When it comes to traveller engagement, it's fair to say that TripAdvisor has mastered the art. Part of its success is that the company is focused on offering a thoughtful user experience, with active hotel profiles. Now the firm has shared some insights into how other firms can keep happy campers more engaged, says travel news site Tnooz.
TripAdvisor analysed a sample of properties across the 25 most reviewed cities between 7 July and 7 August. It looked at how overall engagement links in with the content on the listing page, using data such as page views per session and the number of booking inquiry clicks.
The results of the research found that the factors driving engagement were (in order of impact): the number of photographs on the page; the number of reviews the accommodation had received; management responses in the past year; and the number of reviews in the past year.
One observation is clear: management response is critical. It can not only address an individual guest's experience (whether negative or positive), but also shows potential guests that management is active and engaged with the guest experience.
Hotels and B&Bs that have responded to at least one review see 17% more engagement compared to those with no management responses. What's more, the engagement increases with the rate of management responses; properties that respond to reviews at least 13% of the time, says TripAdvisor, achieve a 21% rise in engagement compared to properties that offer no response.
But the real driver of engagement - and potential bookings - are photos. Comparing hotel and B&B pages with no pictures and those which show photographs, the research found that there is a huge 138% hike in engagement from travellers. It also found that the more photos there were, the more engaged web users are.
Users, says Tnooz writer Nick Vivion, are more apt to trust a variety of photos from all kinds of guests and therefore marketers should focus as much on encouraging guests to share their photos as on soliciting reviews.