Reviews

The Comprehensive Guide to TripAdvisor Reviews

March 29, 2019

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TripAdvisor reviews are vital for any business with an online presence because of the site’s overall popularity: TripAdvisor plays host to 730 million reviews and is the third most-visited review site by customers before they visit a business.

In general, online reviews will shape an establishment’s online reputation, but high ratings and reviews on TripAdvisor have the potential to bring an influx of customers and potential revenue.

By correctly managing and generating reviews, any business with a TripAdvisor business page can easily reap the benefits.

Managing and Responding to TripAdvisor Reviews

The main hub for any TripAdvisor listing manager is the Management Center. Here, you can manage business details, free marketing material, and customer reviews.

tripadvisor reviews

In terms of reviews, Management Center helps you keep stock of reviews and more importantly, respond to customer feedback. Here’s how to use it.

Using Management Center to Find Customer Reviews

The “Reviews” tab on the top of the page is where you’ll find all of a listing’s reviews. Hovering over this tab reveals a list of review-based options such as:

  • Respond to Reviews
  • Report a Review
  • Get More Reviews

Business Advantage subscribers also an extra feature that allows them to spotlight specific reviews on their listing. These reviews appear above the business’s most recent listing.

How to Respond to TripAdvisor Reviews

People want to know that their feedback isn’t falling on deaf ears, and responding to reviews, especially negative reviews, can open the door for more conversions for any establishment. Research shows that 45 percent of consumers are more likely to visit a business if it responds to negative reviews.

Responding to your TripAdvisor reviews also establishes trust between businesses and their customers. By responding, you show customers that their patronage and feedback are vital factors to the success of the business.

Any listing manager can make these “Management Responses” through the TripAdvisor Management Center:

  1. Hover over the “Reviews” tab on the Management Center home page and select “Respond to Reviews.”
    tripadvisor reviews
  2. Respond to any review featured on the left-hand sidebar of the page. You can also filter reviews by date, title, rating, language, and response status.
  3. Write your response in the text box that appears after selecting a review. TripAdvisor doesn’t have a character limit on Management Responses, but make sure that it’s short and to the point.
  4. Click the “Submit” button when you’re finished with the response. The response is checked by TripAdvisor staff before it’s published to make sure it meets specific guidelines. The process takes a few business days.

Currently, TripAdvisor doesn’t allow businesses to edit their Management Responses. The only way to “edit” responses is by deleting the old response and then submitting the updated version through the same method above.

To ensure that you stay on top of any new reviews that come in you can set up email notification alerts within TripAdvisor. To do this:

  1. Select the “Subscriptions” option from the drop-down menu next to your TripAdvisor username. This is located on the top-right corner of the page.
  2. Go to the “Emails for Owners” tab within the “Subscriptions” page and make sure that bubble next to the “Subscribed” option is selected. You should now receive an email from TripAdvisor whenever someone posts a new review of the business.

TripAdvisor Reviews Disappearing? Here’s Why

Some businesses might notice reviews disappearing from their TripAdvisor listings. The most obvious reason for the disappearance is that the review violated TripAdvisor guidelines, but there are other reasons why reviews vanish from listings.

The User Deleted the Review

Consumers might choose to take down their review of a business for any number of reasons. In some cases a user might delete their review and upload an “updated” version of their experience.

This is because – just like TripAdvisor listing owners – consumers can’t edit their published reviews on TripAdvisor. They have to delete their old review and then write new feedback.

Unfair Reviews

A majority of reviews on TripAdvisor are “unbiased and honest,” but there are a small fraction of reviews that fall under the category of “unfair or malicious” reviews. They can negatively impact a business’s TripAdvisor reputation and give customers an inaccurate impression of the experience.

TripAdvisor puts these damaging reviews in one of two categories: Contested Reviews and Fake Reviews.

