Signing up to third-party review sites can be a company’s secret weapon to securing more sales. In this guide, we’re reviewing the most popular options for third-party review sites and offering pointers to help you choose the right one for your business.
Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new laptop. You’ve narrowed down your search to a small pool of online brands. Prices are all similar, delivery times the same. How do you decide which company to buy from? 🤷
Most likely, you’ll seek out some reviews. Especially, if it’s a company you’re not familiar with.
The company with glowing, authentic reviews might just win your purchase.
But you won’t just turn to the reviews that are displayed on the company’s website or social media feed – you’ll also want to see impartial reviews. That’s where third-party review sites such as Trustpilot and Feefo come in handy.
But which one should your business choose? We’re delivering our verdict in this handy guide.
Impartial reviews make great trust signals
Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers say that reviews impact their purchase decisions – that’s a big number.
No one wants to make a poor buying decision. As a business, it’s important to reassure your customers or clients that you’re not a scam site and that you will deliver on your promise.
You don’t have to prove you’re the best – you just have to prove you’re trustworthy and reliable. Signing up for third-party review sites is one way you can do this.
If you are the best, then you really have nothing to worry about. Your service or goods should speak for themselves and you should acquire bundles of great reviews in no time.
They also give indecisive shoppers a helping hand
Reviews also help customers beat decision paralysis. It’s the place they go when they’re looking to buy and when they’re choosing between you and maybe one other competitor. This means you have a captive audience, and glowing reviews are the perfect chance to win them over.
How to handle negative reviews?
Allowing the public to leave reviews may leave you feeling a little vulnerable. Worst case scenario, a few disgruntled customers wish they could give less than one star! It happens. But you can move on from that.
You may not like all the feedback you receive. However, taking constructive feedback on board can help you improve the service and products you offer. In fact, nothing but five-star reviews and overinflated praise can spark mistrust. So, the odd bad review is no big deal! Authenticity and prompt responses are what count.
What are your options for third-party review platforms?
Google Customer Reviews
Google reviews are completely free and can give you more visibility in search results. The downside is that you won’t have the same level of support as with other review platforms. In other words, someone who has no experience with your business can leave a negative review and you may not be able to have it removed.
That being said, gaining lots of reviews in Google will appear as a huge trust signal to users. And, let’s not forget, if you have more 5-star reviews than your competitors that could make you more visible in search results!
Our Verdict: If you have a local business, it makes sense to start acquiring Google reviews. What are you waiting for?
Facebook reviews are another platform that is free to use. It’s a mega-popular site. With 1.9 billion users, it has the potential to offer great exposure for any business. The social media platform ditched the traditional star rating back in 2018. Instead, they enable users to simply state whether they recommend your business.
If you have the permission of your customers, you can also send personalised messages to invite them to leave a review.
Facebook is an open platform, and you won’t be able to remove single reviews.
Our Verdict: Facebook accounts for 19% of all customer reviews online, making it a great marketing asset for your brand. If you’re just starting out with getting reviews, we say go for it. You just need to make sure you have recommendations switched on in your settings and that you’ve claimed your business page.
Receiving over 4 million reviews per month, Trustpilot is probably the most well-known third-party review site, and can earn your brand some cachet. It’s an open platform. This means that anyone who has a genuine experience with a business can leave their feedback for the company to respond to.
You can add the logo with your star rating on your website and even flaunt it across your Google Ads. In fact, an online advertisement with the Trustpilot logo and stars is twice as persuasive as the same ad without them.
Our Verdict: If you’re just starting out with reviews, we recommend Trustpilot. It’s by far one of the most frequented review sites!
With Feefo, reviews can only be written by customers who are specifically invited to do so by the business. This gives you more control.
Our Verdict: Feefo can be used by many types of businesses and is a well-known review platform. Closed reviews means only genuine customers will be leaving reviews, so only genuine, meaningful feedback should be provided.
Yotpo is similar to Feefo in that businesses can invite customers to leave reviews. You can be selective over who you invite. Once everything is installed, you can start sending review request emails to your customers. You can also add on-site widgets.
Our Verdict: Yotpo is a suitable choice for e-commerce businesses. With its closed review style, you can rest assured that only genuine customers are leaving reviews. This makes your leap into the world of reviews feel a little safer.
With 200 million reviews and counting, Yelp has firmly established itself as a go-to reviews site.
Our Verdict: This platform is designed to help local brick-and-mortar and service-based businesses acquire reviews. So everything from a beauty salon to a plumber can benefit.
Reviews.io is an open review platform, but reviews need to be verified first. The platform supports both text and video reviews. According to the platform, customers are 4x more likely to convert into paying customers if they’ve read authentic reviews.
Our Verdict: Reviews.io tends to be a popular review site for technology-based businesses, so if you’re in this industry, we’d recommend taking a look.
What should you consider when choosing a third-party review site?
Open or closed?
Would you rather invite a customer or allow unprompted responses where customers can log in and leave a review without being asked first? Even on open sites, like Trustpilot, there are guidelines in place to help protect businesses from unfair or defamatory reviews. Worried about being deluged with trolls and fake negative reviews? Don’t worry, most of the review platforms require customers to log in to leave a review. Most will also have user guidelines and human moderators.
Free plan or paid plan?
Both consumers and businesses will need to create a free account to write or respond to reviews. As a business, you can choose a free plan or upgrade with a paid plan. Paid plans often allow you to invite more customers to leave reviews and can give you access to more marketing assets.
Our recommendation: There can be varying tiers of access. If you’re just starting out, joining up for free and acquiring some shiny gold stars is a good starting point. If you already have a tonne of positive feedback, then you should probably consider upgrading onto a paid plan to level-up your reviews game even further. Ultimately, this will depend on your budget and potential ROI calculations.
You’ll want to make sure that your chosen platform can integrate across all your digital marketing channels. This ensures all star ratings are up to date and will save you time updating them manually.
There are specific sector-based review sites. TripAdvisor is a prime example. If you’re in the hospitality, leisure or tourism industry then this is the review site for you. With over one billion reviews, it’s also super popular!
A Quick Overview of the Top Review Sites
|Review Site||Open or Closed||Content moderation for fake reviews?||Upgrades available?|
- Decide whether you want an open or closed platform.
- Don’t hide all your bad reviews and avoid publishing fake reviews.
- It’s important to respond to negative reviews – don’t leave your customers in the dark. In fact, speedy responses are known to give ratings a boost.
- Remember to leverage good reviews to your advantage – place them on your website and strategically across your digital marketing content.
- Remember – you don’t just have to choose one site!
We hope this guide will help you select the right review site for your online business. What are you waiting for? Choose your platform and start collecting reviews! It might just help you secure more on-site conversions.
Third-party reviews are just one way to show trust on your website, if you’re struggling to project trust through your site, speak to our team or get your website audit to find out what improvements the Echo team could help you with.Contact Us Give Us A Call