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Key Insights from “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement”

September 2, 2015 Online Travel Agents No Comments Print Print Email Email

Want to learn what top performing hotels on TripAdvisor have in common? Looking for tips to get more traffic from TripAdvisor, increase booking conversion and more? Read on for insights from “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement” from Atmosphere Research Group.

Atmosphere Research Group, an independent travel industry research firm, in partnership with TripAdvisor, has released a new report on the correlations between hotel engagement and TripAdvisor performance. The study is based on data from over 12,000 properties located in the top 25 traffic markets on TripAdvisor, as well as interviews with executives from four global hotel chains.

Read on for a summary of key findings from this report along with tips on how to apply them and improve your business’s performance on TripAdvisor:

Key finding #1: Highly Engaged Hotels Perform Better on TripAdvisor

In analyzing TripAdvisor data, Atmosphere found that highly engaged hotels on the site saw:

  • More page views: Hotels with higher engagement receive nearly four times more page views on TripAdvisor
  • Higher market visibility: The average Popularity Ranking for highly engaged hotels was 63% higher than their non-engaged counterparts. As a result, highly engaged hotels could be seen by two of every three travelers searching that market
  • More revenue:The study revealed that highly engaged hotels see 30 to 40% more traveler interaction with revenue-driving products like Business Listings

So what makes a hotel highly engaged? Atmosphere discovered four common actions that these properties take:

  1. Take ownership of the property’s page on TripAdvisor by registering in the TripAdvisor Management Center
  2. Publish at least 10 Management Photos to their listing on TripAdvisor
  3. Respond to at least 25% of reviews on TripAdvisor
  4. Add direct contact information to the property’s TripAdvisor page with Business Listings

Tip #1: To become more highly engaged on TripAdvisor, properties will need to take full advantage of the Management Center. For a cheat sheet on how to quickly register, publish Management Photos, write Management Responses and more, click here.

Tip #2: Take your TripAdvisor listing to next level by adding your property’s contact details, Special Offers and more. Learn more about Business Listings here.

Key finding #2: Successful Hotels Employ a “Virtuous Circle” of Guest Engagement

In addition to hotel engagement, Atmosphere found that the most successful hotels follow a “virtuous circle” approach to engage their guests:

“If you put a focus on getting reviews, you will see the positive results. You need to make it easy for guests to post their reviews.”
- Javier Carazo, Senior Vice President, Operations and Quality, NH Hotel Group

  1. The hotel commits to systematically encouraging reviews from guests after their stays
  2. Review feedback is constantly monitored and analyzed
  3. The hotel makes improvements based on those insights
  4. These improvements lead to more satisfied guests, better reviews, and ultimately more visibility on TripAdvisor
  5. This enhanced visibility results in more traveler bookings, which causes the cycle to repeat again

Atmosphere found “…when well-planned and executed, the result of this ‘virtuous cycle’ is a hotel highly attuned to its guests’ insights and nimble in its ability to respond and act on feedback as required.”

Tip #3: Keep in mind, an important part of the “virtuous circle” is asking all guests to write reviews. This will ensure you’re getting the full scope of feedback and incorporating it into your business. Learn more about why it’s important to request honest feedback from all guests here.

Key finding #3: Systematically Encouraging New Guest Reviews Drives Results

As part of the study, Atmosphere analyzed data from properties that used TripAdvisor’s Review Collection Platform (RCP) to systematically request reviews from each guest. The results clearly demonstrate the importance of a programmatic approach:

  • More guest reviews: When properties launched a solution like RCP, they saw an increase in reviews of 30 to 80% over pre-launch numbers
  • More page views: Highly engaged hotels using RCP saw 40% more page views than highly engaged hotels that did not have a similar solution in place
  • Improved revenue-driving performance: These hotels also saw a 25% increase in Business Listings link activity and a 32% increase in CPC clicks, when compared to those that did not use it

Tip #4: While RCP is primarily available to larger hotel chains, TripAdvisor offers a wide range of tools that enable business owners to systematically collect reviews, including Review Express. Learn more here.

Key finding #4: The Importance of Incorporating Reviews into the Booking Process

Atmosphere interviews with key hotel chain executives revealed another benefit to collecting reviews. When review content is published within the hotel’s direct booking channel, they provide travelers with a sense of transparency and credibility. In fact, when in-line reviews are added to a hotel’s booking site, they can improve “competitive effectiveness against third-party intermediaries, such as online travel agencies, by providing helpful information in the booking path that a traveler can use to determine whether a hotel is right for a particular trip.”

Tip #5: Want to get more from your reviews? Use TripAdvisor widgets to add them to your property’s website.

Want more insights? Download the full “Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement” report (available in English) on the right side of this page.

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