Tripadvisor is one of the largest online travel portals and online aggregation tool offering hotel reviews, travel advice, reservations and more. For hoteliers, Tripadvisor is a metasearch engine offering powerful marketing possibilities with free and paid listings as well as Cost-Per-Click and Instant Booking functionalities. How to use Tripadvisor to its fullest extend? Let’s dive in!
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffet
One of the most valuable assets for any business is reputation and for the hotel industry, it’s even more critical.
While the world of travel and tourism is one of the biggest and flourishing sectors, survival in this world isn’t easy. With a new hotel opening up in the vicinity of every 10km or even shorter distance, hotel business demands visibility, exposure, amenities, and quality service.
That’s why Tripadvisor remains a key channel for a hotel. With over 1 billion reviews on its site, Tripadvisor is one of the most trusted travel research platforms for potential guests when they evaluate hotels. In this blog, we are collaborating with HotelMinderto unlock the power of Tripadvisor for Hotels.
Getting Started: What is Tripadvisor?
Started as a travel review platform, Tripadvisor is one of the largest online travel portals offering online hotel reservations and bookings for transportation, lodging, travel experiences, and restaurants. With over 463 million people visiting the platform every month to plan their trip and make bookings, it’s often the first place of research for various travelers.
Tripadvisor has been one of the early companies to enter into the Metasearch space with TripConnect. The platform acts as an online aggregation tool where they compile rate and availability of a property from different online sources and present it to the user in a consistent and user-friendly format. The site currently has a listing of over 1.4 million hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts and specialty lodging, as well as 842,000 rental properties.
While online travel agencies often dominate the metasearch advertising space, thanks to their budgetary allocation, it also gives hotels an opportunity to drive travelers to their website through effective campaign.
Tripadvisor for Hotels
With Tripadvisor’s Cost-Per-Click campaign, hotels can get spotlight on their direct rates and availability — and drive booking-ready travelers straight to their website’s booking page. Independent hotels can also take part in the campaign through Tripadvisor where their rates and availability will be displayed alongside those of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) directly on the property’s Tripadvisor listing in high-profile Price Finder results. Whenever a user clicks on the hotel’s direct listing, it will take them to the hotel’s official website (booking engine). Tripadvisor charges a “cost per click” fee whenever this link is clicked by the customer.
The Instant Booking feature is only available to users of USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand Philippines, Singapore, and South Africa. Travelers in other countries will not see the Instant Booking option. With Instant Booking, potential guests get to see hotel’s live rates and availability on Tripadvisor. Hotels will be able to capture the bookings in real-time through its connectivity partner on a simple pay-for-stays commission basis.
Hotel Instant Booking on Tripadvisor
Benefits of Listing Your Hotel on Tripadvisor
Travelers use Tripadvisor to check the rank of the accommodation, while the accommodation owners list their property here to increase their hotel’s ranking. Let’s see how having a Tripadvisor profile is beneficial for a hotel:
It tells the travelers that your hotel exists at so and so location and lists out the amenities you offer.
It gives you the freedom to showcase your property the way you want by adding a description, pictures, etc.
Multiplying your online reach, it helps you empower your business by attracting more bookings.
Availing the advantage of promoting your brand, you can lure guests to visit your brand’s website and make a direct booking.
Engage with your customers and make them feel special by immediately replying to their reviews and offering them special offers.
The best of all, a Tripadvisor hotel listing is 100% free; but note that you will be asked to pay for a yearly business subscription for a direct link to your website and other various promotional options.
Steps to Add Your Business on Tripadvisor
Now, when you know the perks of listing your hotel on Tripadvisor, it’s time to check the process of listing:
Step 1. Join Tripadvisor
The first and foremost step is to create your account on Tripadvisor. Simply, click on the “Join” button on the upper right-hand corner and you are ready to go.
Step 2. Search for your hotel on Tripadvisor
The unique part of this platform is that anyone can create a listing on Tripadvisor: both hotel owners and customers.
So, as a business owner your next step is to type the hotel name in the search box to find if your property is already listed or not. If you are lucky enough to find your hotel name in the dropdown menu, then go to step 3 or else skip to step 4.
