The numbers behind TripAdvisor are staggering, with the website receiving over 490 million unique visitors every month. So how can your attraction make the most of this opportunity to raise your profile and attract more visitors?
The new TripAdvisor launched in November 2018 with a more content and social feel, but the main premise of the site remains the same – a central hub for people to find inspiration, plan their next day trip or holiday and read reviews on attractions, hotels and restaurants.
So how can attractions make the most of TripAdvisor to reach their audiences and increase their visitor numbers? I recently spoke to the team at TripAdvisor who shared their advice.
7 Steps to Success for Attractions on TripAdvisor
1. Claim your page/listing
Even if you’ve never set it up, chances are that your attraction already appears on TripAdvisor. Just go to the Owners page to find and claim your listing. This will allow you free access to powerful business tools to manage your reviews, track your performance and optimise your listing. For security reasons, TripAdvisor does require business registration and verification in order to claim your listing.
2. Optimise your profile
Think of your TripAdvisor listing as your shop window, enticing people to visit your attraction. Make sure your information is up to date and include information about opening times, accessibility, seasonal activities and suitability for children or groups.
Studies show that listings with 30 or more photos have 41% more traveler engagement than those with 10 or fewer. Your photos should be inspirational and impactful and show visitors what they can expect (so remove out of date photos). Select a prime photo which will leave the strongest first impression with a visitor to your profile.
If you’re claiming an existing listing, your edits will override any existing information.
3. Make sure your attraction is bookable
TripAdvisor allows you to upload products to your profile, allowing people to book directly through the platform. This has shown to increase both bookings and general engagement on the platform. Once your products are loaded, TripAdvisor will translate them into 28 languages and multiple currencies, which greatly increases the appeal with international visitors.
An added bonus is that TripAdvisor works with over 3,500 affiliate partners (like Lufthansa, BA and Lonely Planet), who take a direct feed of the products which have been loaded onto the platform and distribute them to their own networks. This is an easy way to get your product out to a global audience.
4. Focus on Reviews
People rarely book without reviews and an incredible 62% of travellers visit TripAdvisor before making their booking. Make sure that you are asking for reviews from your visitors wherever you can – online, at your attraction and in your traditional marketing (pamphlets etc). Make sure your staff are aware of your listing and that they encourage visitors to leave reviews.
If you have collected email addresses from visitors (either online or at your attraction), Review Express allows you to generate more reviews by sending co-branded, credible emails with a direct link to your TripAdvisor page to recent visitors. Not only will this grow your reviews from people who may not have written one, but these reviews will grow your profile and discoverability on TripAdvisor.
This is a free tool for all registered page owners and will allow you access to the Review Express dashboard, which provides results for each of your campaigns. Review Express also generates a reminder email to guests who don’t respond.
Responding to your reviews is extremely important. This engagement increases consumer confidence and shows that you care and take the visitor experience seriously. Make sure you’re responding to everything, even the negative reviews.
Make the most of good reviews by sharing them on your social channels, in emails and on your website.
5. Showcase your listing
Once you have an up to date and optimised listing, make sure people are aware of it. Add a widget to your website, request TripAdvisor stickers and branding for your attraction and use their icon in your marketing. If you receive a Travellers Choice Award, Certificate of Excellence or (woop woop) a Hall of Fame Certificate, include these prominently wherever you can.
6. Work on your ranking
Your TripAdvisor ranking is based on visitor reviews and reflects where you stand against other attractions in your local area. The closer you are to the top of this ranking, the more likely it is that people will see your listing when they search things to do in your area on TripAdvisor.
There are 3 factors which influence your score: quality of reviews, quantity of reviews and freshness of reviews. TripAdvisor’s recommendation is to focus on your visitors and their experience: “Give your customers a memorable experience, encourage reviews, learn from the feedback, and watch all your hard work pay off!”
7. Make use of the new features
The updated TripAdvisor website is all about providing inspiration to site visitors and enhancing their trip-planning activities. The new homepage functions as a social hub for travel inspiration. There are destination blogs, social media channels to follow and inspiring content.
Make the most of this new functionality by sharing content about your attraction on destination pages. Post ‘Trips’, great video, blog posts and impactful photos to inspire those researching a destination to visit your attraction. ‘Trips’ is a new feature which allows you to groups together attractions and experiences to help people plan their trip. Examples might include “Top Foodie Experiences in Sydney”, “A Perfect Family Day Out in The Cotswolds” or “Must-See Sights in Catalunya”.
TripAdvisor also has advertising features which allow you to reach your audience at all stages of the planning journey – from inspiration to booking. If you would like more information on TripAdvisor advertising or including the platform in your digital strategy, please get in touch. We would love to help.
Simon is one of the founders of Digital Visitor and has over 20 years marketing experience in the tourism sector, particularly with destinations and visitor attractions.