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Online Reputation Management for Hotels: A Complete Guide

Your complete guide to online reputation management for hotels. Tips to improve the guest experience from pre-stay to post-stay. 

What is Online Reputation Management? 

Online Reputation Management refers to all the actions a brand takes to monitor and improve its image. It involves tracking what is said about a business online, responding to guest reviews, and building and maintaining a positive online reputation.

Why is Online Reputation Management Important for Hotels?

The image you build online can significantly impact your future bookings and your revenue. By effectively managing your online reputation, you increase the chances of getting more bookings, encourage guests to return, and be your brand ambassadors.

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We’ve assessed the most recent data on how people read feedback – and put together some key actions that can help you leverage guest reviews to get more bookings.

Help Travelers Book With You

A positive online reputation can improve your average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR). Guests will be willing to pay more for a hotel with a strong reputation and higher scores than choose a hotel with a slightly lower price. As a result, the ADR and RevPAR will increase, leading to enhanced revenue and profitability. 

A hotel actively managing its online reputation can also benefit from upselling and cross-selling activities. When guests have a positive experience at a hotel, they are more likely to be receptive to additional services, such as spa treatments, restaurant reservations, or tours.

What Matters Most for the Modern Traveler

When booking a stay, the modern traveler will look first at the online reviews a property receives. Our research shows that a whopping 95% of travelers scan feedback before booking. Positive feedback and high ratings can help a property stand out and increase bookings. But negative reviews are equally important because consumers look at both sides of the coin before booking.


Travelers read, on average, nine reviews before booking. 57% of feedback they read is positive, and 43% is negative.  


Your website is the first stop for travelers wanting to look at your reviews. It’s essential to make an excellent first impression from that first search. Provide relevant and up-to-date information in a user-friendly format that reflects your brand values.

Platforms Where Different Generations Read Reviews Always Or Rather Often
Top 6 Platforms Where Travelers Read Reviews, based on the latest TrustYou consumer research study

Are you present on any of these platforms? Check how many bookings and reviews you get from each of them. Make sure your profile is updated regularly with relevant and appealing content – and quickly reply to comments during pre-stay or reviews in the post-stay phase.

Build and Manage Your Hotel’s Online Reputation

Develop a Mindset Focused on Quality and Improvement

Start with a solid foundation first. Your reputation should reflect your offering. That’s why focusing on quality and improvement should always be the driving force of your online reputation. Strive for a strategy where quality is deeply integrated into everything you do. It will show your guests and staff that you value their experience and are not afraid to go the extra mile if needed.  

New ideas or improvements are often difficult to implement. How do you make sure that changes stick? We recommend considering one of the first processes defining quality and the source for complex quality strategies that lead to the Japanese economic miracle between the 50s and 80s. 

Plan Do Check Act
Plan-Do-Check-Act is an iterative process. It includes four steps for implementing new processes and changes consistently. 

In a nutshell, how can you implement PDCA in your hotel that will help improve your online reputation?

Plan – develop a plan for improving hotel operations and services. Identify areas that need improvement, set goals and objectives, and create a plan to achieve those goals. For example, you may identify the need to improve guest satisfaction. Start looking at the review data and areas that need improvement. Start documenting everything you need to make these changes happen, such as tasks, resources involved, budget, etc.

Do – implement the plan. For example, many negative reviews refer to a slow check-in process. You may implement something new, upgrade the tech stack, or train your staff to use it. All of these actions refer to the implementation phase. 

Check – the part where you assess whether the implementation has achieved the desired result. You may check periodically to see if you still get the same amount of negative reviews related to the process you worked to improve.

Act – so you have learned the lessons. Now what do you do with them? Act is the part where you ensure everything you learned from the previous step is implemented and integrated. 

Plan  – you may believe that’s the end, but it’s not! PDCA is a repetitive process. It starts all over again once you implement the new changes.

Simply put, PDCA helps you implement a mindset of improvement for whatever you do: from operations to online reputation management for your hotel. 

