When it comes time to improve TripAdvisor ratings, there are three words you want to keep in mind. These are quality, quantity, and recency. It is these three factors that form the basis of the TripAdvisor algorithm which is used to determine business rankings on the platform.
Rankings are not to be confused with ratings of course. Travelers will give your listing a rating (a number of bubbles out of five) when they review it. Your listings’ ranking on the platform is determined by combining all of your ratings to establish a score which is measured against those of other businesses in your area.
Insider terminology: When it comes to ratings on the platform, bubbles are TripAdvisors’ stars. A five-bubble rating on TripAdvisor is equivalent to a five-star rating elsewhere, it is the highest achievement a listing can get.
TripAdvisor Algorithm Explained
Essentially, you want to constantly and frequently receive high quality, five bubble ratings in order to improve your listings’ ranking on TripAdvisor. Higher rankings mean more visibility for your offering, and more great reviews equate to higher trust in your offering. Both of these increase your listings’ booking potential.
TripAdvisor’s Popularity Ranking algorithm is set up to make the platform more of an even playing field for businesses that are uneven in terms of size and amount of time they have existed on the platform. You might think of it as SEO for TripAdvisor.
For example, if reviews were based on quantity alone then an established large chain hotel that has received a large but mixed bag of positive and negative ratings over the years would rank higher than a more recently opened individually owned hotel in the area that receives glowing ratings but has less capacity for guests and consequently reviews.
The algorithm is also there to make sure that users get relevant results when they search using particular parameters. This is to make for an optimal experience on the platform.
Quality – Positive reviews rank higher than negative reviews
Quantity – More reviews establish trust faster
Recency – New reviews have more weight than old reviews
Ways To Improve TripAdvisor Ratings
1. Keep Your Information Up To Date
This sentiment applies to your TripAdvisor listings as well as your website. Make sure the information that you provide online for your travel offering is relevant and an accurate representation of what it is that you sell.
The best way to manage expectations is to make sure that what travelers see online when booking, is the same as what they experience in real life. Make regular updates to your photos and write-ups so that they are recent and reflect what it is that guests can expect from your offering.
2. Provide Amazing Customer Service
Provide great customer service that cannot be faulted and you will not need to worry about receiving negative ratings that lower your overall ranking and diminish trust. Be friendly and welcoming to your guests and let them know that you are there to give them the best possible experience during their time with you.
3. Ask For A Rating In Person
Take the opportunity when your guests are signing or checking out to speak to them about their experience and ask them in person to rate your business so that they know it is important to you.
Nowadays travelers understand the importance of leaving TripAdvisor ratings and reviews. They understand that rating a business is not only beneficial for the business but more importantly it is beneficial for travelers like themselves who rely on reviews for an indication of the quality of experiences before booking.
4. Display The TripAdvisor Button On Your Website
One of the simplest ways for businesses to improve TripAdvisor performance and increase rankings is to make it easy for guests to rate experiences and leave reviews. Add the TripAdvisor Write A Review button to your website so that your guests have an integrated interaction between it and your listing on TripAdvisor, and can rate their experience from either of the platforms.
5. Respond To Ratings
Even if they are glowing ratings and there are no issues that need to be addressed. Simply responding to positive feedback with a ‘Thank You’, or ‘We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay’, or ‘happy to hear you had a wonderful time on your tour’ shows guests that you are interested in providing them with an outstanding experience.
Potential guests reading the reviews for reference will conclude that you are responsive and this helps to establish trust for your brand.
6. Do Not Ignore Negative Reviews
Unfortunately, negative reviews come with the territory as it is impossible to please everyone. Luckily a couple of bad ones in the batch are not going to have a huge impact on your ranking. What will impact your ranking is not responding to low ratings. This is because people in the decision phase on TripAdvisor will see the unaddressed issues and might lose trust.
Take negative reviews and low TripAdvisor ratings in your stride and respond to them with empathy. Be respectful and professional in your response even if you feel that the negative review is unwarranted.
7. Use Feedback Taken From TripAdvisor Ratings To Improve Your Offering
As a travel business with a travel offering listed on TripAdvisor, ratings can prove to be a great source of information on what is working and which areas of your listing need attention.
If you are continuously receiving great TripAdvisor ratings for excellent customer service then you know that your employees are excelling. Let them know they are doing a great job so that they feel appreciated and continue to provide the service that racks in the high ratings.
Likewise, if low TripAdvisor ratings reveal issues related to your offering that you were not previously aware of, then ensure that they are not consistently repeated by putting a plan into action to rectify them. Be it fixing a leaking tap in a room, or providing more in-depth training to help your employees excel at their job, use the feedback provided in ratings to offer better service to your guests.
Though TripAdvisor is not explicit about the exact details of their popularity ranking algorithm, we do know the fundamentals behind the concept and can use these to build a strategy for attracting great ratings for your travel offering.
Remember that the site is optimized to provide travelers with a relevant browsing and buying experience, so your offering needs to align with the relevancy aspect to attract the interest of the right type of travelers to your business.
Happy travelers equal glowing ratings and reviews. Numerous, new, and glowing ratings and reviews equal high rankings. High rankings equal optimal visibility and increased sales potential for your business on TripAdvisor.
For more ideas of how you can market your business on this platform, take a look at our article that provides tips on How To Use Special Offers To Succeed On TripAdvisor.