The 3 Factors That Will Increase Your Ranking on Tripadvisor

Xola Team
Xola Team
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The 3 Factors That Will Increase Your Ranking on Tripadvisor

With more 176 million website visitors in just March 2024, Tripadvisor is the largest travel review site on the Internet. 

With such a large audience of travelers making booking decisions on Tripadvisor, listing your tours and experiences on Tripadvisor is a non-negotiable for most tours and attractions. 

But ranking on Tripadvisor isn’t as simple as “more reviews, higher rankings.” The truth is much more nuanced. Tour and activity operators who understand Tripadvisor’s Popularity Ranking Algorithm will be much more successful on the platform, achieving higher rankings and more Tripadvisor bookings.

Why should you improve your Tripadvisor ranking? 

Improving your Tripadvisor ranking is essential for attracting more customers, building trust, increasing revenue, and gaining a competitive advantage in the travel and tourism industry.

  • Increased visibility: A higher Tripadvisor ranking boosts your visibility to potential customers. As travelers often rely on Tripadvisor for recommendations, being highly ranked increases the likelihood of attracting more visitors.
  • Higher levels of trust and credibility: A high ranking and more fresh reviews build trust and credibility with potential customers. Travelers are more likely to choose a business that is highly rated by others, as it signals reliability and quality.
  • Higher booking rates: Businesses with better Tripadvisor rankings typically see higher booking rates. 5-star reviews and high rankings serve as endorsements, encouraging more people to book your services or visit your establishment.
  • Better reputation: Consistently positive feedback and a strong Tripadvisor presence enhance your reputation in the industry. This can lead to increased word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.
  • Competitive advantage: A strong Tripadvisor ranking gives you a competitive edge over other businesses in your area. It distinguishes you from competitors and makes you a preferred choice for travelers.
  • Increased revenue: More visibility, trust, and bookings ultimately lead to increased revenue. A better Tripadvisor ranking can contribute to higher occupancy rates, more sales, and overall business growth.
  • Marketing leverage: High Tripadvisor rankings and positive reviews can be used in your marketing materials. Featuring these accolades in your promotions can attract more customers and enhance your marketing campaigns.
  • Attracting partnerships: Businesses with strong Tripadvisor rankings are often more attractive to potential partners, including tour operators, travel agencies, and other industry players. This can lead to beneficial collaborations and opportunities.
  • Improved customer experience: The process of improving your Tripadvisor ranking often involves enhancing the customer experience. By focusing on providing exceptional service and addressing feedback, you create a more enjoyable and memorable experience for your guests.

What makes Tripadvisor rank so highly on organic Google search results?

Tripadvisor consistently ranks highly on organic Google search results due to several factors that contribute to its strong SEO performance. Here are the key reasons:

  • High-quality content. Tripadvisor offers a vast amount of user-generated content, including online reviews, photos, and detailed descriptions of destinations, hotels, restaurants, and attractions. This content is constantly updated, providing valuable information to users and making the site a trusted source for travel information.
  • User engagement. The platform has a high level of user engagement, with millions of travelers contributing authentic reviews, ratings, and forum posts. This continuous flow of fresh content signals to search engines that the site is active and relevant.
  • Domain authority. Tripadvisor has a high domain authority due to its longevity, extensive content, and the number of backlinks from reputable sites. Domain authority is a critical factor in search engine rankings, and Tripadvisor’s established reputation boosts its authority score.
  • Local SEO. Tripadvisor excels in local SEO by providing detailed listings and reviews for businesses in specific locations. The site’s ability to cater to local searches helps it rank highly for location-specific queries.
  • Mobile optimization: As mobile-friendliness is a significant ranking factor for Google, this optimization aids in achieving high rankings.
  • Structured data and rich snippets. Tripadvisor uses structured data markup to enhance its search listings with rich snippets, such as star ratings and review counts. These enhancements make the listings more appealing and informative to users, increasing click-through rates.
  • Strong backlink profile. The site has a strong backlink profile, with numerous high-quality backlinks from travel blogs, news websites, and other authoritative sources. These backlinks contribute to its credibility and search engine ranking.
  • Page load speed. Tripadvisor maintains fast page load times, which is a crucial ranking factor for search engines. A faster website provides a better user experience, reducing bounce rates and improving rankings.
  • Social signals. The platform benefits from significant social media activity, with users frequently sharing Tripadvisor links and content across various social networks. These social signals can indirectly influence search engine rankings.

The 3 Factors That Affect Your Tripadvisor Ranking

In general, Tripadvisor’s Popularity Ranking Algorithm considers three primary factors when deciding how to rank businesses against one another. These factors are:

  1. Quality
  2. Recency
  3. Quantity

Outside of these factors, it’s also important that tour and activity operators avoid any violation of Tripadvisor’s review guidelines. Violations will result in fraud penalties which can have a long-term negative impact on your ranking.