Luca Finardi Gm E Area Vice President, Operations Ii @tysonsadlo
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Look Through the Eyes of Your Guests

How do your guests experience their stay? This is the most critical question for improving your services and online reputation. Try to collect as much information as possible on how your guests perceive your property and service from pre-stay to post-stay. Take this information and improve what you offer by using the PDCA cycle.

Here are a few things to consider that will help improve your hotel’s online reputation from pre-stay to post-stay:  

Pre-Stay

Your potential guests’ first impression of your property starts with the research and booking phase. Here are a few things to consider to improve the pre-stay experience:

#1 Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The research and booking phase can tell you much about what your guests are looking for and why they chose your hotel. Knowing your unique selling point will help you target potential guests interested in your offer.

The best way to personalize your pre-stay phase is by looking at reviews. What do your guests mention most in reviews regarding a positive experience? What do guests enjoy most during their stay? Get a good grip on your strengths and weaknesses by looking at all the feedback you receive. TrustYou Analytics breaks down the data available from many reviews into actionable insights. We have over 180 categories you can track: from cleanliness to sustainability, these categories will give you a clear idea of what you can improve.  

Know The Areas Where You Perform Best And The Categories That Need Improvement With The Help Of Trustyou’s Impact Scores
Impact Scores are among the key data you can track using TrustYou Analytics. They allow you to identify the top areas where you perform best and the categories that need improvement.
#2 Showcase Your Unique Selling Points

A simple and effective way to showcase your unique selling points is by displaying a summary of reviews on your website. With TrustYou Widgets, you get to display your most notable traits. 

TrustYou’s Meta-Review provides a summary of the hotel’s overall reputation and features as seen through the eyes of the guests. As a result of having all the necessary information on your website, visitors will access it more, translating into a higher conversion rate. A Meta-Review, such as the one provided within the TrustYou platform, not only contributes to the website’s visibility and optimization but also allows your hotel’s reputation to influence a large number of travelers.

Trustyou Meta Review
TrustYou’s Meta-Review provides tools to support visitors to book right on your website. It combines widgets and features that allow visitors to get condensed yet in-depth information about the accommodation they seek.
#3 Optimize Your Booking Process

Offer your future guests clear, comprehensive, and real information during the booking process. This will significantly impact the review score you’ll receive. Make sure that everything you market is real. Include property photos as close to reality as possible. Offer a comprehensive FAQ to questions your guests may have. Be clear about the packages and the rooms you have available. For the modern traveler, speed and ease of access are essential so mobile optimization and a user-friendly journey should be a top priority for your booking process.

Get Your Demo with TrustYou

See an overview of the world’s leading all-in-one platform, including reputation management, review marketing, and guest surveys. You’ll see firsthand how to make better business decisions for your organization, earn trust, and succeed.

The Worlds Leading All In One Platform For Hospitality
#4 Offer Great Customer Service from the Beginning

Provide various contact channels such as email, phone, and live chat on your website, and ensure they are easily accessible to customers. It will make it easier for guests to contact the hotel with questions or concerns. Create a positive first impression by responding to inquiries promptly.

Positive Reviews Dos Show That You Have Great Customer Service Before During And After Your Guests Stay.
An example of how excellent customer service in the pre-stay phase can improve a hotel’s online reputation. 

On-Site

# 1 Solve Issues on the Go

Addressing issues in real time can help prevent negative reviews and show that your hotel is committed to providing a positive experience. For example, if a guest complains about a noisy room, you can offer a room change or provide earplugs to help alleviate the issue.
With TrustYou Live Survey, you can print QR codes on room keys or other materials in guest rooms or placed in strategic areas around the property. You can send a URL link via text message or when the guest connects to WiFi. We all know the saying, “Ask and you shall receive,” which is often the best way to allow your guests to provide valuable feedback.

Post-Stay

When working in hospitality, it’s crucial to always think about the guests and direct all your efforts toward meeting their standards and expectations. Keep in mind that we’re talking about a two-way street, a dialogue. Without guest feedback, you wouldn’t know if your efforts lead to the desired outcome or if you’ve adopted the right approach. It’s important to always rely on your audience’s feedback, focus on what needs improvement, and keep the standards high.

