If you own or manage a hotel, property, or travel company, you probably already have a pretty good idea of how influential travel website TripAdvisor can be.
Not only has the site become one of the most popular online platforms for sharing, posting, and monitoring travel reviews and user-generated content; TripAdvisor has also become one of the most reliable sources of travel information online, with a rapidly expanding directory of hotels, flights, restaurants, vacation rentals, and more.
There’s no secret why you should claim and optimize your listing on TripAdvisor. For one, it’s where travelers and travel shoppers go to say what they think of hotels and travel-related businesses; it’s therefore where you can find and track online reviews and stay on top of what your customers and guests are saying. TripAdvisor also happens to be a critical and powerful local marketing tool likely to influence visitor traffic as well as traveler behavior. In fact, according to a recent survey, 92 percent of travelers are more likely to book accommodations for hotels that post detailed descriptions and photos.
Is your property or hotel’s TripAdvisor page optimized to deliver maximum results? Or is it underperforming – bearing information that is incomplete, outdated, and inconsistent?
(See also: 8 Terrific TripAdvisor Tips for Businesses)
To help you get started on optimizing your TripAdvisor listing, we here at online review monitoring company ReviewTrackers came up with this simply, easy, and helpful guide.
A Quick Guide to Optimizing TripAdvisor
Update your info and ensure correctness. As soon as you claim your TripAdvisor listing, take steps to ensure that your property or hotel info is correct, up-to-date, and consistent. You have no control over the online travel reviews that come in, but you can certainly take control of the Property Details section. Check your address, URLs, phone numbers, check-in times (hours of operation), amenity list, and online map location. You certainly don’t want your guests (and search engine robots) to get lost while looking for your property!
Write detailed descriptions. Save the ad copy and meaningless clichés for your brochure. (Or forgo them altogether.) When writing property or hotel descriptions for TripAdvisor, it’s important to be simple and straightforward, providing only the details (kinds of rooms, property descriptions, list of amenities) that your guests need.
Insert keyword-rich text. Most kinds of content on TripAdvisor – including travel reviews, ratings, and hotel-controlled information – are crawled by search engines, and are typically highly visible in search engine results pages. So when writing out your description, don’t forget to add your most important keywords! (We highly recommend using the Google AdWords Keyword Research tool.)
Upload awesome photos. It’s hard to sell a place or entice potential hotel guests with text-based descriptions alone. Enhance the visual appeal of your page by adding pictures. “Showcase the rooms, exterior, lobby, facilities, and local area, and add descriptive, keyword-rich captions,” wrote former hotel GM turned hospitality consultant Daniel Edward Craig. “If you’ve renovated, say so in the caption. Owner photos are tagged ‘provided by management’ (or ‘Professional Photos’) and appear after traveler photos, and recent uploads are tagged ‘new’. Members can vote on images, so no faking the size of that pool.”
Monitor online reviews and respond to travelers. Not responding to or even monitoring hotel reviews? Big mistake. You’re missing out on a great opportunity to reinforce the positive (if it’s a good review of your business) or change perspectives (if it’s a negative review). Remember: it’s not just the actual reviewer who is able to see your responses; potential guests and customers looking for information about your business can see what you’re writing, too.
Connect your TripAdvisor profile to your social networks. To support your search performance, enable the integration of your TripAdvisor listing with your business’ social networks – say, for instance, your company blog or your Facebook page. And don’t forget to check out the TripAdvisor for Business page and Widget Center to see which tools work best for your property or hotel.