August 6, 2018
At this point in time, there is simply no questioning the power that customer reviews hold over purchasing decisions. As a growing business, gaining customer reviews is an integral part in shaping public perception.
Over the past several decades, there has been an interesting timeline in terms of how online customer reviews have evolved. The whole concept of leaving public feedback on the internet started in 1999 following the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. There were three original review websites that put the whole phenomenon in motion – RateItAll.com, Deja.com, and Epinions.com. By early 2000, these three websites had accumulated more than 1 million reviews on everything from products to movies to sports teams. As time went on, review sites began to get more specialized. For example, in 2004, a site called RateMDs.com emerged as a review platform for the medical community.
Throughout the years, there have certainly been a number of growing pains for online reviews. Given the extremely powerful influence reviews have over purchasing decisions, many brands would try to do things like write fake positive reviews, or pay people to do so. In turn, the raw, honest nature of online reviews was muddled. Thankfully, the major review websites wised up to this unethical practice.
These days, there are a handful of popular review platforms that can be used to create and develop an authentic brand reputation online. Two of which are Reviews.io and Trustpilot; both of which come with their fair share of advantages based on what a company needs. If used in the right way, these programs can play a key role in strengthening a business’s standing on the web, as well as in the eyes of new, existing, and potential customers.
Let’s unwrap several factors that define a quality customer review management software, and how Trustpilot and Reviews.io compare.
1. Google Review Partner
While there are many online review platforms out there, it’s important to note that not all content produced across these websites is created equal. A HUGE difference maker is whether or not the platform is a Google Review Partner.
If it is a verified Google Review Partner, this means that Google sees the content produced on the platform as genuine and credible. Companies that collect reviews on one of these platforms can optimize their paid and organic search efforts with Google Seller Rating, Rich Snippets, and Product Reviews to improve online performance.
Trustpilot is a platform fully committed to unbiased reviews. Moreover, Trustpilot does not allow companies to edit or delete feedback – if it’s authentic, it stays published. The ideology behind this is that consumers are provided with authentic opinions of companies with no tampering behind the scenes. The platform marks reviews as “verified” for those that are invited through Trustpilot’s Automated Feedback Service (AFS), and for reviews that come in organically, it has an airtight compliance protocol that can instantly spot if a company is trying to sidestep the process or add their own biased reviews. If a company is flagged for this, it can be permanently removed from the platform. For these reasons, Google recognizes Trustpilot as a reliable source of legitimate customer reviews.
Reviews.io is also a licensed Google Review Partner heavily committed to being a hub for genuine feedback. Each review on Reviews.io is subjected to a verification process – similar to Trustpilot. It must be clear that the reviews came from verified customers that experienced a company’s product or service.
On the surface level, content posted on both are seen as credible in the eyes of Google. That being said, reviews posted on either will be beneficial in gaining traction on the SERPs.
2. Multiple Users Access
Multiple users access refers to the capability of giving a business more than one account users to a domain. This is ideal for larger companies who need several people to manage customer reviews.
Trustpilot allows companies to create multiple account users for a single domain. New users can easily be invited on the Company Profile page. Users can also be revoked access by clicking on the red x.
Reviews.io has an unlimited number of seats for new users. Companies are able to add a multitude of accounts for each department and compartmentalize access. This can be done by the Administrator on the main Account page.
Both of these platforms are equipped to accommodate both small and large companies that may require several people to manage customer reviews.
3. Gathering Reviews
In many cases, the most difficult part of the entire review management process is simply getting people to leave their feedback. In fact, a study by Pew Research found that less than 10% of American consumers will actually leave a review after a purchase, and half of those people will only do so occasionally. However, in another study by Brightlocal, 70% of customers will leave a review if they are personally asked with an invitation.
Now, some review sites fall under the category of an open platform. An open platform means that anyone can leave feedback, so long as they’ve had an experience with that company. Perhaps one of the drawbacks of this is that companies do not get to completely control who leaves reviews, and there is no way to block people from leaving negative feedback. However, in reality this is really a pro if you are trying to build a trusted, credible business in the eyes of consumers. If a business only has stellar reviews, most consumers will see straight through this and the company won’t be seen as fully trustworthy. And if you try and hide, delete, or otherwise manipulate your negative reviews, which some platforms DO allow, consumers will without a doubt take notice and your reputation will tank. We are, after all, living in the age of the consumer. Hence, an open platform like Trustpilot makes a company more genuine, more authentic, and more trusting in the eyes of consumers.