Step 3. Claim your business
If you find your hotel is already listed by a customer, then it is time to claim your business. Click on the “Claim Your Business” option below the hotel name and get started.
Remember, Tripadvisor allows only 1 listing per property. So, you won’t be able to create a new listing in the same hotel name and you need to claim your property proving you are the owner of it.
Claim your free Tripadvisor listing
Step 4: Request a listing
If you didn’t find your hotel name, then click on the “Request Listing” option below the search box to list your property on Tripadvisor. This will take you to a new page where you will be asked to enter your business information.
Step 5: Enter your information
Enter your business details: Business category, Name, Address, Contact no., when was the hotel started, and other property details. Remember, these details will be visible to every person searching for your hotel on Tripadvisor and will induce their decision to book a room in your hotel or not. Once done, your profile will be created on Tripadvisor.
Once done, you are all set!
Grab Travelers’ Attention with Amazing Photos on Tripadvisor
Graphics appeal to the eye much faster than the mind takes to decode the text! Listings with photos have a competitive advantage over other hotels not showcasing any pictures of their property. Adding high-quality images and videos not only gives the traveler a virtual tour of your accommodation but also increases your ranking on Tripadvisor website.
Research shows that the viewers spend more time scrolling through the profiles of hotels that have 30 or more property images than the hotels with less or no images. Let’s check out the Do’s and Do Not’s of Tripadvisor photography.
Do’s and Don’ts of adding photos to your Tripadvisor listing
Do use clear, original, high-quality images.
Don’t show your skills in graphic designing.
Do mix your pictures of different rooms, lobby, and other areas.
Don’t share downloaded pictures from Google.
Do upload pictures of different seasons and activities.
Don’t share confusing collage images.
How Does Tripadvisor Rank Hotels?
Tripadvisor’s ranking algorithm works on 3 simple elements: quantity, quality, and the recency of the reviews.
How many reviews are there on your profile? What is the average frequency of the reviews?
How relevant are the reviews? Whether guests are talking about the property/ service in the review or not
When was the last review received? Was it before the pandemic?
Tripadvisor Popularity Ranking Algorithm
A hotel business with consistently good reviews is considered to be a good property, and ranks higher on Tripadvisor with increased chance of receiving bookings. This is how reviews play a key role in deciding your rank on Tripadvisor.
Manage Reviews on Your Business Profile
Now when you have created your listing, entered business information, uploaded images and you have started receiving bookings also, it’s time to manage your bookings. Remember, reviews play a big role in getting you your next booking plus ranking higher on Tripadvisor. Nearly 72% of customers book their stay based on the reviews. Manage your reviews in 2 simple steps:
Ask for reviews
Start with asking your guests to share their experience of staying at your property. Do not hesitate! Request them to leave their feedback irrespective of whether it is good or bad. You may ask for reviews by word of mouth at the time of check-out and also send a review link via email.
Reply to reviews
Do not let any review go unattended. A thank you message to a good review increases the users trust on you and makes them feel special. Replying to a negative review is more important. Reason being it shows your guests that you value them and their feedback matters to you. This instills a sense of indirect trust and respect among the customer.
Optimize Your Listing on Tripadvisor
Listing your business on Tripadvisor is the first step to let travelers know about the existence of your hotel. But listing isn’t enough! You need to keep updating your details, upload latest images and most important of all keep a track of your reviews and customer feedback. It is a continuous exercise and should be part of your overall hotel marketing and distribution portfolio.
Expedia Group Member travelers tend to spend more, stay longer, and book more often than non-members. You can target these high-value guests by using Members Only promotions. Members Only promotions offer exclusive deals to over 100 million members across all Expedia Group sites.
Recent Expedia Group research tells us that discounts remain a compelling motivator for travelers looking to book, and they play an important role in fueling the return to travel.
65% of travelers said they use a pricing filter when searching on a travel booking website.
A room discount would make 50% of travelers more likely to book an extra night.
30% of travelers considering their first trip after the global pandemic will consider promotions and discounts when choosing their lodging options.
Why Expedia Member Only Deals?
