Travel is an inherently emotional experience, and travelers typically put in careful consideration before making a purchase. As someone who sells a travel experience, you should know the importance of collecting and displaying reviews for your business.
Reviews from your clients can provide prospective clients with social proof to say that your tour is worth buying into, and they can trust you. Google, in particular, is a useful platform to collect reviews on, as these factor into your local SEO ranking, and can raise your business’ visibility to nearby travelers.
There is more to it though, and we explain why and how to get more google reviews in this article. Google isn’t the only review platform for travel businesses, however, it is our focus in this.
As we mentioned, to get more google reviews means to improve your local SEO ranking.
Local SEO helps brick and mortar businesses feature in search engine results when a person nearby searches keywords they rank for.
This is useful for smaller travel businesses who have to compete against OTAs that would ordinarily outrank them for specific keywords, despite their offering being less relevant due to location. In this case, the person performing the search would find it more useful to locate a tour company, whether via Maps or search, that offers ‘bicycle tours near me’ over an OTA.
As part of Google’s suite of services, the reviews provide an important signal to the search engine that the business in question provides a great experience. As a result, you can outrank competitors in local search rankings.
Google Reviews also display on Google Maps results, providing social proof for your travel business when people look up its physical location.
Add in that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, and this is a compelling reason for your travel business to focus on this platform.
To get started with this, don’t forget to claim your Google My Business listing. The reviews can be displayed on your business’ profile listing in search and maps, as well as embedded onto your website.
Why Collect Reviews
The next question is, why get more google reviews?
The short answer is to build trust and provide social proof for your travel business or product to the online community.
In looking at this in more detail, travelers often plan their trips in advance. There’s a great deal of importance in making the right selection and choosing a tour operator that will give them a once in a lifetime experience.
That’s why they typically spend time researching and weighing options before they make a purchase.
It is well known that referrals can sway a decision, as hearing first-hand of a great experience provides a better guarantee that the person can expect the same when they make a booking. In considering how referrals link to reviews – as many as 76% of people say that they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends.
In other words, displaying positive reviews can push travelers towards making a booking with your business.
Another reason to collect reviews is to find out whether there are any areas to improve in your business and where you are doing well. The feedback your clients provide can be a source of information about what they enjoyed while on your tour and if there is something to improve upon.
For this reason, the odd negative review can actually help you to serve your clients better.
Be sure to respond publicly to any negative feedback you receive. Acknowledge the person’s concerns and direct them to contact you privately to resolve the matter. Leaving reviews like this seemingly unanswered can reflect poorly on your business, as other travelers might think that you are not willing to engage and find a solution should something go wrong.
Best Practices To Get More Google Reviews For Your Travel Business
It’s worth noting that the Bright Local research referenced above also highlighted that nearly half of people only pay attention to reviews from the last two weeks.
Also important was that overall, people read 10 reviews before they feel they can trust a business.
What this means for you is that you need to consistently accumulate reviews for your profile if you are to impact trust.
Try these best practices to get more google reviews:
Just ask for them – reach out to past clients via email and ask them to review the experience they had with your business. Be personal in the email and actively look for feedback rather than just the review.
Explain why it is important for your business – if you let your audience know why it is important to receive reviews, i.e. you can provide more clients with the same great experience and grow your business online, they are more likely to respond by filling it out.
Make it easy by providing a link – provide a direct link for people to leave a review to increase the chance of them doing it.
Get the timing right – too soon and the client may not have completed their experience and formed an opinion. Too late and their enthusiasm about your offering may have subsided.
Incentivize their participation – if the experience happened a while ago, you could try offering an incentive for them to leave a review. This could be a discount or entry into a competition to win something.
Respond to all reviewers – this indicates your genuine interest in what people have to say about your offering, as well as your willingness to address any potential concerns.
You now know that it is important to get more google reviews. They can improve your travel business’ visibility online as well as provide travelers with the reassurance they need before booking a tour with you. Reviews can also let you know where to focus on improving your tour offering.
Finally, our best practices should help to point in the right direction of collecting reviews to display on your website and related Google profiles.