Chroma Hospitality Improves Its Cleanlines Score
Chroma Hospitality’s Focus on Guest Satisfaction

Chroma Hospitality joined TrustYou in 2019 with one goal – to increase guest satisfaction. They’ve taken this in stride by utilizing our full platform, and this Philippines-based group was and is determined to offer their guests the best possible experience.

#1 Respond to Guest Reviews

Travelers read, on average, nine reviews before booking. 57% of feedback they read is positive, and 43% is negative.  


Not taking into consideration reviews and guest feedback, in the eyes of the guest, translates to not caring about the overall experience and well-being at your hotel. It is imperative to always reply to reviews, whether positive or negative. By responding to your guests’ feedback, you show that you value their opinion and increase their chances of returning to your property.

All You Need to Know About Responding to Guest Reviews

Your complete guide to responding to positive, neutral, and negative guest reviews with examples, a template response structure, and helpful data.

A picture featuring 2 ladies looking at a screen laptop featuring the TrustYou Review Dashboard.
#2 Ask for Feedback

The best way to get feedback is simple: just ask for it. With TrustYou Post-Stay Survey,  you can create your survey and customize it to your liking. Ask travelers relevant questions that apply to your hotel or group.  Using a Post-Stay Survey will help generate meaningful feedback that can be kept internal, integrated on your website, or shared on Google for people to see during their research.

Trustyou Post Stay Survey
Measure guest satisfaction and experience using TrustYou Post-Stay Survey

Let’s not forget that using a guest satisfaction survey means only getting verified reviews and avoiding fake and unauthorized reviews.

Why Didn’t My Guest Leave a Review?

Are your guests leaving fewer reviews than you expect? Here are 4 ways for hoteliers to get more feedback from guests.

A picture featuring a dog with glasses behind a laptop, referencing a guest that hesitates to leave a review

Your Staff, Your Stars

As front-line representatives, hotel staff plays a critical role in the online reputation management of a hotel. How they interact with guests, handle complaints, and provide service can significantly influence guest satisfaction and increase scores.

If the hotel staff is unhelpful, rude, or provides poor service, guests are more likely to leave negative reviews, damaging the hotel’s reputation, deterring potential guests from booking, and ultimately impacting the hotel’s bottom line.

2022 Global Impact Scores
In 2022, Service was the category most likely to improve a hotel’s performance score. Guests were more inclined to leave higher scores when the staff was friendly, and hotel management was helpful.

Make sure your staff is well-trained, motivated, and appreciated. This way, you invest directly in your quality and reputation by ensuring your team receives the necessary training and motivation to do its job.

Craft Your Online Presence

A well-crafted digital presence will allow your hotel to connect with potential guests, promote your brand and services, and manage your online reputation.

Without a carefully built digital presence, you may miss out on potential guests and struggle to maintain an online reputation and a strong brand identity. Therefore, it is crucial for hotels to invest in digital marketing and establish a robust online presence to succeed in the highly competitive hospitality industry.

#1 Refine Your Website

Our research shows that a hotel’s website is among the first stops for many travelers looking to read reviews before booking. Here are a few things to consider that could help improve your website and your hotel’s online reputation: 

  • Visual appeal: ensure that your website is visually appealing, with a design consistent with your brand. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase your rooms, amenities, and location.
  • Intuitive navigation: your website should be easy to navigate. Make important information, such as room rates and availability, easy for your potential guests to find.
  • Mobile-friendliness: optimize the website for mobile devices to ensure it is easy to use on smartphones and tablets.
  • Clear, easy-to-follow booking process: ensure that the hotel’s booking engine is integrated into the website and is easy to use. The booking process should be simple and intuitive, with clear instructions and prompts.
  • Relevant content: provide valuable and informative content for potential guests, including information about the hotel’s location, amenities, and local attractions. Use keywords strategically to improve search engine visibility. Display guest reviews and ratings prominently on the website to build trust and encourage bookings.
Happy Senior Woman Enjoying In Online Booking With Her Daughter In A Cafe.
How Different Generations Interact with Guest Reviews

TrustYou’s latest consumer research reveals how hotels and destinations can adapt their offering for younger and older travelers.