While travelers are searching for discounts, designing a promotional strategy that delivers a strong return on your investment is more important than ever. Using a Member Only promotion is a great strategy to target your promotional offer to the best possible audience and improve your visibility in search.
Target High-Value Guests
Expedia Group members, on average, book twice as many nights and spend twice as much as non-members. They are also more frequent travelers. Over 60% of travelers in Expedia Group loyalty programs stated that they expect to travel several times a year.
Stand Out in Search Results
Each Member Only promotion receives an exclusive badge that helps you stand out in traveler searches. The Members Only badge adds additional visibility to your listing among your competitors in traveler searches.
Ready to Get Started?
Manage your Expedia Group Members Only promotions directly from RateTiger. Simply open the Promotions page and create your Member Only Deal.
Experience 35% increase in occupancy by leveraging RateTiger Channel Manager
Ewan Hotels & Resorts, an amazing marque in the Northern Emirates, Ajman, recommended RateTiger to manage online channels and distribution connectivity. This iconic symbol of Ajman property has been using RateTiger Channel Manager since last one year to update rates and inventory across online sales channels and receive reservations into their PMS.
Ewan Hotels & Resorts are known for providing a unique blend of traditional Arab hospitality. They believe in “Live Life King Size” with minimum expenses. They believe that creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere is the key to making guests feel at home and comfortable during their stay.
This luxury property witnesses a 35% occupancy growth by leveraging RateTiger Channel Manager. Over one year, this property has increased its visibility with RateTiger by using 2-way XML communication with OTAs and specialized channels to promote additional bookings.
“Since implementing RateTiger Channel Manager, we have seen a significant increase in bookings across multiple sales channels. We have streamlined our booking and reduced the risk of errors. We are confident this platform will continue to be a game-changer for our property. We are thrilled to announce that our upscale property has achieved a 35% increase in occupancy by leveraging RateTiger Channel Manager. The user-friendly interface has enabled us to manage our time and resources efficiently. At the same time, the market intelligence reports have given us valuable insights into our OTA spread and allowed us to update our rates and inventory to stay competitive.” Remarked Mr Rakesh Tripathi – General Manager, Ewan Hospitality.
“We would like to thank the RateTiger support team for their 24*7 exceptional service. We highly recommend other properties looking for reliable and responsive customer support to consider RateTiger for their hotel channel management needs.” – Added Mr Rakesh Tripathi – General Manager, Ewan Hospitality.
Along with being a seamless hotel channel manager, RateTiger also provides booking engine, rate shopper, website design and digital marketing solutions to hotels worldwide. It offers 99.5% system uptime and is security certified under ISO and PCI.
Google Hotel Ads is today accounting for almost 60% of all metasearch reservations and is an essential part of any hotel distribution and direct booking strategy. In this article, you are going to learn about how to set up your hotel on Google My Business to take advantage of the free booking links. To find out how to best enhance your hotel business marketing on Google, start here.
Planning to buy a new gadget? Or looking for a new book recommendation? Or News?
Great! Where do you start? Unsurprisingly it is Google. Right?
Google has become synonymous with search whenever anyone is looking for any product or service, or even knowledge. 9 out of 10 people begin their query on Google. And when it comes to hotels, Google contributes over 50% of direct bookings through organic referrals and paid marketing. If we add this to paid marketing by OTAs which have for years remained among the top spenders on Google and control 75% of the keywords clicks – Google’s dominance in the hotel booking space is clearly something that cannot be ignored. It is one of the simplest and easiest ways to mark your digital presence.
In 2010, Google jumped into the hotel distribution space with “Google Hotel Finder”, which today, as Google Hotel Ads, has become the largest Metasearch channel accounting for 57% of the total hotel bookings via Metasearch. With direct booking gaining momentum after the pandemic, metasearch has emerged as one of the most important channels for revenue managers. Thanks to its continuous feature update like Check-In Date Multiplier, the bid management has also become much more appealing.
Today, in our joint effort with HotelMinder, we are going to bring you the step-by-step guide to not only list your hotel on Google but also rank on it.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile (previously called Google My Busines) is a free business listing tool by Google for companies to list their business on.
