How does TripAdvisor gauge popularity among tour operators, activity providers, and attractions? The TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking. Learn the ins and outs of the Popularity Ranking and how to improve your ranking on TripAdvisor.
What is the TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking?
The TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking algorithm crunches user data to determine the most popular tours, attractions, and experiences within a destination, letting travelers quickly find the best option for them according to feedback from TripAdvisor users. Your TripAdvisor ranking reflects your standing against other tour operators and attractions like yours within your geographical location.
Why should you care? In a nutshell, a higher Popularity Ranking translates to greater visibility for your tour, attraction or experience on TripAdvisor.
How is the TripAdvisor Popularity Ranking Determined?
The Popularity Ranking is based on four factors: the quality, recency and quantity of reviews that your business receives, and the consistency of those reviews over time. The algorithm considers all of these factors relative to the performance of other businesses in your area. More details can be found here, but below is the gist of it:
First, the Popularity Ranking algorithm considers ratings. When your customers provide bubble ratings along with their reviews, it impacts your ranking. In simple terms, receiving more 5-bubble ratings will help your business rank higher than a competing business with 3- or 4-bubble ratings.
Next, your ranking is impacted by the recency of your reviews. TripAdvisor considers newer reviews to be more valuable than older reviews, since they give travelers a more accurate read on what the current experience is like. This means that recent reviews — good or bad — will count more toward your business’s ranking than reviews written last year or the year before that. Older reviews still matter, but they are weighted less.
Third, the sheer volume of reviews for your business matters. That’s because TripAdvisor needs a certain quantity of reviews for the algorithm to determine a statistical comparison to other businesses. Once you’ve reached a critical mass of reviews, TripAdvisor can more accurately predict your ranking. In short, if you don’t have enough reviews, we can’t get a good read on what the experience is like for travelers.
Lastly, the Popularity Ranking algorithm gives kudos for consistently high performance. We know that most TripAdvisor users will read multiple reviews before making their travel decisions. We also know that travelers will have more confidence in your business if they see that their fellow travelers are in agreement that you deliver an outstanding experience.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Popularity Ranking?
If your tour or attraction business is among the top-ranked on TripAdvisor, it means your customers consistently give you high ratings and leave positive reviews. But remember — Rome wasn’t built in a day. Think of your TripAdvisor ranking as something that you can grow and nurture over time. Since the Popularity Ranking algorithm is based on user feedback, the best way to improve your position is to consistently collect new, high-quality reviews.
Here are some things you can do to help improve your TripAdvisor ranking:
Make collecting reviews — and doing so consistently — a priority. TripAdvisor offers a variety of tools like Review Express and review reminder tools that are all available to you in the TripAdvisor Owner Management Center. Try posting a “Review Us” sticker on your storefront window or your tour’s meeting point, or handing out review reminder cards to your guests after your tours. Using Review Express is highly recommended — it’s a free tool that lets you send professional-looking, customized emails to up to 1,000 past guests encouraging them to leave reviews. On average, regular Review Express users see an uplift of 34% in the number of TripAdvisor reviews for their business!
Focus on a great customer experience
Getting positive reviews and high ratings starts with providing an outstanding customer experience, from the moment your customer books your tour or attraction. It’s important to engage with your customers offline and online: Provide exceptional in-person customer service, and engage with your customers with gratitude and grace. While Management Responses are not factored into the Popularity Ranking, TripAdvisor research shows that being attentive to reviews and comments can make a positive impact on potential customers.
Make improvements based on feedback
Don’t worry about a single bad review — or even a few. That isn’t going to tank your Popularity Ranking. The reality is that sometimes even the best companies get bad reviews every now and then. The way you deal with a bad review can make all the difference between you and your competitors. See them as an opportunity for improvement: Take time to digest the feedback, and take action to make improvements to your product or service. This will help you create an even better experience for future customers, and the positive reviews will follow.