  • High speed: ensure that the website loads quickly, as slow-loading websites can lead to high bounce rates and lost bookings.

The first 1 to 3 seconds are critical for the user experience. Bouncing can increase by 32% if you don’t capture your visitors’ attention in this timeframe.


  • Enhanced security: ensure the website is secure, with SSL encryption and other security measures to protect guests’ personal and financial information.

#2 Make it Easy for Travelers to Find You Online

SEO is not optional anymore. With so many accommodation facilities available at the distance of a click, making sure that travelers can find you easily on the internet is a must to boost the number of potential guests visiting your website. 

Ranking as high as possible on the first search results page should be a top priority. Recent studies show that the first organic result in Google gets 27.6% click-through rate (CTR). In fact, the first 5 organic results get the most attention, with a 69.1% CTR. 


Only 0.63% of consumers click on the results from the second page of Google search.


Here are a few things to consider that could help implement an SEO strategy and enhance your hotel’s online reputation:

  • Website Structure: ensure that the website is structured in a way that is easy for search engines to crawl and index. Have a clear hierarchy of pages, use descriptive URLs, and optimize website speed.
  • Keyword Research: identify the most relevant and high-volume keywords for your hotel’s target audience. Use these keywords strategically in website content, including titles, meta descriptions, and page copy.
  • Local SEO: optimize your hotel’s online presence for local search by claiming and verifying business listings on Google My Business, Yelp, and other local directories. Ensure the hotel’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) information is accurate and consistent across all online directories.
  • Content Strategy: develop a content strategy that provides valuable and informative content for potential guests. Create blog posts, guides, and other resources that answer common questions and provide helpful information about the hotel’s location and amenities.
  • Mobile Optimization: ensure that the website is optimized for mobile devices, as more and more people use their smartphones to search for travel accommodations.
  • Link Building: build high-quality backlinks to your hotel’s website from reputable sources, such as travel blogs and industry directories. This will increase your website’s authority and visibility in search results.

#3 Be Engaged on Social Media

Social media has grown so much in the last decade. The latest data shows that 6 out of 10 consumers spend around 2.5 hours on social media accounts daily.


40% of Gen Zs would use TikTok or Instagram for searches instead of Google.


Here are a few things to consider that could help enhance your social media strategy and your hotel’s online reputation:

  • Develop a social media strategy: outline your objectives, the target audience, and the types of content that will be shared on social media platforms and how this will help strengthen your identity as a brand. 
  • Choose the right social media platforms: be on the platforms most relevant to your business and target audience. Facebook and Instagram are popular platforms for hotels. TikTok is also gaining momentum, with hotels creating challenges for their audience or showcasing their employment culture to attract talent.  
TikTok Marketing for Hotels and Destinations

How can you get additional visibility that converts into more guests, visitors, or employees? Explore how you can benefit by marketing on TikTok as a hotel or destination.

Tik Tok Marketing For Hotels And Destinations
  • Create engaging content: the content should resonate with your target audience. Use photos and videos of the hotel, information about local attractions, and tips for travelers visiting the area. Don’t be afraid to have a sense of humor when creating materials for social media, which often resonates well with viewers.
  • Use social media advertising: social media advertising can be a powerful tool for your hotel. You can target specific audiences and promote your services, such as special offers, events, and other promotions.
  • Respond to customer inquiries and feedback: monitor your social media accounts for customer inquiries and feedback, and respond promptly and professionally. This will help build trust with your guests and improve your online reputation.
  • Track and analyze performance: use metrics like engagement rates, follower growth, and website traffic to understand your social media performance and adjust the strategy as needed.

Online Reputation Management is so much more than carefully crafting your digital presence. Ultimately, it reflects how you run your hotel and treat your guests and staff.  To enhance your online reputation, adopt an improvement mindset, listen to your guests’ feedback, and actively act based on their reviews. Prioritize your guests’ satisfaction. A happy guest will return, spend more and promote your brand.