Want to drive more revenue at your hotel? Online reviews are a vital part of increasing web reach and ranking resulting in higher guest satisfaction and increased revenues. Based on studies by Yext, 97% of customers read review responses, which means businesses want many reviews and responses for potential customers to read. Emerald Hospitality Associates, Inc. has set standards and goals for our portfolio of hotels and restaurants to achieve when it comes to reviews. Our goals include:
- Responding to all the reviews – recognize and reflect on the items that our travelers mentioned and learn from them. What can be improved upon? What are they satisfied with?
- Showing & expressing care through your response for the customers feedback and proactively working on their concerns.
- Getting personal – respond to what the guest mentions in the review. We don’t use response templates. We read each review and craft a unique and thoughtful response to each one.
- Providing your contact information where customers could reach out to you by leaving your email or phone in your response.
- Addressing the customers’ responses with your team – always look for opportunities to improve, and for your team to be familiar with what customers love and things that can be improved.
The quantity of online reviews a hotel receives affects its profitability. A study by Cornell University revealed that if a hotel’s review scores increase by one point on a five-point scale, they can raise their room rates by 11% and still maintain the same occupancy or market share. In a study conducted by Hilton Corporation, hotels that have a 70% or better response rate to Google reviews have 15% higher incremental revenue compared to hotels with lower response rates.
Based on several studies on Local Search Optimization, reviews are shown to be one of the leading factors in local search visibility. According to the Hilton Corporation study referenced above, review response rate affects SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Those hotels that responded to 70% or more of their Google reviews have a 108% increase in local pack visibility on Google and a 19% increase in customer actions CTR (click through rate).
Local pack visibility refers to Google’s Local Pack, which is a group of local business listings that appear in response to search queries for products or services provided by local businesses, e.g. “hotels in Wesley Chapel, FL” or “hotels near the Buffalo airport.”
Example of Google’s Local Pack for searches related to Hotels in Wesley Chapel, FL:
Emerald Hospitality understands the importance of reviews. By following our standards and meeting our goals for reviews, the hotels will be able to gain the advantage of increased visibility online and subsequent revenue growth. In addition, travelers will feel more valued and comfortable during their stay at the properties we manage. Ultimately, improving both the hotel’s local SEO ranking and revenue, but also elevating the guest experience.
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