When it comes to attracting new customers, your TripAdvisor listing is just as important as your website and social media channels.
And if your business is a hotel or is a high-end eatery, that TripAdvisor rating is even more important — your guests will almost certainly do their research before committing to a large purchase.
Although your TripAdvisor score will be the first thing potential guests will notice (and yes, it will affect your online visibility), the rest of the content on your listing will also play a large part in the decision-making process.
Unlike TripAdvisor reviews, the quality (and quantity) of the text, information, photos and other content on your TripAdvisor listing is almost completely within your control.
Optimising this information should therefore be a high priority. Today on the RotaCloud blog, we'll talk you through how to claim, manage, and perfect your TripAdvisor listing, and ultimately drive more new customers to your business.
How to Claim or Add Your TripAdvisor Listing
(Already on TripAdvisor with control over your listing? Click here to skip this section)
For new businesses, or companies that have changed hands, the first step is to gain control over your TripAdvisor listing.
If your business is brand new, you'll need get listed on TripAdvisor. Head to this page to get started.
You'll need to provide TripAdvisor with plenty of details to create your listing, including:
- Your personal information and contact details
- Business information and contact details
- Industry-specific info such as cuisine type, price range, minimum stay, number of rooms, amenities etc.
- A description of your business (400 character limit)
- A photo or other image to represent the listing
If the listing already exists but you don't currently control it, you need to claim it.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Join TripAdvisor using the button in the top right of the website, or sign into your existing TripAdvisor account
- Go to tripadvisor.co.uk/owners and search for your business
- Click 'Claim Your Business' and follow the instructions.
Verifying Your Account
To prevent anyone from wrongly claiming a TripAdvisor listing, you'll need to verify your identity and affiliation with your business.
There are several verification methods available, although your options will depend on the information on your listing, as well as your business type.
Usually the verification process requires a phone or credit card.
- Verifying by phone. If you choose to verify by phone, you'll be shown the business phone number. You can request an update if the number's wrong. If the number is correct, you can then choose to receive a verification text message or phone call. You'll then need to enter the four-digit code into the box on TripAdvisor.
- Verifying by credit card. This method requires the card to bear your name, not the name of anyone else at your business. A £1 hold is placed on the credit card so that TripAdvisor can confirm it's valid, but no charges will be processed.
In some instances you may also verify via email.
Optimising Your Listing
So, your TripAdvisor listing is up and running. But there's plenty you can do to make it more effective. You can make most of these changes through the Management Centre.
- Use keywords. Update your description to include more keywords that potential customers might be searching for, such as 'vegan restaurant in central York', or 'healthy options'. Although the description is tucked away right at the end of TripAdvisor listings, the keywords will help with search engine results. Note that keywords can be several words or phrases rather than just one word at a time.
- Know your audience. Although you have less control over your TripAdvisor listing than your website or Facebook page, you can still tailor its content towards a specific audience - particularly your primary photo. This photo will be front and centre when users see your TripAdvisor listing, so use it to show off the best of your business in a way that appeals to your most important target audience.
- Add more photos. There's no limit to the number of management photos you can add to your listing, so add plenty! This is particularly important if your listing is short of photos from visitors. Add more management photos on a regular basis, and remove any outdated images that no longer accurately reflect your business.
- Keep all information up-to-date. Whenever you adjust your prices, opening times, or amenities, immediately update this information on your TripAdvisor listing. You don't want guests to turn up when the restaurant's closed because you didn't amend your opening times on TripAdvisor!
- Link your Facebook page and website. Your Facebook page and website contain more information about your business (such as menus, videos, background information etc.), as well as providing a route for TripAdvisor visitors to book directly. Unless your website isn't in great shape, you should definitely add it to your TripAdvisor listing.
- Look into TripAdvisor's paid features. Investigate services like Business Advantage (allows you to post videos, cover photos, and offers advanced analytics and other listing features), Premium for Restaurants (highlight favourite photos and reviews, show readers the top three reasons for eating at your restaurant), and Instant Booking (works with other software to allow accommodation bookings directly through TripAdvisor). These options might be out of your budget, but it's worth investigating them.
- Listen to feedback from visitors and customers. Whenever a customer mentions TripAdvisor, or your TripAdvisor listing, make a note of their thoughts. Over time, you'll learn which elements of your listing stood out, and which type of guests are most receptive to your profile.
- Include images from all room types. You may not want to put your budget rooms in the spotlight, but this will help guests better understand the difference between your offerings and give them more confidence in their booking decision.
- If in doubt, get some professional photos taken so that you can show your business in the best possible light on TripAdvisor and elsewhere.
- Respond to questions. TripAdvisor users can submit questions for you, the manager, to answer. These might relate to location, amenities, access, and so on. Answered questions show up on your TripAdvisor page for everyone to view, so give clear, concise (and polite!) answers.
Your TripAdvisor listing is more than just a place for visitors to publish reviews. It's also an opportunity for you to advertise your business, and display the best of your brand. Not everything on your TripAdvisor page is within your control, but don't forget to optimise the parts that you do get a say over!