Why you shouldn’t link to your TripAdvisor page from your Website

This is a question we hear a lot and to be honest there is no real clear-cut answer, but in our opinion any hotel that is concerned about losing bookings through over channels, and prefer to receive direct bookings (as should be the case in most situations), linking to TripAdvisor from your own website can be a dangerous temptation and not one we’d recommend.

Perhaps 2 years ago linking to your hotels TripAdvisor page was probably no issue at all, if you were happy with the reviews of your property and weren’t concerned about visitors getting tempted to look around the other nearby properties. The issue is more obvious since TripAdvisor implemented their MetaSearch product called TripConnect. If you weren’t aware of this already it is a dynamic feed that is displayed on every hotel page on TripAdvisor, and which displays the prices of that hotel from differing sources. So you have the usual crowd here; Booking.com, Expedia, HotelsCombined, etc. Even the Official Website can be listed here under the TripConnect scheme. However this isn’t a free scheme, it’s actually a huge revenue generator for TripAdvisor – these websites get charged on a cost-per-click basis everytime a user clicks the price to go through to that website.

TripConnect as a program deserves its own article, one of which will be appearing on the site soon. The issue now lies with the fact that your hotel profile on TripAdvisor is no longer a safe place, in terms of potentially lost direct bookings – it’s now so easy for visitors to the page to read reviews, and then complete their booking on TripAdvisor using one of the sponsored links. So whichever feed is showing the best value price is likely to win the battle – meaning you’re now competing, on your own hotel page, with the likes of Booking.com and other OTA’s (some-things never change…)

So by linking to TripAdvisor from your hotel website, you’re potentially losing direct bookings since its now so easy (and very in-you-face) for someone to complete their booking elsewhere. So you could be paying for visitors using PPC ads, and then by innocently linking to your hotels TripAdvisor review page you could then lose out on any revenue from people who would have happily booked on your own site.

In our opinion website users are becoming more and more tech-savvy, and if they want to read your reviews on TripAdvisor then they will do so themselves. You don’t need to push them to do so, so instead try focusing on including some of your best quality reviews on your own website, updating them on a regular basis, and then focus instead on driving your direct-conversion rate, instead of giving visitors the opportunity to book through other channels – where your commission is going to be higher, and where there is no brand-loyalty.

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