12 Apr 2017 10 Ways To Improve Your Business’ TripAdvisor Ranking
Gone are the days when TripAdvisor was only for travel accommodation. Nowadays the leading website also offers business listings and reviews for restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, spas, entertainment attractions and any other businesses which cater to travelers.
Consequently, with all of the reviews that are available, it is no longer being used by travelers in isolation, your local customers are also browsing TripAdvisor reviews to gather information about your business.
TripAdvisor attracts a phenomenal 390 million average users a month, over 7 million business are listed and users of the website have contributed over 465 million online reviews. As a result, TripAdvisor is a high-authority third party website which significantly impacts your search engine optimization (SEO).
In layman’s terms, this means it increases your visibility online and means that you can be found more easily in search results, primarily via Google.
Recent research carried out by BrightLocal has found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business and 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
Taking the above information into consideration, it’s safe to say that where you rank on TripAdvisor can have a significant impact on your profit. It’s an effective tool in building consumer trust and boosting your brand reputation. We have done our research and we are here to help you gain visibility on the world’s leading travel website.
TripAdvisor Rating & Trip Advisor Ranking . . . What’s the difference?
Firstly, it helps to understand the difference between your TripAdvisor Bubble rating and your TripAdvisor Ranking. TripAdvisor terminology can be tricky!
The TripAdvisor Bubble Rating Explained
Tripadvisor uses a bubble rating as opposed to a star rating. Generally, a star rating is given by the third party based on the facilities your business offers. A bubble rating is of greater value – it’s based on a current customer’s experience with you which means that it holds more relevance and has a greater influence on potential customers.
When your customers are leaving a written review they can also leave a rating from 1- 5 based on their overall experience. Your bubble rating is a summary of your ratings from customers who reviewed you. If you are a 1 or 2 you’ve got work to do! If you are a 3, then you’re average. Swipii can help you get to an exceptional 5.
So where does the TripAdvisor ranking come into things?
There might be 100’s of businesses like yours, in your area with the same bubble rating. Your TripAdvisor Ranking, however, determines how high you are on the list and how likely you are to get noticed.
To work out who should be top of the list, TripAdvisor uses a Popularity Ranking algorithm – aka the popularity ranking index. This was introduced in 2016 to try and ensure fairness across the website and give an accurate representation of each business’s performance over time.
They are pretty secretive about how exactly it works but we do know the three main factors that affect your ranking:
- Quantity – TripAdvisor needs enough reviews to deliver a statistically meaningful comparison to other similar businesses. The more reviews the better!
- Quality – The higher the ratings the higher the ranking is a general rule.
- Recency – TripAdvisor gives more value to more recent reviews. This means that you need to continually receive positive reviews to maintain or improve your ranking.
To summarize…in order to climb the TripAdvisor ranks you need to get lots of good quality reviews AND more frequently.
So that is the technical part out of the way…
Here are our top ten tips to show you how to improve your TripAdvisor ranking:
1. List Yourself
Are you taking advantage of TripAdvisor’s entirely free listings? If not you’re missing a huge trick. TripAdvisor is a free business listing. Instead of paying a website to be listed first, put in the effort for the free and genuine business awareness you will get. It’s a no-brainer. It gives you access to an endless reach of potential customers.
2. Service, Service, Service
Offline attention to your customers will gain online results. Being dissatisfied, angry or upset motivates customers to leave a negative review. You really have to go the extra mile to compel your customers to leave a positive review. If you want your customers to leave a glowing review you must deliver an exceptional experience!
3. Ask For Reviews
‘If you don’t ask you don’t get’ is an old Scottish saying, and it’s true. At the very least if you don’t ask then you are less likely to get. If you have hit it off with a customer and your conversation is flowing, there is no harm in asking or encouraging them to leave a review for you! If you don’t want to go for the personal/upfront approach you could always send them an email to remind them afterward, although that can be rather time-consuming and you have to have their email address and know exactly who they are.
Already a Swipii merchant?
Well, Swipii already has your customer’s contact data and we’ve included a handy tool in our app which will automatically encourage your regular visitors to leave a review when they check in – we even send out an email reminder on your behalf. Returning customers are more likely to leave a positive and thorough review in comparison to one-off visitors. They must be coming back for something, right?
If you are contacting your customers directly to ask for reviews it helps to monitor the success of doing so. The more data you have access to the easier it is to tweak your approach for better results.
TripAdvisor has their own tool you can use to request reviews, ‘Review Express’. It’s a management tool which allows you to create and send out your own review reminders via the website. If you choose to use this you can then analyse the data regarding email campaigns via an online dashboard. You’ll see the key statistics from all the campaigns sent including Total Campaigns, Total Emails Sent, Total Opens, Total Clicks, and Total Reviews.
In order to use review express, you have to gather data from your customers. Start by collecting the names and email address’ of your customers (as a bare minimum) and storing them on a spreadsheet. It’s is very important that you also gain their express consent to contact them via email as well. Once you have all of the information organised you can log into your account to create and send the email campaigns.
Already a Swipii customer?
As mentioned above we already have loads of information on your customers and we will automatically create and send reminder campaigns on your behalf. As well as already having your customers contact details and permission to contact them, Swipii can provide insights and analytics regarding you TripAdvisor reviews. We gather data in a similar fashion to Review Express.
If you are one of our Merchants give your Account Manager a call and they will be able to talk you through any trends they have measured over time. All the work is done for you, and it’s a great time saver.
The reviews your customers leave will be full of insights into your business through another set of eyes. They will pick up on things you are doing well and improvements that could be made. While all business owners know their business inside out, sometimes being too close to the day to day running of things means you don’t see everything! Reviews hold a wealth of free information you can use!
It’s best to reply to reviews quickly – letting customers know that their opinion is valued and recognised. Anyone considering using your business will also be able to see your responses and this will show you in a favourable light.
7. Embrace Positive Feedback
When you receive positive feedback give yourself a pat on the back and say thank you! Receiving praise for your service will gee you up and inspire you to keep giving fantastic service which will, in turn, lead to even more positive reviews. You can’t lose.
8. Embrace Negative Feedback
While a good review can lead to new custom, a bad review can have a much more damning effect. Thank the customer for their input and put yourself in their shoes. If you go even further and turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive one you might be able to flip the situation and gain yourself even more positive feedback.
The reviews you receive are a great chance to understand what your customers want and need. Companies often spend tens of thousands of pounds on market research. Reviews are a wealth of free and invaluable information. If you see patterns in the comments then take action, your customers have spoken.
10. Don’t Cheat
Never offer incentives and never use fake reviews. There is a possibility of getting caught. TripAdvisor uses advanced technology to monitor your business’ activity – if you are offering your customers an incentive to leave a review chances are they will find out and the penalty is having your ranking dramatically decreased for an unspecified period of time! The same goes for leaving false reviews or asking friends and family to leave one for you. It’s not worth it, don’t risk it, trust us!
Want to know more about how Swipii can help you increase your rankings? Click here now!