With 83% of US adults currently looking to book their trips online (Stratosjets) your online reputation is more important than ever before. Online reviews influence the purchasing decision of 93% of consumers (Frontiers), you don’t want to be missing out on sales due to a bad reputation.
Online reputation is the public opinion of your tourism experience based on your online presence, influenced by both your behavior and the thoughts and opinion of your customers and industry associations. It is demonstrated in a number of ways on your website, social media channels and third-party websites eg. Google, DMO and Trip Advisor. With travelers making up to 38 visits to travel websites before booking (Skift), you need to make sure you are on top of people's perceptions about your business.
Keeping track and measuring your online reputation eg. your star rating on Google, reviews on Facebook, will help you to keep on top of any potential threats to your reputation. But it’s not just about numbers. Looking deeper into what people are saying and how you are responding in return all contribute to your overall online reputation.
Below are 8 tips that will help you to improve and stay on top of your online reputation.
One way to build your company's online reputation is by encouraging your customers to write reviews online about their experience with your tourism product. Your job is to motivate your customers to leave reviews and to highlight this social proof across your social media pages, the press, and your website. Positive user-generated content in the form of reviews helps build trust for your company. The more positive reviews you receive, the more your reputation grows online.
Tip: Use technology like Yonder survey and review requests to automate the process of gathering and displaying your online reviews.
If a customer hears about you or comes across an ad for you online, they’re most likely going to do another search online to see if we’re a trustworthy brand. You have a small window to make a big impact on them, which is why you should put a lot of effort into building up a high number of great online reviews and show you care by responding to them, the good and the bad. (Read an article about ‘The Positive Side to Negative Feedback’)
Tip: Having all your reviews in one place is much easier and quicker than switching between systems. Decide on what online channels you want to grow and find software, like Yonder, that allows you to manage them all in one place.
If someone can't find you on Google, you practically don't exist. In order to build your company's online reputation, you need to become visible on the world's biggest search platform. This means that you must build a Google My Business Page and solicit reviews, get your website to rank for keywords relevant to your business in your area, and create social media profiles that keep your business at the forefront of people's minds.
Tip: Set up your GMB FAQ”s, people use these and they reduce barriers to booking.
Another way to build your online reputation is by sharing your achievements and awards. This isn't about bragging per se. It's about making sure that you communicate with your audience that you are the business to book with. Share your story on your website and specifically highlight your areas of expertise. By adding the achievements to the website, areas of expertise, and awards, you are showing customers that you are a reputable tourism business capable of giving an amazing experience.
Tip: If you belong to an association or organization add these to your website as well, it all helps with building your reputation. Ensure they have backlinked back to your website if they have mentioned you on their website.
There is nothing more off-putting than arriving at an outdated, old-looking website. Making sure that your website is updated and easy to navigate reassures users that your business can be trusted. People who feel safe and satisfied with interacting with your website are more likely to make a booking or return to the site again.
Tip: check that you have a padlock in the URL search bar and it’s secure.
Make sure that you’ve consistently branded your company across your website, and other third-party websites that represent your brand. Same logo, business name, images, and messaging. The less people have to guess if it’s the same business, because visual identity is consistent, the stronger your brand and reputation.
Tip: If you work with Inbound Operators check that they are also using your most up-to-date branding images, and messages.
Contributing your viewpoint or opinion to news articles or reports is another way to increase your online reputation. Being featured in an article and linking back to your website enhances your credibility when a reputable source links back to your content and features your response. When this occurs, it also increases your search engine optimization (SEO).
Tip: Struggling to find a topic you can contribute towards? Team up with your DMO or other operators in your area and brainstorm how to work collaboratively to create content.
Position your brand as an industry leader. Start with core topics that relate to your industry, products, and services. With some well-informed keyword research and some browsing of customer FAQs, you’ll have a solid list of ideas to create content around. From blog posts to guides to videos, high-quality content provides value to users. This consistent content production also signals to search engines that your brand is an authoritative source and provides more opportunities for search engine ranking.
Tip: If you gather customer feedback, look through the feedback and see what is your stand-out feature/experience and why then use this to create more content.
Building your online reputation takes time and effort but with technology like Yonder HQ, the gathering and management of your reputation can become easier and more streamlined. Book a chat with Letitia from Yonder who can help explore what Yonder can do to help you grow your online reputation today.