The Importance Of Reviews

I spent a large chunk of yesterday evening online (yeah, big surprise) searching for a B&B or Hotel to stay in over the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

reviewsbnbSo how did I go about this. I followed what, after some time spent in SEO etc, the right search pattern. I searched for “B&B in xxxx” and “hotels in xxxx.” I was greeted by a long list and many of those wonderful compilation sites that offer lists on their own.

Having found what looked, from their site and the compilation sites, to be a decent looking one and a good price for its 3 Stars, I had a thought. Thanks to the changes in Google’s spider patterns (or whatever they want to call it) social media has a bigger role in serps and the way sites are optimised. So I decided to enter “xxxxx hotel reviews” and found even more listings for the hotel. None of them positive.

With my mind now firmly set against that hotel with reviews titled “threadbare furniture, poor service and staff theft” or “worst hotel in Kent” still emblazoned on my mind two thoughts occur.

One is the argument I’ve often used – is it merely a case that of their, presumably, thousands of customers in a year – only the disgruntled ones really bother with the whole tripadvisor approach and those that had an acceptable stay figured that, as nothing went terribly wrong there’s no point mentioning it. It’s like if I had an uneventful drive to work nobody would care to hear about it so there’s no need to write about it.

It also begs the question – why aren’t places like this aware of the power of social media on their business. So many other company’s are and either actively engage in online discussions around their brand or even host reviews on their site.

reviews

Take, one I often use myself: Lime XB. They clearly know the power of reviews and peer-opinion. Especially when it comes to dropping money on something like the Turtle Beach HPX – pc headphones for the price of an overnight stay at the aforementioned hotel – is something that you’d want to know about other people’s experience with.

If companies / sites selling something like headphones have awoken to the import of reviews, why haven’t hotels. There are some – the home-run jobs with a little 2-page site manage to reprint the praising letters they’ve had from guests and the big, swanky and pricey hotels carry press reviews too. But given the huge middle ground and level of competition within that market you’d think the others would wake up. How many bad reviews does it take before business drops off for a member of staff to stumble upon tripadvisor and go “ooohh?”

So let me ask you this: the official site makes everything look great, the reviews of it stink like a burst septic tank. With the wealth of review sites now gaining high serps, which do you now place your decision on?

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  1. If it was me I would read the reviews on that certain place and I would visit its site and see which one really makes more sense, also the sites reviewing a hotel place usually has comments posted in it so you can also read peoples comments and see which makes more sense then you’ll get your decision on which one to believe in.




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