How to get to the top of TripAdvisor

Mike Scott

Written by

Mike Scott

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Posted on
March 26, 2019

  As someone working in hospitality you’ve probably got a love/hate relationship with online review websites – or may be you have been scratching your head over how to get to the top of TripAdvisor.

However, used properly, they can be a tremendous marketing tool for your business.

In order to win big, you’ve got to consistently get your business to the front page of TripAdvisor.

So how do you go about getting there?

Follow our advice below on how to get to the top of TripAdvisor and get ready to unleash dramatic results in your business.

How to get to the top of TripAdvisor

1. Claim your own business page and complete your profile

Amazingly most businesses fail to claim their own TripAdvisor business page – leaving you with no control over what information is shown about your business or what images are used and, worse, no way of responding to what’s being said about your business

Claim your business if you haven’t already done so, and then make sure that all your details are up to date so that anyone looking you up can see at first glance what you do.

More people are going to visit your TripAdvisor page than your website so make sure you are keeping it bang up to date, managing it and controlling it.

Include your opening times, web address, telephone number, and product details such as photographs of menu items. This is free advertising at the end of the day so give customers as much relevant information as possible.

2. Focus on getting a higher ranking

Online review sites are powered by algorithms, the inner workings of which they like to keep a closely guarded secret.

You could be getting great 5 bubble ratings for your food, but if your ranking, ie where you sit among other hospitality businesses such as yours, is poor then you simply won’t be seen by potential customers. People make their choice based on ranking more than ever. Think about it – if a restaurant in your area is ranked 6 out of 500 then that looks better than 60th or 300th even.

To get the top of TripAdvisor you need to get your business seen on that all important first page, because the reality is people are unlikely to scroll down any further and find you.

Fortunately, there are four key elements you can focus on which are going to help.

These are:

  1. Recency
  2. Frequency
  3. Quality
  4. Quantity


Like all online review websites, TripAdvisor will dynamically rank businesses every day, which means that recent reviews are more valuable than older ones. This applies to customers too, as 77% of consumers do not value reviews more than three months old.

So try to get at least two reviews on your site from the last seven days and 10 from the last month.

How to get to the top of TripAdvisor


Regular reviews posted more frequently will generate better results so it’s a good habit to get into.

To get to the top of TripAdvisor you need an evergreen strategy and not a short-term campaign. Do not be tempted to encourage posts in bulk every few weeks or months as this will do you more harm than good in the eyes of your customers and may even make TripAdvisor think you are trying to game the system, resulting in penalties for your business.

5 restaurant marketing ideas to try


Short reviews which don’t really say anything are valued less and less by TripAdvisor, so encourage your customers to post more detailed reviews mentioning specifics about the food and experience.

Pictures and detailed descriptions are gold dust so uploading photos really help here – get staff to ask customers taking photos to leave a review.

Detailed reviews also help create trending terms on the page, which is another fantastic way of getting your business to stand out.


The more reviews you have, the more favourably your restaurant or hotel will be ranked. But again these need to be built up consistently over time and not in an ad hoc way.

Use online management tools to increase the quantity of reviews – for every 100 you ask for you will get around 10 reviews.

Better still email them directly and at the same time build up your own marketing list.

5 restaurant marketing ideas

3. Remind your happiest customers to leave you a review

If a customer tells you they have had a great meal, do you actively ask them to leave a review? If not do so now – as 70% of people who say they will leave a review go on and do so. Train your staff to ask for reviews, too. It’s a great way of getting more genuine reviews which will immediately pay dividends – great too for recency and quantity as above!

More positive reviews will boost your rankings faster, but to do that you need to be capturing how your customers feel about you in real time.

Once you’ve done that then make it easy for them, give them a big button on your site or in your email to them, so that they can be directed straight away to the page to leave a review.

If you hear them singing the praises of your great-tasting tagliatelle, then ask them to mention it specifically as this will work wonders for improving the quality of your reviews.

Develop a culture in your business of asking people to leave a review by encouraging your staff to ask for them.


4.  Always respond to a customer review – say thanks for a thanks

Always respond to a customer review and especially the positive ones. Most customers only focus on the negative ones but saying thanks for a thanks builds the relationship between you and the customer and shows everyone else how much you care.

Use your replies to add more details, which will help with your restaurant’s search rankings.

For example if a customer posts ‘great steak’ go back to them and reply ‘so pleased you loved the steak, our chef drives to the butcher every day to personally oversee what hand-reared cuts we use’.

If you get a great review on TripAdvisor, don’t just leave it there, but reach out and say thank you to the customer. If you’re not sure how to do this you can find out more here <add link>.

In any case, it’s good practice to reply to all your customers with thoughtful unbiased responses.

Dealing with negative reviews on TripAdvisor

5. Resolve unhappy customer issues before they tell the world

Though it may feel like your world is falling in, a bad review is not the end of the world – in fact it’s a good thing as research has shown that customers don’t believe a business with only positive reviews. What matters is how you react to it. If you have been given negative feedback then focus on resolving any issues either before your customer has left or soon after. Only one in three reviews are left in the first 24 hours so you have time to turn the majority of problems around, before they hit TripAdvisor.

But think about things from your customers’ point of view, everyone has a bad night now and again, so they will accept the odd bad review if your other reviews are good. is unlikely to put them off and even provides some balance when helping them make a choice on where to eat

Customers generally need three reviews to get a balanced opinion, and more reviews give customers more confidence in their choice – even if it’s a bad review as long as they can see that you respond to it well.

Focus on facts

Remember – your responses should be factual and not emotional and don’t create a viral media storm by having a go back. If you’re at fault then hold your hands up and admit and

explain what you are doing to stop it happening again.

If you are not to blame then simply state your position. Don’t say you appreciate their bad reviews as this is disingenuous and false.


Taking it further

So carry out all these steps and we guarantee that your TripAdvisor ranking improve – but remember – consistency is key!

To get to the top of TripAdvisor, you need a plan and not just a set of knee jerk actions.

Follow these steps consistently and you will see results but if you want to really master TripAdvisor then sign up to our course now.


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