When making their travel bookings, consumers are looking toward their peers on trusted platforms for answers.
When your potential guests are booking hotels for their next trip, odds are that they’ll be doing so from hundreds or thousands of miles away. This means they won’t be able to see your property for themselves before they arrive for the first time—making real hotel reviews their most trusted resource for the truth.
Every traveler wants a comfortable hotel experience that puts them in a great location with a friendly staff. Whether they’re heading to a business conference in New York City, a beach getaway in the Caribbean, or a party in Las Vegas, your hotel is their place to relax and unwind after a packed day. With hotel reviews from your guests, potential customers can get the full picture of what your hotel can offer and how well it can fulfill their needs.
By actively managing your presence on the best hotel review sites, you can be one step ahead of your competitors in online reputation management as a whole.
Why hotel reviews matter
Hotel reviews aren’t just a helpful element of your hospitality marketing—they’re a critical part of the online booking experience. When planning their leisure travels, 95% of consumers will read at least seven reviews before finalizing a booking. If using a travel booking website, 41% of these consumers won’t book a hotel room at all if the location has no reviews.
With real guests saying great things about your property on your behalf, potential guests are more likely to see you as trustworthy, helping you fill vacancies faster. Even a luxury hotel can be worth the investment for most consumers if there are guest reviews backing you up for how it’s worth the splurge.
Your hotel reviews also offer the opportunity for you to improve guest satisfaction. In addition to thanking reviewers for their positive posts, you can listen to the feedback you receive and interact with negative reviewers to catch any trends. If you notice your guests are consistently having issues with reaching the front desk from their hotel phones, for example, you can investigate and make changes as needed.
5 best hotel review sites
Just as in any industry, you need to stay on top of the review websites that specifically matter to your interested consumers. While general review sites like Facebook can offer a wider audience, hotel and hospitality review sites will connect you with a higher percentage of quality leads who are already in need of your services.
That said, take a look at this list to see the review sites your team should be actively using.
TripAdvisor is one of the leaders in hospitality bookings, with over 1.3 million hotel listings and 730 million user reviews and opinions as of 2018. With the high traffic levels that this site reaches every single day, your hotel listing can get a considerable amount of traffic from visitors who have their credit cards ready to make a purchase.
Once you claim an existing hotel listing or add and create a TripAdvisor business listing, you can correct information about your amenities and begin to respond to both positive and negative reviews. This includes any that were already sitting on your listing before you created your account.
According to TripAdvisor, 87% of travelers have a better impression of a hotel when they receive a thoughtful response to their negative review, so getting on this platform is a great way to help your guests feel heard. It will also show visitors that you’ll actively address concerns they have if they choose to book with you.
Booking.com is known as one of the world’s top choices for booking accommodations and is widely used by travelers, especially throughout Europe. The site currently has nearly 30 million hospitality listings and facilitates over a million bookings on its site each day.
When you list your hotel on Booking.com, 38% of guests will leave reviews after their stays. While your responses are limited to hotel reviews that contain published comments—and the platform takes 15% commission on any bookings you receive—actively maintaining your listing can help you earn enough extra to make it worth it. After all, reviews that contain more than a star rating influence potential guests the most, so you’ll still be able to effectively manage your online reputation.
The company recommends staying objective and polite when responding to negative reviews and highlighting your property’s strengths when responding to positive reviews. As an example of the latter, you may receive a positive Booking.com review that mentions your friendly hotel staff. As a response, you can thank your guest and add that you always aim to provide the most welcoming resort possible.
Ranking first as the preferred travel agency for adults in the United States, Expedia and its sister travel platforms get over 675 million site visits per month. When you list your property on Expedia, you’ll automatically be marketing on over 200 of these websites that are owned by Expedia Group. The many Expedia platforms that allow for hotel reviews include:
Registering your hotel on Expedia is completely free and unlocks the opportunity for you to engage with upcoming guests through the Expedia’s Partner Central. This will improve their entire guest experience, so they’ll be more likely to leave a positive hotel review after their stay.
Of course, Partner Central also enables you to easily respond to real guest reviews, so both your positive and negative reviews are thoughtfully acknowledged within a short time frame.
While Hotels.com is another website under the Expedia Group umbrella, we’ll put this one in the spotlight, since it’s a huge destination for people who are most interested in booking hotels or resorts for their trips. After all, the name of the site itself attracts people seeking places to stay above all other trip needs.
As of 2016, Hotels.com has held the fourth greatest market share in the online travel booking industry, just behind Booking.com and Expedia.com, making the brand highly influential among consumers.
Reviews are still managed through Expedia’s Partner Central, making it incredibly easy to manage your reputation between two massive sites. Still, it’s important to keep in mind while you’re managing reviews on this platform that you have the potential to capture the attention of a few million extra visitors with your response from Hotels.com alone.
Google may not be specifically focused on hotel reviews or hospitality, but it is the leading general review website across thousands of industries. Travelers frequently use Google’s handy hotel search tool to compare properties based on their locations, prices, and—of course—their reviews.
Once you create or claim your free Google My Business listing and add your business to Google Maps, you can respond to any and all reviews that guests leave for your hotel. Much like on TripAdvisor, you can even respond to reviews that were left before you claimed your page, if relevant.
Google is a platform where all hotel owners should have an updated listing, and not just because it offers review management tools. This leading search engine is also where many potential guests turn for general location-based searches. If you appear as a solution throughout their trip research, they may be more likely to consider your hotel as their home base during their travels.
Inspire bookings with hotel reviews
When hotel review management is a part of your everyday operations, your ratings and responses will satisfy both former and potential guests. With many travelers using booking sites and their user reviews to plan their trips, getting more positive reviews from more guests will help you stand out.
Of course, it’s not always easy to manage your reviews when you have five or more platforms to stay on top of—and often multiple hotel locations to consider. To streamline your hotel review management, give Podium Reviews a try. This tool will automatically send review invites to your guests to increase your review count while allowing you to respond to all incoming reviews through one platform.