The Real Reasons Why the Age of a Review Matters on TripAdvisor

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To increase your ranking or online reputation on TripAdvisor, it is well known that you need to excel at three factors: 1) quantity of reviews; 2) quality of reviews; 3) age of reviews. Let’s dive deeper to see how you can maximize each factor and get a well deserved increase to your TripAdvisor Ranking.

This week we will go deep into understanding why the age of a review on TripAdvisor is so important.  

Click to read Part I or Part III.

The age of a review plays two significant roles in a guest’s decision making process. First of all it tells the guest that you have ability to deliver a consistently high quality product. Secondly, it is the most accessible type of review, as it’s the first and easiest review to read.

Your product, a travel related tour or activity, is an experience based goods and as a result reviews play a significant influential role in a guest’s purchase decision process when compared to other types of products (Product type and consumers’ perception of online consumer reviews, Electronic Markets, 2011).

This is because first hand knowledge of the tour is extremely helpful for a consumer in making a decision and helps them understand what the experience is going to be like (What Motivates Consumers to Write Online Travel Reviews?, Information Technology & Tourism, 2008).

The age of a review and the corresponding score, helps a future guest make a clear decision of how the experience is going to be for them today. This is important because there is a clear and positive correlation between the guests purchasing intention and what they expect their experience will be like at your operation (Web reviews influence on expectations and purchasing intentions of hotel potential customers, International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2013)

Fundamentally, consumers are more responsive to quality changes than other information available to them, according to the study “Reviews, Reputation, and Revenue” (Harvard Business School Negotiations, Organizations & Markets, 2011).

Recent reviews tell a potential customer if your business has the ability to maintain it’s high quality level of service or not (The Influence of Online Reviews on Consumers’ Attributions of Service Quality and Control for Service Standards in Hotels, Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 2013).  This makes a review more helpful and aids in derisking the purchasing decision for that customer (The Influence of Online Reviews…).

This means that TripAdvisor is motivated to monitor your business and score it on it’s ability to maintain a consistent, high quality service. The age of a review highlights the importance of proper management of your core service and that you are promptly addressing customer service problems (The Influence of Online Reviews on Consumers’ Attributions of Service Quality…)

If you go on TripAdvisor to read reviews, you will notice that the most recent reviews are placed first, which shows the importance of recency in TripAdvisor’s algorithm. The age of review trumps a TripAdvisor user’s status, meaning the mostly highly ranked users on TripAdvisor are outweighed by a new review. This results in, new reviews being the most accessible and influential on potential customer and their purchasing decisions.

Due to new review being easily accessible, it plays a significant role in determining your sales as it impacts the consumer’s purchase decisions (Ratings lead you to the product, reviews help you clinch it?, Decision Support Systems, 2013). This can obviously have a positive and negative impact and that’s why it’s important to have a large quantity of high quality reviews constantly streaming in.

If a negative review appears first, it is more influential on a potential customer’s decision, then if it appears after positive information about your business (The impact of online reviews on hotel booking intentions and perception of trust, Tourism Management, 2010). If that negative review is coupled with an overall set of negative experiences, it compounds to have a greater influence on the customers  (The impact of online reviews…).

We can see why TripAdvisor places importance on the age of the review because it helps a customer learn if you can deliver a high quality product for when they go on their trip. This increases the helpfulness of the review for the consumer. It also aids TripAdvisor in knowing your business and if you are able to properly managing your core service and promptly resolve customer problems.

So what? This is important for your business as empirical evidence shows that a 10% increase in traveler review ratings can boost your online bookings by more than 5% (The influence of user-generated content on traveler behavior, Computers in Human Behavior, 2010)

PicThrive helps you get more recent reviews on TripAdvisor and Google+ through it’s photo sales and customer engagement platform.  Using PicThrive’s Smart Photo Galleries, you can get your guests highly engaged through photos of their trip. We help ensure you get a consistent stream of new, high quality reviews on TripAdvisor for the world to see. This influences your next round of customers that are currently searching for you and we do it automatically.


About PicThrive

PicThrive is a photo sales and customer engagement tool that is currently in private beta. Sign up now to get early access to a powerful customer engagement and marketing tool for your business.

PicThrive is on a mission to be the number one customer engagement and marketing platform for businesses to connect with clients and their network of family and friends using multimedia. We believe it is important to always innovate in engagement and conversion tools that maximize the user experience and get the best results possible for your business.

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