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Would Your Website Benefit from Third Party Reviews?

Long gone are the days of customers taking a punt. It’s now easier than ever to find reviews for cameras, clothes or even dog toys. But that’s not all. With third-party review sites like Trustpilot and Feefo, consumers can review your business as a whole.

Although Google has recently dropped reviews in AdWords, they can still be embedded on your site to help your organic search results. But what effect does that have? And would it work for your business?

Read on as we take a closer look at the benefits of third party review sites.

Third party vs first party

Firstly, third party reviews aren’t the only option. First party reviews are a key tool for many businesses online – but what sets them apart?

As the name suggests, first-party reviews are collected and displayed on your site. Third-party reviews, on the other hand, are collected and displayed on other sites. These formats naturally lend themselves to two different types of review:

  • First-party – used for specific products or services
  • Third-party – used to review a business or retailer as a whole

That means third-party reviews are useful for a broader set of businesses. Not only are they important for ecommerce companies, they’re great for accountants, software providers or construction contractors, for example.

Do people really read reviews?

In short, yes. 92 percent of consumers read online reviews when looking for a local business. And 91 percent of them won’t use a business if it has a rating of less than two stars (out of five).

It’s a simple case of social proof – if others are doing it, it’s fine for me to do it too. And this extends to the amount consumers spend with your business. 31% of shoppers said they’re likely to spend more when businesses have excellent reviews.

Third-party reviews can help your business stand out on search engine results too. On Trustpilot, for example, users can enable “Rich Snippets” on up to five key pages, like the Homepage and About Us. When your site shows up in organic search results, it will be accompanied by a star rating between the title tag and meta description. Report Central Blog

 

Content rich reviews

It’s not just social proof that makes third-party reviews so great, however. They also add useful content to your site, highlighting the qualities of your business if you choose to embed them. In a sense, satisfied existing customers become advocates of your brand and help to sell products or services for you.

Within this content are several key words and phrases which can help direct traffic to your site. It’s almost impossible to write a review for accounting services, for instance, without mentioning the keyphrase “accounting services”, along with some other associated keywords like “affordable”, “cloud” or the location, which may appear alongside the key phrase in Google searches.

Measurable results

As with everything SEO, however, the proof is in the pudding. And for reviews, that pudding is pretty impressive. Yotpo tracked organic page visits for 30,000 business websites over 9 months after they started reviews. On average, they saw organic traffic from Google increase from below 5,500 to almost 8,000 visits per month.

General keywords aside, there is also a decent amount of searches specifically for reviews. In 2016, Brightlocal found that 43% of consumers search for businesses by reviews at least once a month. That’s a lot of people searching for reviews for your business. If you can provide that on your site, you can hit those searches and scoop up some of the traffic. Report Central Blog

Dealing with negative reviews

 It would be naïve to assume every review of your business is going to be positive. Most UK shoppers only leave reviews for positive experiences, according to Feefo’s research. But no matter how hard you try, there will always be some customers that aren’t satisfied or something outside your control that goes wrong. And that’s where review monitoring comes in.

Bad reviews don’t have to mean bad news for your business. They can actually be an opportunity to display great customer service. Any good third-party review platform will give businesses the option to reply to customers by making an account for your business. Here are some tips for responding to negative reviews:

  • Own up – Don’t try to pass the blame
  • Apologise – Let the customer know you’re sorry they aren’t satisfied
  • Compensate – Whether it’s a replacement product or money off another order, compensation can turn an unhappy customer into one that comes back in future
  • Keep things short – Customers don’t want or need a long, winding explanation of what went wrong or why it did so. They want things putting right

Tips for getting started

 If you’re ready to add third-party reviews to your site, there are a number of things to consider:

  • Choose your platform – there are several third-party review sites to choose from, such as Yelp, Facebook, Trustpilot, Feefo and many, many more.
  • Familiarise yourself – Each platform has its own guidelines, regarding things like explicitly asking customers for reviews. Get familiar with these before you choose to make an informed choice and avoid any red flags when using them.
  • Create a page – A dedicated reviews page will help your site rank highly for brand + review searches. Make it easily accessible from product or service pages to encourage interaction from visitors and customers.
  • Commit to reviews – Plan ahead to make time for checking reviews, responding to customers and reviewing any issues. But also, commit to providing the best service that will attract positive feedback.

The verdict

Third-party reviews combine the social proof of on-site testimonials with the authenticity of external reviews. And they’re great for SEO too, helping attract more traffic to sites over time. With a bit of foresight, they could certainly work for your business and provide a healthy organic boost for your site.

At Report Central, we specialise in search engine optimisation with a range of expert techniques. If you’re looking to push your brand further up on search engine results, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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