Hotel Review Sites Matter: 5 Tips for Improving Your TripAdvisor Score

Customer Experience Customer Service

Good ratings on hotel review sites like TripAdvisor put your hotel in the forefront when travelers are planning their trip. How can you get ahead?

Hotel review sites provide ratings that can influence travelers’ decisions about where to stay. If you’re ignoring the ratings and reviews guests are leaving on review sites about your properties, you’re ignoring the one thing that might influence people most when choosing where to stay. Consider this: Nine out of ten people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and the “star” rating is the biggest factor consumers use to judge a business.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. Good ratings on their site put your hotel squarely in the bull’s-eye when travelers are making their plans. Here are five tips that can help you better your scores on hotel review sites.

1. Read Competitors’ Ratings and Reviews

Reading what guests write about your competitors’ hotels can give you insight into their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, these reviews can give you information about the expectations and needs travelers have when visiting your area. Use what you learn to find points of differentiation that could set your hotel apart from the rest and give your marketing a boost.

2. Set Baselines

Baselines are areas of a guest’s stay that must be true for each individual — and often represent a traveler’s most basic expectations. For instance, guests expect rooms, bedding, bathrooms and common areas to be clean and fresh-smelling. They might not make note of this when leaving a rating for your hotel on TripAdvisor or other hotel review sites, but they’ll consider leaving a negative score for your hotel if their expectations aren’t met.

Areas where you should set baselines could vary depending on your hotel’s price point. They might include:

  • Cleanliness
  • Friendliness and courtesy
  • Attentiveness and availability of staff
  • Hours various amenities are offered (such as pool or hotel restaurant hours, room service, concierge, etc.)

3. Spotlight a Unique Amenity

Differentiating your hotel experience from the rest and making it a standout part of the guest stay can lead to over-the-top positive reviews on sites. If your hotel doesn’t have a unique amenity, creating one could immediately give you a marketing advantage, as well as a way to wow your guests.

Your hotel’s unique amenity could be either in the form of a service or hotel facility, but it could also be something that forms an intangible part of the guest experience. When exploring options, there are three criteria to consider. First, it should be noticeable — something that matters to guests and enhances their experience. Second, it should be something they will remember after they leave. Finally, it should be unique to your property.

4. Start and End With Guest Feedback

You can’t assume that guests will always ask for what they want or need. Beginning and ending the guest experience with questions and statements that help you uncover guest expectations, travel plans and what they appreciated most about your hotel can help you uncover areas where your hotel can better impress guests. Plus, asking questions like these can be a stepping stone to getting more of the positive reviews you want, since they give you the opportunity to “make the ask” for a guest rating.

5. Facilitate the Review

The more time passes between a guest’s stay and when it’s convenient for them to leave a rating or review, the more time their positive impressions have to fade. Giving hotel guests a chance to rate your accommodations in real time during the checkout process via kiosk, computer center and tabletop digital devices in your hotel’s lobby, restaurant, spa and other amenity spaces may increase the chances they will leave a review.

You can’t control what guests say about your hotel, but you can increase the likelihood that what they have to say will be good. Focus on improving the guest experience and making it a special one. Not only can you earn more positive ratings, you may earn more repeat visits, too.

Elizabeth Kraus
Elizabeth Kraus

Elizabeth Kraus is a freelance marketing consultant located in the greater Seattle area. Author of 365 Days of Marketing and 12 Months of Marketing for Salon and Spa, she publishes marketing calendars annually for local small business, salons, restaurants, realtors, and others.