. Look at what your competitors are doing and how they are doing it best. This prepares you to strengthen your strong points further and work on where you are lacking. Again, studying the market in detail helps to know the guest experience and expectations better. Taking a cue from what positives the customers have to say about your competitors, you can enlarge your scope and try to equip yourself with the facilities that the guests look forward to enjoying during their stay. Again, do not forget to take the help of the review management solution that can help even with your reputation management to the greatest extent possible.
For your convenience, we have compiled a table of the significant dos and don’ts on how to turbocharge your popularity ranking on TripAdvisor for a quick glance!
|1.||Familiarize yourself with TripAdvisor Management Response Guidelines for drafting appropriate responses.||Do not forget to update the page.|
|2.||Get a third party app or solution to help you get more reviews.||Do not offer incentives to the customers for reviews.|
|3.||Respond even to the negative aspects of the reviews.||Do not encourage fake reviews by asking your friends or relatives to write them for you.|
Relevant Questions You Might Be Having/ FAQs
1. Why is my ranking lowered when compared to others?
A. A statistically better set of reviews (quality, quantity, and recency) is one of the reasons why others are ahead of you in the race of popularity ranking.
2. Received a bad review. Will it impact my business negatively?
A. A single review does not affect the algorithm of popularity ranking. It takes into account the overall position or performance of the business by determining the overall quality of the reviews received from the users. So to avoid more negative reviews, follow the tips mentioned above and look for ways to get more of quality reviews on an everyday basis.
3. When is the Popularity Ranking calculated?
A. The ranking is calculated daily by taking into account all the published reviews, along with the new ones added for the day.
4. What is Bubble Rating on TripAdvisor?
A. Bubble Rating on TripAdvisor is an overall rating of your performance by the guests on a scale of 1-5 where 3 is considered average and 5 excellent, more like a personal satisfaction score based on the quality of the service provided by you. It sums up your performance in a way and is visible to the customers whenever a search is performed.
5. Can Management Responses aid in Popularity Ranking?
A. Not really! But again, as an indirect factor, it has a vital role to play in boosting the ranking. Prospective customers are likely to leave their responses after seeing the management replying to different types of reviews in a professional, courteous and personalized manner.
6. Do the sub-factors (amenities, cleanliness, service, etc.) play a role in determining the Popularity Ranking?
A. Not really! But they are useful for providing the customers with valuable information on what and what should not be expected from a particular hotel. Thus as an indirect factor, you are required to pay more attention to improving the performance of even the sub-factors as this will help boost your overall ranking later on.
7. Is there really the need for a Review Management Solution?
A. As discussed above, a review management solution comes with multiple benefits. It can help manage your reviews and allow you to tackle each of them with utmost care. This is a significant aspect of reputation management and a great measure of your overall performance.
With GuestTouch, you can check your performance and focus on its improvement as we help you immensely with review management. Further, we make it convenient for you by putting all the reviews on a single dashboard for an efficient management which, in turn, is less time-consuming and beneficial for improving your position and overall performance.
8. Can I ask my friends or relatives to write reviews on TripAdvisor?
A. We would like to warn you against drafting fake reviews as TripAdvisor has a Zero Tolerance Policy towards scam reviews as it is believed to be compromising the integrity of this OTA platform. So do not encourage your friends or relatives just like that to post a review, nor do it yourself. The analytics tools used by the site are immensely effective in detecting the verified, authentic reviews from the fraudulent ones. So beware!
Things You Should Be Careful About
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Online reputation is extremely important. Hence having a perfect online reputation strategy is equally essential. But with these tips and methods, you will be able to turbocharge and improve your Popularity Ranking on TripAdvisor.