How Tripadvisor tactics could harm your direct bookings in the long term. Thank you to Mark Simpson for getting this article about TripAdvisor tactics published so quickly. The ramifications were even deeper than I first thought when I originally quoted on this issue and called them out on Twitter.
Please read the article (link between paragraphs) to ensure you’re not giving away all of your web content, images, blogs, logos to TripAdvisor.
This is especially important for the hospitality industry as Google tries to enter the travel sector. Tripadvisor are fighting back by requesting that you give them in perpetuity access to all of your website content, images, logos, blogs and artwork.
Not only were Tripadvisor trying to get you to agree to this there was no 'opt-out' option. It simply looked like you were accepting some simple cookies, thus the 'subterfuge' quote.
After giving Tripadvisor your content who do you think might rank best on that content, your website or theirs? Google does not like repeated copy, it likes original content.
You would then be pushed down the rankings and Tripadvisor would begin to start launching the new booking platform and then charge commission for the bookings.
What tactics can you use to make Tripadvisor and reviews work for you?
- Make your prominent image one of your business signage. If your main image shows your website, telephone number and address that can only help people find your contact details.
- When you encourage reviews from guests after check out, ask them to do so on platforms that could lead to more new direct bookings. The best of these could be your Facebook page and your Google My Business page.
- Always reply to reviews professionally, even if you disagree with the comments, by wording your answer to resonate with your ideal client. Keywords in replies can help to rank and also show future customers that you are reading them and that you care.
- In replies, you can hint that the best rates and packages can be found on your own website.
- Use the Tripadvisor Forum section where people ask questions, you can then post answers that point back to your business. Tag your business in the answer which then links back to your listing.
- Ensure your listing is completed as fully as possible and include all of your contact details. In the about-you section, again hinting that the best rates and packages can be only found on your own website.
- Go back through old negative reviews and keep rejecting them. For example, the wrong location, review not matching your product or service, you were closed on that day etc. Keep trying because sometimes they are not removed and other times they are on the 3rd or 4th attempt.
- Visit your listing every few months to just remove old images, add fresh ones, and keep the details current.
- For hotels with restaurants, it is good practice to create 2 listings. One for the hotel, and one for the restaurant. It keeps the reviews separate and relevant.