05 Dec 2016
How to improve your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor. Here at Savvytech 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 cant ignore website like TripAdvisor that millions of users run to when looking for a restaurant to dine in. We use it all the time, whether its 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 restaurants 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 shows 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 don’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.
Lets take the following example.
Restaurant 1 has 4.5 overall rating, 75 reviews and 5 reviews within the last week.
Restaurant 2 has 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.
When calculating ranking, TripAdvisor weights a property’s average review score 20,000 times more than its total number of reviews. So, if your average review score stayed the same and you only increased the volume of reviews, it would take 2,1400 reviews to increase your rank by the same amount as one average review point.
Based on our data in the Bangkok market, we were able to come up with a rough approximation of weighting:
From what we can tell, the average review score of a property counts for 85% of the Popularity Index ranking.
The total volume of reviews counts for 6% of the property’s ranking.
9% is left unexplained.
We can speculate that some of this 9% is recency of reviews. This can also be where TripAdvisor factors in punitive action for violations of its guidelines, and it can include factors that are yet unknown to the general public.
To move up on the Popularity Index, improving customer experience is far more important than getting a greater volume of reviews. But, don’t forget: As a function of averages, it is more difficult to improve your ranking on the Popularity Index as you climb the scale. So, if you’re already trending toward the top of your market, it may be necessary to get a greater quantity of recent reviews in order to dominate your competition.
So what should you do? Firstly the number one ranking factor is your restaurants 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 customers 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.
How to improve your restaurants ranking on TripAdvisor. 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.