The 7 best ways to get reviews onto your hotel website
4 minute read
We all use reviews to make decisions to buy or book online. It stands to reason then as hoteliers or accommodation providers we need to take seriously getting reviews onto our own websites. OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia and AirBnB make this central to their content strategy and they know how content such as languages and reviews improve the conversion rate significantly.
There are numerous articles exploring the value of hotel reviews and the platforms for generating traffic. Here we switch it around and look at the value of bringing the review widget from these platforms onto your website and booking engine.
We check out the widget options for hotel reviews
Here we look into different review platform and widgets that can improve content on your website and booking engine if you can edit it.
Google business listing
Google business listings have been on the rise. More and more people are using them. It’s vital to claim your Google business listing for your accommodation and get it up to date if you haven’t yet. You need to label your accommodation type – hotel, or holiday rental for example, link to your website and update your star rating. After that it’s about making time to ask for and reply to reviews. Living Suites in Copenhagen has 39 qualified user reviews already at time of writing.
If you want to know how to add the widget to your website visit this link. You should be able to imbed this website and booking engine to increase help to the user who should become a guest.
You get a great review listing on your search result page, a link to your website and the ability to respond. Reviews can’t be removed though so pay close attention and make sure you canvas for genuine reviews.
Review widget score 9/10
Yelp exists as a directory with reviews, but it has fallen out of favour. It does have a good brand value though as it has been around for so long. You can claim your Yelp listing if you haven’t.
It has less traffic, but still have brand value. People know the name. Here you can learn how to get and imbed a Yelp widget into your website to show your Yelp review.
Review widget score 5/10
With Facebook having over 2 billion users and the average global user spending 20+ minutes a day on it the brand value is huge. It’s also the place people are, so they are hugely likely to leave a review score. Make sure your Facebook page is set up and that you monitor it. We recommend you like reviews and respond with positive thanks.
Due to the fast growth of Facebook reviews and the community aspect of it we see this as a very important reviews function.
Hotel reviews system from STAAH
See an implementation here in a hotels website where the reviews flow through the website and booking engine. The review widget gives the latest reviews from key OTAs such as Booking.com and Expedia. You can choose them. We imbedded this widget and found a 20% increase in the conversion the week after implementation versus the week before for hotels. You can view the widget for multi properties here.
The upside to these types of product is that you also get the opportunity to capture reviews and publish your own reviews, in addition to reviewing analytics on reviews from OTAs.
The widget has some limitations and with good html skills can be imbedded to look good in the website and booking engine.
Review widget score 8/10
Trustpilot is a respected review platform with free and paid options. The widget is called a Trustbox and you can read here about how to imbed it on your website. To get the most out of Trustpilot you will need to upgrade your account. It is worth reading about why it is a leading 3rd party review platform.
Well recognised and the widget looks official. This helps the effectiveness on conversion.
Review widget score 7/10
Perhaps the most globally recognised travel brand for reviews, you can take your Tripadvisor rating and imbed it in your website. As Tripadvisor’s core business has been reviews since inception they are ahead in widget choices and flexibility. The widget does link though to their website, so another option I to just add the image of the widget.
Tripadvisor is knowledgeable on reviews and gave this insight in 2017. You can claim your listing easily. One tip is to be aware that with Tripadvisor you do have to sit in a hotels, or holidays letting category. If you are a serviced apartment provider this can be a tough decision to make.
One thing frequently discussed in the industry is fake reviews on this platform. This can be the case as with a Garden Shed that made it to number 1 rated restaurant in London. As it is widely used, the most important thing is to focus on promoting it to genuine reviewers so on balance the views are accurate and helpful to guests. Also so you can continue to learn from them.
Review widget score 7/10
Which ones to choose?
To determine this, you need to evaluate the power of the brand or of the platform, then factor in the growth of their user base and the presentation of the widget content on your website and booking engine. Facebook has huge brand recognition, massive users and ok widget content.
You will also consider how much space and where you can put them to be effective. You should check whether you have reviews on these platforms already as then it has more value immediately. Remember you can always change them or AB test which one makes the most different to conversion.
Google with its search dominance and Facebook with the leading user base would seem to be obvious choices. Picking the 3rd may be harder. We’ve seen great improvements from using a hotel review system plug in such as STAAH mentioned above.
It’s worth noting that each plug in or widget can reduce website speed. Speed test your website and remember if in doubt AB test for booking completions or conversions with and without widgets. Find a balance between inserted widgets and optimum speed for conversion rate.
Video is fast becoming number 1
Don’t forget video is projected to claim more than 80% of all traffic by 2019! In order not get left behind in the move to videos you need to make creating videos a part of your current and future strategy. What does this mean for reviews? Getting customers to share videos of their stay, whether that is as its happening, post their stay, showing off cool features, interacting with staff – the sky is the limit. Start with what you and your team are comfortable with.
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