It gives the business owners (hoteliers in this case) a platform to create an online profile and present their hotel brand on Google search and on Google Maps, free of cost.
Why do Hotels Need to be on Google?
With free booking links, you can appear across Google when users search for hotels.
Builds a sense of trust among travellers for the hotel via ratings and reviews.
Connect with more travelers and drive direct bookings at a much lesser cost.
Share your hotel’s physical address to be visible to local customers.
Increase your booking opportunity with a genuine business profile.
List Your Hotel Business on Google in 3 Simple Steps
1. Create Your Google Business Profile to Increase Visibility
Once done, enter the details of your hotel, like name, address, location, contact number, description, services offered, and so on.
Fill in all the details that are apt for your hotel. In case there is already a business profile of your brand, then it’s time to verify it. Google needs to know if you are the actual owner or manager of the business or not.
Tip: Users trust Google! Win Google’s trust by verifying your hotel and prove its authenticity and legitimacy.
2. Share Your Room Rates on Google to Attract Direct Bookings
Now when you have created and updated your business profile, it’s time to share the room rates to drive in direct booking. Once you share the rates with Google, free booking links will automatically show up along with your profile. There are 2-ways to enter prices in your business profile:
Your hotel connectivity partner (Channel Manager, Booking Engine, Central Reservation System) that you are using is integrated with Google and automatically shares the prices with Google.
You enter the prices manually in your Google My Business Profile and keep updating at regular intervals.
Either way, you choose to share room rates, do ensure that your feed price is updated whenever your room prices change on your website.
3. Start Google Hotel Ads (Optional)
Now, when you have created your business profile on Google and have free booking links generated, how about exploring the largest Metasearchof the hospitality industry – Google Hotel Ads.
Let’s see what Google Hotel Ads is and why it has become an essential tool for hoteliers.
What is Google Hotel Ads?
Launched in 2010, GHA is a hotel Metasearch engine like Trivago or TripAdvisor that acts as an aggregator listing hotel rooms and prices across different platforms. While it is very similar to Google PPC, Google Hotel Ads supports rich media, short descriptions, room rates, availability and direct booking links.
In short, it is that part of the travel ecosystem that paves a direct way to reach the travellers and help them book their stay without moving to any third-party sites or OTAs. Being the largest Metasearch of 2022, it is no surprise why Google Ads is an essential component of a hotel’s digital marketing strategy.
How does Google Hotel Ads Work?
Just like any regular ad campaigns, you pay Google Hotel Ads to show your hotel to the customers. It is a paid strategy to reach targeted travelers. There are three different pricing models to choose from:
PPC (Pay per Conversion): You are charged when a traveller books a stay.
PPS (Pay per Stay): You are charged only after a traveller completes the stay. (This is a special model introduced during the time of Covid19)
CPC (Cost per Click): You are charged every time a traveller clicks on the ad, irrespective of whether they make a booking or not.
How to Get Started with Google Hotel Ads?
To start an effective ad, a hotelier needs 3 things:
A Google My Business account
A Google Ads Account
A Connectivity Partner
The first 2 accounts are a must to run any Google ad. A connectivity partner is an exception to GHA because it needs a third party for the free flow of ARI information to your ads to show the real-time room rates and availability to the customers.
As mentioned above, the connectivity partner can be your hotel Channel Manager or distribution partner.
If you are an existing Google Hotel Center partner and you’re participating in Hotel Ads, you’re automatically eligible to show free booking links. Any of the pre-existing properties in the hotel campaign or ad feeds are eligible for free booking links without any additional cost.
If you don’t have a Hotel Center account but are willing to start with Google Hotel Ads and free booking links, you got to fill out the interest form.
Explore the Marketing Potential of Google Hotels
Getting started with Google is a win-win deal for both the hoteliers and the travellers. Hoteliers get to build their online presence on Google Search through Google Ads, Google Maps, Google Assistant and more.
Travelers get the ease and comfort of hotel search and bookings directly from Google without hovering through multiple sites in search of the best deal. With the travel industry pacing up to normalcy, it is a must for hotels/motels/lodges and hotel chains to get started with Google to pull in maximum bookings.