tick in stars like hotel reviews reflecting the impact of online reputation in boosting hotel revenue

It’s now a fact of the digital era that the better your reviews, the higher up you’ll appear in search results, across Google, review sites, and OTA and metasearch. So, given the important role that online reviews play in the booking process, it is unsurprising that there is also a direct correlation between online reputation and hotel revenue.

NB: This is an article from Lighthouse (formerly OTA Insight)

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This is backed up by another piece of research in the Journal of Marketing which looked at real-world reservation data from a leading hotel chain’s properties, spanning six distinct markets across the United States.

The evidence indicated that, ‘not only a hotel’s own reviews but also its competitors’ reviews have a significant impact on the hotel’s booking performance.’

It seems plain to see that hotel guests use and value online reputation and reviews in the booking process, which in turn has an impact on booking performance. But, will consumers pay more for a highly-rated hotel than a lower-rated property?

How to build an online reputation that maximizes bookings

With that in mind, we have drawn up some actionable tips that can help you turn good online review scores into higher RevPAR.

Here’s how you can go about building an online reputation that improves the bottom line for your property:

  • Work hard to have happy guests and encourage them to leave reviews on large distribution channels such as Booking.com and Expedia.
    Whether with follow-up emails direct from the hotel or via in-app-generated messages, targeted social media ads, mentioning this in person on departure or with signage on the front desk, and letting them know where you’d like them to leave reviews and how easy the process is.
  • Use guest review analytics to analyze and fine-tune your revenue, marketing and distribution strategies. Test new ideas out. See what works and repeat – see what doesn’t work and adjust.
  • Respond to your negative online reviewsResearch shows that online ratings improve more substantially in connection with constructive responses to negative reviews, than simple acknowledgement of positive comments.
  • Do other aspects of your online presence match – and potentially encourage – reviews? Check that any photographs associated with your hotel are up-to-date and paint you in the best light, whether on your own website or on OTAs’ sites.
  • If your operation is big enough to have dedicated market managers, use those people to monitor feedback on the various channels you appear on and gather regional intel that you feed into and can inform your review-generating efforts.
  • Take notice of what your guests are saying. Are there frequent complaints that you can turn into an advantage? If an expensive breakfast is a common gripe, for example, launch a takeaway breakfast at a lower price point and mention it in your review answers.
  • Make sure that your hotel description and profile matches – or exceeds – guest expectations on distribution channels, thereby increasing the likelihood of repeat visits and new guest reviews.
  • If you’re responsible for more than one property, prioritize your activity on properties that have zero reviews. A property with no reviews speaks volumes to prospective guests.

Read the full article at Lighthouse (formerly OTA Insight)