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April 2, 2013 / BSP Marketing

How Can I Improve My Ranking On TripAdvisor

Does Your Hotel Have What it Takes to Rank First in its Category on TripAdvisor?

It probably is at least a slight exaggeration to say that the first thing hoteliers do when they come into work is to log on to their computers and read the latest “TA” reviews. However, hotel owners and operators do place serious importance on both the positive and negative comments that their guests leave on the very popular online hotel review site.


Everyday, millions of people check the hotel reviews that are posted on TripAdvisor before they finalize their decision on which hotel they should book. While one negative review is probably not going to drive away traffic to your facility, if negative reviews start coming in bunches, that can lead to a serious decline in occupancy rates and room revenues.

Reviews are a barometer that hoteliers can use to identify the things they are doing well and areas where they need to do better. Obviously, the greater number of positive reviews that readers see on “TA” will bode well for business at your hotel.

How Significant is a High Rank?

Every hotel owner and hotel manager would love to be ranked number one, but only one can achieve that milestone. Being number one is great, but it is not so bad if your hotel is ranked in the top ten. By being in the upper percentile of all the hotels in a city or town, you are placed at or near the top of the list of all hotels. That means that when viewers do a search for hotels in your area, you will be one of the first listings that they see.

Most people do not have the patience to go through ten pages of listings and read reviews of all of the listed hotels. Instead, they scan a few hotels on the first page that look interesting, read some reviews, and then decide which hotel they want to book.

Rankings are relative. If your hotel is in an isolated area and only one of three listed properties, it probably does not matter if you are ranked one, two or three. If someone is coming to the area, they are likely to read reviews for each hotel. On the other hand, in big markets like San Francisco or San Diego, where visitors have hundreds of hotels from which to choose, ranking number five is a big deal.

Improving your TripAdvisor Ranking

Knowing that having a high-ranking can be the best form of advertising for a hotel, many hoteliers are instructing their marketing people to focus their efforts on improving the rank of their hotels. Whether you are ranked number 10 or number 104 out of 150 hotels in your market, there is always room for improvement. Not only do you want to move closer to the number one spot, but when you get there, you want to do whatever you can to maintain your prime position.

While no single action will do much to change your ranking, if you focus on all aspects of your hotel’s operation, you should start to see significant improvement in your TripAdvisor rankings in a matter of months. With that said, here are some ways that you can work on those ever so important numbers.

Make Guests Feel Important

Pay extra attention to each guest. From upper management and the front desk staff, to the maintenance and housekeeping crews, everybody who is associated with your hotel should have it instilled in them that guests are the most important people on the property. A hotel employee, who takes the time to smile and say welcome to our hotel, is something and someone a guest will remember.

When a guest has a problem, address it immediately. Be honest and do not make excuses. If the air conditioning is not working right, if possible, offer to switch the guest to an upgraded room. When you pay attention to guests, they are happier and more likely to write a good review of your hotel.

Managers Should Read and Respond to Bad Reviews

When guests are unhappy and post negative reviews, it is much better to apologize and respond to the problem rather than ignore it and hope it goes away. You should always thank the guest for bringing the problem to your attention. Finally, do not just pay lip service to the writer and say that you will look into the problem. Instead, investigate and if necessary, make changes so the problem does not occur in the future.

Encourage Recent Guests to Post Reviews

TripAdvisor uses a proprietary formula to create the criteria that gives a hotel its particular ranking. One of the things they look at is the dates of the latest reviews. If a hotel has twenty new reviews each week, whether positive or negative, it will help boost its ranking. Recent reviews are more important because potential guests want to know what is happening at the hotel now!

Quantity of Reviews also Counts

Rankings can improve by the sheer number of hotel reviews that you receive. While you want a lot of reviews, you only want them from real guests who actually stayed at your property. Maybe you can create a link on your hotel’s website where guests can read or post TripAdvisor reviews. When a guest checks out, ask them if they had a good stay and tell them you would appreciate it if they would share their opinions for the benefit of others on “TA”.

Star Ratings

No matter if you are a budget level or luxury hotel, readers pay attention to star ratings. While most luxury hotels will earn a higher star rating because they provide more amenities and services, lower priced hotels can more easily exceed expectations and earn three stars when their direct competition languishes with just one or two stars. Going the extra mile and doing more than expected for the type of hotel you are, will impress guests and do the most to earn you good reviews and a higher rating.

Hoteliers should take advantage of the instant feedback that is provided on hotel review sites like TripAdvisor. By improving their rankings, they will become more appealing to potential guests. Sometimes, all it takes is a few minor changes to create a much better image for your hotel. When you listen to your guests, you learn what they want. By meeting those needs, you will get better reviews, higher rankings and more people who want to stay at your hotel.


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  1. bruce michaels / Apr 17 2013 12:48 am

    Very nice write-up. I absolutely love this website.

    Keep it up!

    Bruce Michaels

  2. hmgmanagement / Apr 25 2013 12:13 am

    Thank you! We appreciate your feedback!

  3. Anupam / Dec 13 2013 3:23 am

    Very relevant points. The key would be to be more proactive in you reaching out your guests about feedback. See my recent blog in WordPress for a detailed discussion


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