Contested Reviews

These are reviewers that had an actual experience with the business but their description within the review is disputed by the business. Listing owners can contest any review by doing the following:

  1. Click on “Report a Review” in the “Review” tab on the Management Center home page.
    tripadvisor reviews
  2. Type in the name of the business owner and the name of the business. Those logged in through Management Center should already see the name of the business filled in automatically.
  3. Select your issue with the review from the list of available options in the dropdown menu.
    tripadvisor reviews
  4. If necessary, provide any details to TripAdvisor that you think would help accurately describe the situation.

After submitting the report, TripAdvisor moderators will assess if the review in question violates site guidelines, which is more than enough evidence to remove a TripAdvisor review.

However, it’s not a guarantee that this will happen every time. Even if you report a Contested Review, TripAdvisor recommends that you still respond to the review to show potential customers your side of the story.

Fake Reviews

TripAdvisor has its own tracking technology, in addition to a team of moderators, that can spot and delete fake reviews within the site. However, TripAdvisor users and listing owners alike can also use the site’s reporting tools to point out these unwanted reviews.

There are three types of fake reviews that TripAdvisor attempts to prevent:

  • Biased Positive Reviews, aka Review Boosting: Someone connected to the business posts a positive review on the listing page.
  • Biased Negative Reviews, aka Review Vandalism: Someone purposely writes a damaging review of the listing in order to lower its overall ranking or hurt its reputation. Reviewers blackmailing businesses with bad reviews are also a part of this category.
  • Paid Reviews, aka Review Optimization: A business knowingly or unknowingly used a service that boosted its TripAdvisor ranking or flooded its own listing with positive reviews.

You can easily flag and report any reviews that fall into these categories through the “Report a Review” section in your Management Center hub.

  1. Click on “Report a Review” in the “Review” tab on the Management Center home page.
  2. Type in the name of the business owner and the name of the business. Those logged in through Management Center should already see the name of the business filled in automatically.
  3. Select your issue with the review from the list of available options in the dropdown menu.
  4. If necessary, provide any details to TripAdvisor that you think would help accurately describe the situation.

How to Generate More TripAdvisor Reviews

Reviews are the backbone for any listing, and TripAdvisor has a plethora of tools that can help you generate more reviews for businesses.

Today’s audience relies on a constant feed of content to help with their purchase decisions. Research from Search Engine Land shows that 69 percent of consumers believe that a review older than three months is no longer relevant. A smaller group – 15 percent – say that the only relevant reviews are those published within two weeks.

The right review generation tools not only nets you encourages more TripAdvisor reviews but also raises your listing’s profile to attract more customers. These tools are available by clicking on the “Get More Reviews” link on the “Reviews” tab in Management Center. They include:

  • Review Express
  • Widgets
  • Stickers
  • Reminder Cards
  • Custom Fliers

Review Express

One of the most popular review generation tools on TripAdvisor is Review Express, which allows businesses to send reminder emails to customers to review their listing after their experience.

tripadvisor reviews

This requires you to collect customer email addresses. You will need to get permission to gather the information and also tell customers how you will use the email address provided. You also need to get a record of the customers’ consent.

Once you acquire enough email addresses, you can create a Review Express email campaign by clicking on the “Review Express” link in the Management Center hub. From there:

  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.
    tripadvisor reviews
  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:
    1. Business email address
    2. Subject title
    3. Photo
    4. Message (include a link here that goes directly to the reviews section of your listing page)
  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.
  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.

If you work with a TripAdvisor-certified connectivity partner (like an Internet booking engine or property management system) you can automate the process of creating and sending Review Express emails.

All you need to do is check the box next to the “Automate” option on the Review Express dashboard. However, keep in mind that you still need to manually acquire addresses and send emails to customers who book through services that are not TripAdvisor-certified.

Widgets

The TripAdvisor Widget Center is home to review widgets that you can use on third-party sites to promote the listing. These widgets can easily show off a listing’s overall rating or even snippets of rave reviews.

tripadvisor widget center

You can also download “Write-A-Review” widgets, which allow previous customers to write and submit reviews to your TripAdvisor listing through your third-party site. This is a convenient submission method for customers, and it also shows that you have multiple ways of leaving feedback on a major site like TripAdvisor.

