In today’s market, travelers look around online before completing a booking. One of the top websites to compare things to do online is TripAdvisor. Companies with a poor TripAdvisor ranking are, of course, less likely to be booked than the top players. With our tips, you will be able to climb up the rankings.
In this article, you will learn:
- How TripAdvisor’s ranking algorithm works
- How to improve your ranking on TripAdvisor
- How to get better ratings from your customers
A good overall rating on TripAdvisor not only improves your number of direct bookings but also boosts your online reputation. So what can you do to be displayed at the coveted top position in the rankings?
First, let’s look at how the overall assessment of your company on TripAdvisor comes about.
How does the TripAdvisor ranking work?
According to TripAdvisor, the primary factors they use to determine your ranking are:
Quality is determined by the average rating customers have given your business. Whenever someone leaves a review, they have a chance to rate the overall experience on a 1 to 5 scale. The higher your average score, the higher you will rank.
However, even if you have a high average rating, competitors might still overtake you. TripAdvisor favors recent reviews over old and outdated ones. This means you need a consistent flow of new reviews to stay ahead. The logic here is that recent reviews reflect the experience you provide more accurately.
In order to present statistically significant results to users, TripAdvisor needs a sufficient number of reviews for your business. The higher the quantity, the more accurate the image of your business is – at least in the eyes of TripAdvisor.
Lastly, to put everything together you need a consistent inflow of both high reviews and new reviews. This means that businesses with regular quality ratings will rank higher than ones that have a mix of both good and poor reviews – even if the good ones are more recent. The same goes for recency – businesses with both new and old reviews will rank higher than ones that have older reviews only.
Editor’s note: In November 2018, TripAdvisor introduced a big update to its website and user experience. This article was initially posted before the update. While the ranking algorithm is still valid, it evolved to focus even more on the Consistency ranking factor.
What can you do to improve your ranking?
If you’ve been in the leisure business for a while, you know that getting a poor review is much easier than getting a good review.
Think about it – if you have a bad experience with a business, it could make you angry and emotional. Strong feelings prompt action so you’re much more likely to go through the trouble and leave a negative review.
On the other hand, the majority of customers in the leisure market are likely to have a good time – which is what they expect. For this reason, they will rarely go through the hassle to leave a good review unless you blow them away with service or novelty.
So if you leave things to chance, you’ll end up with a disproportionate amount of poor reviews that do not reflect the true value of your service. This means that you need to proactively encourage happy customers to leave a review.
And there’s more you can do. No matter how good your service and offer may be, poor reviews are inevitable. The way people experience tours and activities differs based on their perception, mood, and other factors that you can’t control. For this reason, you need a robust way to deal with negative reviews and turn them into positive ones whenever possible.
Now that we know this and the principles behind the TripAdvisor ranking algorithm, we can deduct two main ways to improve your ranking:
- Consistently increase the number of good reviews you get.
- Always address poor reviews and try to turn them around.
Here’s how to do that.
How to get more TripAdvisor reviews
There are several ways to proactively collect reviews on TripAdvisor. These include asking for reviews in person or via email, using special promotional tools, and automating feedback collection with TripAdvisor Review Express.
Ask in person or via email
The first and most obvious way to collect reviews is asking customers after they’ve experienced your tour or activity. To get this right, it’s good to approach customers while the memory is still fresh in their mind. Otherwise, they might not go through the trouble later.
You should also make it easy to leave a review. Provide the link to your TripAdvisor page or even a QR code customers can scan with their mobile phone. You can also include a few sample reviews to make it easier for customers to write and not come up with everything from scratch. For this, you can use email or even a printed handout while you’re still with them in person.
Use TripAdvisor’s promo tools
In addition, TripAdvisor provides a set of promotional tools that you can order from their website. These include stickers, business cards, flyers, magnets, stamps, and envelopes. You can customize the promo tools or use TripAdvisor’s templates to remind customers and collect more reviews.
TripAdvisor Review Express
If you want to connect with your customers via email, you can try TripAdvisor Review Express. This handy marketing tool automatically invites your recent customers to submit reviews on TripAdvisor. It also allows you to add private surveys and collect feedback confidentially. This can give you a better understanding of your customers’ experience and insight on how you can tweak your efforts to serve them better.
With Regiondo’s booking software, you can connect to Review Express and invite users to leave TripAdvisor reviews automatically. Start your free trial today.
How to deal with negative reviews in 3 easy steps
You can’t avoid negative reviews. In some cases, you just don’t have control over the person’s mood or other factors that may impact how they experience your tour or activity. But you can do something to remove or even turn poor reviews into good ones. Here’s how to deal with negative reviews in 3 easy steps:
Step 1) Accept the review and avoid arguing
Even if you find the review unfair or unjustified, entering into an argument of who’s wrong and who’s right won’t get you anywhere. When emotions get in the way, it doesn’t matter how well you stand your point or what facts and evidence you provide. This is why it’s best to simply accept the customer’s review and try to see things from their perspective. Offer your apologies or at least show understanding. This is a much better way to respond if you want to have any chance of removing or changing the review.
Step 2) Offer a discount or refund
Where appropriate, try to make things right by offering a discount. If this is not possible, offer to refund the customer or another type of compensation such as a gift voucher for a related service. If someone is really affected, a simple apology may not be enough. So make sure you have a procedure in place that you can use for both complaints and negative reviews on TripAdvisor.
Step 3) Ask the customer to remove or edit the review
Yes, once a customer leaves a review, there is no way to directly delete or edit it. However, they can contact TripAdvisor and request to change or remove their review. This is one of the reasons why it’s crucial to respond to negative reviews. To make things easy for customers, keep the support contact link handy and offer it to unsatisfied customers, along with compensation and an apology.
It’s important to treat reviews on TripAdvisor with care and attention. With most people researching tours and activities before they buy, your online reviews can be the difference between success and failure.
In order to improve your TripAdvisor rankings, you need to keep in mind how its algorithm works and the principles behind it. These include Quality, Recency, Quantity, and Consistency.
To get the biggest leverage in your TripAdvisor rankings, you need to consistently increase the number of good reviews you get and always address poor reviews to try and turn them around.
Some of the tools at your disposal, like Review Express, can help you collect more reviews automatically. But more quantity may not be enough. You should also address negative reviews by accepting them as feedback, offering compensation, and ultimately turning them around.
If you follow these tips, you’re bound to improve your TripAdvisor ranking and turn it into a successful channel to grow your business with.
You might also like:
- How to Create the Perfect TripAdvisor Business Listing
- Tripadvisor Experiences and How to Make the Most of It
- How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews