Manage Reviews on Your TripAdvisor Business Profile
Reviews are, arguably, the most important section of your TripAdvisor profile, and TripAdvisor is one of the most influential review sites: it’s the third most-checked review site by consumers and has the third-largest share of reviews.
On a listing, a TripAdvisor user can see a business’s overall star rating, the total number of reviews, and its category ranking underneath the listing’s name.
Clicking on any of these numbers will take you to the page’s review section where you can see a breakdown of all reviews by rating, traveler type, and even the time of year that they visited the business. If you’re looking for specific reviews you can filter reviews from a list of specific keywords or type another term in the text field.
So what do you do with TripAdvisor reviews and how do you get more? Great question.
A Primer on TripAdvisor Reputation Management
Managing your TripAdvisor reputation can be difficult for any business, but there are a few things you can do to steer a business reputation in the right direction. In fact, TripAdvisor broke down the process into four simple steps.
Influence the Conversation: Taking control of a business’s reputation starts by looking at reviews. Use positive reviews to highlight some of the establishment’s differentiating features, which will attract more customers. However, it’s also important to look at negative feedback to find areas of improvement.
Set Realistic Expectations: Talk is cheap, which makes it easy to embellish a business’s features on a listing. Make sure you avoid this because customers will expect it to be true and they will be inevitably disappointed that the real experience doesn’t match the hype. Instead, use the listing as a way to be true to the business’s brand and then exceeds those expectations when people actually walk through the doors.
Maximize Your Efforts: Maintaining a strong reputation requires a dedication from all staff members. Each person needs to know that they are a crucial part of that establishment’s customer experience. This might require more training in providing a better customer experience, but it can pay off in the long run.
You should also take time to know the audience. Narrowing potential customers down to a specific group can help you create a top-notch experience, which leads to rave reviews and more promoters.
A defined audience and well-trained staff also allow you to set realistic goals for reputation management. Being aware of a team’s bandwidth and customer experience skills means that you can create reasonable targets for a business.
It’s Never Too Late to Start: There isn’t a prime window for taking control of reputation management, and the sooner you make changes, the better. Customers are looking at reviews to find a reason why they should pick one business over another so make sure that you make reasonable changes and improvements in a reasonable amount of time. Any listing has compelling content can make a customer’s purchase decision easier, and it starts with improving a business’s reputation.
How to Respond to TripAdvisor Reviews
Responding to reviews is a crucial part of managing TripAdvisor listings. Doing so tells customers that their opinions are vital and that you care about every piece of feedback regardless of its sentiment.
Responding to reviews on TripAdvisor also shows prospective customer that you care about service—in fact 45 percent of consumers say they are more likely to visit a business that responds to its reviews. With review alerts from TripAdvisor, you can make sure you respond ASAP to customers.
You can easily respond to reviews by going to the Management Center. From there:
- Step 1. Click on the “Reviews” tab in the top menu and then click on “Respond to reviews.” You’ll go to another page where you can see all the reviews for a listing.
- Step 2. Choose specific reviews by clicking on it on the left-hand sidebar. You can also search for reviews by different filters such as rating, date, and language.
- Step 3. Select your affiliation with the listing. This helps users know that you are actually a representative of the business and not some random person from the company that wrote a response.
- Step 4. Write your response in the text box provided. Make sure that you respond in a professional tone, but make sure that what you say doesn’t read like a cookie-cutter response. People want to know that their feedback was heard so take the time to thank them for their review before addressing their praise or concerns.
How to Use TripAdvisor’s Review Express
Research shows that 69 percent of consumers consider reviews irrelevant three months after their publish date. This means that you need to constantly ask new customers for reviews.
You can use a third-party review request platform or t TripAdvisor’s ownReview Express tool, which allows any listing to send an email that reminds customers to review the listing on TripAdvisor.
You’ll need to collect email addresses from customers to use the tool. However, make sure that you get permission from customers to pass on their email details to TripAdvisor in order to use Review Express effectively. Tell customers how you’ll use their email address and tell them that you’ll be sending them a Review Express email in advance. This also means that you’ll need to get a record of their consent.
Start using Review Express by going to its dedicated page on TripAdvisor. Type the name of the listing in the search bar, and then click on the “Use Review Express” button on the right side of the bar. You can also find a Review Express link on your Management Center home page.
To create and send emails through Review Express:
- Step 1. Click the “Create Email” link on the top menu on Review Express. First-time users should see a default TripAdvisor template in their main language.
- Step 2. Click on the “Edit” button to customize multiple elements. Any changes to the template will prompt you to save it as a brand new template. Email elements that you can edit include:
- Business email address
- Subject title
- Step 3. Click the “Continue to send” button to go to another page where you can add customer emails. You can type in each email address separately or upload a .CSV or .XLS spreadsheet that contains a maximum of 1,000 email addresses.
- Step 4. Click the three notices at the bottom of the page and then hit the “Send” button. Emails should arrive to customers within 24 hours.
Each new set of reminder emails counts as a “campaign,” which you can track on the Review Express Dashboard. You’ll also see valuable metrics from each campaign such as the number of total opens, clicks, and reviews left by those who received a Review Express email.
Accommodation listings can also get an extra add-on to Review Express called “Review Express + private surveys.” Past customers can use these optional surveys to send private feedback to the business and its staff.
Remember: when setting up a Review Express campaign that you’ll be limited to 1,000 email addresses. There’s also no SMS review request functionality.
How to Use the TripAdvisor Widget Center
TripAdvisor offers a suite of free widgets that you can use on a business’s third-party website to show off a TripAdvisor rating or encourage customers to leave reviews on the listing page.
Review widgets can increase conversions on your site and provide social proof that your business is trusted by other consumers.
You can check out the Widget Center to see which widgets are available for a listing.
- Step 1. Type in the business name in the search bar and choose the correct entry from the drop-down menu. Hotel, attraction, and restaurant listings will be directed to the “Widgets for your Website” page while destination listing will go to the “Promote your destination” page.
- Step 2. Choose the widget category you want to use and pick the design and size of the widget from the available options.
- Step 3. Copy the code from the “Your Code” box and paste it into the third-party site’s source code. You can also email the code link to the site’s manager who should add it to the website code.
Each website can use up to 50 widgets. Most sites should use widgets that either show off reviews and ratings or encourage customers to write a review.
- Rated on TripAdvisor Badges: There are three variations of this widget, which shows a listing’s overall rating and review count.
- Review Snippet Widget: This displays the listing’s rating and snippets of recent reviews.
- Write-A-Review Widgets: These widgets encourage customers to review the business on the website.
- Rave Review Widgets: A “scrolling showcase,” that features your most recent rave review.
How to Get More TripAdvisor Reviews
Review Express and the free widgets mentioned above are free tools that every TripAdvisor listing should use as a way to get more reviews. However, TripAdvisor provides you with two more review generation tools through the Management Center.
Custom Reminder Cards: You can implement TripAdvisor designs along with the name and location of your business on business cards to remind departing customers to leave a review on the listing. You can start the process by going to the “Marketing Tools” tab in the Management Center.
Image courtesy of TripAdvisor
- Click “Promotional Tools” and then select the “Customize Yours” option under the “Write a Review” header.
- Choose a template that works best for the business and then “Click Started” to customize the card design.
- Your design is then sent to TripAdvisor for printing. The first 100 cards are free, but you will need to pay $6 – $10 for shipping.
Reminder Flyer: This is a downloadable document, which you can post in a business location to remind customers to leave a review. To download the flyer:
- Click on “Marketing Tools” on the top menu of the Management Center.
- Select the “Promotional Tools” and find the “Download Now” link under the “Write a Review” flyer header. The flyer includes support for multiple languages.
Should You Provide Incentives for More TripAdvisor Reviews?
The short answer is no.
TripAdvisor’s official policy states that incentivized reviews “hinder the validity and accuracy of reviews.” So don’t do it. TripAdvisor defines an incentivized reviews as any reviews that come as a result of offer a raffle, discount, or special treatment in exchange for a review.
TripAdvisor has a dedicated system and in-house team that flags and monitors suspicious reviews as well as other online channels for incentives and rewards programs for reviews. TripAdvisor users can also contact moderators and report incentivized reviews.
If a listing gets caught incentivizing for reviews, the reviews marked as suspicious and confirmed to be incentivized will be removed. Furthermore, the listing itself will be ineligible to win any TripAdvisor awards.
Additional penalties can range from a simple warning from TripAdvisor to a red badge on the listing that shows potential customers that the business violated TripAdvisor guidelines. The badge will also reduce the listing’s Popularity Ranking.
Fake TripAdvisor Reviews and How to Report Them (and Other Ineligible Reviews)
In some cases, a fake review might show up on a listing. TripAdvisor puts fake reviews into three different categories:
- Biased positive reviews (Review Boosting): Someone connected to the business attempts to post a positive review.
- Biased negative reviews (Review Vandalism): Someone deliberately submits a malicious review to discredit the business and lower its ranking on TripAdvisor.
- Paid reviews (Review Optimization): When a business (knowingly or unknowingly) hires a person or company to boost its TripAdvisor ranking.
TripAdvisor easily finds these reviews due to a proprietary system built specifically to catch fake reviews. It looks at every review submitted and blocks those that violate the site’s guidelines. It also monitors suspicious reviewer patterns to determine if the reviews they leave are genuine or fake.
Some TripAdvisor users might also blackmail businesses into meeting their demands in order to avoid a negative review. These so-called “Blackmail Threats” are also against TripAdvisor guidelines.
Fortunately, you can report all four of these review types through the Management Center.
- Step 1. Go to the “Review” link on the top menu and click on “Report a Review.”
- Step 2. Go to the “Please tell us what the issue is” section and select the “Report fraud” option.
- Step 3. You’ll then see a menu titled “What do you want to do?” Select your issue with the review (Blackmail Threat, Review Boosting, Review Vandalism, or Review Optimization)
- Step 4. Fill out two more questions that ask if the review was already posted and if this is your first report of the incident.
- Step 5. Provide additional information about the violating user such as the month and year of their stay, email address, and their name.
- Step 6. Describe the event in the text space with as much detail as possible.
How to Edit or Delete TripAdvisor Reviews
Businesses cannot erase customer reviews.
If you resolved an issue with a customer and ask for an edited review, they won’t be able to revise their current view on the listing. The best solution here is to ask the customer to delete their review and resubmit a newer version. To do this:
- Have the customer go to their review and click the icon with three dots, which is located on the top-right corner of the review box.
- Select the “Delete” option and confirm it by press “Delete” again.
Keep in mind that customers are only allowed to submit an updated review once “for the same experience.”
Analytics and Insights
The only free way within TripAdvisor to measure any metrics is through the Review Express sent to customers. Review Express data provides metrics for each email campaign, including the number of opens, clicks, and bounces for every email.
For a more in-depth TripAdvisor analytics tool, you’ll need to subscribe to a review management tool or TripAdvisor’s Business Advantage, which offers the Analytics Suite.
Those who already have Business Advantage can find the Analytics Suite in the “Drive Bookings” menu on the top of the Management Center hub page. Its features include:
- Market Position (monitors rankings and traffic in your listing’s market)
- Reputation Insights (provides more data on reviews, ratings, and responses from the business)
- Click Activity (tracks clicks to any Special Offers or Contact Details on the listing)
- Demand Trends (shows visitor data such as which countries and cities are viewing the listing, peak times for searches for the listing, and their how long they stay on the listing page)
- Photos & Amenities (shows the average number of images viewed by a user on the listing)
- Competitor Set Editor (create sets to compare the listing against specific competitors of your choosing)