The world is limping back to normalcy after the pandemic. And people want to travel like old times. To this end, they are constantly checking out the best hotel review sites to plan their trips better. For hotel owners, this means getting on these hotel sites and optimizing their reviews for the better.
Data suggests that in 2020, hotel occupancy was just 44%, and the revenue per Available hotel room was $45. Compared to 2019, this was a loss of 33% and 48%, respectively.
Hotels have their work cut out for them. They must adapt to the latest technology and internet trends, leveraging the benefits of hotel booking sites and guest reviews to lure potential customers back.
How essential are online reviews for the hotel industry?
There is good news for travelers, though, with hotels being competitive with rents and vying for your attention (and wallet). 56% of consumers said that they are ready to travel during 2021. Expect this number to grow in the coming years now that the worst of the coronavirus epidemic is behind us.
But for a hotel owner, getting travelers to discover and choose your hotel over the others – that’s the biggest challenge. There is ample supply but less demand for a hotel room in the interim.
Unless you change how you do business unless you rely on the power of online hotel reviews on hotel booking sites.
The first thing travelers will do is check out the best hotel review sites to research the best rents, facilities, and so on. Here are some key findings that will help you plan out your new strategy to attract actual guests:
- TripAdvisor hotel reviews are trusted by 98% of the respondents.
- No hotel reviews? You lose out on 53% of the potential customers.
- Hotel reviews from other travelers online are 77.9% more likely to convince consumers to choose your hotel.
- Good hotel reviews have resulted in a 56% boost in hotel revenues.
- An aggressive or defensive response to negative reviews means that you may lose out on 64% of the consumers planning their next trip.
- Hotel brands that respond to customer queries online are 68% more likely to gain long-term customers than those that do not.
You may have come to the same conclusion as anybody else. Authentic consumer reviews on reputable hotel listing platforms can significantly impact hotel booking sites and profitability.
How to optimize your business on the best hotel review sites?
As a hotel owner, you need to keep this in mind.
- Make a list of review sites that your consumer visits.
- Know which of these sites require your attention.
- Know how much time these platforms will need you to spend there.
- Measure the impact these sites have on your business with the right tools.
- Measure, compare, and improve your consumer reviews with the data you have
You also have to consider getting on the best hotel review sites. These attract most of the traffic. Don’t mistake getting on every hotel listing site out there. You only need visibility on sites that give you a clear return on investment.
Now that you are up to speed look at the top hotel review site and platform you need to target for your business.
- Expedia Group
- Booking Holdings Group
This may sound like a no-brainer, but many people tend to ignore Google reviews.
This is because the search engine relied on third-party expert reviews initially. But with time, the tech giant integrated its search results with map listings and a dedicated review platform.
We can’t stress this enough – Google is essential to the success of your online hotel booking sites and goals. Why? It accounts for 57.5% of all expert reviews globally!
Why choose Google as review sites?
You can get more visibility and traffic on Google Maps by using’ Google My Business. Your business will benefit from a consistent ranking as well as rich snippets, detailed directions, and more.
Of course, your business is more likely to rank better on Google Search too. And check this – Google cuts down on fake reviews from people who don’t have a verified stay. You can contact them and flag a negative review that you feel is suspect.
To help travelers, Google has started to group reviews to help understand what people like and don’t like about your business. Audience insights are available within the “People Often Mention” section of the Review Summary.
Make sure you employ Google My Business, Reviews, and on-page optimization for the best results. You can even check out its newly integrated Hotel Finder feature on Google Search.
TripAdvisor bills itself as “the number one most-visited site before booking travel, with 60 percent of all online travel purchasers globally visiting TripAdvisor before you research other hotel booking sites.”
How accurate is that statement? The platform attracted 463 million unique visitors and $902 million in revenue in 2021. It covers 136,000 destinations, with over 7.7 million accommodations, restaurants, airlines, and attractions listed.
Why choose TripAdvisor as a review site?
According to a study, 74% of travelers use TripAdvisor to plan their trips. Out of these, 53% rely on user reviews before they can commit to a trip.
As international travel starts to pick up, people will need to see what options they have for a leisure trip.
Alright, hear us out here. Yelp has been mired in controversies and some businesses hate it.
Despite that, there are a few important things it excels at. Consumers love it and rely on its reviews to make their decision.
Yelp receives 178 million visits per month. It also helps that you can use Yelp via a smartphone app.
Why choose Yelp as a review site?
There are plenty of reasons why businesses should be there on Yelp, especially hotels.
- 5-star ratings on Yelp can help you earn 39% more traffic from Google when compared to a 1-star rating.
- For every star you earn on Yelp, you can benefit from a 9% boost in revenue.
- Consumers who find you on Yelp are 97% likely to choose you over the competition.
- Your business listing is 80% more likely to be shared by reviewers on Yelp.
- Consumers are 51% likely to book a place within a day on Yelp.
Did you know that the Expedia Group owns Orbitz and Hotels.com? As well as 200 others and the world’s largest travel site? You can find their brands in 70 countries.
To help you optimize your hotel booking process online, make sure you target these platforms:
Why choose Expedia Group platforms as a review site?
Two words – tremendous reach. Each of these brands attracts a huge volume of consumer traffic every day. The more Expedia platforms you are a part of, the better your chances of trouncing the local competition.
Like the Expedia Group, the Booking Holdings Group owns various travel and other hotel review sites worldwide, Booking.com among the most prominent ones.
The Booking Holding Group includes big brands such as:
Why choose Booking Holdings Group platforms as a review site?
Just like we saw in the case of Expedia, every brand gives them a lot of reach. The stronger your review portfolio on Booking-owned platforms, the better it is for travelers to find you.
Another reason why Booking.com enjoys an edge over its competitors is that its 161 million+ reviews are done by verified guests. These are real reviews by real guests!
So you realize that online reviews are essential to the longevity of your hotel business. Here are a few things that you should be cognizant of:
Engage with reviewers
Make sure you respond to positive and negative reviews on time. Not responding to them is a bad look in itself. Try to give a personal touch to your responses instead of the robotic replies that look like they have been copypasted out of some defunct PR manual.
Invite guests to share reviews
It helps if you know how to get happy guests to write a review about you. Make sure you remind them as part of your service and communications process.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best hotel review sites online?
Here is a list of some amazing websites with hotel guest reviews:
Can I trust online hotel reviews?
Even editors who work on reputed travel industry news websites agree on this. Most hotel reviews on TripAdvisor and other hotel sites are done by legitimate customers. If a free listing has overwhelmingly positive reviews, go for it.
Is TripAdvisor a good source for online reviews?
Yes, it is. TripAdvisor allows people to review their favorite places with user-generated content. You can also use it to do online hotel reservations and bookings.
Your hotel listing has to be there on the best hotel review sites because they are the key to your business growth. Offering your customers an authentic and legitimate peek at your services and premises can help you establish trust. This goes a long way in attracting travelers who make decisions based on what others say about your business. Furthermore, how you react to those who leave reviews publicly also influences travelers.