In a world saturated with marketing content and advertising campaigns everywhere you look, consumer trust is evolving and reviews are becoming increasingly important. If you want to preserve the trust of your guests, you need to evolve with the trends. According to web experts ‘Bright Local’, a staggering 97% of consumers read online reviews in 2017 and 85% trust reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations.
If those figures alone don’t convince you of the importance of generating online reviews, perhaps these 3 rewarding benefits will:
A recent study conducted by TrustYou in conjunction with New York University and the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, investigated the relationship between the average review score of a hotel, and the price that travellers are willing to pay. The study revealed that 76% of travellers are willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher review score, with all other factors held constant. In fact, they will pay an average of 5-9% more for a hotel that has a 5% higher review score. That means, if you can work to beat your competitors’ average online rating you will be able to charge a higher nightly rate without deterring potential guests!
For years business owners, marketers and web developers have been striving to uncover the secret to mastering Google’s legendary ranking algorithm. Well, it turns out consumers aren’t the only ones that trust online reviews…Google does too! SEO firm, Yoast, has revealed the 6 ways in which Google evaluates online reviews to calculate ranking positions in local searches. The most heavily weighted aspects are volume, content and diversity of reviews. That means if you have more reviews with a positive sentiment across multiple review platforms (google reviews, TrustYou, OTA’s, metasearch sites etc.) you will rank higher than your local competitors. Surprisingly, average rating, reviewer reputation and frequency of reviews were revealed to be less important (although still noteworthy).
Strong guest relationships are undeniably important for satisfaction rates and also increase the likelihood of return business. Reviews provide a unique opportunity to foster the relationship after the guest has checked-out. Simply requesting feedback from the guest shows them that you value their opinion. Doing so will also quickly improve your online review profile, with approximately 68% of consumers completing reviews when asked (BrightLocal, 2017). Once the reviews start rolling in, you have an even greater opportunity to demonstrate how much you care about your guests. TripAdvisor states that 4/5 guests believe hotels who respond to their reviews care more about them than those who don’t. However, this applies to both positive and negative feedback. 85% of guests have a better impression of a hotel if they see management responding in a thoughtful way to negative feedback.
Overall, working to generate a healthy online review profile can increase your profit, improve your local search rankings and help you to foster guest relationships after they check-out. The trick then lies in knowing how to generate the volume and quality of reviews that are needed.
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