If increasing your hotel’s reviews online is one of your 2012 goals, we have some great tips based on multiple case studies tested on how to increase the number of reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Places. These are easy to make updates that can greatly improve the number of reviews you receive on these important channels.
Why is this goal important you may ask? According to research by the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), 80% of travelers perform research prior to booking, while 84% of Americans say that their buying decisions are highly influenced by online reviews. Also, the number of reviews you have on Google Places, the rating, and frequency of those reviews is correlated with the visibility of your listing according to research and local search ranking factors. http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml
Below are a few tips on how to encourage and increase reviews and some great results we have found by testing this opportunity:
- Add calls to action: The guest reviews page on your website is not only a great place to add great reviews about your hotel, but also a great page to add a call to action for guests to leave reviews. We made it easy by adding links to read and write reviews for Google, Tripadvisor and Yelp to encourage guests to leave reviews on these channels.
- Ask: Have call outs on your receipts, at your front desk, and on you social media channels asking guests to leave reviews on the channels that are important to you. Link back to the guest reviews page on the website via social media posts so guests can read great reviews and click to read or write reviews on the channel of their choice right from your website.
We’ve seen great results for clients of which we’ve added a reviews page linking to their guest reviews profiles on Google Places, Tripadvisor, and Yelp. We also made sure that the hotel encourages their guests to leave reviews on these channels by providing them with the direct URL to the reviews landing page on the hotel’s website printed on their receipts.
- 40% of visitors clicked through to one of the review channels from the guest reviews page
- Actual reviews on Google Places increased by 50%
- Actual reviews on Trip Advisor tripled year over year. The hotel received more reviews in three months since the links were implemented than they had the entire previous year.
Key Takeaways from this study – Adding a call to action for reviews can:
- Increase page views
- Increase guest interaction
- Increase the frequency of reviews on important review channels
- Increase the number of reviews on important review channels
- Create a promotional opportunity: great page to link to via social media to encourage guests to leave reviews!
If you are looking for additional ideas, below are a few great articles on encouraging reviews and review management:
- Six Ways to Encourage Online Reviews for Hotel Properties: http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/ways-to-encourage-hotel-online-reviews/
- How to Combat Fake Reviews While Managing Online Reputation: http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/combat-fake-reviews-online-reputation-management/
- Managing Your Hotel’s Online Reputation Using SEO: http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/website-promotion/hotel-reputation-management-using-seo/
Contributed by Meagan Hasenoehrl, Sr. SEO Specialist / Account Manager