For Business Owners

3 tips to improve your businesses TripAdvisor listing

Ollie Marriage

TripAdvisor can often be the bane of restaurateurs. Frequently customers will only use it if they’ve had a particularly negative experience and for the vast majority of satisfied customers, leaving a review doesn’t even cross their mind. 

Combine this with the litany of fake reviews and the fact that Oobah Butler, a vice journalist recently got his shed to the number 1 spot on trip advisor in London, TripAdvisor reviews leave a lot to be desired.

That being said, due to the years they’ve been dominant in this space they have a lot of Domain Authority and are likely to be at the top, or near the top of any search of “Restaurant name” + “Review”, not to mention TripAdvisor is an good discovery tool, so managing the listing has become a must. 

So how do the listings work, and how can you improve yours? Listings have two aspects, ratings and rankings, often you can find restaurants with higher rating lower down in the list, this is because the ranking comprises several inputs including;

  1. Quality of reviews - how high is your rating, and how positive of an experience have your customers has 
  2. Quantity of reviews - the more good reviews you have, the higher your ranking
  3. Age of reviews, the more recent reviews you have the better, they carry less weight over time. 

With that in mind, we have a few suggestions to improve your reviews and appear higher on the TripAdvisor Ranking

Look for any themes in the negative reviews

This gives you a chance to identify and fix common issues that customers have. It’s also a good idea to reply to these reviews & attempt to rectify the situation, as 85% of TripAdvisor users say that a well managed response to a negative review actually improves their opinion of a business

Incentivise existing customers to leave reviews.

Often businesses will leave a small card with the bill asking the customer to leave a review and offering a small discount, or something for free that has a high perceived value and a relatively low cost to yourself e.g. a coffee. Another option to consider is having a monthly/quarterly prize draw for people who left a review. As this is less frequent a larger prize can be ordered without eating into your margins too much.  Running these incentives should help boost your overall number of reviews as well as the score, as this will increase the bulk of your customers who have a positive experience, but never leave a review. 

Optimise for discoverability

So the first two points can help improve the ratings and rankings of your listing, but the other key aspect of TripAdvisor is as a discoverability tool for people looking for a new restaurant to eat at. With this in mind there are a few basics that if you nail, will go a long way to generating that interest from a potential customer

  1. Make sure your listing details are correct, especially cuisine as this is key search filter. 
  2. Photos are one of the first things a potential customer is going to see, so having some high quality professional ones that showcase your most popular dishes as well as cherry picking the best customer photos will have a high impact. 
  3. Add a booking button to your page to make it as simple as possible for customers. 
  4. Keep your photo up to date & make sure it has accurate labelling for people with dietary requirements. They tend to do more research before choosing a spot to eat so making the menu easy to find 

Over time as fake reviews become more widespread on TripAdvisor and online retailers like Amazon, consumer trust will be eroded and when you can't trust the reviews, why would you remain loyal to the platform? It seems that the only logical way for restaurant reviews to evolve, is to filter out the fakery and only count genuine reviews from customers with verified purchases.

At Swipii, because we use card linking technology, users can only rate a business after they’ve made a purchase. This means we can be confident that your ratings & feedback have come from genuine customers.

Own a local business? Click here If you want to find out about how Swipii can help improve customer loyalty and drive extra revenue