Small hospitality venues can boost their profile for free

Or Trick-free TripAdvisor Tips

Sometimes it feels hopeless for small venues to get their websites seen online. There is so much competition from bigger venues, with bigger marketing budgets. They scoop up the awards, their website rank at the top of the Google search listings.

It may surprise you to know that a little dedicated work – just a couple of minutes a week – could help your hospitality venue to stand out. The internet is all about links and keywords. In order for search engines to be successful, they have to answer their customers questions. In order to recommend your venue, they have to know what you do and know that you are trustworthy and of good quality.

One way to build these links and really reinforce to search engines what the key positive points about your business are is to use TripAdvisor. I know! Pretty much everyone in hospitality hates TripAdvisor, and with good reason. So use it to your advantage.

Top TripAdvisor Tips

  • Claim your business account. It’s free and you get (some) control over you listing.
  • Nowhere near as much control as a premium listing, but at least you can check all your business information is correct (it MUST match your website and Google My Business profile EXACTLY).
  • You can also upload nice photos, and pick one of those as your header. Otherwise it’s Joe Public’s blurry horrible photos of your business that people will see first.
  • REPLY TO REVIEWS.

The last point is key. Reply to reviews. I know it seems like a bind. But firstly it’s good manners to thank people for a nice review. It might encourage them to come back, or tell their friends about how personable your venue is.

Reply to Reviews

Respond to bad reviews. Set the record straight. In most cases, draft a response to a particularly bad review and then sleep on it and check you’re being reasonable. Has the reviewer pointed out a genuine area for improvement? If so, hold up your hands, apologise and let them know how their review will help you to improve your business practises in the future.

Is the reviewer living in Cloud Cuckooland? Does their version of events differ wildly from the accounts of staff and CCTV? Then firmly, but politely tell them so – explain how you have investigated and that you are afraid you do not agree with their assessment of the situation.

Always remember with TripAdvisor you have the last word – they review, you reply, and that is the end of the conversation.

What they don’t tell you

Finally, the most important thing in all of these responses is to use every opportunity to promote the USPs of your business.

“It’s great to hear you enjoyed our authentic Turkish cooking”

“So kind of you to mention the service, our team were actually voted the Best Customer Service Providers in the Midlands”

“The team are pleased to hear you enjoyed the starter. We actually source the ingredients from XXX Farm, just 10 miles away from us”

And why bother with this? Because TripAdvisor replies are searchable content. That means that when people are searching TripAdvisor for key words, they are more likely to get your listing. But more importantly, it helps to cement your listing in the minds of the search engines too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed discovering these TripAdvisor tips. If you still can’t bear to manage TripAdvisor on top of everything else then talk to Thirst Media and we’ll do it for you!

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