Here at Weeare we believe that having a user-friendly and search engine-friendly website is one of the best ways to gain more customers to your restaurant, but we simply can’t ignore websites like TripAdvisor that millions of users run to when looking for a restaurant to dine in. We use it all the time, whether it’s here in the UK or somewhere abroad, TripAdvisor has a massive effect on diners and you should use it to your advantage.
In this article, we will look at what you can do to improve your restaurant’s TripAdvisor score and in turn get more customers to your restaurant.
TripAdvisor’s indexing algorithm can mean the difference between your restaurant being fully booked most evenings to only having a few visitors every now and again. The search results show how your restaurant competes with other local restaurants within a certain geographic area. Restaurants at the top of this list are going to be seen more by potential customers than those at the bottom.
The way TripAdvisor rank restaurants are based on the:
• Quality of the reviews.
• Quantity of the reviews.
• Recency of the reviews.
What TripAdvisor doesn’t tell you is the weight of importance of each ranking factor. This means that it’s difficult to know if a restaurant with more reviews will rank higher than one with only a few. To find out we decided to look into the rankings more closely and report the findings to you so you can learn how to improve your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor.
A higher average score was the main factor in ranking all of the restaurants, which you would expect. You would expect a 5-star rating to rank higher than a 4-star rating. However, when restaurants start to have the same overall ranking this is where things start to get more complicated.
Let’s take the following example.
Restaurant 1 has a 4.5 overall rating, 75 reviews and 5 reviews within the last week.
Restaurant 2 has a 4.5 overall rating, 200 reviews and 4 reviews within the last week.
You would assume that restaurant 2 because of the sheer volume of reviews would rank higher, but that wasn’t the case. We found that equally ranked restaurants with more recent reviews were ranking on top of those restaurants with more reviews. This shows to us that TripAdvisor puts a high level of importance on restaurants with recent reviews and ranks them accordingly.
The recency of your reviews is very important when it comes to ranking your restaurant so you should put a huge emphasis on getting quality reviews every week.
What should you do to increase your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor?
So what should you do? Firstly the number one ranking factor is your restaurant’s overall score. The only way to improve this is to provide your users with a better customer experience. If you have had bad reviews in the past look at them and see if there is a common theme, if there is you need to work on that area. Improving your customer’s experience should be at the top of your list, you are not going to please everyone but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be trying to.
If you’re struggling to get reviews then think of ways to incentivise your existing customers to leave reviews. You could offer them a small discount to leave a review, or maybe a free bottle of wine. The choice is yours, get creative. We have found that business cards asking your customers to leave a review and giving them one with the bill often works. If you would like some TripAdvisor business cards printed contact us, we can help.
By asking your customers to review your restaurant you are going to build a funnel of constant reviews, think back to the above example 1 extra review that week was enough for the business to claim the top spot from its competitor that had more total reviews.
Building your reviews up over time with quality feedback will help your business tremendously. Not only will your potential customers know that your restaurant serves quality food and gives good service but they will know that you listen to them. By encouraging your users to review your restaurant you can learn from them, you can see what you did well and what you can improve upon. This feedback is vital in helping your business and when you get to a point where 95% of your customers are happy you will reap the footfall from TripAdvisor.
For more great tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence check out the rest of the posts on our blog, and if you need help with search engine optimisation get in touch.