Other review management programs classify as invite-only. As the name implies, invite-only means that people cannot review a business unless they are formally asked. The major pro of these platforms is that companies can put themselves in a much better position to get positive reviews. The downside is that because companies can cherry pick their reviews and only invite those who had a good experience, they might not be seen as fully credible in the eyes of potential customers. This takes away from the concept of truly authentic reviews.
In terms of gathering sentiment, this is one of the areas where Trustpilot and Reviews.io differ the most.
Trustpilot is an open platform where anyone can leave a review about a business. Additionally, Trustpilot allows companies to send review invitations at certain triggers – just after purchase, upon receipt of a product, etc. Customizable review invitations can be sent manually or automatically. If automatic, businesses can choose when an invitation is sent and configure a reminder to be sent out if a customer does not respond to the original request.
Businesses can incorporate customer data into these invites to be more personal.
The fact that companies get the best of both worlds (in terms of an open and invite-only platform) is a HUGE advantage of Trustpilot.
Reviews.io is strictly an invite-only platform. Invitation emails can be easily customized and companies can create an unlimited amount of review invites. These can be crafted in the WYSIWYG editor with several customization parameters.
Similar to Trustpilot, businesses can use their customer data to make the email unique to each reviewer.
When defining the concept of “authentic reviews,” the process of actually gathering customer sentiment plays a crucial role. In this regard, an open platform (like Trustpilot) is built around the idea that a company should not have control over the genuine sentiment people leave. On the contrary, an invite-only platform (like Reviews.io) gives a company a certain degree of power over who can and cannot leave reviews. Therefore, reviews posted on an open platform are much more authentic.
When selling products or services with the major e-commerce platforms, the value of seamless review integration cannot be understated. The integrations are key factors that show the versatility of a review platform.
Trustpilot integrates with many of the top e-commerce solutions and customer management programs. These include apps like Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, OpenCart, Hootsuite, Zapier, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
Trustpilot also supports current and previous versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer 11.
Reviews.io has integration capabilities with several popular e-commerce platforms and customer solutions. As a browser-based program, it’s highly recommended to use a desktop computer when navigating the dashboard. Reviews.io works with all the major browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.
Reviews.io works automatically with applications like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, WordPress, PrestaShop, and OpenCart.
For other programs, companies will need to set up Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) emails.
5. Photo Reviews
Text reviews are extremely powerful forms of user-generated content. Photo reviews, however, can be even more powerful in conveying the appeal of a product or an establishment. Photo reviews serve as a raw and unfiltered look that show real, candid experiences. These are very useful in terms of making sales and improving SEO.
Unfortunately, Trustpilot does not currently offer this feature – yet (we hear their product team has some major updates in the works).
Reviews.io gives companies the option to accept photo reviews from customers. Companies can navigate to Collection Settings and enable Review Photos.
Customers can then add photos to the Company Reviews, Product Reviews, or both.
If a company places a high value on photo reviews, Reviews.io has a distinct advantage as of this writing.
6. Publishing Reviews on Social Media
Social media and customer reviews go hand-in-hand. Both are prime outlets for genuine opinions and sentiment analysis. Most companies these days have business pages set up on the major social networks. Incorporating customer reviews into these pages is one of the smartest moves a business can make to present themselves in the best possible light.
Trustpilot gives companies the ability to share customer reviews across many of the top social media platforms. When it comes to social media sharing, Trustpilot has a distinct advantage over a good deal of the other review platforms. This is because the program has an Image Generator that enables companies to showcase their reviews with a visual appeal. Using Facebook as an example, studies have found that posts with images get 2.3x more engagement than those without.
From the Integrations tab, companies can take their favorite quote from a particular review and embed it over a stock image from Unsplash’s extensive catalog. This can all be done directly through the Trustpilot dashboard.
Once the image/review is complete, it can easily be shared across a company’s social pages.
Businesses can follow a similar process to share their TrustScore.
Reviews.io can easily be integrated with social pages. The platform allows users to set up an automatic sharing feature for positive reviews (4 to 5 stars) on Facebook.
For starters, from the Company setup page, businesses can go to Social Integration and install the Facebook app. From here, they can choose which review(s) they want to share. Unfortunately, Reviews.io does not offer an image generator feature like Trustpilot. However, businesses can edit the text and color of the review to make it a little more visually appealing.
Once the graphic is created, it can be shared across the major social channels.
