As well as having their own website, many vacation rental professionals rely on the big travel sites – such as TripAdvisor – to diversify their bookings and achieve full occupancy.
TripAdvisor has its own way of ranking and rating each property to determine the order of search results. But, luckily for owners, it’s easy to learn the ropes and ensure good performance on the site.
In this article, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to marketing your vacation rental on TripAdvisor. Follow these tips closely to guarantee great results for your rental business!
1. Register with TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is now the world’s largest travel community with over 96 million members and 500 million reviews and opinions. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to get your vacation rental in front of guests!
So, before doing anything else, you’re going to need an account with TripAdvisor. You can register for your free account here.
2. Complete your listing information
A complete profile and eye-catching listing will help attract travelers to your property. Once you’ve logged into the Management Center, click on the “Profile” tab and you’ll be able to start filling out your property details.
This includes adding general property information, for example, name, location and amenities, as well as your listing description. Be sure to feature details which will make heads turn on the TripAdvisor site. This could include specifics about your property’s history, great activities nearby in the local area or even information about a recent renovation.
3. Upload high-quality photos
According to TripAdvisor, properties with at least one photo in their gallery experience 138% more engagement than those without. So it’s easy to see why having good quality photos is a must when using the TripAdvisor website. There is currently no limit to how many photos you can upload, so use this as your opportunity to showcase your property from every important angle. Try to spotlight your home’s top features and create a story through your images around what guests can expect when staying at your rental.
Additionally, you’re able to choose the principal photo for your property listing. This image will be the one which displays in search results across TripAdvisor, as well as the first picture that displays on your listing photo carousel. You can update this photo as often as you like (for example, to do some off-season marketing). The only condition is this photo has to be at least 1200 x 628 pixels.
4. Get your guests to write reviews
Reviews are the foundations on which the TripAdvisor platform is built. Therefore, it’s no surprise that their tools make it very easy to collect reviews for your property.
The ReviewExpress tool allows you to send a custom message in multiple languages to past guests asking for reviews. You can also add a widget to your vacation rental website which will help encourage guests to leave their review on TripAdvisor, as well as on your site.
More reviews equal more credibility for your property and your brand, so it’s essential you remind each guest to leave a personal note about their experience – even if their stay wasn’t 100% perfect! Other travelers will use these past experiences to help make their own decision.
5. Reply to reviews (including the negative ones!)
We’ve already established how important reviews are for your business, but what’s equally as critical? The response you articulate to every single review you receive.
Acknowledging positive feedback and thanking your guest for taking the time to leave their review is one thing, but replying to a negative review uses a completely different skillset.
Responding to any less-than-complimentary remarks give you – as a business owner – a platform to explain the situation and its solution to the original reviewer (and any other potential guests!).
When replying to negative reviews, remember to take your time, remain calm and positive, and do not blame the guest under any circumstances.
6. Embed TripAdvisor traveler reviews on your own website
The TripAdvisor widget not only allows you to encourage guests to leave reviews for your property, but it also allows you to display them on your site with ease.
Additionally, you can show off any TripAdvisor awards you’ve received by displaying them on your personal website. Badges like this act as social proof which is known to help boost your business’ reputation and trustworthiness.
7. Keep tabs on your performance
Within your TripAdvisor marketing tools, you’ll find the Analytics Suite in which you can track some KPIs for your listing. These include metrics such as reputation insights and market position data. Those who pay for a Business Advantage subscription get access to even more information through the Analytics Suite – such as clicks, photos, amenities, plus data relating to trends and competition.
This is one of the only paid TripAdvisor marketing solutions available for accommodation providers, along with Instant Booking. These tools can help differentiate you from your competitors when your listing is in front of millions of potential guests.
When you carry out TripAdvisor marketing tasks the right way, it can act as a truly effective distribution channel which can help your property achieve more bookings.
However, if you are advertising on external sites as well as your own vacation rental website, it’s key you have a channel manager in place. Software which includes a channel manager will enable you to synchronize calendars, centralize reservations and avoid double bookings. What are you waiting for?