News for the Hospitality Executive
Placing the TripAdvisor Review Widget on Your Hotel Website:
a Good or Bad Move?
|by Max Starkov July 2009 -
We at HeBS are often asked about the pros and cons of:
1. Creating a link on the hotel website to the customer reviews page of the hotel on TripAdvisorWe have always recommended against both of these options. Here is why:
1. Creating a link on the hotel website to the customer reviews
page of the hotel on TripAdvisor
By linking from your hotel website to TripAdvisor you are actively encouraging your potential customers to book with the OTAs or someone else. On the other hand, it is extremely expensive nowadays to bring visitors to your website (costs related to paid search, website development, SEO, hosting, email marketing, analytics, etc.), and you would not want to lose them that easily by sending them away.
2. Displaying TripAdvisor reviews directly on the hotel website
via the TripAdvisor Review Widget
TripAdvisor promotes this as a ‘friendlier’ option compared to Option 1 above because the hotel website visitors do not have to leave the site, and therefore will not be exposed to advertising by the OTAs and competitors.
Here are the cons as we see them:
Official vs. Unofficial Web Content
• With social media becoming the “voice of the people” online travelers want to see both sides of the story:Our clients agree with us:o The “Official Content”: this is the hotel website’s descriptions of the hotel product and servicesMixing official and unofficial content by adding the TripAdvisor Widget on the hotel website goes against the very principle of separating official from unofficial content, convolutes the mere nature of social media content, creates confusion among online travelers and ultimately works against the hotel.
Here is what one of our clients, a luxury boutique hotel in California, had to say:
“I agree that the TripAdvisor Review Widget works against the hotel, particularly since in this economy we’ve been forced to play in the opaque sites (Priceline, Hotwire), we’ve found those customers posting reviews that are either only partial truth, at best, and/or certainly embellished, showing the hotel in a very negative light”.
What do you think about displaying TripAdvisor reviews directly on the hotel website via the TripAdvisor Review Widget—is this a good idea or not?
|Also See:||A Hoteliers How-To Guide to Online Advertising and Media Buying / October 2008|
|Ten Standards for Promoting Your Hotel Online / March 2008|