The ranking algorithms of the major social networks typically favor posts with images. Even though Trustpilot does not have photo review capabilities on their platform (yet), the ability to incorporate images into social media reviews provides a great deal of value to companies in terms of visibility and engagement. Ultimately, social media is a visual arena and customer reviews need to play to this trend.
7. SEO Benefits
Everyone knows how vital customer reviews are for decision making these days. The search engines have taken note of this phenomenon and factor consumer feedback into both paid and organic rankings. Per a study by MOZ, customer reviews make up nearly 10% of how Google and other search engines rank content on the SERPs.
To reiterate, both Trustpilot and Reviews.io are verified Google Review Partners, which means the content posted on these platforms has a considerable amount of SEO value. But one clearly wields a lot more power.
Trustpilot reviews can help a company’s SEO in many ways. For starters, it’s important to note that Trustpilot is an Alexa 500 website – which means it is one of the most powerful sites in the world.
In addition to being a highly authoritative Google Review Partner, one of the best features of Trustpilot is the TrustBox widget. This enables companies to display reviews directly on their website, of which are then indexed by Google. TrustBoxes are one of the most powerful SEO weapons in regards to online reviews. To give an idea, Trustpilot gathers over 2 million reviews per month, and those reviews are seen over 3 billion times per month across search engines!
Posting reviews is a fantastic way to provide fresh content on a company website and improve keyword reach – two factors the search engines love. Over time, this practice can help businesses improve Google Seller Ratings in paid searches and even qualify for Rich Snippet Stars on organic search results.
Rich Snippet Stars can do wonders for more than just SEO. If potential customers see these stars on a Google search, it acts as a strong first impression of a brand before anything is clicked on. When setting up TrustBoxes, enabling Rich Snippets for SEO will qualify a company for these Stars. However, Trustpilot cannot guarantee that a company receives them. Google’s guidelines for this are very, very strict.
Due to Trustpilot’s high domain authority, every review a company gets on this platform does a lot to benefit their SEO.
Even though there are many online review platforms that can impact your SEO, Trustpilot packs a punch that stands above the pack. This is due to the many different factors including the high domain authority, traffic numbers, search-ability, and overall popularity. To put it in perspective, Trustpilot has a presence in more than 60 countries across the world, 50 million reviews of nearly 250,000 businesses, 2 million new reviews per month, and more than 45,000 new reviewers on a daily basis. These numbers make Trustpilot one of the premier review platforms in terms of SEO.
Reviews.io also has it’s own SEO benefits. Being as how it is also a verified Google Review Partner, reviews on this platform hold a substantial amount of weight in the rankings.
Feedback on Reviews.io can help a company’s paid search presence with Google Seller Ratings and potentially organic with Rich Snippets.
Similar to Trustpilot, Reviews.io allows businesses to publish reviews directly on their website. There are a number of widgets to choose from in terms of the actual display. This includes carousel, floating, dropdown, or product review. Businesses can also customize as needed.
When comparing the two platforms, Trustpilot’s numbers speak for themselves. From an objective standpoint, Reviews.io’s SEO benefits simply cannot compete.
Review platforms are an absolute necessity in today’s business landscape. Choosing one that fits the exact needs of a company can be a cumbersome process.
In regards to Trustpilot and Reviews.io, each platform brings its own unique set of pros and cons to the table. However, when looking at the big picture, the commitment to authenticity needs to be the top concern. Online consumers can easily spot the difference between genuine and controlled sentiment. To reiterate, open platforms like Trustpilot hold the advantage in this area. Additionally, Trustpilot invests heavily in a robust compliance team to pinpoint even this slightest whiff of fraud or when companies are trying to game the system; which further contributes to the concept of authenticity.
Taral is a digital marketer with a major focus on creating effective content strategies. He keeps on researching about the latest content creation and promotion techniques that can perform well organically.
- 1August 6, 2018
- 31. Google Review Partner
- 4a. Trustpilot
- 5b. Reviews.io
- 62. Multiple Users Access
- 7a. Trustpilot
- 8b. Reviews.io
- 93. Gathering Reviews
- 10a. Trustpilot
- 11b. Reviews.io
- 124. Integrations
- 13a. Trustpilot
- 14b. Reviews.io
- 155. Photo Reviews
- 16a. Trustpilot
- 17b. Reviews.io
- 186. Publishing Reviews on Social Media
- 19a. Trustpilot
- 20b. Reviews.io
- 217. SEO Benefits
- 22a. Trustpilot
- 23b. Reviews.io