If someone’s going to write a review of your pub right now, then TripAdvisor is the most likely website they’ll use.
At the same time, if someone wants to find out if your pub is any good, then there’s a good chance they’ll read-up about it on TripAdvisor.
There are a number of pub landlords out there who are doing a great job in utilising the website as a marketing tool.
By shrewdly managing their pub’s listing, these publicans are boosting the reputation of their business.
In this guide, you’ll get detailed insights into: how potential customers can stumble upon your TripAdvisor pub page, what happens when people view that page, and why it matters.
You’re on TripAdvisor whether you like it or not
I can partly understand this.
They probably feel that they’re too busy providing a great service to their customers and don’t have time to fiddle around on a website.
Yet, TripAdvisor is great for finding out what your customers think of your pub. And every successful publican knows that finding out what your customers think is of paramount importance.
If you don’t know what your customers think, how can you be sure you’re providing the best possible customer service?
Another important consideration is this… whether you like it or not, your pub is on TripAdvisor. There’s nothing you can do about it. So, why not make the most of it?
TripAdvisor ranks highly on vital Google search terms
No-one can doubt that Google is the most popular search engine in the world. It absolutely trounces the competition. Businesses pay good money to rank highly under certain search terms.
It’s not just about paying for advertising. A whole industry, ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, is dedicated to helping websites get to the top of the tree on Google.
Why is this relevant to pubs? Let me explain…
Google is the first port of call if people are going to search for pubs online. There are two main ways that people might search for pubs:
By name: e.g. ‘The Wortley Arms’
By location: e.g. ‘pubs in [name of town/city]’ or ‘best pubs in ___’
People searching for pubs by name
If someone searches for your pub by name then there’s a good chance they will be looking for specific information about your pub, including reviews. They want to know if your pub fits their needs.
Let’s have a look at what happens when I type ‘The Wortley Arms’ into Google:
As you can see the first search result is the pub’s own website. They’ve done a great job. You can see a lot of information about the pub in just a small snippet.
The second search result is the TripAdvisor listing. There have been 317 reviews of the pub and it’s got an average 4.5 star rating. No doubt potential customers will take a look at this page to help decide whether or not to visit your pub.
On the right-hand side you have the Google listing and user-reviews of the pub. However, despite its prominence position on the page, it only has 9 reviews.
Overall then, the clever people at the Wortley Arms have done a great job in mastering these 3 vital aspects of their pub’s online presence. They’ve demonstrated the vital information about their pub and managed high user-ratings on TripAdvisor.
It all looks very reassuring for anyone considering a visit.
For any pub name entered into Google, TripAdvisor pubs will almost certainly feature on the first page.
People searching for pubs by location
The second example, is more important for our purposes. Because this is where people are looking for pubs in a certain area. These are the undecided punters looking for the best place to eat or drink.
So, if you were to type ‘pubs in Brighton’ (a search term entered 1,000 times in August alone!) the first result will be reviews on Google+:
But after that, 3rd place on the list is Trip Advisor:
Click on that link and you’re taken to this page:
As you can see, those pubs who have got to the top of the page have a great advantage over their rivals. They’re right in the front of the shop window for people looking for somewhere to eat and drink in Brighton.
On page 4 of the site, you’ll find pub’s with few or no photos and ratings of 3 stars or less.
Which pub would you want to visit?
Now, you might be thinking that Google+ is more important, as it’s at the top of the page, but that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, it IS important but it’s telling that there are more user reviews for TripAdvisor pubs than there are on Google. Compare any two pubs across those sites and you’ll notice the difference is quite significant.
The point is that TripAdvisor is a brilliant tool for sourcing customers from the internet. For getting them to make that journey from the digital world to the real world of your pub.
TripAdvisor can be a decisive factor in what pub a customer chooses to visit.
What happens when people visit your TripAdvisor pub page
Let’s take a look at what happens when people visit your pub page, using a real-life example of The Salisbury Bar in Glasgow:
Immediately, you can see why TripAdvisor is such a popular website for people searching for places to eat and drink. There are lots of reviews to read, contact details, a map of where the pub is, photographs of the pub, and much more.
Pretty much everything you need to know is here…
However, this isn’t something you can leave to chance. By registering as the owner of your TripAdvisor pub’s page, you get to add photos, fill-in details about your pub (such as opening times, cuisine, the type of pub you run, and so on), and you can reply to people who make comments.
Obviously, you can’t control what people say, but by filling in all the vital details about your pub and including photos that show off the splendour of your pub, then you can make your TripAdvisor pubs page look appealing to customers.
If you’re able to master TripAdvisor, get high ratings from customers and feature prominently under the geographical listings (i.e. ‘best pub in [city/town]’, then you will source new customers into your pub.
They may be day-visitors to your area, or maybe have recently relocated to your town or city. Perhaps they are searching for a pub suitable for a birthday celebration. Whatever the case, TripAdvisor is a crucial website which can attract visitors who may not otherwise visit your pub.
Until then… let us know how you’re getting on with TripAdvisor. Or if there’s anything specific you’d like to know, feel free to comment below…