We all know the old adage “If it does not appear in page 1 of search it might as well not appear at all.”
Independent review sites, whatever their nature, depend for their influence on their position in any given Google search. If they don’t feature on page 1 of a Google search, then their influence over our buying habits wanes fast.
Let’s see what we mean in practice:
The search term “Hotel [in] Kensington” – in 2013 returned the following result:
Today* there is no return at all for TripAdvisor ‘above the fold’:
With Google Hotelfinder and Google Places reviews prominent:
And the first return for TripAdvisor down here after the ‘Magic 7’…
So what does this mean for our clients? We are not suggesting that you completely refocus all your efforts away form TripAdvisor to Google today, TripAdvisor is still consulted by a massive proportion of travellers, and old habits die hard. But do remember Bebo – at it’s height it was by far the largest social network (10.7 million users in the UK alone) but was killed off by the arrival of Facebook. Dominant today does not guarantee dominance tomorrow.
Web users are notoriously fickle, and when searching the overwhelming majority will pursue the first relevant result served to them by Google, whatever its origin.
Clients with few Google reviews should speak to us. We will help you plan a strategy to get reviews to Google without diverting them away from TripAdvisor, for the timebeing.
*Remember that Google returns search results depending on your own individual search history, so search results will not be uniform for everyone.
More than ever before the medical and caring professions have to address the concept of reviews
First let’s examine the current state of the reviews and the medical profession…
If a business or service exists you can be sure that there will be review sites specifically targeting it, it’s the nature of the web. Here are some examples:
From NHS Choices
A ‘general’ review site is one where anyone can comment on any type of business or service, from accountants to zoos. here’s an example of a review on Yelp, the big daddy of them all…
Yelpers don’t pull their punches!
Everyone wants reviews: patients commonly search the web for them; they want to know what the existing patients of a given practice or practitioner think. In today’s competitive environment practitioners welcome honest feedback as a way of attracting new patients, and, just as importantly, a way of gaining valuable insight.
Not all reviews are written with the best of intentions: some are written maliciously (some have even been known to be posted by competitors)! Much more commonly, misguided (and potentially damaging) opinions are posted about complex medical issues without the practitioner being able to engage with the patient beforehand.
Is this really representative of the practice?
With reviews of hotels or restaurants the simple ‘right-of-reply’ which is incorporated into most review sites may be all that is needed to correct misconceptions. This is not enough for medical issues: they are far too important, for the patient in question and for the potential patient reading the review. There has to be a better way…
There is.All reviews at HelpHound are moderated (read by trained professional moderators) in a process we call Resolution ™, and any reviews that contain issues which should be addressed by the practitioner are first forwarded to that practitioner for response.
People actively engage with this process and both parties find it rewarding, to the extent that over 99% of reviews that are written and subject to Resolution result in no final review being published.
It’s every medical practitioner’s nightmare – more paperwork, more complex technology. How to keep track of the 47 sites where a patient might comment? The answer is simple: you don’t have to.
Invite all your patients to write a simple review, direct to your practice, once a year and/or whenever they feel the need…
What your patients’ reviews will look like on your website – a mock-up with thanks to Abingdon Medical Practice
HelpHound will moderate them and we will publish them on your own website; we will also invite your patients to post their reviews to Google so you don’t look like these GPs when future patients search:
Your prospective patients are looking for reviews – here (on Google) and on your own website, but only one patient has posted one review on one of these practices. What a lost opportunity to benefit for everyone concerned, practice and patients alike
Dialogue brings you and your patients all the benefits of reviews and none of the drawbacks: it can only be good for you both.
Great feedback, easily analysed
Positive comments to show to prospective patients
Negative issues managed in private, benefiting both parties equally
Please contact Karen Hutchings (karen.hutchings@helphound) for more details.
It is so simple that it has been overlooked by the majority of estate agents. What is it? It’s the impact your Google star rating will have once you have the first five qualifying reviews.
Let’s look at a real-life example: this agent currently has four reviews and so no star rating…
Just one more review, and their listing could be well on the way to looking something very like this:
Helpful? We don’t think so.
So what strategy to adopt? Get Dialogue on board and get your staff focussed on driving your reviews to Google – now, before your Google star rating bites back.
A P.S. for those as yet unconvinced….
…You have no preconceptions about the local agents; which one gets your first call? And (maybe even more importantly) if you end up with an average showing less than 4 full stars: which one doesn’t get a call at all?
A huge vote of thanks to Cornell School of Hospitality and ReviewPro for this study. For those who have an hour to spare we seriously recommend watching the whole presentation; here we present some of the key findings and overlay some of our own conclusions…
Online reputation and RevPAR
This study conclusively proves what we have always contended: that the two are inextricably linked:
If you can positively impact your online reputation (your TripAdvisor ranking and your Booking.com score) your RevPAR will rise
This applies equally to volume (occupancy) and rates. Until now businesses where occupancy was not an issue were sceptical about how scores impact on rates – no longer!
ReviewPro/Revinate and Dialogue
Services like those provided by ReviewPro are invaluable for identifying and internally addressing the areas being criticised by guests. Acting on the detailed feedback these services provide will enhance the guest experience and is bound to feed through into more positive reviews.
Combine this with Dialogue and you will turbocharge the results: ReviewPro impacting on your ability to focus on improving the guest experience and Dialogue translating that into more positive reviews (by 20%+) and fewer negative reviews (by as much as 75%) and you will see the difference impact on RevPAR – dramatically.
Here are just two screenshots from the presentation:
Occupancy and Rates
Showing that online reputation up = RevPAR up – and, interestingly more for 3 and 4 star hotels than their 5 star bretheren (the result for 2 star hotels was even more marked: at 1.9). Just a 1% increase in your TripAdvisor ranking (from 200 to 198 etc.) leading to a 1% increase in RevPAR
For further interpretation and advice please contact Karen (email@example.com).
We were speaking to a client the other day and they highlighted aspects of Feedback Manager that we haven’t really broadcast, here’s a synopsis of what they said…
We were not employed (in hospitality) for our excellent written English. Knowing that your moderators will write great English every time is greatly reassuring
We knew we should be replying to all our reviews on TripAdvisor, but sometimes there just did not seem to be enough hours in the day; knowing that they are replied to properly and professionally, day-in, day-out, enables us to rest easy and concentrate on providing a great guest experience
We can now use reviews positively to drive best practice throughout the hotel, rather than being upset by the negatives and going into a form of denial about the issues raised in them: it’s so much easier to read reviews objectively once they have been responded to by HelpHound
We had our doubts when you promised you would consult us about issues raised by guests so your responses would be accurate, but you do and they are
All in all, the hotel is saying that the job we are doing is as good as, if not better than, the job they would have done themselves if they had the time. They are also saying that their morale is improved as a result.
If you don’t currently have Feedback Manager and would like a no-obligation trial just email Karen Hutchings – firstname.lastname@example.org
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