Besides reading reviews about your business on TripAdvisor, people will browse your profile. Is one extra sale worth it? Two? Getting the best out of your online marketing involves squeezing out the little percentages in every space you occupy.
Here’s Our 12 Steps:
1. Be descriptive in the business name. People should be able to get a basic impression of what you do just from the name of your profile. If it’s ‘Marta’s Tours’, you’re missing out a bit here. ‘Marta’s Tours Jamaica’ or ‘Marta’s Kingston Day Tours’ is much clearer.
TripAdvisor restricts this practice to prevent people from jamming their profile names with keywords for the sake of Google, but it’s worth trying.
2. In your description, make every word count. Skip the fluffy marketing sentences such as ‘Your time here is limited, so make the most of it!’ or ‘We provide a personal service which is tailored to you.’ Have a quick summary sentence about what you do (including your point of difference) to hook them into reading the rest.
Most visitors to a place have no clue how to differentiate one tour operator from another. This is why TripAdvisor reviews can help so much. Use your description to help further that sense of being the ‘safe choice’. In an opening sentence or two, make a reference to how many hundreds or thousands of tours you have conducted. Maybe say which year you launched to show your experience. Quote a testimonial. Show that you’re the operator that a smart person would choose.
The key here is to think of hooks – what opening sentences will interest people more than others? I LOVE the way Broadway Up Close Walking Tours does this. They’re a highly successful tour company in New York:
‘Have you ever wanted to know which Broadway theaters are haunted? Are you curious to know what a Broadway “swing” is? Have you ever heard about the ghost light? If so, then this tour is just for you!’
What a great way to open their description. You’ll need to strike a neat balance of interesting hooks, showing why your business is great and description of the tour.
3. Fill your profile with detail. One noticeable thing on TripAdvisor is that lesser-ranked operators often have near-empty profiles. This makes them look inactive, even when they’re not! Fill all the boxes — email, website, phone number, address. Add as many photos as you can. Make it look like a lot is going on.
4. I repeat: add photos. Lots of them. Instead of fancy dancy shots of the sun setting over the horizon, show guests having fun. According to TripAdvisor, travelers engage 150 percent more with pages that have 20 or more photos! Make sure you don’t wait for people to add photos on their own. Get them happening yourself instead.
5. Use video. According to TripAdvisor, hotel profiles with videos receive 34% more engagement than those that don’t. You can imagine that this applies to day tours as well.
6. Keep the info up to date. This is often overlooked. Put an entry into your diary to remind you to check the info every three or six months. Change up your profile info and your photos to keep it fresh.
7. Test all links and contacts. It’s common to see that businesses have put an incorrect link to their website. They have no idea, but if they had tested it just once, they would have known.
8. Keep Google in mind. It’s possible that by doing this you can help your own page in TripAdvisor get a good ranking and thereby more visits. I’ve helped clients to do it before — you just need to make sure that you don’t destroy the readability of your profile! The priority here needs to be the reader first and not Google. Just take a look at your profile and see if you can’t sneak a keyword or two in there to optimize for Google searches.
9. Integrate booking links where possible. TripAdvisor has a ‘book now’ button where people can book directly through your site. You need to consider whether this is right for your business. If you know your numbers, do the maths. An extra bump in sales might not be worth it if they start taking commissions from bookings you would have gotten anyway. To get this feature enabled, you need to be listed on one of TripAdvisor’s partner sites — for example, Viator.
10. Respond to all your reviews. Responding to reviews increases the chances of someone engaging with your TA page. In fact, a TripAdvisor study showed that accommodation venues that respond to 50 percent or more of reviews experience 24 percent more engagement! Another study showed that 77 percent of users agree that seeing a hotel management response makes them more likely to book. It’s hard to imagine that this doesn’t also apply to other businesses.
11. Link back to your profile from your social media. If your TripAdvisor profile makes you look great, put links to it on your Facebook page’s description or your Twitter profile. Potential guests can then see the wonderful job you have done.
12. Use the words of happy visitors. Open your TripAdvisor profile description with a single-sentence quote from a testimonial (or two). It’s a great hook to begin your description because most operators don’t do this and are boring. Every time I see a quote at the start of a profile, I’m interested and keep on reading. Even if you don’t want to open your description by quoting a testimonial, I strongly recommend quoting one or two somewhere.
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