When planning your holiday what's the first thing you do? For many it is looking on TripAdvisor to find out about the local area. And while TripAdvisor gets the numbers – more than 150 user reviews covering more than 3.7 million hotels, restaurants and attractions – it also gets its fair share of negative press too. The world's largest travel site frequently comes under fire from business owners claiming that many of the reviews are unfair and can be detrimental to a small business.
However, hotel owners and the like do have other review solutions beyond TripAdvisor. Anyone wanting to provide holiday-makers with trustworthy and reliable reviews can gather such reviews on their own site. When it comes to your marketing strategy, rather than disregarding TripAdvisor, you should supplement these reviews with those hosted on your own site.
There isn't much you can do about unfair reviews appearing on TripAdvisor, but you can display a range of reviews on your own site that give customers the full picture. Here are some key advantages and disadvantages to both.
Benefits of TripAdvisor include:
● With so many visitors your business is instantly exposed to a large audience
● It is a third-party site so reviews may be seen as more credible than a business's own website
● You are more likely to gather reviews quickly
Disadvantages of TripAdvisor include:
● You have no control over the layout or design
● You have less control over moderation of fake or inappropriate content
● Your business's reviews are vying for attention alongside those of competitors
● Pulling content from TripAdvisor onto your own site can be costly
Benefits of featuring reviews on your own site include:
● More control over where reviews appear – alongside the relevant product, for example
● You have total control over moderation of reviews, allowing you to remove any that are fake or inappropriate
● You gather customer data to facilitate targeted communications
● Visual content enhances the user experience of your site
● Regularly added content will bring with it SEO benefits
Disadvantages of featuring reviews on your own site include:
● It is a long-term commitment
● You have to work to encourage customers to contribute
There is no escaping the fact that reviews are integral in the travel business and customers expect to see them on the websites they visit. Cutting out the middle man and publishing reviews directly on your own site could reduce the number of visitors leaving your site to read reviews elsewhere.
There are plenty of applications available that allow you to do this – including our own review module. As well as driving traffic to your site, building loyalty and providing inspiring content to users, it also gives customers the user-generated content they have come to expect on most sites today.