Review Quality

Review quality refers to the “bubble rating” that guests provide when they rate their experience on Tripadvisor. All other things being equal, a listing with more 4- and 5-bubble rating will rank higher than listings with lower bubble ratings.

Cipher Escape Room TripAdvisor Quality Rating 1

To generate more high quality reviews on Tripadvisor, tour and activity operators should focus first and foremost on the customer experience. Offering a delightful customer experience is a foolproof way to keep your ratings high.

But no matter how hard you try, a few bad reviews are inevitable. It might be the weather, an unusually testy guide, or a guest with unreasonable expectations. Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a strategy in place for preventing and responding to bad reviews.

One way that Xola customers prevent bad reviews from going public is to add two separate links to their review request emails. The first link directs happy customers to leave a review on Tripadvisor. The second link directs unhappy customers to an internal feedback form where their staff can address and respond to the feedback privately.

Review Recency

Review recency refers to the age of reviews. In general, Tripadvisor gives more consideration to recent quantity of traveler reviews over a mass of reviews that were written in the past. This means that guest reviews (even excellent ones) that were written a few months ago will not count as much towards your ranking as a review written last week.

Mount Hermon Adventures TripAdvisor Recency 1

For tour and activity operators with seasonal businesses, this means that they cannot necessarily rely on strong reviews from previous seasons to maintain their ranking, since Tripadvisor will give less weight to the older reviews. Seasonal businesses need to make getting new reviews a priority on day one of opening each season if they want to stay on top of the rankings.

Every tour and activity operator can benefit from automating the customer review collection process with post-trip review request emails. Xola’s online booking system allows operators to automatically send an email to their customers after each trip to request a Tripadvisor review. The automated review request eliminates the manual work of organizing and uploading email lists to send requests to customers, and improves the chance that you receive new reviews daily, instead of weekly or monthly.

Xola Review Request Email

Review Quantity

Current review quantity refers to the number of user reviews a listing collects. However, the way Tripadvisor uses quantity is not as straightforward as, “the more reviews you collect, the better your ranking.”

Nashville Pedal Tavern TripAdvisor Quantity

Tripadvisor uses quantity more as a “confidence rating” than a direct ranking measurement. In other words, as you collect more reviews, Tripadvisor’s algorithm becomes more confident in what guests say about the experience you provide to your guests.

In other words, a 5-bubble listing with 250 bubble reviews isn’t necessarily going to rank higher than one with 200 reviews that were received in the same period of time. This is because both have enough reviews to make Tripadvisor confident in the experience they deliver. Instead, the ranking algorithm is likely to rely more heavily on recency and quality factors to determine which listing ranks higher than the other.

TripAdvisor Quantity and Confidence Graph 1

While the quantity of reviews is not the defining factor, it is still a very important element of Tripadvisor’s ranking algorithm.

One way Xola’s customers have increased both their quantity and quality of reviews is to use Xola’s built-in digital waivers feature within our online booking software. Digital waivers can collect the email addresses of all the guests in a group instead of the one person who made the booking. This extended reach can lead to customers receiving as many as three or four times as many reviews.

How to improve your Tripadvisor ranking

Improving your Tripadvisor ranking requires a strategic approach focused on providing exceptional service and encouraging positive reviews.

Here are some key steps to enhance your ranking on the largest travel community website.

  • Deliver excellent customer service. Ensure that every guest has a remarkable experience. Exceptional service leads to happy customers who are more likely to leave favorable reviews.
  • Encourage reviews. Politely ask satisfied customers to leave reviews on Tripadvisor. Make it easy for them by providing direct links or reminders via email.
  • Respond to all reviews. Engage with your reviewers by responding to their feedback, including both positive and negative reviews. Thank them for their comments and address any concerns. This shows that you value their opinions and are committed to improving. In addition, future guests will see that you care about your online reputation and will be more likely to book with you.  
  • Keep your listings up-to-date. Regularly update your Tripadvisor profile and listings with current information, high-quality photos, and accurate details about your services. A well-maintained profile attracts more visitors and instills confidence.

Rankings Aren’t Everything

A high ranking on Tripadvisor can dramatically improve your bookings and revenue. But rankings aren’t everything.

Many Tripadvisor users will also visit your website before making their final booking decision. They will often judge your website with the same (if not more) rigour than your Tripadvisor listing. Because of this, it’s important that your website and checkout are designed to get more bookings, not less.

Improving and optimizing a website can feel daunting to some. Luckily, there’s a science to it.

Key Takeaways

There are a lot of nuances and additional factors to understanding Tripadvisor’s ranking algorithm. But it can be distilled into three basic points:

  • More 4 or 5-star online reviews are better than fewer poor reviews. 
  • Recent reviews are better than older reviews.
  • Having a consistency of reviews is more helpful for improving rankings than sporadic ones. 

In addition, Tripadvisor Review Express can help you collect more high-quality reviews on a daily basis. These automated emails, alongside a strong internal review collection and management plan, are key ingredients to ranking higher on Tripadvisor and ultimately getting more bookings.


Writer Xola Team

Xola Team

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