Harnessing the Power of TripAdvisor
By now all plans for a bumper festive season should be in place. If you are thinking about how to put the cherry on the top of your festive cake, think no further than your presence on TripAdvisor, which is not only the world’s largest travel site, it is also one of the world’s largest restaurant sites. With over 150 million average monthly restaurant browsers, TripAdvisor offers reviews and opinions to help consumers find and book places to eat both at home and while travelling. For an operator, TripAdvisor can either be a great asset or a thorn in the side – it is worth spending time to ensure the site works for you, rather than against.
In order to understand better what entices consumers to consider booking a particular restaurant, TripAdvisor analysed its internal site data to determine how consumers interact with particular types of page content. The study examined how the volume and recency of reviews, photos and management-contributed content influence a potential customer’s interest and decision-making process.
Review quantity and recency engages consumers
Key finding: Restaurants with over 20 reviews see twice as much engagement as those with no reviews.
Key finding: Having over 40 recent reviews drives three times the engagement with TripAdvisor users. Consumers on TripAdvisor want to unleash the full potential of their dining experiences. They often read multiple reviews when choosing where to eat. As a result, they spend twice as much time on restaurant listings that have at least 20 reviews.
In addition, TripAdvisor consumers are especially interested in recent reviews, as that content most likely reflects the latest dining experience. When a restaurant has over 40 recent reviews (collected over the last six months), it sees three times as much engagement over competitors with none.
Consumers like to see Management Responses
Key finding: Owners who respond to reviews can see as much as double the diner engagement with their TripAdvisor listings. Across TripAdvisor, a Management Response is viewed as a positive indicator. Effectively, a manager is demonstrating that they care about the diner’s experience by taking the time to review the feedback and respond. The study verified that this holds true for restaurants, as managers who respond to feedback see twice as much engagement with their TripAdvisor listings.
Photos heavily influence diners
Key finding: Restaurants with 11 - 20 photos see double the amount of diner interaction over others with no photos at all.
Key finding: Restaurants with at least one Management Photo see 44% more engagement over those with no photos. Photos are essential to driving higher levels of engagement from prospective customers. Diners are eager to preview the appearance of the restaurant and the food they can expect to find there. This is why businesses that have more than 10 photos see double the engagement over others that have no photos.
The study also revealed that restaurants with their own Management Photos see significantly higher customer interaction. When restaurant managers take the time to present their businesses in the best possible light, with at least one high-quality photograph, it draws in more customers. Uploading at least one Management Photo allows managers to select a primary photo for their listing – ensuring they can control how potential diners see their property on the search results page for their destination.
Complete business details are essential
Key finding: Restaurants with hours of operation on their TripAdvisor listing see 36% more engagement than those without them. In order to make their dining decisions, TripAdvisor users need up-to-date business details. Adding detailed business information to your listing provides authenticity that consumers embrace as they decide where they would like to eat.
The 2017 TripAdvisor Diner Engagement Study clearly indicates that potential customers spend more time browsing the pages of restaurants that offer extensive decision-driving content. Restaurant managers can take advantage of this trend by actively connecting with their TripAdvisor listings; encouraging new reviews, responding to those reviews, uploading fresh photos, and ensuring their business details are correctly listed on TripAdvisor.
When all of these elements are combined, they can create a virtuous circle of more customer engagement on the restaurant’s listing, more dining decisions being influenced in the restaurant’s favour and, ultimately, more reviews and photos being posted to the listing. This additional content can then drive more engagement, setting the cycle in motion again. But it all starts with attentive ownership of a restaurant’s TripAdvisor listing.
How to make the most of tripadvisor
1. Register for Management Center
- Visit www.tripadvisor.com/Owners
- Search for your business
- Complete the registration process
2. Make collecting reviews a priority
- Once you’ve registered, check out the ‘Free Tools’ menu in the Management Center
- Order TripAdvisor promotional items such as stickers and business cards for your restaurant
- Add a TripAdvisor widget to your website
You can also use the free Review Express tool to send an email requesting reviews from past customers. Visit www.tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress to learn more
3. Show customers you care – respond to reviews
- To write a Management Response, select ‘Respond to Reviews’ from the Reviews menu
- Be sure to thank the reviewer for their feedback and tell them how you’re using it to improve
- At the very least, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a response on the first page of your reviews; customers can see you respond without having to scroll through multiple pages of reviews
4. Upload more than 10 management photos
- Under the ‘Profile’ menu, select ‘Manage Photos’ to upload your images
- Be sure to choose photos that are bright, varied (show different elements of your restaurant) and high resolution, so they show well on screens of all sizes
- Once you’ve uploaded your photos, be sure to designate one as your Primary Photo. This photo will show on search results and elsewhere on TripAdvisor
5. Confirm and update your business details
- Visit your restaurant’s TripAdvisor listing to review your business details
- To make edits, select ‘Edit Business Details’ from the Profile menu in the Management Centre
- Be sure to add a description of your restaurant; it’s an easy way to convince customers to choose you
6. Consider TripAdvisor Premium for Restaurants
- To stand out even more, consider purchasing a TripAdvisor Premium for Restaurants subscription
- Get access to page-enhancing tools such as Storyboard and Favourite Review, plus benefit from advanced analytics and more
- Learn more at www.tripadvisor.com/Premium.