94% of hoteliers have now recognised that online traveller reviews are important for their future of their business, according to TripAdvisor's 2016 TripBarometer study.
Unsurprisingly, then, 59% of accommodation owners said they will be investing more money in online reputation management in 2016. Are you part of that 59%?
There was a time when travellers used to fret over whether they'd made the right choice with their chosen hotel or resort. However, the explosion of online reviews mean travellers can now make reasonably informed decisions and bank on the travel firms with a healthy number of positive reviews.
Studies suggest that 95% of travellers now read reviews before making their booking, with 70% of them looking at up to 20 reviews in the planning phase, according to Tnooz.
With online reviews impacting buying decisions as significantly as they do, it's well worth a travel business' time to start thinking about online reputation management.
As well as encouraging trust in your brand, here's why else you should seek to incorporate reviews in your website:
To increase your site's search visibility
Incorporating customer reviews on your site can have a positive effect on your company's search engine ranking. We all know that Google loves unique content, and every online review on your site acts as a new piece of content. Google's algorithms will interpret the reviews as evidence that you are authoritative and relevant, giving your site a better chance of greater search visibility.
You'll have a higher conversion rate
Some experts believe that it's better to have a good mix of positive and negative reviews on your website as to appear genuine, i.e. the reviews haven't been cherry picked. We can certainly understand the logic in that, but it goes without saying that you don't want too many negative reviews, or else that's all visitors will start to see. Get the blend right, though, and you'll enjoy a higher conversion rate.
They are here to stay
Online reviews are going nowhere, you can be sure of that. Just look at TripAdvisor, with its 260 million unique monthly visitors and 125 million travel reviews and opinions from travellers around the world. That's why here at Digital Trip we have updated our technology offerings to ensure that you can seamlessly integrate reviews in your website. Travellers love reviews and so should we. If the thing that's stopping you from opening your website up to reviews is fear of bad reviews, consider that 81% of all online reviews are positive, according to TrustYou.
Once you have reviews enabled on your website and have built up a little collection of your customer's opinions, you'll be able to use them in all sorts of ways.
For starters, you'll be able to use both individual reviews and average review scores in your online and offline marketing efforts. You might even be able to use bad reviews to hone your approach and answer customer pain points. However, you need to make sure you're keeping a close eye on customer reviews, and responding where necessary, if you're going to see a higher conversion rate.
Contact us to find out how we can incorporate Feefo reviews into your travel website.