A Few Tips for Maximizing Your Museums TripAdvisor Presence
Travels use review sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Expedia when making decisions about the tourist attractions they are going to visit more than ever before. Research conducted by Ipsos MediaC found that 76% of travelers in the United States and over 60% worldwide use a travel review website when making decisions on where they are going to travel and which attractions they will visit while in a specific geographic area. In most surveys, travel review sites are the second most frequent reason someone chose to visit an attraction only behind recommendations from personal friends.
The largest travel website is TripAdvisor. There are over 125 million reviews on TripAdvisor, and it sees over 260 million unique users every month. How your museum appears on TripAdvisor directly correlates to the number of visitors you will see come through the doors.
While TripAdvisor does not make its algorithm publicly known, a few things are consistently accurate. To retain good placement on TripAdvisor, you need:
- Your cumulative review score to be among the highest ratings in your geographic area.
- A high number of reviews.
- Recent reviews.
The quality and quantity of your reviews are also important to users. If you have poor review scores, users are less likely to attend your museum. Users also discredit attractions that have a small number of reviews. If you have significantly fewer reviews than other attractions in your geographic area, and you didn’t recently open, users will discredit the quality of your reviews because it appears you are not that popular. It’s essential to ask visitors to review your museum.
In this article, I’m going to offer a few tips on how to maximize your TripAdvisor experience.
- Make sure your basic information is correct, including hours, admission costs, ADA compliance, etc. If you offer guided tours, make sure this is part of the description. I also recommend adding the sentence ‘prepurchasing tickets is not required’ as this is a common question.
- Make sure you have a description of your museum, and it is well-written and up to date.
- Add at least 30 professional pictures. Your visitors will add images, but you should always include professional pictures that present your museum in the best possible light. Do not shy away from adding a lot of pictures. There is a myth that adding too many pictures reduces someone’s motivation to come to the attraction because they can see it for free online, but research does not support this claim.
- Use the map function so users can go straight from your profile to a GPS program with just a few clicks.
- Always respond to reviews – I discuss this topic in more detail in another article https://tinyurl.com/museumreviews. Follow these guidelines in managing your reviews.
- Ask for reviews – TripAdvisor will send you business cards and stickers that ask visitors to review your museum. I recommend placing these business cards around your museum to remind visitors to leave a review.
- Answer submitted questions – TripAdvisor offers users the opportunity to ask questions about attractions. The questions and answers are publicly viewable and become a part of your attractions profile. Make sure you answer these questions as quickly as possible.
- If you are one of the top attractions in your area, make sure you promote this on your website and in advertisements. There is a significant disparity between the number of visitors the top attraction in a geographic area receives versus the others.
- If you are either an upstart museum or a lesser-known museum, I recommend using the TripAdvisor website widget that shows your website visitor TripAdvisor reviews of your museum website in real-time.
- If you have won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence or TripAdvisor Hall of Fame recognition, make sure to use all of the TripAdvisor resources for promoting the recognition in your building, on your digital platforms, and print ads when possible.
Article by Frank Bennett, originally published at www.worldclassmuseum.com.
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