You can download widgets on TripAdvisor’s Widget Center. From there:

  1. Type in the listing’s name. Hotels, attractions, and restaurant listings are redirected to the “Widgets for your Website” page while destination listings will go to the “Promote your destination” page.
    tripadvisor widget center
  2. Choose the widget you want to use. Some widgets also allow you to customize its design and size from a handful of options.
  3. Copy the code from the “Your Code” box and paste it on your site’s source code. If you don’t manage the coding part of the site, you can send the code link via email to the site manager.

Stickers

Visitors to a business’s physical location might not be aware of its TripAdvisor listing, but you can easily change that with well-placed TripAdvisor-branded stickers. Sticker examples include a simple call-to-action or one that shows that the listing is “Featured,” “Rated,” or “Recommended” on the site.

Placing the stickers in high traffic areas throughout the storefront can substantially raise awareness of the business’s online presence. To place an order:

  1. Go to the TripAdvisor Sticker Request page and type in the name of the listing name in the search bar.
  2. You’ll then see the lineup of stickers available for that listing below the name of the business. Choose the stickers that you want to use. You can also select the displayed language for the stickers.
  3. Enter the necessary mailing information:
    1. Recipient Name
    2. Country
    3. Address
    4. City
    5. State or province (if applicable)
    6. ZIP or Postcode
  4. Click the orange “Submit” button on the bottom-right corner of the screen when you are done.

Reminder Cards

The “Marketing Tools” tab in the Management Center hub has additional tools to help you generate reviews such as the Reminder Cards. These are styled with TripAdvisor colors and designs, but you can customize the text and hand it to customers as a reminder to leave a review on the listing page. To get started:

  1. Click “Promotional Tools” and then select the “Customize Yours” option under the “Write a Review” header.
    tripadvisor reviews
  2. Choose a template that works best for the business and then “Click Started” to customize the card design.
  3. 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 Fliers

Stickers aren’t the only thing you can post in a store to bring attention to the online listing. You can also download TripAdvisor Reminder Fliers to tell customers about a business’s online presence.

You can put these in areas where many customers pass through such as the front doors or even next to the registers when customers pay for their purchases. To get the fliers:

  1. Click on “Marketing Tools” on the top menu of the Management Center.
    tripadvisor reviews
  2. Select the “Promotional Tools” and find the “Download Now” link under the “Write a Review” flyer header. The flyer includes support for multiple languages.

Just Ask

Sometimes, verbal communication is the simplest way to get a point across, which is why TripAdvisor encourages businesses to simply ask customers to leave a review after their visit.

When asking for their review, make sure that you don’t provide any incentives or additional offers in exchange for their feedback. Doing so only increases the chances of a penalty from TripAdvisor as you’ll find out below.

Paid and Incentivized Services

TripAdvisor wants every review on its sites to be genuine and unbiased, which is why it works hard to keep fake and incentivized reviews away from any listing with its tracking system and moderating team.

Any listing caught incentivizing or paying for better reviews can get penalized. The punishments for hosting fake reviews on your listing vary from a simple warning to a drop in the business’s category ranking.

In some cases, TripAdvisor will put a red badge on the listing page. This warns users that the business violated TripAdvisor guidelines and employed fake or incentivized reviews.

In short, don’t incentivize customers for reviews or employ services to acquire fake positive reviews. The risk isn’t worth it, and it’ll cost you in the form of reduced exposure and revenue.

Every Review Matters

Customers need as much information as possible to make the right purchase decision, and reviews play a major role in that process. They serve as social proof and show consumers that other people actually had a good experience with a business or service.

In addition, reviews provide a wealth of data you can use to analyze your customer experience and make sure you’re delivering what the consumer expects.

By gathering more positive reviews on a frequent basis any TripAdvisor listing can stand out from the competition. They can be the go-to option for any customer whether they live down the street or visiting from another country.

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